Posts tagged "close read"
December 21, 2010
At the heart of the city’s major courtroom loss to the union earlier this year over school closures were 19 short documents — the “educational impact statements” that the city used to make its case for shuttering schools.
Now, the city has given those documents a makeover. But a review of last year’s and this year’s versions of the EIS for one school — Beach Channel High School in Rockaway, Queens — shows that while the reinvented statements are vastly more informative, they still skirt many of the points cited by critics opposed to closing the schools.
When a panel of judges blocked the closures last year, they acknowledged that the law gives city officials little guidance on what to include in the documents but does give them the discretion to close schools they believe are failing. But, as a panel of appellate court judges wrote, officials “abused that discretion by limiting the information they provided to the obvious — that students at phased-out schools would be accommodated at other schools to be determined.”
The revamped documents are city officials’ effort to cover their bases and go beyond “the obvious.” It’s still unclear how critics of last year’s process will greet the new statements. Union officials have said that they intend to pay close attention to how this year’s school closures unfold and possibly lobby Albany to change the process altogether. (more…)