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DOE Adds Seven To List Of Planned School Closures

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The Department of Education on Friday released the names of seven more schools slated for closure, and nearly half of the schools that are now on the list were opened since Mayor Michael Bloomberg assumed office. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Elementary schools, middle schools and high schools are all on the list to be shut down. They're located in every borough, but more than half—13 in total—are in Brooklyn. Six are in the Bronx, four are in Manhattan, and there’s one in both Queens and Staten Island.

See the full list below.

“We can't afford to have schools that are not serving our children,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Closing schools and replacing them with new schools has been a hallmark of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education reforms. It allows a fresh start with a new principal and new teachers, but it's also been an incredibly controversial policy.

“It's always the same thing. Schools with high needs students where they don't offer any supports,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

“We have a responsibility to aggressively look at these schools and make very difficult choices in terms of phasing them out, truncating grades and the creation of new schools that will be put in their place,” said Walcott.

Not all of the new schools are working, however. Eleven of the 25 on this year's list were opened since the Bloomberg took control of the schools nine years ago. Two of the schools added to the closure list Friday just started a three-year federal program that uses millions of dollars to try to turn them around.

Department of Education officials say they've changed their minds. They no longer believe Grace Dodge High School or Washington Irving High School can be saved. Many students at Washington Irving admit the school hasn't done the job.

“It's setting you up for failure because the teachers are never really available. The guidance counselors, they're always busy,” said one student.

Almost all of these schools would close slowly by letting current students finish and not accepting any new students going forward.

There is one notable surprise in the form of a school that didn’t show up on the closure list. Herbert Lehman High School got an “F” on its report card the last two years and suspended more than 2,000 students last year alone. Officials say they want to give the new principal a little more time.

There is now a long process with individual public hearings for each school on the closure list, culminating in a vote by the Panel for Educational policy on February 9.

Schools Set For Closure

• Gateway School For Environmental Research and Technology (High school)
• Jane Addams High School For Academic Careers
• Samuel Gompers Career And Technical Education High School
• Grace Dodge Career And Technical Education High School
• Aspire Preparatory Middle School

• P.S. 019 Roberto Clemente (Elementary)
• General D. Chappie James Elementary School of Science (Elementary)
• International Arts Business School (High school)
• Satellite Three (Middle school)
• Middle School For The Arts
• J.H.S. 296 The Anna Gonzalez Community School (Middle school)
• Academy Of Business And Community Development (Secondary school)
• P.S. 22 (elementary school)
• Knowledge And Power Preparatory Academy VII (Middle school)

• Legacy School For Integrated Studies (High school)
• Manhattan Theatre Lab High School
• Washington Irving High School (High school)

• P.S. 215 Lucretia Mott (elementary school)

Staten Island
• P.S. 014 Cornelius Vanderbilt (Elementary)

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