Parents Weigh School Phase-Out During Hearing

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Parents wrangled over the proposal to phase out MS 571 in Prospect Heights and replace it with a charter school during a standing-room only hearing Monday night in the auditorium of PS 9, which shares a building with the middle school.

The school is among those that are being considered by the Panel for Education Policy for phase-outs or reconfigurations. The Panel will vote on February 1 and 3.

PS 9 parent Renee Mintz was among those who attended the hearing to protest that adding another middle school, saying the addition will squeeze the schools.

"Just having a third school, period, whether they're charter or public, having a third school in this enclosed space is going to be chaotic," Mintz said. 

But Brooklyn East Collegiate parents like Carolyn Sealy said all three schools can fit in the building and get along.

"I just feel that with the decision to have everybody work together, I think that can work," Sealy said. "The collaboration can work. I'm just seeing that everything would be positive because we're all for the children."

Maura Walz is a reporter for


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Comments [3]

Catherine from Prospect Heights

The Dept of Ed is practicing "fuzzy math" with their proposal to co-locate PS 9, MS 571 and Brooklyn East Collegiate. BEC looks like a wonderful school - that is not at question. Having the three schools in one building at 80 Underhill Avenue will force all three schools to be out of compliance with state mandates in terms of physical education requirements, pose a health hazard as time to clean tables between the three schools lunch shifts in the cafeteria has been eliminated and allow PS 9 students exactly 9 minutes per week in the new library facility created entirely on their parents' initiative. The DOE seems to have made their plan without consulting any of the administrators, city leaders or the Prospect Heights community at large. They are out of touch with the astounding "baby boom" that is happening in Prospect Heights and the wave of success that PS 9 is riding. MS 571 has been kicked to the curb - left under-funded and under-resourced with a disproportionate number of special education students and students living in transitional housing. These students need help, not to be told that they have "failed". ELA scores may be low at MS 571 and that is because a large number of MS 571 students are English Language Learners and very recent immigrants to the U.S. DOE - get out of the way and let PS 9 and MS 571 partner together to transform the middle school into the viable district 13 junior high school that it can be. There is space for BEC in a DOE building just down the block if they must reside in district 13 - despite the fact that they were chartered to serve Brownsville in district 23 and currently reside in district 17. Parents of PS 9 and MS 571 oppose the DOE's plan to co-locate Brooklyn East Collegiate within our school!

in PROTEST against the CO-LOCATION OF CHARTER SCHOOLS in the PS 9/MS 571 and PS 316/MS 353 BUILDINGS

SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011 @ 1:00 PM

(corner of Underhill Avenue)
**enter down side stairs on Sterling Place


Jan. 27 2011 09:47 PM
laura gardner from Prospect Heights

I think WNYC needs a new schools reporter. This article doesn't even begin to touch on the issues that surround this school and the very passionate and articulate statements presented last night. Were you even there Maura?

Jan. 25 2011 12:18 PM
Maria Brincker from Brooklyn

Let just all get along is nice, but there is only a fixed number of class rooms in the building! The parents of PS9 simply points out to the DOE that their plan does not give enough physical space to even house the present 6 kindergarden classes when they are in 4th and 5th grade, much less answer the neighborhood need for more classes. The DOE tries to pit schools to fight against each other - so that they can say there are two sides to the story. However, it is simply an issue of housing shortage where the DOE again has okayed a charter schools that they do not have or intentd to build a building for. Then the lack of space is covered up by the DOE's blatantly false space and enrollment projections. Sad. The DOE writes and repeats over and over again that the colocation plan will not affect PS9 student.
Okay Bloomberg, Cathy Black and company a couple of questions:
Would you be 'un-affected' if a couple of other families moved into your house, took over the bedrooms you actually house your family in saying they where underutilized? (Common spaces would be shared of course scheduling 5 minutes kitchen and bathroom time).
Would you keep your kid in a school that had to push them out after 4th grade? No, because we all know that no good schools can accept significant amounts of students in 5th grade!
Even successful and sought after public schools with great momentum and parent support cannot survive under such undercutting and counterproductive leadership. So, maybe families like in the 80's will have to move and pay tax else where. Way to fix the budget crisis.

Jan. 25 2011 10:29 AM

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