By Cosmo Garvin
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Reporter Cosmo Garvin’s wife is a teacher in the Sacramento City Unified School District.
In Sacramento City Unified School District, the same schools often lag behind on the alphabet soup of standards that schools are measured by these days: the Academic Performance Index, the California Standards Tests, the Early Assessment Program, the list goes on. And these struggling schools tend to cluster in low-income neighborhoods.
But last year, SCUSD’s Superintendent Jonathan Raymond launched a plan to turn around the failing schools.
Out of the 80-plus elementary, middle and high schools in the district, Raymond declared the seven with the worst test scores to be “priority schools” and candidates for an array of reforms.
He said these would be “incubators of innovation”—they’d get more money, more attention. He got rid of the principals at these schools and many of the teachers. He brought in new, reform-