Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bracing for 35 Likely School Closings Next Year by Sharon Otterman - City Room Blog -

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If you thought this year was a dramatic one for school closings — with 19 city schools shut in January over the objections of thousands of parents and teachers before being given a temporary reprieve by a court — wait until next year.

Not only does the city say it will try to close all 19 of those schools again, but it will also try to phase out 16 more, continuing its strategy of closing some of the city’s largest high schools and replacing them with small schools or charter schools.

On Friday, the city announced which of 34 schools on a state list of “persistently lowest achieving” schools it would keep open and try to improve — in a process known as transformation – and which it would most likely phase out beginning in the 2011-12 school year.

The 11 schools chosen for transformation can hire two new kinds of teachers — master teachers and turnaround teachers — who will earn up to 30 percent more than their regular salaries for training teachers in addition to their regular duties. Those premiums, and other school improvements, will be financed by $2 million a year in federal stimulus money over the next three years.

Principals at most transformation schools will be removed, according to federal rules that must be followed in order to receive the money, even though teachers will not be dismissed. That brought an angry response from the head of the principals’ union on Friday. (The city is lobbying to save principals who are making improvements.)

“Each school on this list has a different story,” said Ernest Logan, the head of the union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. “Some have B’s on their school report cards; some have principals with strong principal performance reviews. At least one is on the list of Newsweek magazine’s best public schools of the year. All things considered, it makes no sense to suggest removing the principals of these schools while retaining all the teachers.”

The 11 schools selected for transformation are:

  • Automotive High School
  • Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High School
  • Brooklyn School for Global Studies
  • Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School
  • Cobble Hill School of American Studies
  • Flushing High School
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School
  • Long Island City High School
  • Queens Vocational and Technical High School
  • Unity Center for Urban Technologies
  • William E. Grady Career and Technical Education High School

The additional 23 schools on the state’s “persistently lowest achieving” list that will most likely be phased out and replaced with new schools are:

  • August Martin High School
  • Beach Channel High School
  • Boys and Girls High School
  • Christopher Columbus High School
  • Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology
  • Grace Dodge Career and Technical Education High School
  • Grover Cleveland High School
  • High School of Graphic Communication Arts
  • Jamaica High School
  • Jane Addams High School for Academic Careers
  • John Adams High School
  • John Dewey High School
  • John F. Kennedy High School
  • Metropolitan Corporate Academy
  • Monroe Academy for Business/Law
  • Newtown High School
  • Norman Thomas High School
  • Paul Robeson High School
  • Public School 065 Mother Hale Academy
  • Richmond Hill High School
  • Sheepshead Bay High School
  • Washington Irving High School
  • W.H. Maxwell CTE High School

Additional schools that the city says it will attempt to close again next year, after having been prevented from doing so because of a lawsuit from the N.A.A.C.P. and the teachers’ union this spring:

  • Frederick Douglass Academy III (middle school)
  • Global Enterprise High School
  • Monroe Academy for Business and Law
  • School for Community Research and Learning
  • New Day Academy
  • Academy of Collaborative Education
  • Kappa II
  • Academy of Environmental Science High School
  • Middle School for Academic and Social Excellence
  • Public School 332
  • Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship High School
  • Choir Academy of Harlem High School