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Turnaround expert named to fix NYC's worst schools

Aimee Horowitz, left, listens as Mayor Bill de

Aimee Horowitz, left, listens as Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference in Brooklyn on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Credit: AP / Bebeto Matthews

The de Blasio administration has appointed an educational turnaround artist to fix the city's 94 worst schools, including two targeted by the state for closure.

Aimee Horowitz, the new executive superintendent for school renewal, is a longtime teacher and principal on Staten Island who is now tasked with improving the lowest-performing schools citywide.

The appointment comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is looking to seize control of the city's worst schools and turn them over to outside groups -- a plan Mayor Bill de Blasio opposes.

"Every school's success or failure is on me. I can't think of a clearer method for ensuring success," de Blasio said. "I think the notion of the state being involved additionally contradicts what's valuable about mayoral control."

He added: "If any of them do not turn around, we will not hesitate to close them."

De Blasio announced Horowitz's appointment to the $163,629-a-year post Tuesday at Boys & Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which is one of the schools cited by the state. The other is Automotive High School in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

De Blasio cited recent progress at the troubled schools, such as additional instructional time, curriculum overhauls and personnel charges to bolster management, since he announced a $150 million renewal plan in November. Before her new appointment, Horowitz oversaw a smaller group of such schools.

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