Don’t Close My School
“I was 18 years old with a baby and three high school credits. I was a gangbanger. I was shot and left for dead.
“My life was a pane of glass fractured into a thousand shards. And this place saved me….
“Few who venture to this corner of Bushwick walk away unmoved. Members of the state Board of Regents sing its praises, as have visitors from across the city.
“But that could all come to an end on Thursday night. The Education Department has recommended that the Panel for Education Policy, which is controlled by the mayor, vote to lay off the principal and half the staff. Give department officials credit: they don’t really try to argue their indictment on the merits, but on the metrics – that is, test scores and graduation rates.
“A majority of the students fail to graduate within six years, which is one of the city’s inviolate metrics. Right-o. If a young man wanders into this high school at 18 with five credits to his name, the odds are strikingly good that he will not graduate within six years of his freshman year.
“The Panel for Education Policy could vote to let the school remain untouched. That’s unlikely. Mayor Bloomberg’s education officials have recommended shutting down 140 schools, and this panel has voted in the mayor’s favor 140 times…”
Read the whole April 23 article from the New York Times: “A Brooklyn School Saved Lives, and Some Now Try to Return the Favor” by Michael Powell.
“The schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, retreated on Thursday from a plan to shut down a last-chance high school for students who have dropped out or have failed at traditional schools…
Read the whole April 26 article from the New York Times: “City Decides to Spare School of Second Chances” by Anna M. Phillips.