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Clarke wants same chance extended to 9 other city schools


City Council President Mary Pat Clarke will ask the Baltimore school board tonight to designate nine schools to be operated under their own management with the same terms and conditions being granted to the nine schools expected to have private management next year.

Starting in September, the school system plans to pay Minneapolis-based Education Alteratives Inc. the equivalent of the average per-pupil cost of $5,415 for each student at the designated schools. In return, Education Alternatives is to institute its Tesseract program, which features a smaller teacher-student ratio, individualized education plans, extensive computer instruction and parental involvement.

Ms. Clarke argues that, given the same funding and freedom from bureaucratic strictures, city schools under their own management can do the same thing.

Ms. Clarke's proposal would include six East Baltimore schools that are part of the Dunbar Project -- in which a high school, two middle schools and three elementary schools will form a single campus run by a single director and board of overseers.

The schools are Dunbar High and Middle schools, Lombard Middle School and Thomas G. Hayes, City Springs and Charles Carroll of Carrollton elementaries.

Bids would be solicited to select the three remaining schools, Ms. Clarke says.

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