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Number of 'Persistently Dangerous' City Schools on the Decline, State Says

By Emily Frost | August 13, 2015 9:54am
 DOE Chancellor Carmen Farina said in a statement that NYC schools have gotten safer as suspensions have gone down.
DOE Chancellor Carmen Farina said in a statement that NYC schools have gotten safer as suspensions have gone down.
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DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

NEW YORK CITY — The number of schools deemed "persistently dangerous" due to violent and disruptive incidents dropped by nearly a third this year, according to the state education department.

Of the 32 schools that made the state-wide list for the 2015-2016 school year, 27 of them are located in New York City — with the majority located in The Bronx (13) and Brooklyn (10).

The number marks a 31 percent drop from the previous year, when 39 city schools out of a total of 42 across the state were considered "persistently dangerous." In 2013-2014, 40 city schools made the list out of a total of 47 in the state.

The city Department of Education said the decreased number also coincided with a drop in school suspensions.

Between the 2013-2014 and the 2014-2015 school years, suspension rates fell down by 55 percent in grades K-5 and by nearly 40 percent in grades 6-12 at the city's Renewal Schools, which are characterized by low academic achievement, according to a DOE spokesman.

In the same period, crime at schools dropped by 7 percent and major crimes dropped by 6 percent, he added.

The city DOE also reported that this past year, 92 percent of students whom the department surveyed reported feeling safe in their classrooms and 85 percent said they felt safe in their school building. 

Schools land on the "persistently dangerous" list if they rank high on the state's School Violence Index (SVI), a rubric that factors in a school's size, the number of violent incidents and their severity. Schools can also get listed if they have more than 60 incidents that year. 

Incidents can range from events as serious as arson with a weapon, bullying with a weapon or sexual assault to minor altercations without a weapon, according to the data.  

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, students attending a "persistently dangerous" school have the right to transfer to a school not on that list, but they don't get a choice in where they go, according to the city DOE. 

Schools that make the list are also mandated to take action, a DOE spokesman said. 

By mid-September, those schools have to submit an "Incident Reduction Plan" to the state, requiring education department staff focused on safety to visit the schools. Professional development in de-escalation, conflict resolution and anti-bullying are offered, the DOE spokesman said.  

“We are building on the strong work of the last administration to ensure the positive trend of decreased suspensions — in partnership with decreased crime and incidents — continues," said city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña in a statement.

"My Deputy Chancellors and I will visit many of the schools that have been identified as persistently dangerous, as we did last year, to ensure the climate at each of these schools improves and that every student is in a safe and challenging learning environment," the statement added.

Here are the NYC schools on this year's list*:


► P.S. 123 Mahalia Jackson 

► P.S. 191 Museum Magnet School


► Brownsville Collaborative Middle School

► East New York Elementary School of Excellence

► East New York Middle School of Excellence

► Frederick Douglas Academy IV Secondary School

► M.S. 266 Park Place Community Middle School

► M.S. 596 Peace Academy

► P.S. 150 Christopher

► P.S. 213 New Lots

► Satellite West Middle School

► Urban Assembly School for the Urban Environment


► P.S. 111 Jacob Blackwell

Staten Island:

► P.S. 74 Future Leaders Elementary


► Community School For Social Justice

► East Fordham Academy for the Arts

► Entrada Academy

► Globe School for Environmental Research

► I.S. 206 Ann Mersereau 

► J.H.S. 123 James M Kiernan

► J.H.S. 125 Henry Hudson

► J.H.S. 162 Lola Rodriguez De Tio

► Mott Hall Community School

► New Directions Secondary School

► P.S. 132 Garrett A Morgan

► The Forward School

► The Young Scholars Academy of the Bronx

*Three schools have been on the list for three consecutive years: 150 Christopher in Brownsville, Brooklyn; M.S. 596 in Clinton Hill; and The Forward School in The Bronx.