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Central Falls pledges to collaborate with charters

September 21, 2011

The Gates Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Central Falls School District to explore closer partnerships with local charter schools. The grant is one of three announced yesterday around the country. Boston and Sacramento are the other recipients.

Central Falls school officials say they will use the grant to gather with leaders from five local charter schools, share information and look for potential areas of collaboration. The district already works closely with The Learning Community Charter School, which has brought its reading program into district elementary schools.

A dozen school districts nationwide have now signed onto the Gates Foundation initiative, in some cases pledging to replicate promising charter school practices and close schools that do not increase test scores.

In Central Falls, school officials insist that closures are not part of their agreement with the Gates Foundation. A spokesperson from the district says no schools will be closed for performance reasons, and district leaders see the grant as an opportunity to expand relationships and share best practices with the charter schools that also serve Central Falls students.

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