By Mary Frost
EAST NEW YORK -- The city is paying no attention to its own school “report card” and is moving ahead with plans to close an A-rated high school in East New York, Brooklyn.
Despite W. H. Maxwell Career and Technical High School’s success in boosting their rating from an “D” to a “B” and now an “A,” the Department of Education (DOE) says it will shutter the school and fire up to half its teachers and staff.
Confused parents say that the teachers that Mayor Bloomberg wants to lay off are the same teachers responsible for the school’s turnaround. Graduation rates have almost doubled, but until the state updates its figures Maxwell will remain officially listed as “Persistently Low Achieving.”
Maxwell is one of 33 on the city’s list to be shut down at the end of the school year and reopened next year with as many as half its teachers fired. Each school was identified by the state as Persistently Low Achieving and is eligible for the “turnaround model,” said city schools spokesman Frank Thomas. The city could to lose millions in funding for each low-achieving school that does not undergo this procedural turnaround.
When asked why he was removing teachers and principals at an “A” and six “B” schools this year, Bloomberg told NY1 that the city report cards “focus on progress while the state looks at proficiency, and it's the state score that counts here.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio says that the city should try to fix its underperforming technical high schools rather than put them through disrupting reorganizations. De Blasio will join parents, teachers and officials including de Blasio will gather to protest after school today (Friday, February 3). Maxwell is located at 145 Pennsylvania Avenue.