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Officials: 47 Schools Considered For Closure

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Education officials announced Thursday that there are 47 schools they believe are failing and may need to be closed.

It's a much longer list than in years past, in part because it includes all the schools the city tried to close last year.

On the chopping block are 19 schools from last year, 12 from the state list of lowest achieving schools, and 16 more announced for the first time Thursday.

"I was surprised. I've been here three years and it was disturbing because I don't understand why the grades are going down. We started out good," said KAPPA VII Student Uniqua Silver.

"The children also hear conversations and things that go on too. So they feel that if they have a school that has no future, why look forward to something? Why reach a goal for a school that's not going to be here soon?" said IS 195 School Aide Cynthia Bennett.

Last year's 19 schools remain open because the courts agreed with the teacher's union that the city had not followed proper procedure for closing them. Officials say this year, they are not only going to follow the letter of the law, but go way beyond the legal requirements.

They say they'll hold dozens of meetings with members of each school community before going ahead with any closings.

Those meetings have already started at 33 of the schools. Officials say they'll continue right up until the Education Panel takes a final vote. That's expected in January for elementary and middle schools, and February for high schools.

"We know we need to listen to parents. We know we need to listen to community leaders," said Maura Keaney of the Department of Education.

The list is still subject to change. Schools may be added in the next few weeks, when the state puts out its annual list of the lowest-achieving schools, and the city releases high school report card grades.

Schools can get removed from the list if officials decide after meeting with parents, teachers and community members that they can improve with major changes - like a new principal or staff.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement Thursday, “If [Schools Chancellor] Joel Klein and [Mayor] Michael Bloomberg want their legacy to be closing every school in New York City, they should be ashamed. They should be focused on fixing schools, not shuttering them.”

As closing schools is always one of the most controversial decisions education officials make, there is a long public process before any of the decisions are finalized.

Last year, thousands showed up for the vote on just 19 schools. Public comments lasted from six in the evening until 3 o'clock in the morning.

For an explanation as to how schools get on the list, go to nyc.gov.

Schools On The Chopping Block (Organized by Borough)

Manhattan
Academy of Collaborative Education
Academy of Environmental Science Secondary High School
Choir Academy of Harlem
High School of Graphic Communication Arts
Kappa II
Norman Thomas High School
I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente

Queens
August Martin High School
Beach Channel High School
Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School
Grover Cleveland High School
I.S. 231 Magnetech 2000
Jamaica High School
John Adams High School
Newtown High School
P.S. 030 Queens
P.S. 040 Samuel Huntington
P.S./M.S. 147 Ronald McNair
Richmond Hill High School

Brooklyn
J.H.S. 302 Rafael Cordero
John Dewey High School
Knowledge And Power Preparatory Academy VII Middle School
M.S. 571
Metropolitan Corporate Academy High School
Middle School for Academic and Social Excellence
P.S. 114 Ryder Elementary
P.S. 260 Breuckelen
P.S. 332 Charles H Houston
P.S./I.S. Rachel Jean Mitchell
Paul Robeson High School
Sheepshead Bay High School
WH Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School

The Bronx
Christopher Columbus High School
Cornerstone Academy for Social Action
Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology
Frederick Douglass Academy III Secondary School
Global Enterprise High School
Grace Dodge Career and Technical Education High School
Jane Addams High School for Academic Careers
John F. Kennedy High School
Monroe Academy For Business/Law
M.S. 142 John Philip Sousa
New Day Academy
P.S. 050 Clara Barton
P.S. 102 Joseph O. Loretan
P.S. 107
School for Community Research and Learning

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