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State approves funding for Central Falls turnaround

January 10, 2011

Central Falls will get $1.3 million to fund the overhaul already underway at Central Falls High School. District administrators say the money will pay for programs already in place such as tougher teacher evaluations, ongoing teacher training and extra pay for teachers who agreed to work longer hours under the turnaround plan.

Central Falls High School is the first of six schools – the other five are in Providence – singled out by state officials and ordered to close or develop turnaround plans. The move triggered funding from the federal School Improvement program, but each school must apply to the state for its share of the funding.

The approval of a grant for Central Falls High School signals that state officials believe the school is heading the right direction.

“I am confident that the transformation plan that Dr. Gallo and her team have developed is moving forward and that the teachers and students in Central Falls are in the process of creating a culture of learning and achievement for the students at Central Falls High School,” said State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist in a written statement today.

Since the fall, teachers complained that discipline and organization have deteriorated under two new principals at Central Falls High School. Last week parents called for state intervention at the school, saying they are disturbed that a number of teachers are chronically absent.

The overhaul of Central Falls High School has been watched nationally since district officials fired the entire faculty last year. The faculty was later rehired after an agreement was reached on a plan to improve the school. State officials plan to identify more schools for the federal turnaround program in the coming months.

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