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Hillsborough details its plan to turn around Middleton High



TAMPA -- The state wanted a shakeup at Middleton High last spring, and the Hillsborough County schools delivered.

That's the bottom line in a report approved last week by the School Board and headed to next week's state Board of Education meeting.

While Middleton posted gains last spring on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, it remained on a state watch list after earning its sixth straight D grade in the state accountability system. That left the district with just a handful of options to block a state takeover or conversion to a charter school.

Under the "district-managed turnaround" option it chose under the state's Differentiated Accountability system, Hillsborough was required to "replace the principal, all assistant principals, and instructional coaches."

It was also required to reassign teachers not deemed to be highly qualified and effective; add new instructional coaches; assemble an advisory board under state guidance; and conduct a comprehensive search for a new principal with a "clear record of turning around a similar school."

In its report, the district said it had adopted most of those measures.

"The district has replaced the principal and two assistant principals," the district said. "The school's reading coach was transferred. A new reading coach has been hired to fill the position.

"Based on the most current data, the superintendent has decided to retain the remaining assistant principals and instructional coaches, but will continue to monitor their performance and exercise her current authority to replace them if necessary," it said.

Still, officials said last July that the decision to transfer Middleton principal Carl Green to Brandon High had nothing to do with the district's turnaround plan.

"Because of his background at Brandon, it was a great opportunity," she said, referring to Green's previous work at that school as an assistant principal. "I think it would be inappropriate to read into this decision to (change principals) over there. We're moving in the right direction (at Middleton,) and I'm pleased with the growth."

Two weeks later, Elia named Owen Young -- Middleton's assistant principal for curriculum -- to the school's top job.

-- Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:35am]


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