The school community, excluding the staff of PS 154 a few weeks ago that the charter school coming in to PS 154 is South Bronx Classical Charter led by uber educator and former Lehman Brothers and Dartmouth graduate executive Lester Long (Gosh is it me or does his name seem like a porn actor's name?). Hey, wait a minute. Lester Long is a graduate of Dartmouth?? Hmmmmm. Can be some conflict of hidden interest occurring that we do not know about?? But not now, better to keep cards close at hand.
This according to what we have found out has been planned for some time. The scare, the sword being held over the heads of the 154 community that had everyone worried about the closure is still there, but this time it is real. Yeah, we got off the closure list, but as stated before on these pages a charter moving in is just a back door closure.
But the information is pretty much as stated as before. Three classes in both K and 1 to begin in 2013-2014 and each year thereafter one grade at a time until the cancer that is South Bronx Classical completely envelops and eradicates PS 154, or whatever public school is left in that building.
Curiously, we are told that 154 can accommodate up to 800 students. But according to the DOE, 154 has enough space for 634 students. With the projection of South Bronx Classical to have up to 390 students in grades K-5, that does not leave much for PS 154. What does that mean?
The students, the families, the community and the staff of PS 154 are just shit out of luck. Just as foretelling is this from the DOE; "Beginning in September 2013, P.S. 154 will admit a smaller incoming kindergarten class of 45 - 55 students, as opposed to the 70 - 80 students it has served in recent years." Can you spell excessing? ATR? What must be known is if that 45-55 student projection is under normal enrollment circumstances or does it take into account the new open enrollment across District 7 for incoming Kindergarten students? The reduced enrollment will send reverberations throughout the school in teachers losing their positions and of course the school receiving less money.
Just as importantly is the question of what kind of students will be left for PS 154? After Bronx Classical and the Kindergartens at the highly rated schools get first dibs on the best and the brightest what is 154 left with? That's why we here at SBSB think that 154 is doomed as a school and will soon either be shut down or just totally engulfed by South Bronx Classical.
Please do not think for one minute that South Bronx Classical is the salve that will save the education of the students in the South Bronx.
According to Gotham Schools of October 2, 2012;
"At South Bronx Classical Charter School, for example, between 20 and 40 percent of students that originally enrolled left before they were tested, and no new students replaced them, the union pointed out."What does this tell the parents? We say the cream rises and stays, right?
But even more disturbing is this from the Daily News of April 30, 2012;
.....the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating the suspension last fall of Christian Charriez, 6, a special-needs student at South Bronx Classical Charter School.Disturbing. What is more disturbing is what will be gracing these pages concerning South Bronx Classical in the days to come.
The school suspended Christian four times — and told him the last time that he had to stay out until he received a psychiatric analysis and diagnosis, which is still under way.
Principal Lester Long said the school invited Christian back to school and contacted his mother multiple times, but a letter from the family’s lawyer shows the school was contacted multiple times without response.
After a month out of class, the boy transferred to a public school, his mom said, where he was assigned a teacher’s aide to help him, and he now loves going to school instead of dreading it.