Thursday, December 6

The school-closing carnage continues

The DOE has announced the closing of two more schools: Far Rockaway High School in Queens and PS 220 in the Bronx. PS 220 will close at the end of the school year; it will reopen next year with a new name and new leadership. Far Rockaway will phase out and graduate its last students in 2011.

Those students will not, however, include the more than 50 kids who were transferred earlier this year to Beach Channel High School, where many of them disrupted the school's tenuous stability. Enrollment is down, fights are up, and more safety agents have been installed at Beach Channel. I'd say Beach Channel is on the chopping block, but then where will Far Rockaway kids go, now that their zoned school will cease to exist?

Update 12/7: Andy Jacob of the DOE writes: "You should know that those students [Sam Freedman] mentioned weren't actually transfers from Far Rockaway - they were students who are zoned for Far Rockaway but were placed in Beach Channel during the OTC process. The whole thing is a red herring, since (1) plenty of students zoned for Beach Channel were placed in Far Rockaway, (2) if you look at students who actually transferred from one school to the other, more went from Beach Channel to Far Rockaway than vice versa, and (3) as I'm sure you know, which high school a student is zoned for really doesn't matter unless they actually want to attend that school (maybe a student zoned for Far Rock is interested in Beach Channel's unique oceanography program, for example). And it's worth noting, too, that Beach Channel's enrollment is several hundred students under their register projection this year, whereas Far Rockaway is a bit over theirs. Beach Channel has available seats, which is the biggest factor in determining OTC placements."

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