South Carolina schools superintendent Mick Zais on Wednesday proposed creating a new statewide district for failing schools, saying current options under state law for helping such schools have proved unsuccessful or ineffective.
Zais said he wants to remove failing schools from the control of local school boards and administrators whom he says have failed the students.
“This turnaround district will give parents and students trapped in a failing school the opportunity to transform their school,” Zais told the State Board of Education. “They won’t have to wait for new leadership in their district office or wait for the election of new school. They will be empowered to make the changes needed to meet their unique requirements.”
The comments came before the board decided the fate of seven schools that have performed in the bottom tier of state rankings for eight consecutive years. State law allows three options: providing more training and monetary support, replacing the school’s principal or taking it over.