Non­profit takes over high school turn­around

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - COUNTY BY COUNTY -

In the lat­est push of a pi­o­neer­ing at­tempt to re­vive fail­ing schools, At­lanta Pub­lic Schools turned over Carver High School to out­siders who re­struc­tured it and hired new teach­ers.

APS handed over Carver op­er­a­tions this year to the non­profit Pur­pose Built Schools At­lanta, a spin-off of the well-re­garded Drew Char­ter School. Six At­lanta schools will be run by three char­ter-re­lated groups when the dis­trict’s out­sourc­ing plan is fully im­ple­mented by 2019.

The sys­tem hired out­side groups be­cause APS couldn’t over­haul all of its trou­bled schools on its own, of­fi­cials said. The de­ci­sion came amid a loom­ing threat that the state could take over the worst per­form­ing schools.

It’s too early to know if the high­stakes bet will pay off. But sup­port­ers point to promis­ing signs that the wa­ger, which in­volves mil­lions of dollars and a cou­ple of thou­sand stu­dents from poor neigh­bor­hoods, will be worth­while. Su­per­in­ten­dent Me­ria Carstarphen said she’s pleased with how con­trac­tors have per­formed in the first two years but cau­tions there’s not enough in­for­ma­tion “to take a vic­tory lap, or to throw in a towel.”

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