LAWRENCE (AP) - State education officials unveiled a turnaround plan for Lawrence's struggling public schools, a model that could be used to improve other underperforming school systems.
The plan was officially unveiled at the South Lawrence East Elementary School on Wednesday.
State-appointed superintendent Jeffrey Riley and state Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester attended the announcement.
The Partners are the charter school administrators that will be introducing the turnaround plan. They will bring in their own teachers and other staff, and ultimately will make the final decisions regarding the plan.
The turnaround plan, which is expected to take five to seven years, includes more instruction time, expanding arts and intramural sports programs and an overhaul of programs for students not proficient in English.
More instruction time could include longer school days, less summertime vacation, and possibly school on Saturday.
The plan also calls for empowering teachers and principals; however, under the new system, all teachers will be looked at very closely to ensure that they are adequate.
Mayor William Lantigua supports the new plan and blamed the current public administrators for failing the students of Lawrence; however, Frank McLaughlin from the Teacher's Union disagrees citing the mayor's administration and the dysfunctional school board as the root of the problem.
The district has about 13,000 students and less than half graduate high school in four years.