Magazine article District Administration

A Shift in Middle School

Magazine article District Administration

A Shift in Middle School

Article excerpt

The New York Board of Regents recently approved a plan that would revolutionize the way middle schools administer its curriculum with the ultimate goal of improving student performance. According to the regents' plan, a study determined that no one approach to middle school education would solve the state's woes.

Each school would present a plan, which would be drafted by parents, teachers and school officials, and would need to approval of the state Department of Education. "Many middle schools have students who aren't meeting the learning standards," Regents Chancellor Robert Bennett says. "Other schools are excelling. All of them should have some flexibility so long as they use it to help students and ensure they have high achievement."

Schools have three options: to abide by existing regulations and make no change; to strengthen core academic subjects like English, math, science, history and social studies and lessen the time for "exploratory courses"--technology education, health, library, extra foreign languages and the arts.

The final option, only available to a select group of 30 successful and high-scoring schools, would be to reconstitute the entire curriculum. They would do away with time requirements altogether and develop their own curriculum.

Thomas Donahue, president of the New York State Association for Career and Technical Education, believe the damage to career and technical education could have been worse had his organization not lobbied on their behalf. …

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