The Austin Chronicle

Naked City

By Richard Whittaker, May 27, 2011, News

Eastside Memorial: Together Again

Three years after being split into two schools, Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston Campus could become one unified institution again. On May 23 the Austin ISD board of trustees approved its proposal for a reconstitution plan for the troubled campus, which would combine Global Tech High School with its Green Tech neighbor. While Global Tech is classified as "academically acceptable" under state accountability rankings, Green Tech is in its second successive year as "academically unacceptable." If it hits a third year, Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott can order it to be repurposed, handed over to alternative management, or closed. The district's plan must be submitted by June 17, but Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said she hopes getting the proposal in early will give it a better chance of acceptance by Scott. However, she warned that if these latest proposed reforms don't work, "We need to have a conversation seriously about letting somebody else run that school or bringing it to an end." Earlier drafts proposed a partnership with the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University, but the board cooled on the idea of locking in with one consultant before other options had been explored. At-large trustee Annette LoVoi said that the Harvard proposal "has come before us many, many times, but I don't feel that it's been properly vetted."

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