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Regents to push Race to the Top school turnaround strategy today

The public will get one of its first thorough looks at New York State’s Race to the Top strategy today, as the Board of Regents meets to consider a list of changes designed to make the state more competitive for a slice the $4.3 billion fund.

Anna is on her way to Albany and will report back on the Regents’ discussions. A few interesting things have already emerged from the Board’s agenda.

Tops on the list: a list of proposed criteria for identifying the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools to target for “turnaround,” a method that involves closing schools and reopening them with new leadership and staff. Many of the schools expected to land on that list will be in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also said he wants to turnaround even more schools than the state. The mayor has pledged to close and reopen the city’s lowest-performing 10 percent of schools in the next four years.

The Regents are also likely to vote to urge the legislature to raise the cap on charter schools. Although Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner David Steiner are both defenders of the cap, Tisch has recently said that now is the time to increase the number of charters allowed in the state. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said that states that limit the growth of charters will be at a disadvantage in the competition for Race to the Top money.

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