1. The Educational Impact Statements required by law were cursory and inadequate. Specifically, they "failed to provide any meaningful information regarding the impacts on the students or the ability of the schools in the affected community to accommodate those students" shut out of these schools.
2. Lack of public notice: the DOE failed to provide hard copies of these proposals to CECs, Community boards, Community superintendents, and SLTs. Simply posting them on the DOE website was insufficient.
3. Lack of community involvement: The DOE failed to hold joint hearings with the School Leadership Teams and Community Education Councils of the affected schools, as required by law. Some members of these groups were invited to participate in hearings after the fact; but even then, had no role in running the hearings or devising the way in which they would be held.
So far, the process has been a mockery; with no attempt to involve the parents in a meaningful way, or to provide the sort of careful analysis that should precede these critical decisions.
In January, Class Size Matters submitted detailed comments on the school closings, pointing out the utter inadequacy of the educational impact statements, here.
Department officials should take another look, perform the careful scrutiny required by law, and for once, involve the public in the process of decision-making, before taking such ill-considered and illegal actions.
If they did so, they would find that in many cases, it would be far better to support and improve these schools, rather than close them down.