The Department of Education (DOE) has decided to “Turnaround” seven Queens high schools, meaning that August Martin, Bryant, Flushing, John Adams, Long Island City, Newtown and Richmond Hill will close at the end of this semester and reopen in the fall under a new name, with up to 50 percent new teachers. A total of 24 schools throughout the city will be closed.
Although we applaud the DOE for saving Grover Cleveland, we feel that the agency should have put more effort and resources into the existing institutions.
After all, there must be a reason these schools scored poorly on progress reports and have sub-par graduation rates.
In the case of Flushing, for example, many students do not speak English as their first language, meaning that teachers must overcome a language barrier first in order to teach.
Why didn’t the DOE get to the root of the problem first, before it decided to just “turn” its back on these schools?
It would be a very sad situation indeed if, even after Turnaround, these high schools don’t succeed.
Perhaps, instead of blaming the teachers, we should blame the bureaucracy.