Panel approves closure of 22 low-performing schools

Dennis Walcott
An educational panel voted to close two schools this year and phase out 20 others.

The Panel for Educational Policy voted on Monday night to approve the closing of 22 city schools, The New York Times reports.

Twenty schools in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan will be phased out over the next few years. Two schools–M.S. 45 in Manhattan and Freedom Academy High School in Brooklyn–will be shut down this June, instead of being phased out. 

The panel, which consists of five members appointed by the borough presidents and eight members appointed by the mayor, rejected a proposal to stop the school closings. The proposal would have also placed a moratorium on the issue, which some of the mayoral candidates have rallied for.

The schools were selected for closure based on low-performance ratings.

“The goal is to have more quality choices for our students and we cannot just sit on our hands and allow poor performing schools to just exist for the emotional sake,” Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott told reporters on Monday.

Devon Puglia at the Department of Education told Metro, “Our policy is working.”

“Across the city, new schools are delivering resounding results, graduating students at roughly 20 points high than the schools they replaced,” Puglia said. “Families deserve great schools — and we’re delivering.”

According to Puglia, in 2006, all of the high schools that were phased out had a graduation rate of 38 percent. In 2011, all new high schools had a graduation rate of 70 percent, he said.



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