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Cautious Optimism as Johns Hopkins Tapped to Run Eastside

Ann Choi for KUT News

Last night, the Austin School Board picked Johns Hopkins University to help run Eastside Memorial High School.

Although the partnership is not yet official, the new proposal alleviated some community members’ concerns over the school’s uncertain future.

A group of AISD Board trustees, along with former mayor Gus Garcia and other community leaders held a press conference at the Eastside Memorial High school this afternoon.

"We believe we have come up with a very good option, a very good partner," said, Education Austin president Ken Zarifis. I know that in education there is no such thing as a miracle. No individual or no group is going to come in and fix the day tomorrow,” he said. “But what I do believe in is hard work. We are all willing to roll up our sleeves and be realistic that this is not a time for miracles, but a time for hard work. We are so thankful for that and we know Eastside is going to do that." 

Eastside Memorial High School has been underperforming over the last decade. Previously, AISD had contracted with charter school operator IDEA to help the school better perform – but a new board of trustees ended the contract last year.

"The future of the school is always forefront in their minds," Eastside parent Susie Perez said. She hopes that Eastside Memorial High school will be known for its academic achievement and no longer just for the "bad news."

"They know that the school here is going to be open so they can look ahead, look into curriculum and get excited about the partnership," she added.

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams will decide on whether to accept the new partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Eastside Memorial High School.  

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