New plan aims to push BK kids to head of class

BROOKLYN - A renewed effort is underway in Brooklyn to improve academic performance at middle schools across the borough.

A middle school task force found that in 2006, less than 50 percent of middle school students met English Language Arts standards. Although more passed in 2007, Pedro Noguera, who headed the task force, says it's not enough. He says the goal is to see every middle school offer a quality education.

Following the recommendations of the report, middle school students at some of the borough's most troubled schools will see millions of dollars in funding and a new middle school-focused leader. Randi Weingarten, of the United Federation of Teachers, says if the report is executed faithfully it will turn around Brooklyn's middle schools.

In addition to an increase in funding, fees for teacher development will be waived and the most rigorous Regents-level courses will be expanded.

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