Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
Parents, Teachers Organize to Save Schools
Sunday, January 22, 2012
The campaign is heating up to stop the city from phasing out — or partially closing — 25 struggling schools. Public hearings are being held at 10 of the schools this week with Department of Education officials.
James Wetherington, PTA president of Aspire Preparatory Middle School in the Bronx, said the city hasn't done enough to help.
“It's unfair you're going to shut us down. But yet you've lacked to give us the funding to do any type of after school stuff to help these kids, you haven't shown up to give us any inspiration, any hope, any ideas,” he said.
The city maintains that the schools aren't showing enough academic progress despite efforts to improve them. They argue these schools should be replaced with new district schools or charter schools that can do a better job.
Fliers went out to parents at Aspire and other schools urging parents to quote, "take a stand."
Those who want to save their schools believe this is their last chance to be heard, and make a good case, before the Panel for Educational Policy votes next month - because the panel is controlled by mayoral appointees.
A vote is scheduled for February 9.
For more on the controversy go to schoolbook.org