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City proposes closing 17 schools

The Education Department wants to close Sheepshead Bay, a school where only about half of its nearly 2,000 students graduate in four years. The Education Department wants to close Sheepshead Bay, a school where only about half of its nearly 2,000 students graduate in four years.

Seventeen schools on a list of 60 targeted as "academically struggling" earlier this fall are now slated for closure, Deputy Schools Chancellor Marc Sternberg said today, with more school closures to be announced tomorrow. If approved, two of the schools would be closed at the end of the school year -- MS 45 in East Harlem and Freedom Academy in downtown Brooklyn --  the others would be phased out more slowly, with current students allowed to stay until graduation.

Three of the 17 schools are elementary schools, six are middle schools, seven are high schools and one, Choir Academy, serves grades 6-12. Most have previously been identified as troubled and at risk of being shut down. A few are large neighborhood high schools, such as Lehman in the Bronx and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, but others are small high schools, created as an alternative to huge zoned schools, such as Bread and Roses and Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications. All have test scores and graduation rates that are below the city average.

Sternberg said that the decision to close the schools was made after a "rigorous review of academic performance" this fall. "We expect success," he said. "We've listened to the community and provided comprehensive support services to these schools based on their needs. Ultimately, we know we can better serve our students and families with new options and a new start."

All closures are subject to approval by the Panel for Educational Policy which, in the past, has approved virtually all of the DOE's proposals.

Today's announcement provoked an immediate reaction from parents and community activiists who are opposed to closing poor-performing schools, advocating instead for more support from the DOE. "The Mayor has closed 140 schools, but still hasn't closed the racial achievement gap and students are still no closer to graduating college-ready. Research shows that many new schools are performing worse than the schools they replaced-- that is clear evidence of failure, which is why countless parents, teachers, principals, and students oppose school closures. Mayor Bloomberg needs to own up to his failed policy and give struggling schools the resources and support they need to succeed," said a statement by Zakiyah Ansari, a public school parent and spokeswoman for the NY Coalition for Great Public Schools.

The 17 schools proposed for closure and phase-out are:

DBN

School Name

School Level

Proposal

02M625

High School of Graphic Communication Arts

HS

Phase Out

04M045

M.S. 45/S.T.A.R.S. Prep Academy

MS

Closure

05M469

Choir Academy of Harlem

SS

Phase Out

05M685

Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High School

HS

Phase Out

07X203

M.S. 203

MS

Phase Out

08X405

Herbert H. Lehman High School

HS

Phase Out

09X064

P.S. 064 Pura Belpre

ES

Phase Out

09X414

Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications

HS

Phase Out

11X142

MS 142 John Philip Sousa

MS

Phase Out

13K509

Freedom Academy High School

HS

Closure

17K167

P.S. 167 The Parkway

ES

Phase Out

19K166

J.H.S. 166 George Gershwin

MS

Phase Out

19K302

J.H.S. 302 Rafael Cordero

MS

Phase Out

22K495

Sheepshead Bay High School

HS

Phase Out

23K634

General D. Chappie James Middle School of Science

MS

Phase Out

28Q140

P.S. 140 Edward K Ellington

ES

Phase Out

29Q494

Law, Government and Community Service High School

HS

Phase Out

Last modified on Monday, 07 January 2013 18:16

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