Redesigning Johnston High
State funding may move low-performing school to the head of the line
Many will no doubt welcome change. Johnston is one of the poorest-performing schools in the district the school qualifies for the TEA grant on the basis of its poor test scores, which make Johnston students eligible for transfer to better-performing schools under the federal No Child Left Behind law. (Only 12 of the school's 900 neighborhood students have exercised that option this year; another dozen have requested transfers for the spring.) However, many claim Johnston's problems go beyond the academic; on Monday a Johnston teacher announced she was filing suit against the district for discrimination against African-Americans at the school.
While the district has yet to finalize the innovative details of the redesign, the plan will focus on a tougher curriculum and will likely require students to choose a "major." Johnston principal Tabita Gutierrez, who will lead the grant team, will give specifics at the school's annual winter community program this Thursday, Dec. 9, at 5:30pm.