21 High Schools Identified as 'Struggling'

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After the release of high school progress reports last week, city Education Department officials identified 21 struggling high schools and secondary schools that, because of their low performance, could be closed or subject to other interventions beginning next year.

The process of closing schools and opening new ones is several months long, and it begins each year with a list of possibilities that are narrowed down to certainties.

This year, the city is considering closing as an option for 21 high schools and secondary, 20 elementary and middle schools, and six charter schools. Though in the end it's unlikely that all of them will be phased out, city officials will begin holding meetings this fall at each of the schools to discuss what could happen.

Four of the secondary schools added to the list — Frederick Douglass Academy II, Academy Of Business And Community Development, Frederick Douglass Academy IV, and Brooklyn Collegiate — have only their middle school grades under consideration for closure.

City officials said they generated the list of high schools by looking at their progress report grades, which are heavily dependent on their graduation rates and Regents scores. They also considered schools' quality reviews and other factors, they said.

The charter schools the city has identified either had low grades on their progress reports, below-average test scores, or are on probation for a variety of issues.

This year, 60 high schools scored low enough on the progress report to meet the city’s standard for closure.

Among the 21 that made the struggling schools list are high schools that are in their first year of a federal school improvement grant program. Washington Irving High School, Herbert H. Lehman High School, and Grace Dodge Career and Technical Education High School are all "transformation" schools, meaning they can receive additional money for three years for programs to boost student performance.

In a statement, Marc Sternberg, deputy chancellor for portfolio planning, said the department is using the list to begin discussions with schools about where their weaknesses lie. These meetings have already been held at many of the low-performing elementary and middle schools on the city's list, he said. And at several of these schools, parents and teachers are beginning their own campaign against what they view as the threat of closing.

Last year, the city's panel for educational policy voted to close 27 schools.

The follow are the 21 high schools and secondary schools, and six charter schools, the city identified on Wednesday as struggling:

school District 2009 2010 2011 2010 Grad Rate
DOE Schools:
Legacy School for Integrated Studies 2 D C F 43%
Washington Irving High School 2 C C F 48%
High School of Graphic Communication Arts 2 C D F 56%
Manhattan Theatre Lab High School 3 B C F 46%
Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts 3 A B D 61%
Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School 3 C C C 68%
Samuel Gompers Career and Technical Education High School 7 D C F 41%
Gateway School for Environmental Research and Technology 8 C B D 52%
Herbert H. Lehman High School 8 F F 51%
Jane Addams High School for Academic Careers 8 C C F 45%
Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology 10 B C D 46%
Grace Dodge Career and Technical Education High School 10 D D F 35%
Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship 11 B C D 58%
Academy of Business and Community Development 13 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Freedom Academy High School 13 C B F 56%
Juan Morel Campos Secondary School 14 C C C 46%
Frederick Douglass Academy IV Secondary School 16 D B C 65%
International Arts Business School 17 D C F 61%
Cypress Hills Collegiate Preparatory School 19 F D 53%
Brooklyn Collegiate 23 B C B 64%
Law, Government and Community Service High School 29 B D D 58%
Charter Schools:
Academic Leadership Charter School 7 N/A N/A N/A
Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School 9 N/A B F
Future Leaders Institute Charter School 3 B D F
The Opportunity Charter School 3 A C B 56.8%
Peninsula Preparatory Academy Charter School 27 C C C
Williamsburg Charter High School 14 C D C 65.1%