Two local schools receive special improvement grants

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The Duquesne City School District and the Academy Charter School in Pittsburgh’s Carrick neighborhood are among nine public schools in the state to receive School Improvement Grants from the state Department of Education.

Duquesne will receive $1.3 million. Academy Charter School will receive $571,597. Statewide, $21 million was awarded.

The Department of Education awarded the grants through a competitive process. To be eligible, schools must be among the lowest-achieving and not have made substantial progress on state assessments or have a graduation rate of less than 60 percent for at least two of the past three years.

Schools that apply must adopt and implement a reform model developed by the federal government.

Academy Charter and Duquesne will use the “transformation” model, which requires teachers and principals to be assessed using rigorous systems. The staff also must participate in high-quality professional development and be involved in curriculum design and development, according to a release from the department of education.

Statewide, 47 schools were eligible to apply but just 20 did so, the release said.

Mary Niederberger: or 412-263-1590. First Published August 7, 2014 12:00 AM

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