City Report Finds Schools Slated for Closure Are Among Manhattan's Poorest

By Gabriela Resto-Montero on January 26, 2011 4:43pm 

More than 20 percent of students at I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente School were enrolled in special-education courses. The Department of Education wants to close the low-performing school.
More than 20 percent of students at I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente School were enrolled in special-education courses. The Department of Education wants to close the low-performing school.
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By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — More than two dozen of the public schools that the city wants to close have a larger percentage of black, poor and special-education students than other city schools, according to a study released by the Independent Budget Office Wednesday.

In Manhattan, East Harlem's Kappa II middle school and the Academy of Environmental Secondary High School, Harlem's I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente School and the Academy of Collaborative Education, and Murray Hill's Norman Thomas High School are all on the Department of Education's chopping block.

The DOE also recommended that the charter for the East Village's Ross Global Academy Charter School not be renewed.

At I.S. 195 and Kappa II, more than 20 percent of students required special education, the IBO reported. Twenty percent of the students enrolled at I.S. 95 were also English language learners, according to the report.

The Independent Budget Office found that 63 percent of the students at the 25 schools set to close live in poverty, compared to 51 percent of students living in poverty at schools citywide.

The failing schools also had a disproportionate number of black students, with an average of 52 percent compared to 31 percent citywide.

The 25 schools also have larger percentages of special-ed students, with 18 percent of their pupils requiring special education compared to a 12-percent average citywide.

Possible closures would not take effect immediately but would phase students out of the schools as they advanced to higher grades, the report stated.

The Panel for Education Policy was expected to make the final decision on the school closures on Feb. 1 and Feb. 3.

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