Education
4:52 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Pennsylvania's Struggling Schools Identified for Extra Help

For the first time, Pennsylvania is identifying its poorest-performing public schools that will receive extra help from the state to get up to speed on reading and math scores.

The names of the 92 so-called priority schools are being released Tuesday in an effort to comply with the commonwealth’s federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind education law.

Under the new requirements, as many as 10 state contractors called academic recovery liaisons will be hired to assist priority schools.

Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq said they’ll help tweak things like curricula, teaching materials and classroom methods.

"It is important because of all the schools, they are the ones that are the poorest-performing, so it’ll be important for the state to drive extra resources and extra help in to make sure that those students receive additional help," she said.

Dumaresq said that in the past, struggling schools didn’t receive the same kind of targeted attention to different components of instruction.

Instead, they were asked to come up with an improvement plan that was too general to be effective.

The agency has set aside about $800,000 in federal funding to pay for the liaisons.