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.
©2008 Community News Group
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