By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– In an effort to get more students into better-performing schools, Superintendent William Hite has announced a wide-ranging plan that includes starting-up two new schools and consolidating and phasing out others.

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Superintendent William Hite’s plan would affect 15 schools in all.


“Today’s announcement is going to impact up to 5,000 children who we think, as a result of these actions, will be in higher-performing schools.”

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Hite is recommending a series of changes, including opening a new Science Leadership Academy Middle School, and a new high school in partnership with the nonprofit Big Picture Philadelphia.

The Beeber and Leeds Middle Schools would be phased out, and their feeder schools would take on extra grades to accommodate.

The under-performing Cooke, Huey and Wister elementary schools would be converted to Renaissance Charters, and three schools to be named later would undergo a district-run turnaround.

The changes would cost $15 to $20 million, and would take effect in the fall of 2016.

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The School Reform Commission is expected to vote on the recommendations early next year.