January 8, 2017

Editorial: On a changing of the guard at Goddard, and Binienda’s leadership

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It’s a bold move to change a school’s principal in the middle of the school year. Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Maureen F. Binienda has done just that at the Goddard School of Science & Technology.

We support the change — and the boldness.

Binienda has brought in Karrie Allen to lead the struggling elementary school, at 14 Richards St. Allen had been principal of Norrback Avenue School, which is now being led by acting Principal Christina Troiano, who had been assistant principal.

Meanwhile, Yuisa Perez-Chionchio, who had been principal at Goddard for a year and a half,  the first year of that as acting principal, has been reassigned to lead a new parent education program at Worcester East Middle School.

Binienda, according to a story in the Telegram & Gazette, made the leadership switch at Goddard in part in order to better position the school for a $300,000 grant Goddard will apply for this spring. The grant will help the school institute changes designed to improve student performance — and prevent Goddard from slipping from already-worrisome level 3 status to devastating level 4 on the state’s 1-to-5 accountability grading system. Level 4 designation requires schools to develop a Turnaround Plan overseen by the state.

Allen, Binienda noted, has experience and “real expertise” with school turnarounds. And that is needed at Goddard, where many of its 500 kids are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

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