ICEr CLs in Queens schools quoted in the NY Post
One of the things to be proud of: the amazing work people associated with the Independent Community of Educators do. Queens chapter leaders, the vet James Eterno (Jamaica HS) and the newly elected CL Arthur Goldstein (Francis Lewis) are featured in this excellent piece in the NY Post by Angela Montefenise. Goldstein makes the point that the solution to the overcrowding at Francis Lewis HS is to improve the other large high schools in the area.
Eterno, the ICE/TJC candidate for UFT President against Unity Caucus' Michael Mulgrew, is known as one of the top chapter leaders in the city. He talks about Jamaica HS:
“I absolutely believe that they can make the other schools in the area better,” said Goldstein. “It’s their job to make the other schools better. Better options would spread students out, and everyone would be better off.”
A perfect example is Jamaica High School, a large school located less than three miles south of Francis Lewis. It received a C on its progress report, has attendance rates in the low 70 percentile and a grad rate of only 47%, stats show.
Francis Lewis received almost 13,000 applications — the most in the city — from students eager to go there. Jamaica received 1,580 applications, eight times fewer.
Meanwhile, with 1,416 kids, Jamaica is 700 students under capacity.
“I understand the DOE wants to give parents and students what they want,” said Goldstein. “But they should be focused on getting kids interested in Jamaica so they want to go there. That should be the goal.”
The DOE response:
Jamaica social studies teacher and UFT rep James Eterno said his school “has the dedicated staff and programs” to be successful, but needs a helping hand to become more attractive to students.
“We have the space right now to lower class sizes,” he said. “If we could offer really low class sizes, personal attention, parents would send their kids here. That’s something Francis Lewis can’t offer.”
Eterno has repeatedly reported on the ICE blog how the DOE has put Jamaica in a situation that steered kids away. We know their policy is not to build up a school like Jamaica to make it more attractive but to openly and surrepticiously undermine it so the fabulous building will become available for Gates, New Visions, or any charter school looking for free space.
DOE spokesman Will Havemann said class size is not just tied to space, but also to the number of teachers at the school. “Principals are free to hire new teachers to reduce their class sizes, but given the city’s financial circumstances, significantly reducing class sized may be prohibitively expensive,” he said.
James Eterno is running for UFT President and Arthur Goldstein will be running for a UFT Executive Board position on the ICE/TJC slate in the upcoming UFT elections.
Support the election effort by joining the ICE fundraiser Monday night. Make it a virtual party if you can't make it by sending a check made out to Independent Community of Educators (not ICE) and sending it to:
Jamaica, NY 11421