Six Seattle schools will be exempted from some district rules and regulations next year as part of a new effort aimed at fostering innovation.
The Seattle School Board voted Wednesday to approve the policy waivers, which mainly focused on hiring and keeping teachers.
The board’s vote was the last step in approving the schools as “Creative Approach Schools,” a joint project of Seattle Public Schools and the city’s teachers union.
All six wanted the freedom to hire the best applicants for teaching jobs, and not be forced to accept Seattle teachers they don’t want.
The schools, which will be “Creative Approach” schools for three-year terms, are: Cleveland High, Hawthorne Elementary, NOVA, Queen Anne Elementary, Thornton Creek Elementary, and the World School.
Most will strengthen and expand existing programs, but had to propose something new as well. Thornton Creek, for example, plans to change its approach to teaching writing, and NOVA, a high school, will add seventh- and eight-graders.
Critics wonder whether the schools will have enough freedom to truly innovate, and others question whether parents have had enough say in the changes that will occur. The program’s supporters hope the schools will develop and highlight new ways to raise student achievement.