New York City to open more middle schools

September 20, 2011 3:23:04 PM PDT
New York City's schools chief says he will open 50 new middle schools over the next two years as part of a campaign to improve middle schools throughout the city.

Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Tuesday that in addition to opening new schools he plans to phase out middle schools that are failing. He said he would apply for up to $30 million in federal turnaround funds to revamp other middle schools.

Walcott said preventing students from falling behind in middle school has long been a challenge in New York and elsewhere. The city's elementary school students have made progress on state tests in recent years but sixth, seventh and eighth graders have not.

Walcott spoke at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.