BREAKING: City closes a Prospect Heights middle school to make way for a charter

BREAKING: City closes a Prospect Heights middle school to make way for a charter
Community Newspaper Group / Andy Campbell

A city education panel has killed MS 571, a Prospect Heights middle school that will be shuttered to allow a charter school to take its place.

The Department of Education made good on its vow to close the failing Underhill Avenue school in an 8–4 vote by its Panel for Education Policy on Thursday night, a vote that came despite complaints that MS 571 “has made improvements” in its consistently miserable scores in just about every academic category over the past few years.

The middle school had shared space with PS 9 — and now the elementary school parents and teachers are outraged that their school will share space with Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School — currently at a Crown Heights high school — after MS 571 is phased out.

PS 9 officials have said that if the middle school is eliminated to make room for another sixth- though eight-grade program, that new program should be run by the PS 9.

MS 571 failed because its students have scored in the bottom 10 percent on math tests, and the bottom two percent on English tests in recent years, officials said.

The school earned a D grade on its city progress report last year, which gave it F grades in categories including student performance, progress and overall “school environment.”

Brooklyn East Collegiate, which opened last year as only a fifth-grade program, is looking for a new home because its current space is temporary and it will now operate with two grade levels.

Now that the phase-out is imminent, students at MS 571 will be allowed to graduate, but no new students will be allowed to enroll.