Fourteen Low-Performing NYC Schools to Close

Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this year with Chancellor Carmen Fariña. (Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office, via Chalkbeat)

On Dec. 18, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced that 14 low-performing schools would be closed at the end of this academic year, 9 of them currently in the “Renewal” program that it was hoped would help to shore up school performance, reports Patrick Wall in Chalkbeat.

One of the five non-renewal schools, reports Wall,  “is the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, the Bronx high school where a student fatally stabbed a classmate in September, a school described by students and parents as chaotic and plagued by unchecked bullying.”

The moves will leave over 4,500 students searching for new schools to attend next fall, and more than 400 teachers seeking new jobs. The city will also move to combine five Renewal schools that enroll very few students, and remove the middle-school grades from a school that currently serves grades 6 to 12. (Find the full list of proposed changes here.)

Unlike his predecessor — who favored closing struggling schools and replacing them with new ones — de Blasio decided early in his first term to blanket low-performing schools with extra help, including teacher coaches, extended school days, health clinics, and funding to embed social-service providers in schools. The investments, de Blasio promised, would spur “fast and intense” improvements within three years.

The renewal program stared in 2014 with 94 schools. Between closures and mergers, there are 46 schools remaining in the plan. Go to Chalkbeat for a full list of the schools involved, and to find out what the DOE plans to do to help enroll students affected by the closures, and find positions for teachers who will be losing their curreny assignments.

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