Posts tagged "Choir Academy of Harlem"
January 7, 2013
The Bloomberg administration is trying to make the most of its last chance to close schools.
The Department of Education today announced plans to shutter 17 low-performing schools in four boroughs and will propose more schools for closure on Tuesday. That means the Bloomberg administration is on track to begin phasing out more schools in its last year than in any previous year — though fewer than some speculated.
Last year, the department proposed closing 17 schools and shrinking eight more during its regular closure process. It also proposed closing and reopening 24 others as part of a controversial overhaul process that ended after an arbitrator ruled that the process violated the city’s contract with the teachers union.
The large number of closure proposals is not a surprise. The city wants to open 50 new schools this fall, and it needs to put them somewhere. Plus, some of the schools proposed for closure today have escaped the city’s ax in recent years, including six that the city wanted to close and reopen through the overhaul process, called “turnaround.” Another school, Choir Academy of Harlem, was one of nearly two dozen schools saved from closure by a union lawsuit two years ago. (more…)
October 3, 2012
A year after its principal was removed amid an investigation into cheating fraud, the middle school at Choir Academy of Harlem saw its city evaluation tumble.
In falling from a B in 2011 to a F this year, Choir Academy was one of 10 schools to see its progress report grade drop by three letter grades, a jarring change in a year when city officials touted the relative year-to-year stability of its progress reports.
Update: The city released a shortlist of schools it would consider closing this afternoon. Choir Academy was not on the list. The school was included on the city’s second list, which was released days later.
Parents and staff at the troubled school said on Monday that Choir Academy is back on track this year because it has a new principal. Melissa Vaughan abruptly replaced Andrea Ellen Parris in January when Parris was denied tenure after four years at the school.
Under Parris, the school significantly improved its graduation rate and test scores, but a department spokeswoman said today that investigators had spent most of the last two years looking into allegations of cheating. (more…)
August 22, 2012
Each spring, as part of its test monitoring program, the Department of Education disperses a small team to schools on testing days to scrutinize and enforce security guidelines. Some schools are picked randomly, but others were flagged by the department because allegations were lodged by school staff and test score data showed “anomalous” results in recent years, officials said.
During this year’s six-day elementary and middle school testing period in April, education department employees paid 41 visits to 37 schools, according to records obtained by GothamSchools in a Freedom of Information Law request.
The city would not specify which schools were the subject of a targeted monitoring visit, as opposed to a random one. But an analysis of test score data for the schools that had monitors visit showed that many had large increases in 2011, a year when the citywide pass rate barely budged. When monitors visited the schools for the 2012 tests, some of them saw sharp drops on its scores — even while the citywide average increased.
Not all monitored schools saw declines this year and, in fact, some saw large gains. But of the schools that made significant gains on either English or math in 2011, more than half regressed to some degree in 2012. One school’s math proficiency rate dropped by more than 40 percentage points.
The previously undisclosed details about the monitoring program comes at a time when state and federal education officials are increasingly focused on devising policies to improve the integrity of tests in the wake of cheating scandals that have erupted in other cities. The number of schools listed in the monitoring program also provides a limited glimpse into the scope of cheating allegations that the city education department receives and is able to deal with. (more…)
December 7, 2010
Four schools that the city tried to close last year will stay open after officials decided that they had shown enough improvement to earn a reprieve.
The schools — three of them high schools and one a middle school — were among 19 schools the city tried and failed to close last year after the teachers union sued to stop the closures. Given another year, but significantly fewer students and funding, most of those 19 schools were recommended for closure again this year. None of them are being considered for the other two school improvement strategies suggested by the federal government that the city will use in other struggling schools.
The four schools that faced closure last year, but will remain open, are the Choir Academy of Harlem’s high school grades, Maxwell Career and Technical High School, the Middle School for Academic and Social Excellence, and Business, Computer Applications, and Entrepreneurship High School.
December 7, 2010
The city announced plans to shutter an additional 14 schools this morning, making a total of 26 schools that may either close entirely or begin to phase out starting next fall.
Yesterday, city officials announced their plans to close 11 district schools and recommended that the state not renew the charter of Ross Global Academy, a Manhattan charter school.
The final list of planned closures includes most — but not all — of the schools the city originally proposed to close last year before it was blocked by a lawsuit brought by the city teachers union, the NAACP and other groups.
Citing improvements the schools have made over the past year, the city is sparing four of the 19 schools the city proposed closing last year: the Choir Academy of Harlem, W.H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School, the Middle School for Academic and Social Excellence and the Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship High School.
The city is proposing that most of the schools on its list stop admitting new classes next year and phase out over time. For two schools, KAPPA II and the Academy for Collaborative Education, the city plans to shutter all grades at once at the end of this year.
City officials culled the final list of 25 district schools to close from a larger list of 55 schools that they targeted for possible closure earlier in the fall. Of the 30 schools on that list that were spared today, 14 may still undergo one of two federally-approved strategies for school improvement.
One of those scenarios, known as the “turnaround” model, requires that the schools’ principals be replaced and its staff and teachers re-apply for their jobs; only half may be re-hired. The other model, known as “transformation,” relies on replacing the principal, bringing in outside support services and experimenting with new teacher training and school schedules.
The city and union are currently in talks over which schools might use each model.
Here is the final list of schools the city wants to close. The schools highlighted below were announced today.
November 3, 2010
For a few high schools, the grades they got on this year’s progress reports could make the difference between life and death.
Though most schools’ grades didn’t change dramatically from last year, several schools the city tried to close last year saw improvement this year while others that had once been good schools have fallen to the bottom.
Of the 19 schools the city unsuccessfully tried to close for poor performance last year, two schools had their grades jump multiple rungs. W.H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School and the Choir Academy of Harlem, both of which got D’s last year, and got B’s this time.
Chancellor Joel Klein said the Department of Education would take the new, higher grades into consideration when deciding whether to try and close the schools it had once deemed “failures” a second time.
“We put great weight on the grades,” he said at a press conference this morning at Manhattan Bridges High School. “We announced those schools based on the information we had at the time.” (more…)