By Jill Colvin
CITY HALL — Three additional Manhattan schools have been marked for closure, the city's Department of Education announced Tuesday.
Kips Bay's Norman Thomas High School on E. 33rd Street and West Harlem’s I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente and Academy of Collaborative Education middle schools, have been added to the Department's list of 26 schools that it wants shut down.
On Monday, the Department recommended closing East Harlem's Academy of Environmental Science Secondary High School and Kappa II middle school and said the East Village Ross Global Academy Charter School's license should not be renewed.
The closure announcements come after a long battle between the city and the teachers' union over closures. Four of the six school had been slated to close after a January vote, but got a brief, last-minute reprieve when the union sued the city, arguing it had failed to provide enough opportunity for public feedback.
This time around, the Department said it has engaged in extensive conversations with each of the school communities.
"Year after year, even as we provided extra help and support, these schools simply have not gotten the job done for children," Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg said in a statement. "These are tough decisions, but we cannot afford to let schools continue to fail students when we know we can do better," he said.
Another 30 schools, including the Choir Academy of Harlem, previously identified as struggling, have also been put on alert and will face serious restructuring.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said Monday that the UFT and its lawyers will be closely monitoring the closing process for any violations.
He also blasted the Department for failing to do enough to rescue troubled schools.
"When schools are struggling, parents want them fixed, not closed," he said in a statement. "The DOE should stop giving lip service to this idea and make a real effort to help schools in trouble, rather than sitting back and watching them get worse.”
All of the Manhattan schools have been plagued by poor performance and are considered to be among the worst in the city.
Norman Thomas earned an "F" on its Progress Report last year and suffers from low graduation rates, the Department said.
The school's phase-out is set to happen gradually, with students switching over to a new high school in the same building by June 2014.
I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente would also be phased out, with all students enrolled in a new middle school in the same building by June 2013.
The Academy of Collaborative Education would close its doors at the end of this school year. Only 3 percent of its 195 students performed at grade level in English in 2010, making it the second-lowest performing middle school in the city.
The Department will now go through a series of steps, including public hearings where parents and students will have the chance to weigh in.
The Panel for Education Policy is then scheduled to vote on the plans in early February.