Thursday, February 9th, 2012. Brooklyn, New York City – The Panel for Educational Policy had a public meeting and a public vote on plans to close schools tonight at the Brooklyn Technical High School located on 29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn, NY.
Approximately, 3,000 people came to the meeting, including protesters from Occupy Wall Street, teachers, union members, parents and high school students.
The Panel For Educational Policy voted to close 18 schools and eliminate the middle school grades at five others. They say, those schools had “poor performance.”
Originally they were going to close 25 schools, but on Wednesday, two schools were granted a reprieve. Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing Arts in Manhattan will keep its middle-school grades and get a new principal. Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy VII in Brooklyn will remain open under its current principal. These 2 schools have to quickly improve.
NY1 reports that, “Another 33 schools face overhauls. Their fates will be voted on in March or April.”
Most of the members of the PEP (Panel For Educational Policy) are appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Mayor 13%, as students call him) and has always approved all of the proposals in front of them. Basically, they do what Bloomberg wants. They already new they were going to close those schools. The hearing was just a show, don’t you think?
On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, there was a rally and mach at Union Square. You can see some of the photos here.
These are some of the comments on the live feed:
“High school students are children of the revolution”
“Democracy has no meaning in Bloomberg’s town”
“Educators, not white shirts. Save our schools”
“If we don’t get together and stop this *** train we are all going to get screwed into the ground…with our kids. Don’t close our schools!”
“Stop building the prisons so much and build more schools. Educate, don’t incarcerate!”
“Fire cops. Hire teachers. It decreases crime”
“Bloomberg doesn’t care about students!”
“NYPD’s kids go to these schools, too”
These schools are closing:
-Legacy School For Integrated Studies (high school)
-Manhattan Theatre Lab High School
-Washington Irving High School
-P.S. 019 Roberto Clemente (elementary school)
-General D. Chappie James Elementary School of Science (elementary school)
-International Arts Business School (high school)
-Satellite Three (middle school)
-Middle School For The Arts
-J.H.S. 296 The Anna Gonzalez Community School (middle school)
-P.S. 22 (elementary school)
-Academy Of Business And Community Development
-P.S. 298 Betty Shabazz
-Frederick Douglass Academy IV
-P.S. 161 The Crown
-Brooklyn Collegiate: A College Board School
-P.S. 215 Lucretia Mott (elementary school)
-P.S. 014 Cornelius Vanderbilt (elementary school)
-Gateway School For Environmental Research and Technology (high school)
-Jane Addams High School For Academic Careers
-Samuel Gompers Career And Technical Education High School
-Grace Dodge Career And Technical Education High School
-Aspire Preparatory Middle School
Most of these schools will remain open for some more years but will not accept new students.
Students, teachers and supporters were sad of the decision.
Vicki Zunitch says, “interview the Mayor and the Chancellor and ask them to account for exactly how and why they failed at these schools.”
These are some videos:
“Parents, Teachers, Students, Community groups singing together in a show of solidarity and common struggle at the PEP meeting on February 9th.”
“NYPD officers intimidates High School Students at the PEP meeting on February 9th 2012.”
“200+ people, mostly students, being denied return access at the PEP meeting Feb 9th. 2012 by NYPD and security.”