Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, November 30, 2012

10 of 17 Turnaround High Schools Off Closure List

So last year the education reform criminals at the NYCDOE and their enablers in City Hall wanted seventeen high schools shut down as part of the Race to the Top "turnaround process."

You see, these schools were so bad, and the teachers in these schools were so bad, that the schools just couldn't be saved and the teachers just needed to be fired.

That was last school year.

Here's this year:

The Bloomberg administration has abandoned a controversial plan to close 10 struggling city high schools.

Just seven of 17 troubled high schools that the city tried to close this spring ended up on the chopping block in 2012 after many posted gains on city progress reports.

The city had sought to close the schools this summer and immediately reopen them with new instructors, a turnaround plan the teachers union opposed in court.

A court battle that lasted six months, ending with a judge’s ruling in the union’s favor.

Now it appears the city has reversed plans to close 10 of those schools.

 Students and teachers were thrilled at schools that were spared the axe.

 “It’s amazing,” said Alan Lerner, a social science teacher at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, which the city tried to close in 2011.

“Now we’re ready to build on our progress.” Dewey earned a B on the city’s high-stakes progress report this year, after four years of straight C’s.

The school’s impressive performance on the college readiness section of the progress report helped push its overall grade higher.

Newtown High School in Queens also jumped from a C to a B on its progress report this year and made it off of the city’s hit list.

One student at Newtown put this whole thing into perspective:

“I’m just glad we could stick it to Mayor Bloomberg,” said Newtown senior Christyan Gordon, 18. “I’m delighted we could prove how well this place can work.” 


This school closure movement, which has swept New York and Chicago and most famously came to Rhode Island when both the Secretary of Education Privatization and the President of the United Drone Bomb States agreed that firing teachers and closing Central Falls High School was the only way to "save" the students, is now enshrined in federal education policy.

And yet, at least 10 of the seventeen schools slated for closure by Bloomberg and his education reform criminals last summer have posted improvement to the very data these people cherish above every other piece of qualitative evidence.

In other words, they "turnarounded" without the Bloomberg/Cuomo/Obama/Duncan turnaround process.

If many of the other schools on these "turnaround lists" were granted the support and resources they need to help their students, the outcome would be the same as at Newtown and John Dewey.

But the education reform criminals aren't interested in improving schools, supporting teachers or helping students.

They're interested in closing schools, firing teachers, and privatizing the entire school system.

You cannot "compromise" with dishonest brokers and the majority of so-called education reformers are not honest about their intentions.

If they would just come out and say "Look, we think the free market fairy will lift all boats and that's why we want to close so many schools and sell them off to for-profit charter operators and quasi non-profit operators like Mistress Eva Moskowitz and Geoffrey "Where's The Real Estate!" Canada, I would have more respect for them.

But many of them are not honest.

Instead they talk about being for "students first" even as they reject education reforms that actually do put students first - like small class sizes and a rich curriculum that is more than just test prep.

There has been a lot of damage that has been done to public schools over the last decade and part of the remedy to this is to drop the political niceties about the education reformers and call them what they are - predators, privatizers, vultures and criminals.

The predators, privatizers, vultures and criminals wanted these ten schools on the turnaround list last year.

They didn't get them.

Unfortunately, they may get the other seven that were on that list.

Now it's our job to stop that from happening this year.

We can start by calling that process what it is - education reform crime.

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