April 16, 2012
Debate about the city’s controversial plan to “turn around” 26 struggling schools did not pause for spring break, with a legislative hearing and protest focusing on the proposals last week.
But the school-based closure hearings, required as part of the turnaround process the city is trying to use, did go on hiatus. Now, after holding 15 hearings in the weeks before the break, the city has a dozen more to race through this week.
The turnaround plan will go on trial tonight at August Martin High School, whose principal was replaced the day before the break began. Supporters of Flushing High School, where a hearing will take place on Wednesday, are holding a rally this morning in Queens. Teachers at Brooklyn’s John Dewey High School, who were among the first to begin protesting the turnaround plans in January, are planning to turn out en masse at the school’s hearing on Tuesday. And supporters of Bushwick Community High School, whose low graduation rate is by design because it serves only students who have fallen behind in other schools, will make yet another attempt to convince Department of Education officials to keep their school open.
A full list of the hearings taking place this week is at the right.
The hearings conclude April 19, one week before the citywide school board is set to vote on the turnaround proposals. The board, known as the Panel for Educational Policy, will also be considering a resolution against the turnaround model, which requires schools to close and reopen with new names and many new teachers. The resolution was proposed by Dmytro Fedkowskyj, who represents Queens, which has eight schools on the chopping block.
Two other schools that originally had hearings scheduled for this week were removed from the turnaround roster the week before break.