New York: 25 School Closures Protested Ahead of Vote

Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times

The day before the Panel for Educational Policy votes on closing 25 of the city’s schools, several protesters were arrested in front of Department of Education headquarters on Monday. Among those arrested were Councilman Jumaane Williams and Councilman Charles Barron.

Protests have popped up around the city in the days preceding the vote, where chants such as “fix our schools, don’t shut them down!” could be heard.

United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Michael Mulgrew has decried the current method of closing schools. The schools are given a letter grade based on attendance and graduation rates, as well as parent, student, and teacher surveys. A failing grade means closure. The DOE must provide a statement outlining the impact on the surrounding community when slating the school for closure.

He claims the data is not always accurate, and schools are not given proper support to recover from their difficulties.

“The morale of students is hit hard,” Nigel Hill, a senior at Paul Robeson High School that is slated for closure told the UFT. “Some of the students start to feel they’re not good enough to be in school.”