ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Albuquerque Public Schools and the teacher's union are teaming up to revamp the curriculum at Emerson Elementary school in southeast Albuquerque.
It will require hiring all new teachers and engaging the community, but soon all New Mexico Schools will have to take similar steps.
Emerson has been an underperforming school for years, and now the school will be among the first to adopt the Common Core State Standards .
That's a big name for aligning a school with a federal education standards program that sets higher benchmarks to prepare students for college and the workplace.
Common Core will appear in all kindergarten through third grade classes next fall and all other grades will see them for the 2013-14 school year.
Emerson in the 600 block of Georgia Street SE will also include a huge effort to engage with the neighborhood, the community and the rest of APS.
"It's a demonstration school," Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein said. "They have to be open to having teachers from across the district come in and watch them teach."
Under the program, the school will get a new principal and all 26 teachers will have to reapply for their jobs.
APS says they won't be laid off, but if they want to teach at Emerson, they will have to be certified to teach non-English speaking students and be willing to put in extra hours.
Raquel Reedy is the assistant superintendant for APS and she says teachers will add an additional hour each day and five additional school days to the year.
They will be paid the time will be spent building the program.
Parent Julie Cortez likes the idea. She said she thinks it will give the kids something to look forward to and they will learn new and different things.
Ernie Pyle Middle School did a redesign similar to Emerson in 2009. Although reading scores remained about the same, student math scores improved by 8.5 percent in the first year.
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