Digging Deeper: Race to the Top and reassignments - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: Race to the Top and reassignments

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A plan to improve academics at Dougherty County Schools includes more than a dozen principals and assistant principals.

Dougherty County will receive $6.8 million of $400 million statewide in Race to the Top funds.

The federal program was designed to spur innovative reforms to improve education and boost graduation rates. That hasn't happened at Albany High and Principal Sheila Marshall is being replaced because of it. She is the only principal who hasn't been reassigned.

For nine months Dr. Joshua Murfree has been in schools evaluating teachers and principals. This week he unveiled his plan to move close to a dozen principals and assistant principals around.

"He knew up front if we went with the Race to the Top program that he was going to have to make that move, that's exciting to me he knew that tough decision had to be made and he realized it up front," said School Board Member Darrel Ealum.

But what will happen to Sheila Marshall at Albany High, a school that has repeatedly failed to meet federal adequate yearly progress standards? School board members today said that's still being determined and they've got more personnel changes to make before their board meeting a week from Monday.

"A lot of decisions are going to be made," Ealum said.

Board members feel the change and putting Dr. Angela Shumate in place at Albany High School could make a difference there.

"It's going to take a special person to get in there and really work, it can be done, because children can learn but you have to study and find ways to make it happen," said School Board Member Dr. Anita Williams Brown.

Board members say it was important to accept the Race to the Top funds and continue work toward improve test scores in Dougherty County.

"Race to the Top is going to help us find those areas that interest the children in that particular area and help them be successful and that's what it's all about," Brown said.

Ultimately continuing the recent improvement Dougherty County's seen in graduation rates. 

Twenty-six schools in Dougherty County received a share of Race to the Top funds.