Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Who's Fault Is It Why A School Like Jamaica High School Is Forced To Close? It Is The DOE's Fault!
As you all know there is a good chance that a landmark school, Jamaica High School, will be closing its doors once the "rubber stamp" PEP meeting approves the DOE action. It has been well documented how the DOE created the conditions that led to the destruction of Jamaica High School as well as other large traditional high school throughout the City. Let's recap.
First, closing other large traditional schools south of Jamaica High School (Springfield Gardens, August Martin, Franklin K. Lane, Far Rockaway, Andrew Jackson) forced Jamaica High School to take the many "at risk" students that would have gone to those schools.
Second, the establishment of small schools that had exclusionary policies that limited "at risk" students and encouraged these students to apply to Jamaica High School because they claimed that the school had the services for these students.
Third, the deliberate financial starvation of resources to the school as an increasing number of "at risk" students did not include the money for the school to effectively integrate these students into an academic environment.
Fourth, poor school leadership led to the school being unfairly placed on the State's most dangerous schools list, when it was a safe school with quiet halls and classrooms.
An example of how this works is how the small Queens Collegiate School that was placed into Jamaica High School had two students that didn't fit their student profile. One was a special education student and the other was a slow learner academically. Both students were eventually transferred to Jamaica High School as the College Board School convinced the parents of the two "at risk" students that Jamaica High School was the better setting for them. Is this the exception? No, it is probably happening everywhere throughout the City.
The DOE policy has caused the problem and they are solving it by closing the schools that their policy destabilized in the first place. I wish for the best but expect the worst for Jamaica High School.