Schools Chancellor: Suit Will Have 'Chilling Effect' on Admissions, Leave Thousands in Limbo

Friday, June 03, 2011

Chancellor Walcott with Harlem Village Academy fifth grader Israel Catalan in East Harlem (Beth Fertig)

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said as many as 70,000 students could be in limbo about what schools they'll attend this fall because of a lawsuit filed by the NAACP and the teachers union.

The suit claims the city acted illegally when the Panel for Educational Policy voted this year to phase-out 22 low-performing schools. It also seeks to stop the city from co-locating charter schools inside regular school buildings.

Walcott said the high school and kindergarten admissions process could be affected "because they want everything to stop on a dime. And quite frankly, to me, it's going to have a chilling effect and really be a dream deferred for our students and our parents."

Thousands of students have already been matched with high schools for the fall. If a court grants the request for a restraining order by the NAACP and the union, a department of education spokesman said the city would need to give everyone a chance again to apply to the schools proposed for phase-out. Students accepted at charters that can't move into school buildings would also be affected.

But the NAACP's New York State Conference President Hazel Dukes said the Department of Education failed students by not investing enough resources in the struggling schools — an argument that is at heart of the court case.

"It's their responsibility to educate all children so the onus is on them if children are in limbo not on NAACP," she said. Dukes added that the city could still help the schools before the fall.

The NAACP held a rally in Harlem Friday for parents to show support for the lawsuit. Last week, a group of charter school parents held its own rally opposing the suit by the NAACP and the UFT.


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Comments [2]

Beth, Please stop drinking the DOE kool-aid. The Charters are privatization pure and simple. The Deputy Mayor is pushing hard to break the teachers union - so that some big wig can make 20 percent profit and overhead on the public's money. I have been a volunteer and a parent in the schools for the past 13 years and mayoral control is an Orwellian nightmare compared to our previous community control.
Yes, my neighbors love the fact that the difficult child (and the child with the dysfunctional parent or parents) are not welcome in their charter school. So the corporate board of directors, and "philanthropic hedge fund operators" feel good about finding the "best and the brightest" in Harlem - and dumping the most vulnerable to the care of the state. We are all striving. But the Deputy Mayor is pushing the public out of public education and then push out education.
Mayor Koch said it best 'the poor people don't have to live in Manhattan - they can live in the other Boroughs.' Charters are grabbing our Harlem school houses... and you are helping them.

Jun. 07 2011 11:06 PM

Then the Dept. of Ed shouldnt have acted illegally in the first place. This is Bloomberg, his brownoser Walcott, and Bill Gates at their very best. They think they are all knowing.... dopes.

Jun. 03 2011 09:28 PM

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