Ex-charter school teacher to lead school effort

June 20, 2011

Indiana's education chief has appointed a former charter school teacher to lead the state's efforts to turn around 18 chronically failing schools.

Jim Larson is the state Department of Education's new director of School Turnaround and Improvement. In making the appointment, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said Larson is "the man for the job."

Larson  replaces Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, who's taking a job with a suburban Indianapolis school district.

Larson is a former charter school teacher who will be charged with helping 18 Indiana schools at risk for state intervention. The schools have been on academic probation for five years. If any of the 18 schools are still on academic probation once statewide test scores are released this summer, the state can implement changes or turn the school over to a private company.

Larson comes to his new post from Indianapolis' Charles A. Tindley Accredited School, where he was a seventh grade humanities teacher. Larson studied education at DePauw University in Greencastle and received a master's in education from Harvard University.



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