Posts tagged "school closure season"
February 14, 2013
As the city’s first night of school closing hearings began on Wednesday, supporters of Harlem’s Bread and Roses Integrated Arts High School were back in a familiar situation. Just one year after trying to convince the Department of Education not to close and reopen the school with a new staff under the “turnaround” model, they were back in the same auditorium, making the same arguments.
Bread and Roses – along with other schools set for “turnaround” – eventually won in labor arbitration. But this year, the department proposed that Bread and Roses be phased out. Under the plan, the school would not enroll new students and would decrease in size as students graduate until it closes in 2016.
The school received an “F” on its last city report card, with only 41 percent of students graduating in four years compared to a citywide four-year graduation rate of more than 65 percent.
About 100 students, teachers and parents protested the phase-out plan in a two-hour hearing Wednesday night in the school auditorium, with many arguing that Bread and Roses was never given the opportunity to follow through or finish an improvement process before starting a new one. (more…)
February 3, 2012
The regular English classes that Carla LaChapelle teaches all have at least 30 students this year.
Last year, Miguel Estrella said he studied for the United States History Regents exam using a textbook that stopped at the Cold War.
LaChapelle and Estrella were among nearly 100 students, alumni, teachers, and activists at Samuel Gompers Career and Technical Education High School Thursday evening to challenge the city’s plan to close the school. They said inadequate resources and a flood of high-needs students led to a failing grade on the progress report that the city uses to assess schools.
Dozens of student speakers organized by two groups, Sistas and Brothas United and the Urban Youth Collaborative, steered the rowdy, three-and-a-half hour long hearing at the South Bronx campus. Many speakers refused to follow protocol the Department of Education has set for the closure hearings that would cut public comments off at two minutes each.
Along with a smaller handful of alumni and teachers, they painted a picture of Gompers as a warehouse for special education and high-needs students that has long suffered from inadequate funding. (more…)
February 1, 2012
Elected officials who turned out in droves to defend a Harlem school against closure last week stayed home Tuesday night from another century-old Manhattan school also facing the ax.
The city spared Wadleigh Secondary School for Performing Arts from closure in favor of a plan to scrap just its middle school grades, but droves of elected local and state officials and advocacy groups packed the school auditorium in protest anyway during its hearing last week.
There was no such fanfare at Irving, which would phase out completely under the city’s plan, during its closure hearing Tuesday. Instead, just one city councilwoman, Rosie Mendez, joined dozens of Irving teachers, parents, and students in criticizing the Department of Education’s closure proposal.
Over the course of the four-hour-long closure hearing, speaker after speaker explained — as they did during a December rally — that Irving enrolls high-needs, low-income students who are the toughest in the system to serve.
They also said the school’s veteran staff and Principal Bernardo Ascona have remained dedicated to their students despite the school’s uncertain future. This fall, the city reassigned the school from one federally funded improvement model to another, known as “transformation,” then abandoned the plans altogether in December. (more…)
January 19, 2012
At the first school closure hearing of the year last week, students and parents said their school’s youth was a reason to give it another chance. On Wednesday night, families and staff at Brooklyn’s P.S. 19, the Roberto Clemente school, appealed to decades of existence as a reason the school should stay open.
“This has been a school that has been called Roberto Clemente for many, many many years.” said Barbara Medina, who attended the school in the 1970s and sent her son to it in the 1990s. “The name should carry on.”
P.S. 19, located in Williamsburg, was the lowest-scoring elementary school on the city’s progress reports this year. Families have spurned the school in droves in recent years, causing enrollment to drop to about 350 from more than 1,200 a decade ago.
Yet about 100 people turned out to protest the city’s plan to close the school, which the Panel for Educational Policy is set to vote on next month. They said more could have been done to prevent the school from dropping from a B grade in 2009 to an F this year and to soften the impact of the enrollment drop. (more…)