See the proposed list of schools to be closed/truncated on February 28, 2018 at the PEP meeting
PS/MS 42 is also a Title 1 School, and as such must have extra scrutiny by the Department on progress and parent/community involvement. This never happened.
The "Renewal" Program for failing schools in NYC was a huge scandal for the de Blasio administration, and an embarrassment for Carmen Farina.
We all know that the New York City Department of Education is a political institution controlled by the Mayor, all of his partners, and subject to his whims and fancies. Racial segregation and misconduct (see here, here, and here, for a few more examples) are rampant throughout the NYC DOE. And, there is nepotism, workplace harassment, disability discrimination, bullying, civil rights violations and denial of due process all over the place.
In my opinion, when Carmen Farina was removed from PS 6 in February 2001 (that is a fact), and she went to District 15 to wield her authority and create havoc there, she and Bill de Blasio started cooking up the reign of error she has shown as Chancellor since Bill took office in January 2014. Many friends and I begged Bill not to appoint her Chancellor. Obviously, he wasn't listening.
Carmen is a master at subterfuge and deliberate miscommunication. But the opposition to Carmen Farina and her outrageous policies are not unified, even though New Yorkers are familiar with her games, at least I am. But she is the person who oversees the scams and sham policies and offices, including the ridiculous and dangerous puppets on the NYC "school board", the Panel For Educational Policy.
Why are the members of the PEP dangerous? Because they vote on financial matters without any understanding of the consequences on the parents, students, staff, and/or community whose lives and welfare depend upon the funds voted on, and they act without any accountability to the community they supposedly serve. A very clear answer to "why doesn't the Department do something?" can be found in the picture above. Carmen doesn't care who is speaking into the microphone for 2 minutes, she is not listening. All votes are a done deal before the PEP begins. Pouring your heart out does no good, if your goal is to have any PEP member up there on the stage listen to you or care what you think. In 2008, my dear late teacher friend Polo Colon and I attended the PEP meeting at Tweed, (see us at a 2007 meeting)and stayed until the meeting room was almost completely empty. Polo saw something on a chair for a PEP member, and said to me, "I'll be right back".
Polo went behind the table where the PEP members sat, picked up a couple of papers left on the chair, and brought it back to me. These papers were the script that had prepared answers to whatever questions were asked at the meeting. There was a warning, that no mere "opinions" were to be given by any member on the PEP. All the answers given in the script inferred that the person asking did not know what they were asking.
I was at the January 24th meeting (see me sitting on the left, next to the speaker) where people spoke about how there was no plan, no discussion, no parental involvement; we heard heartache and trauma about the closing/merging/truncating of schools. No one on the PEP cared. No one.
The way Carmen does things is to make a change, then give Notice, and tell people they can speak for two minutes before the PEP members vote. There is something very wrong about this process. In fact, it is backward. First should come the discussion. Second, the strategy to accommodate the community and the parents and kids. Third, to integrate the programs and strategies that will accommodate all parties. Then, as a last resort, if nothing else works, a vote to close/merge or join together the schools under review. Right?
It is completely wrong for Carmen Farina, Bill de Blasio, and all their nameless partners, to close PS/MS 42 in Arverne Queens. Of course, Carmen is not the only member of the "I'm gonna-destroy-public-education" club. Look t Chicago, where Mayor Emmanuel is also closing schools:
"Instead of doing the hard work to make these schools better, which in turn will strengthen communities, local and national officials are abandoning public schools and failing the most vulnerable children."
Save Chicago's Public Schools
NY Times, February 12, 2018
Now, we need a lawyer to file an Injunction and Order To Show Cause to stop the vote on the closure of PS/MS 42 on February 28, 2018. Are you a lawyer? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help the staff, students, parents and community of PS/MS 42 stay open!!!!!!!
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We are a renewal school, serving our community and working hard to improve. In fact, our school is making steady progress in test scores and quality reviews, by the New York City Department of Education’s own measures.
* Of all New York City K–8 renewal schools, PS/MS 42Q has shown the largest percentage point growth from 2014-15 and 2016-17 in math and ELA combined, with 10.5 points in ELA and 6.5 points in math, for a combined 17 point increase.
* Of all the K–8 renewal schools, only PS/MS 42Q received a student achievement rating of “Meeting Target.” All other K – 8 renewal schools received a rating of “Approaching Target or Not Meeting Target.”
* PS/MS 42Q had the highest percentage rating for rigorous instruction at 86% for all New York City K–8 renewal schools.
* PS/MS 42Q has the highest percentage of teacher attendance, at 97.3%, of all K–8 renewal schools.
* PS/MS 42Q has met five out of seven target goals, including effective school leadership, trust, collaborative teachers and student achievement.
We also have a high level of community engagement, which sets us apart from many other renewal schools. Our school is a lifeline for the surrounding neighborhood, with community dinners for families, a service-learning model in which students read to seniors at a local nursing home and overall high community involvement.
Ninety-six percent of parents say that teachers at this school work closely with families to meet students’ needs. Students say that they are learning a lot in classes at their school to prepare them for the next grade (96%). Students also say that most students try hard to get good grades (85%) and students behave well even when the teacher isn’t watching (56%).
That’s why parents, teachers, administrators and local politicians are working together to save our school. We’ve been working hard and are pleased to see our quality review metrics, school climate and student academic achievement all show improvement.
Our school welcomes all students and serves a population that has greater challenges than at least 90% of the schools in New York City. We are proud of our mission and proud of our achievements.
Please don’t stop our progress! We hope to continue working for all the students and families we serve. Look again at our school — we urge you to reconsider this closure. Twenty K-8 schools had lower passing rates in ELA than PS/MS 42Q. In addition, while PS/MS 42Q met its ELA achievement target, 19 of these 20 did not. Only one of these schools is slated for closure. Source: New York City Department of Education, School Quality Report, 2017.
Harkening back to earlier era, struggling New York City school fights closure but faces long odds
|Kevin Morgan, the Parent Association president at P.S./M.S. 42, is leading a fight to keep the|
Rockaway school open
|Queen Makkada says P.S./M.S. 42 has struggled in the past, but is now showing improvement.|
Makkada says things began to turn around when the current principal, Patricia Finn, took over about seven years ago. Finn did not respond to a request for comment.
I will be posting any comments from PEP panel members or anyone else on this blog and my website, and I will hold everyone accountable for their actions. Then maybe to court we go, if the PEP votes in favor of closing.