Our often clueless mayor, particularly on education, is closing schools. The one positive education change we saw under Bill de Blasio compared to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was de Blasio basically stopped the annual carnage of closing many schools. However, on Monday we learned that three schools are being closed. Remember, also that Boys and Girls and Automotive were also virtually closed when their teachers had to reapply for their jobs and many were displaced.
Last week, the mayor threatened to bring further school closures in an interview with NY1 reported on by Politico NY.
"Lord knows, if we think a school is not going to be fixed, I will not hesitate to shut it," de Blasio said during an interview with NY1's Errol Louis.
Renewal schools had better play with those statistics to make sure every student is passing or else they face possible closure. The precedent has been set to close schools by this mayor even though he is starting with only three. The threat for more is there.
All of the schools facing closure have one thing in common; an abundance of high needs students.
The one way to pretty much guarantee better results is to stop sending so many high needs students to struggling schools. This is essentially what Bloomberg did when he closed large schools and then exempted the new schools that replaced the old schools from taking on most special education pupils and English language learners for several years.
The current mayor could achieve pretty much the same results at significantly reduced cost by just limiting the number of at risk students accepted into so called struggling schools. The Parthenon Report recommended this back in 2006.