Protesting the DOE’s Medgar Evers Decision

Medgar Evers College Preparatory School at 1186 Carroll St. in Brooklyn (Image via Google Maps)

On Nov. 14, public officials joined parents and their children on the steps of the Department of Education in speaking out against its decision to change the admissions process at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School and P.S. 235 in Brooklyn. Shanice Lewis of Amsterdam News describes what prompted the pushback from the community.

The DOE recently made a decision to alter the admissions process and academic programs of the two high-performing schools without the consultation of students, parents and local officials. The department plans to integrate the school’s curriculum as a service to low-performing students, students with disabilities and students of incarcerated parents. However, the community’s reaction is not in backlash to the DOE’s efforts in servicing the needs of all children, but their complete disregard for those affected.

One mother’s letter to the mayor gives an idea as to why parents are speaking out.

“I chose Medgar Evers for my son because the school is a beacon for families like ours,” wrote Charisse Smith. “It’s one of the only high-performing schools in the city where 99 percent of students are minority. The student body is 88 percent African-American, 71 percent are from low-income families and test scores are off the charts, with 84 percent of the student body taking at least a few of the over 22 AP classes that are offered.”

Smith also wrote that the rigorous admissions policy is a result of the rigorous academics that push their children to new limits. (…)

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, whose district includes Medgar Evers, announced he was introducing legislation in response to the move. Read what he, and an alumnus – who said that “Medgar Evers is spinning in his grave because of the hypocrisy, the gentrification” – had to say at the demonstration, in the full story at Amsterdam News.

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