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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The last days of Lafayette High school

See this NY Post oped by Jerry Della Femina, a graduate of Lafayette high school, lamenting the fact that his school is being closed.

"Now, in the mother of all dumb moves, they're closing it. The Board of Education, Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein have thrown up their hands and admitted the bad kids have won. No mas, they cry. We're closing the school."

Lafayette has a fabled list of graduates -- including Sandy Koufax, Vic Damone, Maurice Sendak, and Larry King.

The truth is that after six years, this administration still has no strategy for improving low-performing high schools – rather than just closing them down. With nearly 400 schools on the state failing list, this is not an acceptable strategy for success.

This fall, despite being a School in Need of Improvement for the second year, Lafayette had average class sizes ranging from 28-31 students per class. (Click here for a link to the class sizes of all schools for this current year, according the DOE.)

Compare this to only about 20 students per class for the average high school in the rest of the state.

Here are some other NYC high schools with rich histories that have recently closed or are being phased out over the next year -- Thomas Jefferson HS, Springfield Gardens HS, Harry Van Arsdale HS, Wingate HS, Theodore Roosevelt HS, William Taft HS, Seward Park HS, Samuel Tilden HS, and many others.

In every single case, the most obvious reform strategy -- reducing class size – was never even tried.


NYC Educator said...

Why try something that works when you can experiment? What are you guys thinking?

Seriously, it's remarkable that they think a name change and a few more administrators are going to accomplish anything. Since they've already been through two failed reorganizations, why don't they just close Tweed?

Answer: Because a billionaire is running a charter school inside.

oldunionist said...

Lafayette High School during the 2006-2007 school year was removed from the Impact List of most dangerous schools. In addition, Lafayette was one of the first schools to be evaluated by the Quality Review assessment teams from Cambridge. Lafayette received a Satisfactory Rating by Cambridge. Today the New York Daily news reports, that the school administration has received a merit bonus as the students achieved High Scores in Math and English for the 2006-2007 school year. This should be attributed to the former principal Alan Siegel and not the most recent and disgraced principal the infamous Jolanta Rohloff. Lafayette High School should not be phased out, The Department of Education and its lead architect Joel Klein should be phased out. If Bloomberg runs as the education candidate Lafayette will be heard from, believe that the documents required to illustrate this failure do exist and will be made available at the appropriate time.

The Old Unionist.