In the first of a two-part announcement, the Department of Education released the names of 12 schools that will be closing due to poor performance. Last year an education panel voted to close 19 schools, but the teachers union successfully sued to keep the schools open because the DOE did not hold public hearings. So the DOE has gone around to 55 schools and met with the teachers union before releasing this list of 12. They're expected to name about a dozen more tomorrow.
There are over 40 more schools the DOE is considering closing this year, and the schools that aren't axed will most likely face a complete overhaul, including the firing of most of the staff. Public hearings should begin soon on the proposed closures, and UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, "The UFT, our lawyers and the teachers in the closing schools will be closely monitoring the process this year. If we find any substantial violations of the statute that covers school closings, the DOE can expect to see us in court."
Elsewhere, Mulgrew criticized new Schools Chancellor Cathie Black's opinion on teacher tenure. Black said she couldn't imagine "at age 25...saying to somebody, 'You have lifetime guarantee for this position. Just show up every day.' It's inconceivable." However, Mulgrew pointed out that that's not quite how teacher tenure works. He said, "Clearly when they're briefing her, they're not telling her all the facts. Tenure only guarantees due process before they are fired, nobody is promised a job for life." Below is a list of the schools the set to close for poor performance:
- KAPPA II
- Academy of Environmental Science
- Community Research and Learning
- Beach Channel High School
- New Day Academy
- P.S. 30 in Queens
- P.S. 260 in Brooklyn
- M.S. 571 in Brooklyn
- I.S. 231 in Queens
- John F. Kennedy High School
- Urban Assembly for History and Citizenship for Young Men
- Ross Global Academy