2 LP schools on state improvement list

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – Two Lincoln Park schools were among nearly 100 of the state Department of Education’s Persistently Lowest Achieving schools in an annual report released Aug. 26.

The 2011 listing includes Lincoln Park High School for the first time, and Lincoln Park Middle School, which was on last year’s report.

The 98 listed schools must submit within 90 days a plan for enacting one of four options, ranging from staff replacements, closing and reopening as a charter school or sending students to higher performing schools.

Reportedly, Lincoln Park Public Schools Supt. Richard Rockwell said that a transformation strategy will be prepared based on a review of low-scoring areas, faculty-to-student ratio, school programs and schedules.

State officials identified the 98 schools based on math and reading test scores from the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, whether the school demonstrated academic improvement or complied with federal goals, and graduation rates. This is the second year that the state has issued a listing based on a national formula, and more than half of the schools this year were also on the 2010 ranking.

Approximately 2,300 of the district’s 4,700 students attend the two schools on the list.

By adopting the transformation model as outlined by the state, the schools will be required to address four specific areas of improvement, including teacher and student leadership — which may include replacement of the principal — implementing comprehensive instructional reform strategies, and extending planning time for teachers.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)