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Courts overturn Closing of 19 NYC Schools

April 5, 2010

Legacy Marketing Department

In one of the biggest announcements since the proposed closing of 19 NYC schools, this week the court’s decision dealt a big blow to the city plan to close “underperforming schools”

The decision immediately, derailed the Bloomberg administration and Chancellor Klein’s constant and indifferent plan to close schools.  The education panel vote to close 19 city schools is “null and void,” according to a decision handed down by a state Supreme Court justice this week.

This is a great day for our children and for the parents and teachers who turned out to protest this total disregard for parental and community input.  But in what one would consider not surprising, rather than take the city funds to establish programs and involve community based organizations in improving what is considered underperforming students and schools; the Department of Education (DOE) will pay more attorneys and legal aides to fight the ruling and appeal.

The United Federation of Teachers and over 15 other petitioners filed a lawsuit arguing that the DOE had violated the law that governs school closures. The DOE was handed the decision on March 26 just two days after the deadline for high school students to receive word as to which schools they’ll attend in the fall. Judge Joan Lobis wrote that her decision should not affect the 80,000 students who did not apply to the closing schools.

Judge Lobis acknowledged that the decision would be an “inconvenience for respondents and hardships for students who are awaiting the results of the school matching process.” In total, there are 8,500 students who applied to the closing schools.

Briefly, we spoke with Legacy Corporation CEO, Edison A Bardowell regarding the announcement.

“ What we see here is a continuous cycle of students not getting the services they need to excel. These students need after school and support group programs that work specifically on improving english and math test scores. A greater investment should be made in guidance councilors to reach out to those troubled students who have issues with motivation.”

“As we have seen the DOE close schools in the past, those students in many cases went elsewhere thus overloading other schools. This cycle burdens other schools with issues like attendance, low test scores and behavioral problems. The DOE should focus on schools by making administration changes and become more innovative when they see that the school is getting a low report grade after several years.”

But he acknowledged that although schools in the past have closed “I have seen that some [schools] that were closed and replaced with smaller ones did have a high success rate of graduates, attendance and academic achievement” Although, there has been some success, this does not mean that all education intuitions should simply be closed in a factory assembly line fashion such as this latest attempt.

The DOE immediately had comment regarding the announcement:  A lawyer for the city, Michael Cardozo, said the Department of Education would appeal the decision.

“We are disappointed by today’s ruling, which, unless it is reversed, requires the Department of Education to keep open schools that are failing our children,” Cardozo said. Department of Education officials will be looking at another month of bruising public hearings at each of the schools slated for closure.

Affected schools:

Beach Channel High School
Metropolitan Corporate Academy
Choir Academy of Harlem’s high  
Norman Thomas High School
Global Enterprise High School
School of Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship

Monroe Academy for Business/Law
Frederick Douglas Academy III’s middle school grades
P.S. 332
Middle School for Academic and Social Excellence
Academy of Collaborative Education

New Day Academy
Christopher Columbus High School
Paul Robeson High School
W.H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School
Academy of Environmental Science
Jamaica High School
School for Community Research and Learning

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