- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2005


D.C. Schools Superintendent Clifford B. Janey yesterday announced a “fundamental redesign” of the city’s school system, including hiring outside management groups to run some of the most troubled schools.

Mr. Janey, who was hired in September, also proposed a flexible graduation schedule and strengthening of career and technical training programs.

“These initiatives cannot be seen as come-and-go turns in the wind,” Mr. Janey said at a press briefing last evening at Kelly Miller Middle School in Northeast.

Board of Education President Peggy Cooper Cafritz, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and council members Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat, and Adrian Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, also attended.

“I will throw my full support behind this man and his plan,” Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Janey said school board approval will be required for some initiatives, including hiring outside management groups to take over school operations and allowing more latitude in the time it takes a student to graduate.

Mr. Janey said his plan was created after months of discussions with the D.C. Education Compact, a group of parents, teachers, business leaders and city and school officials.

According to an executive summary of Mr. Janey’s plan, school officials are hoping for gradual improvement in reading and math test scores over the next few years.

Last year, 56 percent of the city’s elementary school students showed proficiency in math. Under Mr. Janey’s plan, the goal is to have 59 percent test proficient in 2006 and 64 percent proficient in 2007. The goal for 2014 is 100 percent proficiency.

“We don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver,” Mr. Janey said of the short-term targets. “This is very difficult work.”

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