At PS 27, school’s out forever

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The city will shutter a long-troubled Red Hook school next year — and parents said that a change was long overdue.

PS 27, a K through 12 school, with 534 students on Huntington Street, has a history of falling short on standardized tests:

• It received a “D” on its city report card, which measures student improvement over the previous year.

• Only 25 percent of students in third through eighth grade can read and write at their grade level, based on state language arts tests from 2007.

• Two thirds of students in third through eighth grade were below grade level on the state math exam in 2007.

• Student enrollment is decreasing, down from 574 heads last year.

And those are just the statistics. Parents rattled off other complaints.

“It’s had problems with the curriculum, some of the teachers and there’s very bad communicat­ion,” said Ramsey DeJesus, a mother who has had seven children in the PS 27, between Hicks and Columbia streets. “Maybe this is a good thing.”

Teachers, aware of the school’s lackluster test scores, had been bracing for the closure.

“There was a sense that something might happen,” said one teacher who did not give her name.

But parents and their children do not have to scramble for new schools, because pupils in the middle school grades can finish in PS 27 and the city will open a new elementary school next fall in the same building. That will allow much of the staff, minus the failing administrators, to return.

“Everything can change with a new principal. Maybe it just needs new management,” said Bonita Felix, who has twin boys in the school with special needs, but pulled out two of her older children, citing the school’s low quality.

But there were signs — literally — of opposition to the city’s decision to shut the Agnes Humphrey School for Leadership. On Wednesday, fliers were taped to lampposts rallying parents to attend a meeting with the district’s superintendent.

“Attention parents, our voices must be heard. We must not allow our school to close,” the notice said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said that the move to close the school came only after years of sub-par results.

“We only make a closure when a drastic structural change is necessary,” said the spokeswoman, Melody Meyer.

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Reader Feedback

Greenlight says:
Former teacher at 27 writing here... Does the concentrated poverty of the housing projects contribute to the poor achievement of the students? Yes, but that's still not entirely an excuse. I've seen many schools, on the elementary, middle-school and high-school level, who maintain a high degree of achievement with a combination of great teaching-- which 27 has-- and a strong administration-- which 27 hasn't-- which articulates a definite philosophy-- which 27 doesn't-- and which creates a culture in which insubordination and outright assault is not tolerate-- which 27 has never had. Why do they lack the latter? Because 27 is caught in the cycle of hype that every school in this every-school-for-itself system is a part of: if official word leaked out that there were issues, then fewer parents would be trying to get their kids into the school, which would make the school look worse, which would poison the school culture, which would increase the insubordination and outright assault, which would increase teacher reports of the issues, which would increase the official word that there were issues... and the wheel goes 'round.
Dec. 12, 2008, 8:15 pm
ismail from red hook says:
ps 27 should get shut down ecspecially for fraud grades and go to brooklyn school for collaborative studies it is highly reccommended by me.To see more go to bcs located at 610 Henry st. 718-923-4750
March 22, 2009, 5:29 pm
Greenlight says:
PS 27 should go to Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies? With grammar like that, I hope the DOE doesn't close down that school too!
April 24, 2009, 10:54 pm
Mike from Richmond, VA says:
I graduated from P.S. 27 in 1997 and went on to graduate from Winston Salem State University with a Bachelors in Business Management. Product of my environment, Red Hook.
Dec. 3, 2015, 4:10 am
Renate Czerwinksi says:
I went to school there in the 1960's are any records available ?
March 7, 7:30 pm
MJohnson says:
Oh no. Just now hearing about this, and sad to learn this. Attended PS 27 in the 70s, but moved out of NY years ago, and no longer live in the state. This article was written in 2008, but does anyone know when the school officially closed?
March 25, 6:25 am

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