Dear Jim [Donohue],
You and the other teachers, parents and the students, both current and graduates [JHS 145X - Arturo Tosconini School], knocked it out of the park. The next meeting will be at the school, but guess what, the DOE hasn't told us the date yet. Please stay tuned--when we get the date we would love you all to turn out. There were several local reporters there, along with Kate Taylor, who has taken an interest! The community is speaking up, and they're not happy with the DOE's "proposal."
--------Jane Maisel to teacher Jim Donohue for his heroic fight to save his school
Look Eva, I give up. You can have whatever you want in the future. I'll close any school you need. I got Carmen on the case. ... Bill de Blasio
-- Ed Notes Fake News - but maybe not.
|Eva wants this building|
Testing expert Fred Smith on today's NY Times piece:
Plan to Close or Merge Schools -- JHS 145 in Bronx is pictured. Prof. Aaron Pallas quoted.Reporter Kate Taylor commented:
Regarding mergers: At this time, with all of school reorganizing by Bloomberg and renewing by deBlasio, what are the post-merger findings--Is there improvement (considering test data and other data) in School A and B, declines in both schools, or a mixed bag? My guess is that the picture is blurry or the data insufficient to draw conclusions, but the City will continue to merge without clear evidence of benefit.
The schools to be closed are all low-performing, to be sure. In the 2015-16 school year, only 8 percent of the students at J.H.S. 145 passed the state reading tests, and only 3 percent passed the state’s math tests. Even so, it is not clear that they are necessarily the worst among the schools in the program. All of the six schools met at least one of the goals assigned by the city last year. Some are being closed for low enrollment as well.Aaron Pallas is quoted in the article:
Aaron Pallas, a professor of sociology and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, said, “The fact that the city thinks that it needs to do this for six out of the roughly 80 or so left suggests that things are not going as well as they’d like.”At the same time, he said, “If these mergers and closures result in new schools that have a new kind of energy, perhaps different staff, perhaps a different culture, that may be better than trying to continue turning around schools that have been struggling for a very long time.”
I also question the kind of top-down "support" the schools get - at times with bad leadership -- and also maybe not a lot of input from teachers -- if they turned a school over to the teachers - why not try that in some of these schools?
Now I am not against merging schools - after all, BloomKlein broke them up in the first place and it makes little sense to chop everything into so many little bits.
Pat Dobosz who is a Dist 14 community resident and retired teacher emailed:
Eva wants more school space and is making less of our D 14 schools. We have several schools that are up and coming and some are excellent. Eva is n many of our buildings and wants to increase the number of rooms she has. One school she is fighting to expand in is MS 50 that has shown academic improvement and is growing in population.MORE's Marilena Marchetti has been on the JHS 145 case and sent this to the listserve about yesterday's school closing hearing:
This press release below is from Jim Donohue, a UFT member whose school JHS 145 in the Bronx could close. MORE proudly supported this school's fight to keep Success Academy out. As anticipated, Success is now vying to take over the entire school. They need our support at the March 22 PEP meeting where a vote on the closure will be made..... it will be held at the HS for Fashion industries 225 W 24th Street in Manhattan.Parent/Community activist Jane Maisel has also been on the case as per her quote opening this blog post.
Here is Jim Donohue's press release for last night's hearing.
Public Hearing on proposed closure of JHS 145
When: Thursday January 12 at 6 pm.Where: 1000 Teller Avenue, Bronx NY 10456.Contact: Jim Donohue
The Board of Education’s plan to close JHS 145 in the South Bronx must be stopped.
Contrary to what BOE has been saying, closing the school is NOT in the best interest of the children. It would scatter a very vulnerable group of kids – nearly 30 percent are special needs and nearly 20% live in homeless shelters – across the Bronx to other schools.
These children, who are in desperate need of stability in their lives, would be thrown out of their school because of the failure of adults – namely the Board of Education and the local Superintendent’s Office.
There’s no doubt the school’s student population has struggled and done poorly on state tests.
But who is to blame?
Here are some glaring examples how the Board of Education has failed these children:
60% of the JHS 145 students are English learners. Most are classified as “entering” English learners, meaning they don’t know English at all, or know very, very little. By law, these students are supposed to get 360 minutes (eight full periods) of English as a Second Language (ESL) a week. Last year, they received Zero for almost the entire school year. That’s because there wasn’t a certified ESL teacher until the very end of the school year.
* While 60% of students have very limited or poor English language skills because English is not their first language, the de Blasio administration has failed to provide a certified math teacher for bilingual students at the school.
That’s incredibly important and relevant. These students, who have very limited English language skills, have to take the state math test – which is almost entirely comprised of word problems. No wonder their math scores are in the toilet.
* The BOE hasn’t even bothered to fill the vacant assistant principal’s position.
* JHS was placed in the city’s Renewal program. It’s supposed to be a three-year deal, but the BOE is pulling the plug before the third year is even halfway done, and before the students even take the state tests in March.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If anyone failed here it’s the Board of Education. Fix JHS 145 – don’t close it. Evicting the children will not be in their best interest.