Streams

School Closings and Open Slots

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Beth Fertig, WNYC's education reporter and contributor to SchoolBook, and Clara Hemphill, senior editor at The New School's Center for New York City Affairs, talk about Thursday's vote on more school closings and the start of the elementary school selection process. 

Guests:

Beth Fertig and Clara Hemphill

Comments [9]

Joe from Bayside

I am a retired NYC teacher and my 1st 12 years were as a spec. Ed. teacher. I was gratified to hear the observation about the problems in schools where there is a large special population. Over the years it hurt me greatly to hear so much criticism of my students, my schools, my colleagues, and the school system from people who don't understand the natures of NYC children. Joel Klein once said that good teachers make good schools. In fact, good students make good schools; good teachers make good students better. It IS possible for a school/teacher to improve the lot of individual students but it is misguided to believe it can be done on a wholesale basis. The sad fact is that conditions of poverty, crime, and dysfunctional families trumps the work and intentions of schools and teachers and students. I think everyone interested in this issue should read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Yes, it is fiction but it gives a great depiction of how poverty, low/ good self esteem, and neighborhood environment have more to do with a student's success than the school or teacher. Improve the lives of the children and you'll improve the results in school. Too many people are working under the belief that the inverse is true.

Feb. 08 2012 11:37 AM
Hugh

When Mr. Lehrer or others note — correctly — that public schooling is a right, it is worth remembering that conservatives like Dick and Lynne Cheney _oppose_ public education. The most extreme conservatives in the US want _all_ public schooling to be privatized. Conservatives like Michael Bloomberg don't take so extreme a position, but they are rabid advocates of privatization. It is difficult to see how such a move would preserve the right to education.

Feb. 08 2012 10:57 AM
Suzanne from new york city

My daughter in the DC area lives nect door toa US Dept of Education official who told us 2 weeks ago that NYC was going to lose major federal funding for failure to adopt teacher evaluation standards. Later I heard here that this result could be circumvented by closing schools. What is really going on?

Feb. 08 2012 10:56 AM
Rachel B Leinweber from Brooklyn, NY

I have taught here in NYC, have worked closely on a NEW SCHOOLS committee, where we presented a project to the NYC/DOE... and though we were told that our project was entirely well researched and well prepared, in the end it was dropped unceremoniously. What we discovered in the nearly 2 year process, whereby we were paraded through a series of essentially meaningless 'conferences' is that the opening and closing of schools under this administration is essentially disingenuous...

While the Mayor/DOE and his Educrats continue to push schools to close, and while the supposed term 'CHOICE' is ever more utilized, the discrepancy grows between schools that have a majority of students in need of supports, Special Education services or who come to schools with a myriad of problems and those schools (ie the G&T) who continue to perform well.

Mayor Bloomberg and the current NYC/DOE have also worked without shame to support private (Charter) options, INSTEAD of working to truly better our schools.

The public school system in NYC is more divided and segregated than ever. Middle and Upper Income parents who KNOW how to move through the system here are the ONLY ones who figure out how to get their child or student into the better programs.

Feb. 08 2012 10:56 AM
Ken

My wife is a teacher in the NYC system and one of her colleagues summed this situation up beautifully the other day: if the you spend ten years closing and reopening and reclosing and reopening schools without any improvement in result the problem is the system, not the schools!

Feb. 08 2012 10:52 AM
tony from manhattan (brooklyn tech parent - wife is at john dewey)

i was at a recent PEP meeting at brooklyn tech - there was a clear sense that the Board was not actually taking any of the public's comments into account. is this all a done deal - are they a rubber-stamp board? plus, is it not the case that the small/charter school movement has already lost its momentum, having been proved to be at best only as good as traditional public schools? why, then is he continuing this course? it seems that bloomberg's education legacy is going to be a disaster: failed policies, falsified test scores, etc., and this is after a 3rd term which was largely meant to be about education. any comment on that?

Feb. 08 2012 10:51 AM
amanda from manhattan

Why do parents want to send their kids to failing schools? I would think that parents would want radical change in a failing school. Loyalty and sentimentalism doesn't produce good schools.If a school fails for several years, something is not going to get right quickly. What do parents whose schools were closed, think of their new options.

Feb. 08 2012 10:48 AM
amanda from manhattan

Why do parents want to send their kids to failing schools? I would think that parents would want radical change in a failing school. Loyalty and sentimentalism doesn't produce good schools.If a school fails for several years, something is not going to get right quickly. What do parents whose schools were closed, think of their new options.

Feb. 08 2012 10:47 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

Beth, please explain the school closure process. E.g., what happens to the displaced students and teachers?

Feb. 08 2012 10:11 AM

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