PS 25 in Brooklyn is a high achieving low enrollment school that Carmen Farina had the Panel for Educational Policy close on February 28 to make space for Eva Moskowitz and her Success Academy Charter schools.
The parents fought back and sued the DOE claiming that the Department of Education did not tell anyone how well the school is doing. They are among the highest achieving schools in the city. The suit also claims the city is ending a zoned school without following the law.
From their Memo of Law:
“Entirely eliminating a zoned school and without replacing it with another zoned school, leaving the families in this neighborhood without any zoned school that their children have the right to attend, as occurred in this instance, is the most radical change in zoning lines that can be conceived.”
Chancellor Richard Carranza could reverse course and save this school as parent activist Leonie Haimson is requesting in her Washington Post Open Letter to the Chancellor.
Here is an excerpt:
Chancellor Carranza: On Tuesday in hearings before the New York City Council, you spoke eloquently about how the city should be celebrating our successful public schools, rather than allowing others to denigrate them. In particular, you noted that you had seen some great teaching in Bed-Stuy schools. If you are serious about this, you should rescind the decision to close this school and instead celebrate its accomplishments.
The secret to PS 25's success is class sizes between 10 and 18. The city looks like it is totally afraid of this information being dispersed everywhere.
Under mayoral dictatorship of the schools, I don't see Chancellor Carranza having the ultimate authority to reverse course on PS 25 but one never knows. Maybe a judge will do it. Good luck in court PS 25.
There is one other fact about this year's expanded school closing list that is very troubling that I discovered in reading the city's answer to the lawsuit. Kids are being displaced this spring from closing elementary schools all over the city.
From the city's response from to the PS 25 lawsuit on page 15:
As of today’s date, parents and guardians of approximately 3,000 students – from closing schools – entering grades 1-5 do not know which school their children will be attending this fKall.
Many Absent Teacher Reserves will be added to the ATR pool. Sad news indeed and totally unnecessary. The waste of money and talent continues at the DOE. Only the names change. Then again, maybe Carranza will bring some sanity to the system.
UPDATE: The Parents actually won yesterday in court.
From the NYC Public School Parents Blog:
Today in court, we won our temporary restraining order to keep PS 25 open!
Judge Katherine Levine of the Kings County Supreme Court issued a decision from the bench that unless she has an epiphany in the next two weeks, the school will remain open next year and she will decide the complex legal merits of the case more carefully over the next few months.
The Chancellor and Mayor should back down here. I wonder if they will stand up to Eva.
Congratulations to this school community on their win, even if it is only temporary right now.