Since John Adams High School was built in the Great Depression, it has been a solid part of this community. However, things have been rapidly changing for its students and staff. John Adams High School, along with 32 other schools has been identified by the state of New York as a Persistently Low Achieving (P.L.A) school. Over the past few years, our school has made great strides. One of our largest achievements is the improvement in our graduation rate by at least 17%. In a ludricous attempt to “solve” this problem, Mayor Bloomberg is forcing these schools to implement the Turnaround Program.
Not only will this program be implemented in John Adams H.S, but other Queens high schools as well. The most disturbing part of these recent developments is that at least 50% of the staff at each of these high schools will not be allowed to continue teaching at that school. Each employee of the school, including teachers will need to re-apply for their jobs. If they are not re-hired, then they will be sent to another school to become A.T.R’s. I firmly believe that this school should not be closed down. I also believe that the Turnaround program should not, under any current circumstances, be executed in John Adams High School.
For our Mayor to imply that an overwhelming 50% of more of our staff is not capable of teaching, is absurd. John Adams has so many amazing teachers and wonderful programs that were established for our students’ benefit. These teachers and programs are fundamental to our school. I have done amazing things with my peers. Other kids, even adults have never been able to do. Since I was a sophomore, I have been a proactive member of our school’s Model United Nations class. As a result, I have taken many trips to the U.N Headquarters, met real delegates of the U.N, and many other things. This inspired me to become a Politcal Science major, as well as minor in Diplomacy.
As a junior, I became involved in Journalism, and started writing for the Campus– our newspaper. I have come very far in this class, and have grown to enjoy it immensely. Now, as a senior, I am proud to call myself a member of Model United Nations, Student Government, as well as a member of National Honors Society, Yearbook Staff and Editor-in-Chief of the Campus. These amazing opportunites should be available to others for years to come. Another reason that John Adams should remain open, one that I’m fairly certain the rest of the student body would agree with, is that school is a place for us to interact with many different types of people. We make friends, and these bonds should not be severed by the possibility of our school being closed. The purpose of high school is to prepare students for college, and ultimately, prepare them to become productive members of today’s society. It pains me to think that because of the Turnaround program, there might never be another Model U.N Conference. The upcoming editions of our paper might be the last two to ever print. There might never be another dance for my friends and I to enjoy. This year’s Senior Prom might be the last. The most alarming aspect of all this, is that my twelve year old sister might never get the chance to attend here, if she chose to do so.
For the sake of all the students who come to school here, for those who want to be something spectacular in life, for the ones who take advantage of everything our school has to offer, for those who, like me, are proud to be a Spartan, this school should not be closed down or “turned around.” For the sake of all the hard-working teachers, administration, and members of the staff, who do their best everyday so that we can do our best, this should be allowed to continue on our voyage of excellence!