Panel Decides to Shutter 19 NYC Public Schools

Vote came at 3 a.m.

By Tracie Strahan and Andrew Siff
|  Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010  |  Updated 4:28 PM EDT
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School Closings Anger Parents, Teachers

A panel has voted to close 19 "underperforming" public schools around the city, and students, parents and educators are not happy about the decision.

Parents Protest the Closure of Failing NYC Schools

After more than eight hours of shouting, protests, and pleas to spare them, a city panel gave the go-ahead to shut down 19 under-performing schools.
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After more than eight hours of shouting, protests, and pleas to spare them, a city panel gave the go-ahead to shut down 19 under-performing schools.

The final votes for each closure from members of the Panel for Educational Policy were met with boos.

Many concerned students, teachers and parents in the packed auditorium at Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene stayed until the final decisions came down after 3 a.m. Wednesday morning -- for a hearing that began early Tuesday evening.

"Save our schools!" shouted the crowd, in a deafening chant that echoed across the cavernous room. Some carried signs. 'New Utrecht says don't close the schools, fix them,' read one.

One parent stood up and shouted: "Parents should be involved, we should be sitting where you are! We're not gonna sit on the sidelines and let you do a hatchet job on our children! This is not a dictatorship!"

The city claims schools on the list have poor performance records that include low graduation and attendance rates.

Michael Mulgrew, the head of the United Federation of Teachers, said the vote shows the city is "not listening to the community at all".

Mayor Bloomberg, who was granted control of city schools, issued a statement after this morning's vote saying in part, "I've listened to the arguments carefully and I appreciate the traditions of these schools, but we cannot continue to send our children to schools that have failed them for years."

There were initially 20 schools on the list, but the Alfred E. Smith School in the Bronx was pulled off the list at the last minute. Its fate will be decided at a separate meeting next month.

Here's the full list:

Academy of Collaborative Education (Manhattan)

Academy of Environmental Science (Manhattan)

Beach Channel High School (Queens)

Business, Computer Applications, and Entrepreneurship High School (Queens)

Choir Academy of Harlem (Manhattan)

Columbus High School (Bronx)

Frederick Douglas Academy III (Bronx)

Global Enterprise High School (Bronx)

Jamaica High School (Queens)

Kappa II (Manhattan)

Metropolitan Corporate Academy (Brooklyn)

Middle School for Academic and Social Excellence (Brooklyn)

Monroe Academy for Business Law (Bronx)

New Day Academy (Bronx)

Norman Thomas High School (Manhattan)

Robeson High School (Brooklyn)

School for Community Research and Learning (Bronx)

W.H. Maxell CTE School (Brooklyn)

PS 332 Charles H. Houston (Brooklyn)

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