Update: WUNC gives more details on the legislation which might change the nature of the “takeover” model:
The State Board of Education has voted to add Carver Heights Elementary in Goldsboro to the Innovative School District, but the state’s school turn-around model could be changing.
The Innovative School District (ISD) was conceived by the General Assembly as a plan to turn some of the state’s lowest performing schools over to charter school operators, in the hope of improving them. The ISD has long been cast as a school take-over model, because it requires local school boards to either give up control of the school or close it. But a provision in a bill under debate at the General Assembly this week could change so that a local school board might continue to run its own school while it is in the ISD.
The State Board of Education unanimously approved the selection of Carver Heights Elementary in Wayne County to join the Innovative School District today, but not without major caveats and a lot of reservations about the decision.
“This timeline is just unfair,” said Board Member Wayne McDevitt of the quick decision Board members are forced to make by the ISD law. “It’s unfair to this Board. It’s unfair to the state. It’s unfair.”
Why do we care? We might not, unless it is your neighborhood school being taken over by the state. Wayne County school officials were making changes at the school, and will likely fight this.
The vote came during the second day of the State Board meeting. Board members discussed the selection extensively on the first day, exploring the possibility of making Wayne County Schools the operator of Carver Heights under the ISD, something that would be possible under a provision in a bill passed in the House today. Eric Hall, deputy superintendent for innovation at the state Department of Public Instruction, asked for that provision which now will be considered in the Senate.
But unless it passes, the school would likely be turned over to an outside operator — perhaps a for-profit charter or education management organization. The Board has until February 15th to decide on an operator though can make a choice as early as January.
According to Alex Granados of Education NC, there was a lot of debate today but no vote on the school’s inclusion in the Innovative School District.
The Innovative School District’s selection of Wayne County’s Carver Heights as the District’s second school was the focus of extensive discussion during the first day of the State Board of Education’s two-day meeting. The Board will have its actual vote tomorrow.
The full article is here.
The school is considered under-performing by any measure, and the state intends to take over management.