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24 Struggling Schools Will Keep Their Names, DOE Says

By  Jill Colvin and Amy Zimmer | July 31, 2012 8:30pm 

NEW YORK CITY — Two-dozen struggling schools that an arbitrator blocked the city from shuttering will keep their original names along with their teaching staffs, officials announced Tuesday.

In a letter to principals, the Department of Education said that the 24 schools will not have to switch to the new names designated as part of the closure process.

Harlem’s Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High School, for instance, was supposed to be renamed the People's School of the Arts. The John Dewey High School in Brooklyn slated to be called the Shorefront High School of Arts and Sciences at John Dewey Campus. Hell's Kitchen's High School of Graphic Communication Arts was going to turn into the Creative Digital Minds High School.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg had proposed closing and then immediately reopening the schools this fall as a strategy to remove up to half of their teachers after the teachers' union and city failed to reach a deal on teacher evaluations.

But an arbitrator — and more recently the courts — sided with the United Federation of Teachers, deciding that the closure plans violated contract rules.

"It is now time to prepare the teachers, principals and school communities for the opening of school," UFT President UFT President Michael Mulgrew said last week after a judge upheld the arbitrator's ruling.

School officials told principals that the DOE will prepare a letter for families with an update about these schools "in the coming days."