PEP Votes on Proposal to Close P.S. 25 | Public Meeting Feb 28
The Panel on Education Policy to vote on a proposal to close The Eubie Blake School, a successful small school in Bed StuyBy Leah Mullen, Patch Poster | | Updated
The New York City Department of Education is proposing to close P.S. 25 (The Eubie Blake School), a small school in the Bedford Stuyvesant area. A public notice issued by the DOE states that the proposal is based on "persistently low enrollment and lack of demand from students and families."
A blog run by New York City public school parents says that the school should be commended not closed. Referring to a DOE analysis, the blog states that "PS 25 is the second best elementary school in Brooklyn and the fourth best elementary school in the entire city when the need level of its students is taken into account."
The DOE public notice acknowledges that P.S. 25 test scores have increased over the last three years, yet enrollment has declined by 43% during the same time frame. This is despite "multiple prior interventions, such as programmatic changes at the school, recruitment and re-branding support, and school re-design," states the DOE.
According to an article in Our Times Press, supporters of P.S. 25 have waged a campaign to save the school, which includes reaching out to elected officials and rallying the help of residents and neighbors.
The Panel on Education Policy (PEP) votes on the proposal to close P.S. 25 in a meeting open to the public this week. If PEP approves the proposal, P.S. 25 will close at the end of the 2017- 2018 school year.
Date, time and location of the PEP meeting at which this proposal will be voted on:
Date: February 28, 2018
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, 411 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10038
It's worth republishing Leonie's blog:
Why PS 25 Eubie Blake should be celebrated rather than closed
Yet the most unfair of all these proposals involves the proposed closure of a small zoned elementary school called PS 25 Eubie Blake in District 16 in Brooklyn, which has gotten little attention so far in the media, save for a story in a small community paper. Why?
According to the DOE's own analysis, displayed on its School Performance Dashboard, PS 25 is the second best elementary school in Brooklyn and the fourth best elementary school in the entire city when the need level of its students is taken into account. It also outperforms every Success Academy charter school by the way in its positive impact -- except for Success Academy Bronx 2. (You can check out the relative impact ratings of all NYC schools, both public and charter in this spreadsheet.)
If it closes, the entire building will be left to Success Bed Stuy 3, which is now co-located with PS 25.
The only three elementary schools which have a greater positive impact on student achievement, out of 661 elementary schools citywide, according to the DOE, are the Walton Ave. school in the Bronx, PS 15 in Manhattan (the latter recently taken off the Renewal list) and PS 172 in District 15. It also recently was named a Reward school by the state.
(All the data below can be found on the school's performance dashboard, linked to above.)
Last year, PS 25 enrolled a large percentage (31%) of special needs students w/ IEPs, 10% with serious disabilities in self-contained classes, and its students had a high economic need index (85%).
The fact that the school is under-enrolled is also likely one of the reasons it has succeeded so brilliantly, with exceptionally small class sizes that range from 10 to 18 -- the sort of class sizes and teacher support that all high-need kids in poverty should receive.
In any case, closing a public school which has provided its students with such a rare opportunity to succeed would be a travesty in my view. The DOE should be celebrating, emulating and expanding this school rather than closing it.