Intervention Plan For Montgomery Public Schools, Includes Major Financial and Academic Changes

Difficult decisions and swift changes are on the way to the Montgomery Public School System; according to an aggressive financial and academic plan laid out by interim state superintendent of education Ed Richardson at a press conference Friday morning.

The plan lists that 17 positions will be be cut from the central office. Dozier, Floyd, and Chisolm Elementary along with Georgia Washington Middle School will also be closing, effective this upcoming year.

The closing and eventual of Georgia Washington to the City of Pike Road was met with some opposition by several that were present for Richardson’s report. The Montgomery County Public School Board previously voted not to sell Georgia Washington to the Town of Pike Road after backlash from community members.

A total 9 central office locations will also be closed down. “All unused property, or closed schools will be marketed for sale” said Richardson.

Addressing the academic obstacles ahead, Richardson pointed out that MPS accounts for 15% of all failing schools in the state with ACT scores falling in the bottom 20 percent of all students taking the test.  He also called the overall low proficiency rates “embarrassing” pointing out statistics in a recently released report card of the school system.

“The facts are on the table” said Richardson, “student achievement the lowest I’ve ever seen in my whole career of 50 years”.

In an effort to help close the gap between the graduation rate and career readiness, this Spring  the current assessment ‘Scantron’ will be re- administered, paying close attention to low reading and math scores to help students well before they get to high school.

A complete evaluation of all principles will also come this Spring. “those that are not performing at a high level will be scheduled for removal” said Richardson, explaining that strong leadership in a school is imperative to student success.

Richardson said he has received a letter of intent to start of at least 4 public charter schools in Montgomery, and if there is enough evidence to show that they would be successful, he will then approve the applications.

Converting a vacant school to house disruptive students is also part of the academic plan. McIntyre school will be used as an alternative school. Richardson also included parental expectations in the report, and says schools need to do a better job communicating expectations and informing parents about student progress and encouraging parents to meet with teachers on a regular basis.

A full copy of Richardson’s proposed plan is available here.


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