Five Mpls. schools may experiment with running independently

Five Minneapolis schools are developing plans to operate independently from the district as so-called community partnership schools.

If their plans are approved by the board this spring, school leaders would get the freedom to make decisions on budgets, hiring, scheduling and curriculum.

It's a part of a district effort to find new ways to raise student test scores. Minneapolis schools spokesman Stan Alleyne says the district appears to be the first in the state to try the approach and more schools could be given autonomy in the future if this effort succeeds. "We're just trying to do something significantly different," he said.

The schools applying to be autonomous are Bancroft Elementary, Folwell Performing Arts, Heritage Academy of Science and Technology and Nellie Stone Johnson Community and Ramsey Middle.

Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, who's resigning on Jan. 31, first raised the idea two years ago.

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