Teachers, Parents Fume Over City Plans to Shut 19 Schools

A vote on the 19 schools on the chopping block to take place soon

By Andrew Siff
|  Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010  |  Updated 7:39 AM EDT
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Teachers, Parents Fume Over City Plans to Shut 19 Schools

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They may not save their schools, but they're getting a chance to vent.

Thousands of parents, teachers and kids filed into the huge auditorium at Brooklyn Tech High School tonight to let city officials know they're not happy with a plan to shut down 19 schools because of low-performance.

The crowd was, in part, recruited by the teachers' union.

"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!"

When Chancellor Joel Klein was introduced, he was roundly booed.

"I appreciate the opportunity to speak," said Klein, over roars that got even louder as he went on.

"In my experience people who shout down other people are often afraid to hear what other people have to say. Our first obligation is to our children. Sadly the schools in question are not meeting the standards we must meet."

A vote on the 19 schools on the chopping block could take place late tonight-- or even early tomorrow morning. 

Most of the schools are high schools with lower than average graduation rates, including Jamaica High School in Queens and Columbus High in the Bronx.

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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