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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Was DOE really responsive to school communities in the Clinton case?

Check out: "City to rent parochial school building for Chelsea middle school"

Excerpt: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said that the deal was “a good example of how the public input process can work when DOE is responsive to school communities.”

I think the world of Stringer, but come on now!

Parents at Clinton Middle School had to scream, yell, and hold numerous protests. They pointed out at countless hearings for several months that the proposed move of their school to PS 33 would displace kids in wheelchairs into a building with insufficient elevators.

Then when the DOE said they would have to move into the American Sign Language school instead, they and the parents and alumni at the ASL school explained how this would deprive deaf students and their own children of their mandated services, eliminate the ASL high school's science lab, art room, and music room, violate the building code, and cause serious safety hazards.

Parents had to threaten lawsuits, and all the while DOE officials insisted that there no other option. Then parents at Clinton found out on their own by contacting the Diocese that DOE was negotiating to lease nearby St. Michael's for a high school .

Let’s hope that next time, the DOE really is "responsive." But don't hold your breath.

Why they had to put us all through this long, drawn out, agonizing process, and especially the parents, teachers and kids at the ASL school, when there was an easy, obvious alternative staring them in the face, is hard to understand, and even harder to forgive.

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