At the December Delegate Assembly Michael Mulgrew made it seem as though nobody was opposed to a Carmen Farina decision to close three schools in Brooklyn.
Our report indicated:
We have been closing schools for decades. Our problem was with Bloomberg. For years, we have closed schools. Farina says we are closing three schools for lack of enrollment. Enrollment is up citywide but schools are in industrial areas. We can't argue for a school to stay open with 50 kids in it.
According to DNA Info, one principal of the three did make the case for his school as did a member of the CEC 13 president's Council.
With less than 80 students this year, Foundations Academy saw a 55 percent decline in enrollment over five years, according to the DOE. The renewal school also had the lowest four-year graduation rate in the city at 22 percent in 2013-2104.
Neil Monheit, principal of Foundations Academy, acknowledged the school’s shortcomings Wednesday but pointed out progress he said the school has made in recent months.
“I understand that we’re here tonight to consider the closing of Foundations because we’re very, very small and we’re unsustainable at our current size,” Monheit said, adding that students have limited opportunities for “good social interactions.”
He told PEP members that, despite the challenges, he’s seen a “significant rise” in attendance, students have met college readiness goals for the year and he is anticipating an “uptick” in the graduation rate.
“And I think that comes down to they’re students with grit, students that have pushed through this and they recognize that they’ve had some adversity but they’re in a place that’s been nurturing for them.”
Celia Green, second vice president for School District 13’s President Council, worried that it would be difficult for high school students to find a new school.
“I know the educators will get other jobs, but I do feel strongly that the students and the parents really are at a disservice at this point,” Green said.
Disservice to students; rise in attendance and an uptick in graduation rate all sound good as does a principal standing up for his students and school. I feel for the students in these three schools who will have to go somewhere else soon and of course the staff that I would guess would end up in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool which even the Department of Education admits isn't really shrinking much these days. Oh and just like old times, the Panel for Educational Policy voted to shut the schools. We don't even have a Patrick Sullivan on there any longer to be a lone dissenting voice.