So, what is new? My school, PS 154 in the Bronx has been slated for closure. Actually a decision has yet to be made, but rather the euphemism, "Early Engagement Process," is being used.
I'm not going to get into the details on the process of how the school will go about being saved or closed, you can read it on the handout we were given in our teacher's meeting after school last Monday, October 15 which you can see below.
District 7 superintendent Yolanda Torres and network leader Debra Lamb met with the staff in the library last week. Amongst what we were told, besides the "this is a beginning, not an end," and "this is a great opportunity," is;
The DOE will look at the entirety of the school community. The decision will be "holistic," based on the feedback of the parents, the staff, and the education process.
PS 154 is in this predicament because of three years on a row of C, C, and last year, an F.
Our last quality review was in December 2009 in which we were proficient. So how did we get a C that year?
So what is it we were told is next?
Come November and December feedback and data will be collected. During the winter, a decision will be made in, I would presume, a Caesarean manner. Thumbs up or thumbs down. But wait, there will be one last hurdle. The phaseout, if there is one, will go before the Panel for Educational Policy and the jibe I got, and I am sure the parents got, was that the PEP is a bastion of independent neutrality and the decision will be made.
When the questions came to ask the superintendent, I of course brought to Yolanda Torres;
"our budget has been cut over a million dollars over the last 4 or so years. We have no math coach, no literacy coach, not AIS teachers, no full time SETSS teacher. We are being asked to be in a race that we are starting 100 yards behind the starting line. The decision to close the school or not is all based on which side of the bed Uncle Mike or Sock Puppet Walcott wake up on that morning. It's as if we are being set up to fail"That statement was met with silence.
To the parents of 154, you are being conned. Ask yourself why is this being done? Because they can. They know by seeing 30 parents showing up for the parents meeting that they can get away with this. Think about this. Will this be done on the Upper East Side? Riverdale? Forest Hills? The south end of Staten Island? NEVER!!!
As parents you should be up in arms at the lack of any support. The shoving down our throats of a bogus curriculum from Tweed. Your children's education is at stake. Your community is at stake. Your children are nothing but one vast data collection to the corporatists and profiteers that have taken control of the NYC DOE. Be angry at the people making the decisions.The time to stand up is now, not tomorrow, not next year, but today!