Sections

‘Racial’ battle at John Jay HS

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Teachers, students and parents of John Jay HS in Park Slope — which comprises mostly minority students from outside the neighborhood — will rally this afternoon to oppose a city plan to site an “elite” public high school in the building.

Protesters are claiming that bringing in Millennium Brooklyn, a version of a largely white college preparatory high school in Manhattan, amounts to “Apartheid education” on a campus once so notorious that it needed to be broken up into four smaller schools.

“Students are scared all the attention will go to the new school,” said Joyce Szuflita, who runs NYC School Help, a consulting firm. “They don’t want to be treated like second-class citizens.”

Since the announcement of the city plan, John Jay supporters have been circulating fliers calling for “equal funding,” “racial integration,” and the removal of metal detectors that they say stigmatize currently enrolled kids.

“Fight for our school!” hailed one flier, which directed people to this afternoon’s rally at the building, on Seventh Avenue and Fourth Street.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) said he would likely attend.

“At a deeper level, this calls into question inequality in our school system,” he said.

But other parents believe that Millennium Brooklyn could be a solution to a long-standing neighborhood dilemma: Few Park Slope kids attend the school — even though it would no-doubt be convenient — because its lingering reputation as a hub for troublemakers.

The campus is no longer plagued by robberies, assaults and weapon possession although it does have a low graduation rate: About 69 percent of kids who attended class at the campus last year graduated.

Millennium would open next fall and share space with three small existing high schools. A middle school inside the building would be relocated to make room for it.

The new school would receive public “start-up” money — for new facilities — a fact that irks kids inside the less-than-state-of-the-art building, where teachers complain about asbestos.

“We are being left behind as Millennium 2 becomes a priority,” student Tiarah Vergara wrote in the school newspaper, Spirit Gazette.

The Department of Education says the new school will simply “create high-quality educational options for all students.”

Six percent of kids who attend class in the John Jay building are white; 36 percent are black; 50 percent are Hispanic and seven percent are Asian. More than 80 percent of the students receive free school lunches.

By contrast, 35 percent of students at the Millennium school in Manhattan are white. Most are upper-middle class.

Rally at John Jay HS (237 Seventh Ave. at Fourth Street in Park Slope), Jan. 11 at 5 pm. A public hearing will follow.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

E.S. from FiDi says:
Whenever i walk past this school i see nothing but a bunch of hooligans causing trouble. I don't understand why the city constantly does this b.s. having a school in a nice neighborhood populated entirely by students from outside the district. I see the same thing in the financial district with the HS of economics and finance (a bit of a misnomer since half the school graduates).
Jan. 11, 2011, 9:49 am
Jill Fisher from Bay Ridge says:
It is the same as Fort Hamilton, if you live in Bay Ridge you can't send your child there, you have to send him to a Private High School. My son attended FHHS for about a month, school was way too overcrowded. When I went there you had to live in the area to go there. It is a shame that we have such a beautiful school within walking distance and our children canot attend.
Jan. 11, 2011, 10:42 am
crazypants from Crown Heights says:
The comments of the students and teachers who oppose Millennium and other similar moves always boil down to hate and envy. John Jay faces many issues - correct. But why should that mean that the students who'll be attending Millennium should be denied a school? Can't both issues - fixing John Jay and creating a new school - be done concurrently?
Jan. 11, 2011, 11:33 am
Grayson from Park Slope says:
I live right down the street from John Jay. I'm sure there are some good kids who go to school there, but most of the ones I see behave like complete thugs.
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:03 pm
Larry from Park Slope says:
I agree with crazypants when he/she says,"Can't both issues - fixing John Jay and creating a new school - be done concurrently?"

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) says, “At a deeper level, this calls into question inequality in our school system,” Maybe yes, maybe no.

Perhaps the current set-up is also unequal. The District can certainly use a top-notch local High School program. Since when did turning away a top-notch high school program lead to equality?

A high quality high school program at John Jay is a rare opportunity. Since when does a student newspaper article set educational policy for an entire District?

Let's get real, please.
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:08 pm
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Yeah, wouldn't want to traumatize the thugs by making
them pass through a metal detector.
Crazy moonbats.
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:43 pm
tabitha from sunset park says:
my childeren attend this school and truthfully the school should be shut down entirely. Its too overcrowed and please dont tell me its safe or a good school. Its over run with nothing but gangs and thugs and there have been weapons pulled out of that school including guns. It is a cesspit for gang violence. As to putting a "New School" they should truly fix and upgrade the current one that exists.
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:53 pm
David from Gowanus says:
No these parents & teachers are correct, the "good" school shouldnt be put into the John Jay Building, a much better solution would be for the "good" school to open somewhere else. Therefore even though there will still be a "good" school and a "bad" school - the students, teachers and parents at the "bad" school, wont have to see the "good" school and then they can remain blissfully ignorant that a better school exists and all their problems will disappear. See Perfect Solution.
Jan. 11, 2011, 1:31 pm
Leah Grossman from Jackson Heights says:
I have been teaching in this building for 10 years. In that time we have not received the money needed to improve the physical plant. Why should it take the possibility of anew school to bring needed money and improvements? As with other schools, our students have seen great success. Rowdiness after school on the streets might be attributed to the fact that students are cooped up all day and have little room for release. Due to the existing metal detectors, most of our students are not permitted to leave the building for lunch. Many of us believe that removing metal detectors will help change some of the things limiting our students (including the actual experience of going through metal detectors on a daily basis). In 10 years, I have certainly witnessed fights and challenging students. But I have never felt unsafe. It is unfair to call our students thugs and gangbangers. I challenge you to find a school where students are not rowdy at dismissal and where there are no fights. I also challenge you to visit our classrooms and see the quality of teaching. Many comments and opinions have been formed by the neighborhood without stepping into our schools! Or talk to our graduates who have gone on to prestigious 4 year schools - including Ivy League schools - and who have gone on to win numerous scholarships and awards!
Jan. 11, 2011, 2:05 pm
SPEAK! from Flatbush & Williamstown says:
I agree with Leah Grossman. I was a former student at John Jay and I ended up attending the #1 undergraduate college in the country. I have had friends who received full rides to top ranking universities and colleges and other class mates who have graduate and pursued their education at a local community college. The school has problems indeed, but this is not to say that we should completely disregard the futures of the children that attend it. There are many bright students attending John Jay who because of their lack of resources and economic disadvantages, must struggle to make it. AND THEY HAVE MADE IT.

I commend the amazing teachers and students that attend John Jay and I hope you guys continue in this fight. Good luck marching. Whether you are an A, B, C, or D student, whether you are Asian, African-American, White, Hispanic, or Native American, continue in this fight for a quality education. Don't give up! Fight wisely :]

I'll be there with you today at 5 p.m. in spirit.
Jallicia (SSL Class of 2010)
Jan. 11, 2011, 2:26 pm
Rahsan Williams from Crown Heights says:
As a fifth year teacher at The Secondary School for Research (one of the schools in the John Jay Campus) I must admit that I am shocked at many of the comments that were made and saddened that people are comfortable enough to make such ill-informed comments based on how TEENAGERS behave once they're released from school.

I second the invitation to come inside of our classrooms and see our bright, witty, and thoughtful students in action. Are some of them obnoxious? Yes! Are they loud and sometimes rowdy? Yes! They are however, so much more than some people give them credit for.

You might be surprised by how your children behave when you're not around.

We are not saying Parkslope residents shouldn't have a school to send their kids to, we want the DoE to help us make our school that place, instead of creating an entirely new school.

Come check us out! Everyone who does is always impressed. Ask Council Landers.
Jan. 11, 2011, 2:37 pm
anon from PLG says:
The code word used by certain Park Slope types is "bad" when describing some schools there and in other Brooklyn neighborhoods. They often know absolutely nothing about the schools. It's simply because they're not white enough. Think about how that sounds and what that says about you if you do that. You don't have to send your children to the school but please, try some other word choices. All that said, it's easy to understand why people are wary of sending their children to John Jay based on walking past it and seeing the teens leaving the building. I've seen very aggressive behavior and fights too. Nobody wants to roll the dice and conduct a social experiment with their child. Those defending the school need to understand that view.
Jan. 11, 2011, 3:02 pm
rich from parkslope says:
my grandfather attented john jay when it was once a good school. he was the first member of his family to attend college. (st. johns)
its to bad john jay hs did not improve over the years and has a bad repuation as one of the worst schools in new york.
Jan. 11, 2011, 3:49 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Growing up in Brooklyn, I was able to get into the "gifted" program at public school #whatever. It was basically just a program to keep the white kids seperate. This is nothing new.
Jan. 11, 2011, 5:24 pm
Evette from Bensonhurst says:
First of all I am a high school graduate from John Jay High School. I have succeed in my career and I give credit to the school for having amazing and caring teachers when I attended.

For the parent (Tabatha from Sunset) that stated that your children go to this school and there are consistently pulling out weapons you are LYING and I tell you why because if that was the case I will know first hand! I have family on the force and they patrol the area of the school. There is NO GANG VIOLENCE! Where the hell are you getting your information from? Please tell me? Are you speaking of SUNSET PARK HIGH SCHOOL! That is where you find gang violence not at John Jay High School! I dare you to challenge me on this one! Before you open your mouth get your facts correct!

I am offended my people calling our students thugs and gangbangers. My son currently attends this school and he is neither of that sort. I am offended by the ignorance of people to think that every student that attends this school is consider to be a thug.

Name a school where there isn't fights, or rowdy kids Are you serious, there isn't a perfect school out there not even in Manhattan. Let me give you an example SUNSET PARK HIGH SCHOOL has ONLY be open for 2 years located on 35th Street and 4th Avenue, and it is a new school, beautiful school inside, not until last month the principal was force to put in metal detectors due to three students getting stab outside the school at dismissal due to all the fighting! Seriously, wake up people, instead of being here pointing fingers why can't we all get together and help our students to a better education. There are students that do want to go to school, get there education and graduated.

I tell you what the problem is here that the people that live in park slope NOW think they are better then anyone else and there children are as well. Some people had the nerve to say that they are scare to walk the blocks of the school because of how students look are you serious. I thought we were in 2011. When the students are dismiss, there is school safety, deans, and police officers outside, news flash, all public high school has that during dismissal.

John Jay has good teachers that are willing to give it there all to the students. They take pride in there work and work very hard with the students! Peoples opinions comes from being misinformed. John Jay has had a bad reputation before we all attended this school and still does.

They want to open a new school and fix that school up! What happen to fixing the entire school and giving funding to the school for our students! ALL students should all be equal no matter there nationality or where they come from. I leave you with this - you do have students that don't want to learn and go to school just to go but don't blame the school itself blame the Board of Education, the school is not allowed to throw any student out of the school that is the policy of the Board of Education!
Jan. 11, 2011, 6:34 pm
Mary from Old Sunset Park says:
Born and raised, from the old Slope and Sunset Park. Went to private schools in the 70s and 80s.
It all depends on what you feel is the right thing for your kid, what's the grad. rate, is there violence, gangs, drugs, etc? Lets just throw it out there that if you can afford it, private schools used to be (and still are) the norm for many of us parents. No matter how gentrified you think your hood is, nothing changes, even over time.
Jan. 11, 2011, 10:38 pm
JJ from Prospect Heights says:
Rahsan, I appreciate the tone of your comments. I'm a high school teacher and I'm sure your kids are fine.

But some of these students were outside tonight carrying signs protesting plans for "segregation". I fail to see how bringing in a racially diverse high school into John Jay amounts to segregation or any kind of backward step for the school or the neighborhood.

It always sucks when they open a new school in your building. But any past neglect of John Jay by the DOE is not the fault of the new school, its principal, or its future students. I think your students are lashing out at the wrong target and I wonder if they're being influenced by adults as they do so.

It would reflect better on them if they welcomed the newcomers and tried to become friends.
Jan. 11, 2011, 10:55 pm
march1 from CG says:
Having grown up in PS in the 70's and 80's I have bad, bad memories of the old JJ days. What made it so bad was that it was the zone school that you had to to attend if you weren't motivated enough to get into a real High School elsewhere. This meant the worst students, and least motivated kids from several surrounding neighborhoods attended.

I am very excited about the idea of the Millennium school. I think it should take over the whole school. Brooklyn students from under privileged neighborhoods who are motivated, hard workers should be encouraged and helped to attend. The school should be a mecca for Brooklyn's best and most motivated students of all colors and creeds.

The neighborhood deserves better then the bottom of the barrel, in fact, it deserves a school to lead the way out of our national education nightmare.
Jan. 11, 2011, 11:40 pm
Rosa Motino from Park Slope says:
I have attended John Jay since the 6th grade and graduated from High School there as well in 2009. Yes, I have seen my fair share of fights but I never felt like my life was in danger. Since being there since the 6th grade, the school has improved a great deal cconsidering the lack of funds. Thanks to John Jay and their amazing staff i attend an amazing University and I'm a proud Hispanic.

What the DOE is doing is disgusting. We are all human, no one is above anyone. Just because the neighborhood wishes to maintain their "reputation" for being a nice place to live/work in, doesn't mean anything at the end of the day. The residents in the area are being selfish and they seriously need to get over themselves.

I have lived in Park Slope all my life and I have never felt beneath anyone, so why do that to the children now? What makes the children of neighborhood more special than a hispanic, african american or asian child? We are all adults and we should act like adults. The segregation nonsence is stupid.

As a proud graduate of John Jay, Secondary School for Research; I WILL continue to fight for this schools justice!
Jan. 11, 2011, 11:52 pm
Boris K from Kensington says:
Being one of the first graduates of Secondary School for Research I had witnessed the school grow from being located in a elemantary school in kensington to being relocated to the John Jay building. The high schools there might look rowdy and loud from the outside but as soon as you step inside you will notice that all the students are in the classrooms learning. These schools have been getting better and better since their inception if they only had the neccessary funding to fix up the school and purchase anything neccessary for the schools success, then the residents of park slope would see that these schools are up and coming. As the schools are currently constructed they create magnificant high school graduates who are taught to strive for greatness in the real world. Most of the graduates from my graduating class are going on to graduate schools or have got job offers from fortune 500 companies.
Jan. 12, 2011, 12:17 am
Jeffrey P. from Borough Park says:
I come from the same graduating class as Rosa and i completely agree with her. It amazes and saddens me to see so many negative and untrue remarks about the students at the John Jay campus. One piece of advice folks, never judge a book by its cover. I'm with Leah and Rahsan; I challenge all of you who think that John Jay is a cesspool for thugs and gangbangers to come and chekck out the schools yourselves. You'll be amazed to find hard working teachers and staff helping students with the utmost dedication to what they do. They have done an amazing job during my middle and high school careers and helped me get into one of the toughest schools in the CUNY system, which is something I am proud of, especially coming out of the school with an advanced regents diploma.
Even with the complete absence of the DOE's support, all three schools have gone to succeed and drastically improve over ther years. Had the DOE provided funding for our schools when it began almost a decade ago, there would have been no challenge we can not overcome. But instead, what we have are so many problems with the building's infrastructure because it is more than a century old. The constant budget cuts make it next to impossible to get new supplies for classrooms every year. We have had to reuse most of the furniture that are now decades old. Hell, even the desk that the board members were sitting on during the hearing is decades old because we cannot afford to buy new ones. The metal detectors make the school look more like a prison than a learning facility even though the students mean no harm, yet the DOE refuses to remove them, reminding the students every day that to the rest of the neighborhood, they are nothing but hooligans and criminals.
Shame on everyone that believes that the schools inside the John Jay campus should be eradicated just because they only want to judge by what they see when school is over. If you don't believe that the students deserve to have a school, I challenge you to see what the school is all about. I guarantee that you'll change your views of the three schools because when it comes to learning, it is something that the students nor the staff do not take for granted. The schools started from nothing, and even in spite of it, still managed to become a great school for all students. If properly funded, imagine the possibilities that can open up for the schools. I will continue to support and fight for the school until we are treated equally!
Jan. 12, 2011, 1:01 am
Sophia Y. from Kensington says:
I am a proud alumni from the Secondary School for Research. I graduated June 2009 with an Advanced Regents Diploma and now attend SUNY Albany.

First and foremost I have to say that it absolutely DISGUSTS me that a bunch of grown adults label students from this school as gangbangers, hooligans, and thugs. Judgements cannot be made just from the way we dress or the way we may be caught acting sometimes. Instead, take the time out to get to know these students. I know I have because I made some amazing friends while I was here. And it offends me that many of you think we are nothing but negative labels.

I attended this school for four years and I got to see the school for what it really is on the inside. Even thought the school fought time and time again for more funding and never received the money needed, we made the best out of what we had. Teachers and staff worked long and hard to make sure the students were getting the help they needed to succeed. I see how proud the teachers are when the alumni come back to visit. A lot of hard work and dedication from the teachers gave many of the graduating class to attend college. All three schools have improved dramatically without the DOE's financial support. They did what they could to provide us the best education they could afford on the school budget. And I thank every teacher/staff out there that helped me get to where I am today because without struggle, life would be too easy- perfect even.

I feel as though many of you do not comprehend the situation that we have at hand here. It isn't just about having another school put into a school of three. There are issues that have been in existence since the proposal came about involving these schools. Millennium Brooklyn is getting millions of dollars while these schools have been getting budget cuts. Renovations in almost every part of this building are much needed. These schools have been trying to remove metal detectors and with no success they are still in existence. The contraptions are giving students and people of the neighborhood a negative view on the school while we do not mean any harm. Yes there have been fights that occurred in the school, but what school has never come upon a fight? I never felt like my life was threatened by the people around me. We also wanted to change the name of the school to Park Slope Collegiate for District 15 to benefit the school and the community. If the DOE would have given the schools the necessary funding the schools would have more opportunities to do better. Money for supplies, furniture, technology, textbooks, after school programs, more variety of courses, etc. would be easier to come by. The DOE won't give the schools the money needed to make them better, but is willing to give the money so a new school can be built? While budget cuts are happening all around the city to underdeveloped schools?

We say this new school is a segregation to the three schools because it will be "specialized" in a school with 90 % of minorities. Specialized enough so that only the upper-class can attend which majority of which are white. If the people in the neighborhood wants to attend school nearby, why can't they attend one of the three that are already offered here? (But we all know the answer to this one: "It's too dangerous. There's gangbangers and thugs".) Why should Millennium take up the whole school? Why can't we be who we are and just improve with the proper funding? I mean we have done a lot with insufficient funding already. We can only be better.

Many of you are being stereotypical and racist due to how we look, talk, act, etc. Disregarding all the judgements, we are all one and the same. I was one of the few Asian Americans that attended this school and majority of my friends are minorities. Do I care? No. We are no longer the "old and dangerous" John Jay High, but rather a new generation. One that is willing to voice our opinions and strive to succeed.
Jan. 12, 2011, 4:24 am
parent from south brooklyn says:
It is not "segregation" to open a new, high quality, racially diverse school. I totally agree that the current schools should receive the resources they need. So should all schools. But it really makes no sense at all to attack the idea of opening a new school. The goal of the protesters may be sound, but their baseless charge of racism has really caused their message, which is a plea for more resources, to be lost.
Jan. 12, 2011, 9:10 am
fsrg from PS says:
I have to laugh at the teachers/parents and students defending the CURRENT John Jay...Are you kidding me....over THIRTY PERCENT of the students DONT GRADUATE...this is HIGH SCHOOL!!! It is 2011 = do you know what prospects a High School DROPOUT has - none, zero, zilch. You are (statistically) finished, you practically can kill yourself at that point cause unless you have a major life change, you will be essentially a failure for the rest of your life - and this is the future THIRTY PERCENT of the students face. (I'd love to know what tiny % actually gain a Regents Diploma - which barely signifies a decent education).

Please dont tell me how wonderful your school is, how great the students are when the teachers/parents/administrators are sending 30 % of their students into the world with ZERO prospects. That is the definition of FAILURE
Jan. 12, 2011, 11:35 am
chris from park slope says:
I went to John Jay in the early 1980s. The school was disgusting. It remains disgusting. The kids(80 percent are thugs). When I went there 90 percent were thugs. I have always been on the side of kids being bused in. However, the fact remains that there has been NO IMPROVEMENT OVER THE COURSE OF THIRTY YEARS. Although most of the people that live in the slope are not NATIVE SLOPERS. They should not have to feel threatened every time they go to Barnes and Noble. I have personally have had altercations with so called students from John Jay. I wish it was different. The Facts are the Facts. Close it down and make it a co-op and the yuppies will love it.
Jan. 12, 2011, 11:58 am
Lisa from Flatbush says:
It is just not true that there has been no improvement in the John Jay Building in 30 years. The 4-year graduation rate has DOUBLED since the founding of the Secondary School for Research. It is also not true that 30% of our students drop out. 30% do not graduate in 4 years, but many of them stay in school and graduate and go on to college. There are a lot of reasons students do not finish in time, but most of our students persist. They overcome a lot of obstacles to do so, including attending high school in a language they do not yet speak fluently. We don't believe in tracking here. We believe all students deserve a strong education and we work hard to provide that -- both for the students who are headed for Columbia or Williams and for the students who need extra help to prepare them for graduation requirements. No one at any of these protests has said that we wouldn't welcome the students who are intending to attend Millenium 2. We would welcome them to our school -- but it is indeed elitist and segregationist to say that these students deserve a better or different education than ours.
Jan. 12, 2011, 12:40 pm
Rob LaColla from Sunset Park says:
It is indeed segregation. To imply otherwise appears simply naive.

Millennium Brooklyn is not the brainchild of Millennium Manhattan, where their demographics essentially reflect the city. It is the product of a very small group of Park Slope parents pushing the DOE for a Selective HS that is not in Manhattan to which to send their children. That the DOE listens to them and begins construction on the building before the vote has even occurred smacks of favoritism. And favoritism of one ethnic majority over another is racism.

We at this school (you can check out our demographics), have been doing everything short of screaming in the streets for the funding we deserve and we get nothing.

Rumor spread that there was interest in putting a selective high school in the building. Again, please don't be so naive as to pretend that selective is truly inclusive of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. The very next day, there were contractors checking out the building. The very next day. If we are not interpret that as racist, please tell me what it is a sign of. The voices of the three schools (minority students mainly), we are to interpret, count for nothing.

Our schools were set up to fail.
We were neglected and then declared under-utilized for under-enrollment. We are very proud of our achievements with limited funds but what can you expect of a school that doesn't receive equitable funding? Of course, we will be unpopular on application forms. There are many more well funded schools. We are not failing schools by any stretch but we are not what we can be. Ask the parents of Park Slope.

Why is the co-location of Millennium Bklyn racist, you ask? The whole premise of why is it being placed in the John Jay Campus has to do with the fact that we are under enrolled. If we weren't under-enrolled, then there wouldn't be a co-located school.

We are angry also.
We are angry that this school is being offered space in the building and start-up funds that we never saw.
We are angry that this school is being handed half a million dollars in Selective School private dollars.
We are angry that the DOE has been lying to us since last year.

We have to ask the question. Why? We can't help but see race as a significant factor in whose voices the DOE listens to.
Jan. 12, 2011, 1:05 pm
David from Gowanus says:
Rob LaColla - do you have any evidence to back up these statements? a link, an article anything????

What is you basis for saying:"Millennium Brooklyn is not the brainchild of Millennium Manhattan, where their demographics essentially reflect the city. It is the product of a very small group of Park Slope parents pushing the DOE for a Selective HS that is not in Manhattan to which to send their children."

What is your basis for asserting that the school will not be"....truly inclusive of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. "

What do you cite to support the contention that the current schools have "limited funds" or non "equitable funding"

And how can you say "We are not failing schools by any stretch" - when 30% of the students cant even graduate? What is your definition of failure then.

You've made a lot of statements with no evidence.
Jan. 12, 2011, 1:32 pm
Rob LaColla from Sunset Park says:
Is the secondary school for research a failing school?
You can read the comments above by alumni, you can visit the school, or you can read the latest Quality Review of Secondary School for Research ( http://schools.nyc.gov/OA/SchoolReports/2009-10/Quality_Review_2010_K464.pdf ). (please also feel free to visit our website to see more: www.ssfr.org)

As for the impetus for Millennium Bklyn, the DOE mentioned a group that called themselves the District 15 Leadership Council that has been pushing for a "high quality" school option for Park Slope students. Strange also, because the DOE name the ALC, a site for students who have received a superintendents suspension, as high quality as well (in the EIS). Try researching this group. Afterwards, I think you'll agree that it is small.

I'll quote my school's SLT (from their presentation at the hearing) in terms of funding. I apologize in advance for its length but I believe the evidence is useful:

"The DOE describes the creation of Millennium Brooklyn as “an effort to expand the pool of option for academically gifted students.” Allow us to describe some of the academic gifts outlined in the Educational Impact Statement that the DOE is bestowing upon Millennium:

'New district schools are provided with a fixed per-school allocation and a variable per-pupil allocation of funds to cover start-up costs. Based on current one-time allocations for new schools, Millennium Brooklyn would receive a fixed allocation of $80,000 during its first year and approximately $451,559 in total per-pupil allocations.

'Additionally, the Selective Schools Initiative raised private dollars to support the planning and development of seven new academically selective high schools [including Millennium Brooklyn]. Each school is allocated a total of $500,000 to spend over five years, based on the following budget model:

'One-Year Planning Process: $100,000 to support new school planning and recruitment; these funds will effectively support the new school leader to develop a vision for the school, build curriculum, and recruit and train school faculty.

'Four-Year Implementation and Program Support: After the planning year, schools receive $100,000 per year to support a four-year implementation process – enabling the school’s leader to implement the school’s unique vision by supporting continued coursework and program development, staff recruitment and training, community outreach, and capital investments.'

Millennium Brooklyn is being set-up for success.

The additional $180,000 that Millennium is slated to receive in its first year--when it will have only 108 students amounts to an additional per-student allocation of $1,666.67. If that per-pupil allocation were equitably applied to the Secondary School for Research, we would receive an additional $750,000--more than a 20% increase from our current budget. At a minimum the DOE should grant us the same $580,000 to compensate us for the lack of start-up funds and implementation funds we need to support our unique vision, program development, community outreach and recruitment. Given our success with next to nothing, imagine what we could do with 5 additional teaching positions plus enough overtime funds to reinstate our Saturday Academy. We could also meet our teachers’ every request for books and supplies."

My hope is that you may agree now, with the Supreme Courts ruling, that separate is inherently unequal.
Jan. 12, 2011, 2 pm
David from Gowanus says:
Rob LaColla - what is the per pupil funding for the new school and what is the per pupil funding for the students in the other 3 schools? It is a simple question, which your long answer does not address.
Jan. 12, 2011, 2:08 pm
Sophia Y. from Kensington says:
For all that think that Millennium Brooklyn is a great idea and John Jay Campus should go, you are WRONG. These three schools have been doing nothing, but get better through the years. The 80s are different. The times are different. The situation is different. And nobody can understand that at all. Only ones that do understand are the students and alumni that attended this school. Everybody is basing their opinions on what the school was back then. So stop lashing out on facts you do not know anymore. Did you all not know the school reopened into three? That each school is receiving insufficient funding? And yet teachers/staff/students alike fought to make the school better. Each year more students graduate and get the opportunity to attend 2-4 year college/university. Teachers and staff make sure every student is prepared for what is ahead in their lives. We were neglected by the DOE for years. And now the DOE wants to add another school in our building with the funding they want? It just isn't fair.

Millennium Brooklyn is a selective school. It requires at least a 3 or 4 out of 4 on standardized tests. Here is the proof:
"http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-somerville/separate-but-equal-in-the_b_796589.html"
They will receive the money to provide an even better education than the other three schools because they will have the necessary funding. Majority of the people who are pushing for this school are the parents in the area that want a better school to send their kids to that isn't too far from home. It is not fair that this school will have the money it needs, when the other three schools in the building have been asking for it in years. Why can't the students around Park Slope or District 15 just attend one of the three schools that are already here? The money going towards Millennium can go towards the three schools so they can improve physically and academically and accept more students. Then we can just all be diverse and receive the education we deserve EQUALLY.
Jan. 12, 2011, 3:38 pm
David from Gowanus says:
Sophia what do you base the following statement on:

"... each school is receiving insufficient funding? "

Every school in the world feels its funding is "insufficient" the relevant question is - what is the per pupil funding for JJ H.S (3 schools) and what is it for other HS. in NYC- and if there is a difference (in either direction) what is the educational basis for it (for example an older building might require more $ for building maintenance.)

You and others are making alot of statements about the "discrimination" that JJH.S. is subject too - but you need to substantiate it with some evidence.
Jan. 12, 2011, 3:58 pm
Sophia Y. from Kensington says:
The school has been receiving nothing but cut backs each year. The principals have requested several times for more money. Have you not read Mr. LaColla's response?

"The additional $180,000 that Millennium is slated to receive in its first year--when it will have only 108 students amounts to an additional per-student allocation of $1,666.67. If that per-pupil allocation were equitably applied to the Secondary School for Research, we would receive an additional $750,000--more than a 20% increase from our current budget. At a minimum the DOE should grant us the same $580,000 to compensate us for the lack of start-up funds and implementation funds we need to support our unique vision, program development, community outreach and recruitment. Given our success with next to nothing, imagine what we could do with 5 additional teaching positions plus enough overtime funds to reinstate our Saturday Academy. We could also meet our teachers’ every request for books and supplies."

Not every school in the world feels that way. Now you are being too general. The NYC Public School system is flawed. 80% of students in this school receive free school lunches. Most of these students are not as well off as students that attend Millennium Manhattan or other specialized schools in the city. It is the fact that the DOE is not giving us the money, but has the nerve to put that money into building a new school in OUR building. We can't improve our school physically or academically, but they can? It isn't fair.

It is discrimination when our school is 90 % minorities and under funded. While the new school which will only consist of upper-middle class, mostly white and well situated. They immediately can obtain the education they want, but we can't? We have been fighting for more money in our building for years. And the DOE just steps right in and immediately proposes a new school that just goes against everything we have been fighting for.

Feel free to look up articles pertaining to this rally online. There are tons of them. There's your evidence.
Jan. 12, 2011, 4:19 pm
fsrg from PS says:
"The school has been receiving nothing but cut backs each year. The principals have requested several times for more money."

Every public school and municipal office has faced cut backs the last few years - how is that discrimination?

"Have you not read Mr. LaColla's response? "

I have - Mr. LaCollas response talks only of the "start-up" funds in question here, not the overall funding rate - if the funding rate is equal but for these start-up funds than you and he may have a point, but I see nothing that actually lists the per-pupil funding rate.
Further, what difference does it make that the school will open inside JJ H.S. - if it opens at an alternate location (or not at all) will that somehow increase JJ H.S funding. Point is, your compliant should be about funding not about this selective school's placement

"It isn't fair. "

Is it fair that academically gifted students of all races & income levels are forced into schools where they will be held back and ultimately denied opportunities in life. Is it fair that their families and our communities will be denied the full contribution that these gifted students can make - point is, none of it is "fair" it isnt fair if JJ HS students arent afforded the opportunity to reach there potential and it isnt fair if these gifted children arent allowed to reach there potential.

"While the new school which will only consist of upper-middle class, mostly white and well situated."

There is no evidence precedent or basis whatsoever for this outrageous supposition. Even the Millennium school in Manhattan is 65 % non-white. You are just being intentionally hyperbolic & it undercuts your points.
Jan. 12, 2011, 4:33 pm
Sophia Y. from Kensington says:
Yes every school has been facing cut backs the past few years. Then how is it that the DOE has money to fund this new Millennium school? I never said that it was discrimination with cut backs. I only said discrimination exists because schools with minorities are not receiving enough money to improve. Our school has been improving and well deserve the money.

LaColla's response not only states the start up funds. The same funds could be put to use in our school to improve it. Where is the money coming from when there are budget cuts happening all around the city? That is a lot of money being put to use to build a new school, when there are schools in need of the necessary money to improve such as the schools on the John Jay Campus. The three schools never received the necessary money to start up as stated in the public hearing last night. Which is why we are asking for $580,000 to compensate us for the lack of funds.

And it isn't fair that you say we can't afford the opportunity to reach their full potential. We were just never given the enough money to. If we had enough we could do wonders. Who said they would be held back if they're forced into schools such as ours? Have you not read that our students have gotten accepted into colleges and universities? Some of which are Ivy League? Is that denying students the opportunities in life? Teachers and staff dedicated their time to make sure their students got the most education they could with the funding that we had. We should be given the opportunity to improve and it isn't fair that you say we don't have the money to afford the opportunity to reach our full potential. We have a school full of bright and intelligent students who have the potential to do so much better than they are now if we had more money. There are tons of other specialized schools in the city for the gifted kids. Is that not enough? Or is all you want out of this is to run out these "thugs" and "gangbangers" that "harm" the community in which you live in?
Jan. 12, 2011, 5:06 pm
Jay from pslope says:
Sophia please explain how more money is going to improve the joke of a graduation rate from this school?
How is that going to translate into a kid, who is a dedicated screw up, actually sitting down and doing the minimal amount of work which must be done in order to learn, day in and day out?
I have to tell you, simply graduating from high school is NOT very hard, and NOT that big a deal, and NO ONE should be acting like it is.
The fact that 31% chose not to finish speaks for it self.
It seems to me that those who want it are already getting what they need to move on and be successful from this school, and that the problem is really the kids who won't do what they have to do in order to finish.
Sometimes the answer is really not more money. Maybe you are correct about all of this, and I fully admit that possibility, but if so, you have failed to demonstrate any of your points.
Jan. 12, 2011, 7:27 pm
Rosa Motino from Park Slope says:
To Jay: I know you did not just refer to the children of that school as a "dedicated screw up". Watch your mouth because you haven't got a clue what they're like, you are letting yourself be blinded by our skin color. You are not better than me and I am no better than you. For everyone who is saying that all they see is "thugs and hooligans" are you really going to tell them how to act? You all can honestly confess that when you were children you were never "loud"? You are all really going to sit there and say that you and or your own children don't get or haven't gotten "wild" at times?

The past is the past, stop trying to bring it to the present. Segregation was abolished a long time ago and there is no need to bring it back. Get with the program and act like civil adults. Everyone deserves the best, no matter what they're background may be.
Jan. 12, 2011, 8:25 pm
Alissa Lembo from Prospect Heights says:
To all of my students, past & present: I am sorry that there are people in this world, in this country, in this city, in this community who are saying such mean, hateful and racist things about you. I am sorry that our fight for our school is bringing their true feelings to light. They are wrong.

You are NOT thugs. You are NOT hooligans. You are NOT dedicated screw ups. You are NOT weapon-carrying criminals. You ARE wonderful, amazing, brilliant, caring, hard-working, resilient. You ARE everything to me. I love you. xoxo
Jan. 12, 2011, 9:52 pm
Jay from pslope says:
Rosa, anyone who does not graduate from high school (barring some medical disability) IS a dedicated screw up. It has nothing to do with "being wild" If you don't graduate, you are a screw up, its that simple. High school is NOT hard to graduate, Maybe to be valedictorian is hard, but just to finish, that is not hard.
It has nothing to do with skin color, I think it is you who are blinded by skin color and you don't know my skin color, so its really clear that it is you who are the racist. You disappointment me, you should be better than that. And you tell me to watch my mouth? Very very sad.
Jan. 12, 2011, 10:14 pm
Jeffrey P. from Borough Park says:
I can't believe the immaturity being shown on this article by the supposed "adults." Where's your decency? Where's your respect? Those who say the school is terrible obviously can't make proper judgements or actually have the balls to step foot in the building.

Was the school terrible before they shut down JOHN JAY HS? Yes. I know it was because I have cousins that had attended the school before it was finally deemed a failure by the DOE. Was there violence and all sorts of crimes? Yes there were. Key word though: WERE. Are the three schools all blatantly referred to the old John Jay? Absolutely, as evidence by the ignorant responses made on this article. But the truth is that John Jay HS does not exist anymore, and if you'd all bother to truly know the issue at hand, you'd know that the schools that exist on the campus are the Secondary Schools for Law, Journalism, and Research. I say again- John Jay does NOT exist anymore, so stop referring to the schools as if they were still John Jay before you make any more ignorant remarks.

Even though the three schools are still haunted by the lingering shadow of John Jay, they have dramatically improved over the years since they began. When it started back in 01, it was probably as bad as it was the previous years because the school still had kids from the old John Jay. But as soon as these kids disappeared from the campus, all three principals worked TIRELESSLY every day to improve the quality of life and learning inside the campus. O have never seen principals that knew the names of every single one of their students by memory, which shows their dedication to what they do on a regular basis. The teachers did - and are still doing - an extraordinary job teaching all the students that were given to them to prepare them for life after school. Have there been struggles? Of course. No school is perfect, not even these "elite" schools that are so popular nowadays. If you had actually taken the time to learn of our struggles that have lasted for over a decade, you'd be shocked and amazed at how much better the school has gotten. With what little resources we have, we have managed to do something that almost seemed impossible to achieve a decade ago. We've beaten the odds and the structure of our schools that had been designated to fail. We've made something from nothing.

With that being said, if you people actually open your eyes to see all the fantastic things the schools have done to hundreds of kids, then you wouldn't be against us. Every one of our graduates serve as a testament to the achievements of the schools. From CUNY to SUNY; from community colleges to universities; from across the country to prestigious Ivy League universities and beyond, our schools have shown that they deserve to receive all of the support from the DOE and more. If this had been done with no help, imagine the possibilities with it? This is why fight for justice for our schools, because we here are all family, which is something none of you hateful people can never take away.
Jan. 12, 2011, 10:25 pm
Sophia Y. from Kensington says:
I totally agree with Jeffrey.

Jay, we are not talking about your skin color specifically. If we were we would've been the racist ones and pointed you out and assumed you were Caucasian/African American/Asian American/Hispanic/etc. This is in general for all the people that assume that we are nothing but hooligans, thugs, and gangbangers in the school.

Our school was designed to fail. Not every school has a 100% graduation rate. We are not all perfect people in this society. Maybe to you it isn't that hard to graduate from high school, but to some it is. Nobody is a screw up, that is just being harsh. Everybody is intelligent in their own way. Who is anyone to say that we are failures and screw ups? Certainly not you.
Jan. 12, 2011, 11:18 pm
JP from Prospect Heights says:
When I taught at Erasmus a few years ago I wasn't happy when they began closing the 3 schools in the building. But I thought it was great that they added a new selective school to the building. It helped improve the reputation of the rest of the campus and made it easier, I think, for the other schools to attract good students. There were no white kids involved, so even though there was grumbling about how the new school seemed nicer, no one was accusing anyone else of racism. And it's harder to resent high achievers when they're black.

I can't imagine why Rob LaColla wouldn't want John Jay to be a place that the Park Slope community cared about. In fact if I worked there, I'd be trying to think of ways to get the community involved. It would seem to me that getting their kids in the building might be a good start. Trying to keep out a school with a good reputation and community support seems to be a real self-defeating strategy. I hope that's not really the goal.

Whatever the goal, stirring up racial resentment among teenagers toward their future schoolmates is a pretty ugly tactic. And it's really unfair to the principal who currently runs a majority black/hispanic school, with a significant white population and probably could teach Rob a thing or two about teaching kids of diverse backgrounds to get along.
Jan. 12, 2011, 11:39 pm
Imani from Bed-Stuy says:
Well I go to SSL in the JJHS building and my average is a 94 and I am not a hooligan. I think that instead of trying to categorize the students into the building you should take a look at the bigger picture. Besides adding another school into the building will overcrowd the building, and cause more trouble and more tension. If students feel like they are not being treated fairly that will only add more flame to the fire. If you want to see real hooligans, go ahead and put Millennium 2 in the building and there will just be a whole lot more drama. When students really care about something they will work hard to get it. How about trying to improve our school, rather than giving money to the people that already have it?
Jan. 13, 2011, 12:48 am
Alex from Greenpoint says:
I read the above comments with interest, in part because I used to live in Park Slope and I remember seeing and hearing the kids who went to John Jay on the Street, but also because I found some of what has been said pretty shocking. In particular, I was taken aback by the fact that 30% of the students don't graduate. I grew up in what I would describe as an affluent suburb of DC, and in my mind a 70% graduation rate does seem to be a major problem.

That being said, I decided to do the minimal amount of internet research possible on this subject, so I googled "NYC high school graduation rate", and what I found surprised me even more (here are the two links that I looked at, first, http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2010/03/09/2010-03-09_new_york_city_high_school_graduation_rates_on_the_rise.html, which is the first site that comes up, and also http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/mediarelations/NewsandSpeeches/2009-2010/09gradrates030910.htm, which was the fourth site that came up). Last year, in what Mayor Bloomberg and Joel Klein called an all-time high, the graduation rate for the city reached 62.7%. Based on that, a figure of 70%, apparently, is considerably better than a large number of high schools throughout the city. So, while I whole-heartedly agree that a 70% graduation rate is something that should be considered unacceptable, at least according to the rate that students graduate in this city it apparently is a figure that should be applauded and supported, instead of being used to deride a school that is apparently doing much better than average.

I also wanted to say, despite the fact that I think this is pretty obvious, it is pretty unfair to lay the blame for a student not graduating at the feet of a student, their school, their parents, or any other individual factor alone. Lets imagine that we were to accept that students who do not graduate are failures or just haven't tried hard enough (although, I feel the need to again prefact this by saying that I think this is a statement that lacks any real, logical credibility) how would we account for the graduation rates of students with disabilities, which is only 24.7% in the city, or for students who speak English as a second language, which is only 39.7%? Based on some of the arguments presented in these comments these students are failures in life and screw ups, along with the vast majority of kids in this city, which I think is an argument that is unsupportable. If that is the case, and if a 62.7% graduation rate is a record high, then apparently over a third of kids in this city don't have a chance in life anyways, so why bother investing in schools, new or old, at all?

All this being said, I still don't know how I feel about a number of other aspects of the arguments being made by both sides here, but I do think that this is one aspect of discussing these schools that seems to be misunderstood in at least some of the posts above.
Jan. 13, 2011, 1:10 am
J. Christensen says:
To JJ:

You state the following in one of your posts regarding the rally on 1/11:

"But some of these students were outside tonight carrying signs protesting plans for "segregation". I fail to see how bringing in a racially diverse high school into John Jay amounts to segregation or any kind of backward step for the school or the neighborhood."

A few articles have mentioned that Millennium 2 students will have a separate entrance and may not have to go through metal detectors (unlike the current schools who all go through scanners daily) as they enter the building. When you have a separate entrance with no metal detectors for a predominately white, middle class group of students like Millennium 2, it brings to mind the Jim Crow laws of our country's racist past. If one school in the building is not required to have metal detectors, then no school in that building should have them.

In terms of the efficient movement of students as they enter the building, it doesn't make sense to have one school, Millennium 2, have its own entrance while three other schools, Law, Journalism, and Research, must share one entrance.
Jan. 13, 2011, 2:50 am
petunia from park slope says:
So much irresponsibility going on in this discussion from adults on both sides. For one, the racism rhetoric needs to be toned down. The comment from Imani from Bed-Stuy/SSL shows you what message the kids are picking up from the rallies and protests and how they are viewing the future students who will likely be sharing their space.
And for the current school supporters who have stated there are enough "selective" schools to go around: no one who's actually gone through the admission process with a kid interested in those schools would say that. Students with excellent grades are routinely shut out, and many of the best schools are in Manhattan and don't take many, or any, Brooklyn kids.
And selective does not mean "predominately white, middle class", or "kids who could afford private school" - neither the existing Millennium nor MS 447 fit that bill.
Jan. 13, 2011, 10:43 am
Iaroslava from Bensenhurst says:
We can come to an answer here that is more simple, less offensive and efficient. Merge the schools together. The Millennium school should, be nothing but a claimed" honors program" as it is in most schools; that is competitive and not exclusive to any student to attend.

I am a student who has attended both Brooklyn Studio Secondary school (prevailing white ) and Secondary School for Research in John Jay (prevailing minority ) . Quite frankly, in regards to the quality of education and achievement, Secondary School for Research is well deserved a compliment . The teachers are very skilled professionals who are always there to help ( not only are they great professionals but they are amazing people who establish relationship with the students , how many schools honestly do this ?) Teenagers are rowdy, obnoxious, and they are teenagers, for crying out loud ! I am a person who got the experience of two completely different schools and in fact , the discipline in John Jay was more demanding over that of Brooklyn Studio School. I have experienced walking into the bathroom, watching a girl face down into the toilet smoking a cigarette, I have witnessed students swipe in to school and automatically leave school through side exits. This was unheard of in John Jay's SSR ! I was once reprimanded and almost sent home for wearing short shorts ! In John Jay classes and exams were even more difficult, I am very studious and had a 85-90% Avrg. in John Jay . With out trying I had a 97 % Avg in Brooklyn Studio, this says something to me.

However, Brooklyn Studio School is always naively over applied to because of its 58% white population ( who of course pay for extra tutoring = there fore earning greater test results as apposed to the poor minority class who can't do this ) Its true all I ever learned was with my private tutor ! Brooklyn studio is over applied to because the scores on exams look good NOT the Graduation rate which is 60 % in Brooklyn Studio and 69 % in SSR .

I maintain that as far as using all possible resources, and enforcing education John Jay does an amazing job. Sure they can improve; however, I don't think this would be possible until they think about merging the schools and creating a "gifted program" NOT gifted school. Right now all schools are too small for getting major funding, and if they come together they can share funding and make larger more effective programs for all students to share. This would not only efficiently allocate resources but also would create a program that would be challenging and not exclusive. Resulting in less racial tension, greater educational achievement and is offensive to no- one. This is the tactic most Public schools in Brooklyn use : Lincoln High School, Mid wood, Murrow...which ever. It makes sense.

http://insideschools.org/index12.php?fs=904
http://insideschools.org/index12.php?fs=692
Jan. 13, 2011, 11:43 am
MG from Park Slope says:
The Secondary School for Research school portal lists, for any one willing to look, all kinds of information, including the city wide average per-pupil allocation, which is 17.9k and the SSR allocation which is 15.8k. The charge of racism is based on the demographics of existing selective school as compared to the populations of the secondary schools.

Compare the populations of some well known testing school with the secondary schools’ population. (Numbers are %)

Mil Stuy Bx Sci Bk Tech SSR SSL SSJ
Bl & Hisp 34.1 4.6 11 20.3 81.2 90.2 89.4
Wh & As 63.5 95.1 86 79.3 12.9 8.8 9.7

(This data is compiled from the DoE school portals for each school and can be found in the statistics and budget section under “CEP School Demographics and Accountability Snapshot 2009-2010” )

The DoE and its Office of Portfolio Development have denied request for help for years, which as stated is systemic problem. The racism enters the picture when Portfolio says it will fix the building if Millenium comes in but that the funds for capitol improvement are not available with out the new school. Why does it take a new school with different demographics to fix the building and talk seriously about removing scanning? If these issues are purposely or inadvertently tied to demographic factors it definitively constitutes institutional racism on the part of the DoE and Portfolio.
Jan. 13, 2011, 1:20 pm
RobL from Sunset Park says:
JP:
"I can't imagine why Rob LaColla wouldn't want John Jay to be a place that the Park Slope community cared about. In fact if I worked there, I'd be trying to think of ways to get the community involved. It would seem to me that getting their kids in the building might be a good start. Trying to keep out a school with a good reputation and community support seems to be a real self-defeating strategy. I hope that's not really the goal."

The SSfR has been trying to get to BE a place the Park Slope would care about. Our efforts have worked when we get people in the door. However, it's been pretty difficult because apparently a lot of people haven't or won't go that far. Check out our website: www.ssfr.org

I don't believe that asking our current students to learn just 3 floors above a "selective" school that has more funds is "a good start." I believe a good start would be if more of the Park Slope community (I say more because we have had significant support of the PS Civic Council and Congregation Beth Eloim (http://www.andybachman.com/2011/01/we-can-do-better-rabbi-andy-bachman.html)) noticed us for what we are.

As for a "self-defeating strategy":
I think that many of us are very disappointed with the tension that has arisen due to our protest.

We actually anticipated that more Park Slopers would agree with our arguments and fight along side with us for more equitable funding and not want a situation of separated and inequitably funded schools at the heart of the neighborhood. Quite a few of our students have already mentioned feeling like "second class citizens" based only on the EIS. When discussing the issue earlier in the year, I really did think that more people would help fight this inequity rather than argue about it.. I can't help saying that I personally am a bit surprised and taken aback.

I'd also like to add that I'm beaming with pride at the courage and fortitude of our alumni who are so vocally supportive of the education that they received. You're willingness to fight for our school indicates we did right by you and I think our current and future students will benefit from your example.
Jan. 13, 2011, 5:30 pm
mike from parkslope says:
two weeks ago i saw police activity at John Jay HS.
its time to upgrade the school and it only benefits your children.
Jan. 14, 2011, 4:17 pm
Kayla S from Flatbush says:
I am a graduate of the Secondary School for Research, not John Jay high school. I graduated in 2009 and attended since 6th grade.

Many people here have many vaild points, but there are alot of topics that havent been brought to light. Like what happens when the DOE only answers to the parents of wealthier sects? What happens to the students who dont come from wealthy families but want to break the cycle and are knocked down because of where theyre from? Im afraid this will give children the idea that its okay to seperate. Why give the new school a different entrance/exit as the rest of the school? Why not upgrade SSLJR so it can meet the neighborhoods standards?

It also isnt fair to call kids gangsters and criminals. Yes SSLJR students get rowdy. Ive witnessed this myself and unfortunately have been apart of this too, Im not going to lie, but any student at any school in any borough, state or country act out. No matter what race or financial situation they come from. Kids will be kids.

All in all, this school may be built and these children will have to face the situations the DOE and the selfish Park Slopes parents that want this school have created. Whether its as bad as the new students feeling "unsafe" and the current students feeling left out or as good as the new students becoming friends with the current students. Whatever happens doesnt affect the parents or teachers, its affects the students.
Jan. 17, 2011, 6:18 pm
JP from PH says:
Rob, (you're probably not reading anymore). You need to be realistic. Each of us "cares" about all of the public schools, but we give support to the ones our children attend. And even if white Park Slopers are impressed with your school, individual parents won't send their children to a place where they would be in the extreme minority. There is no way you will get white kids into John Jay unless they come as a group. You offer no realistic alternative for integrating that building. Extra funds for Saturday school is not going to do it.

Furthermore, Park Slopers will not join you in a fight for more funding as long as you're trying to keep them out of the building. Besides, as I mentioned, there too busy with their own children's underfunded schools to have time for your cause.

Iaroslava. Good idea about merging schools, but the building needs to be integrated first and John Jay's reputation needs time to improve. One step at a time. Do realize, though, that honors programs are often attacked as being racist or elitist.
Jan. 18, 2011, 10:11 pm
JP from PH says:
Oh, and J. Christensen, you make a good point about the separate entrances.
Jan. 18, 2011, 10:13 pm
Emila Vittorio from Park Slope says:
I am completely disgusted by the lack of tact exhibited on this board and in reference to young people. You should be ashamed of yourselves for labeling these young people who NONE of you know as thugs. You are disgusting.
Feb. 15, 2011, 9:25 pm
Jay Graduate 92' from Brooklyn says:
I attended Jay from 88-92 and I graduate in the top 10% of my class. When I was going to school, the violence, gangs etc weren't prevalent -- and I am just shocked to read about how the school has fallen. I was an AP student (proud nerd) and it's unfortunate that Jay's rep has been sullied by foolish gangs and students who aren't educated to see the value of being educated. I blame the parents who do little to nothing to control their children. So in that sense, I don't blame Park Slope residents for wanting to send their children to a good school where they would be safe. I feel for the kids who are wanting to do 'right' -- the old saying "bad apples spoil the bunch" holds true. Not every child in Jay is bad -- but, the louder the hoods are, the more tainted the entire student body becomes.
May 26, 2011, 12:20 pm
jarr from ps says:
So asking for a better school in the neighborhood that our kids can go to and get a actual education instead if being interrupted by kids who do not pay attention, have their music on blasting in class, live by the rules of lil' wayne and other rappers, who think drug dealing and toting guns is a way of glorified life etc etc is racist on our part? hell yea we don't want our kids being mixed in with this garbage. Why should my child who works her butt off to get great grades who loves life, who does volunteer work have to travel a hour just to get to a good neighborhood where she can get a decent education when there is a school a few blocks from my house. why don't we just bus all those under achiever out of the school and send them back to their hood so they don't have to complain. we work HARD, WE GOT OUR EDUCATION, WE SPENT HOURS AT LIBRARIES so we can afford wonderful houses and send our kids to good schools .
June 29, 2011, 8:39 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!