I recently wrote a post about how the NYC DOE kills schools. It does this because it wants their real estate. It wants to place four or five small schools or charter schools in its building or find another use for the building. So the DOE starts the killing process first by calling the school a “failing school,” which causes many students and families to avoid it. Then the DOE cuts back on resources and staffing and programs, because the school has fewer students, and it plunges the school into a death spiral. i have heard from many teachers who were immersed in this horrible scenario, but unable to stop it. Several from John Dewey High School and Jamaica High School have told me what is happening at these once estimable schools.
Here is another story from someone caught in the middle as the authorities seek ways to sink a school:
|Jamaica H.S. is not alone in this regard. I work at The H. S. of Graphic Communication Arts in midtown west Manhattan and the DOE has done everything in its power to close this school. We are a CTE school who have students from all 5 boroughs on our roster. We do not get to pick and choose who our student body is but we accept with open arms so many of the students that no other school wants. We have worked very hard to improve attendance, graduation rates, and test scores but every time we improved, the DOE raised the levels needed to achieve a good school rating- surely, we do want to do better but the DOE has pre-determined that our school, also in a VERY desirable location, should close. They have lowered our incoming class each year, added one, two, then three schools to the “campus” and made us a “turnaround model” school last year, basically telling parents “Do NOT send you children there,” even though our student body, parents and staff members all agree that we do a wonderful job under the worst of circumstances. Mayor Bloomberg and the DOE lost that battle in the courts BUT they have won the battle because so many schools that were good places for students, have been turned into schools that are now fighting to stay alive and having difficutly in doing so. It is a sad day in education when non-educators not only think they know what is best, but try to force their views and ways upon those of us who know differently!|