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Fall Forecast: More Protests at Struggling Schools

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 08:12 AM

If it seems that the protests to prevent the closing of struggling schools are becoming a regular thing — that is because they are, GothamSchools reported on Tuesday.

Julian Vinocur of the Alliance for Quality Education told Gotham that more school protests are planned for this fall, as part of a strategy to prevent any school closings.

As Gotham reports, the Alliance for Quality Education and the Coalition of Educational Justice, two advocacy groups, have been saying for years that "struggling schools would be better served by additional resources," rather than the city's policy of closing ones that are deemed too flawed to prop up.

This year, 20 schools were identified for possible closing. The City Department of Education said it was holding discussions with those schools to determine their needs and whether they could be saved.

The Gotham report followed another protest Tuesday at a school on the struggling schools list: Public School 137 John L. Bernstein on the Lower East Side, which received an F on its latest school progress report.

Last week, a similar protest by parents and staff members was held at P.S. 256 Benjamin Banneker in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, another school on the Education Department's list.

Another hot-button issue in the city's schools, co-location, gets a thorough airing in City Limits on Wednesday. "2 Schools, 1 Space: Scars Linger From Controversy on Adelphi Street" looks at the tensions that arose when the Urban Assembly Academy of Arts and Letters middle school made a bid to expand in the building that it had shared with P.S. 20 Clinton Hill on Adelphi Street in Fort Greene-Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, for six years.

More links to what is in the news Wednesday can be found at GothamSchools' daily Rise and Shine post.

Coming up around the city Wednesday:

Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott is going to make another effort to hold a conversation with parents as part of his Parents as Partners events this week. Tuesday night's event at Seward Park High School was disrupted when about 200 protesters, calling loosely for an end to school budget cuts and closings, showed up and were so noisy that they forced a discussion over the new Core Curriculum to move from the auditorium to a classroom.

Wednesday night's event is invitation only, giving it more chance to come off as the Education Department planned: as an opportunity for a discussion with the chancellor on the importance of meaningful, increased parent involvement to the success of New York City public school students, according to a news release. Also on the program are Jesse Mojica, the Education Department's executive director of the Division of Family and Community Engagement, and families, members of the Chancellors Parental Advisory Council and District Family Advocates. The event will take place at 6 p.m. at the Park West Campus in Manhattan.

Also, budding student journalists (joined by SchoolBook's community editor, Maria Newman) will gather at Baruch College for the eighth annual High School Journalism Conference.

And the Learning Network asks: What Have You Made Yourself? , prompted by an article about a school where students do design and building projects that help the community.

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