Why The Rush?

So much has happened this week.  The CEC3 meeting for Overcrowding, Charter schools, & Space Utilization Committee, the CEC3 information meeting about Middle Schools and High Schools, and the CB7 public hearing for the next use of the Beacon space.  We have been busy stating our position and learning a few things along the way.  But part of learning is questioning, so we have one…

Why the rush?  Why do we need to decide right now about what is happening to the Beacon space if it will not be empty until 2015?

Right now the space is a City High School.  Once Beacon officially leaves, the space needs to be modified and updated.  That would take some time.  At best the space will not be ready for any program for at least 3 years.   So many parents at the above meetings stood up and said we are desperate for Middle School seats in this district and will need more in a few years.

The counter argument in several meetings has been that if Beacon becomes a District 3 school, which would give the pushers of the redevelopment plan cause to just relocate MMS/PS 191 to right across the street.  So if that were true, you are looking at the Beacon space not being available as a Middle School for at least 5 years.  So it will become available as a Middle School for the children who are currently in the 1st grade, maybe…

But here is the other rub.  According to the DOE statistics, there are currently more filled 6th grade seats than there are 5th grade.

http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/data/classsize/classsize_2013_02_15.htm

Another source told us that there are currently 200 empty Middle School seats.

So what is up with that?  The truth that no one wants to say out loud, and yes we are calling you out, that they want more exclusive Middle Schools.  They want more Deltas, Mott Hall’s, Center and Computer Schools.  We understand the want for better schools or schools to improve, but to say we don’t have enough seats is just not true.

The truth is that we do need more High Schools in our district that give preference to district 3 students.  That we just do not have.  District 2 has multiple High Schools with District 2 student preference.  In fact a good number of district 3 students have always been accepted into Eleanor Roosevelt HS, except this year, it dropped to zero.  We do need places for our students to go that are local and have good programs.

So don’t rush, don’t jump the gun.  Let’s see what the future will bring for the redevelopment process and then push for a new HS with District 3 preference when we get closer to 2015.

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