Parents, Teachers Blast Chancellor Over School Closings

Hundreds Show Up, Many Walk Out In Frustration

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Hundreds of public school supporters cranked up the volume Thursday night, but it may not have been loud enough to get the message across.

Mothers and fathers, teenagers, and community leaders booed new Schools Chancellor Cathie Black. Her Department of Education’s school closings plan is facing mounting outrage as the clock counts down to a final vote.

The demands came fast and furious on Thursday night — that the Panel for Educational Policy keep their schools open.

“They’re closing schools,” teacher Tony Cohen said. “It’s as if they don’t care about anybody.”

The Department of Education said the schools slated for closure are failing, but some said there’s a reason for that failure.

“If you look at why the schools are closing, you see that they don’t have the resources they need to succeed,” Brooklyn resident Joy Simmons said.

The frustration was evident as opponents packed the auditorium with posters, blasting the closings – as well as the new schools chancellor the moment she took the stage.

The rowdiness was ratcheted up not long after that when nearly 10 minutes passed without a speaker being heard, thanks largely to a crowd that wouldn’t sit down.

Then, a large group of the audience, mostly teachers, began leaving.

“We’re saying we’re not going to participate in this fake process,” one teacher said.

“They already made their decision,” said another.

When order resumed, local lawmakers and students sounded off.

“If it takes a revolution in this city, we are going to take back our schools,” State Sen. Tony Avella said.

“If you close my school down, you’re closing down my life,” student Joshua Jordans said.

The schools being phased out will be replaced by smaller schools within the same buildings. The idea is that bigger schools aren’t necessarily better.

“Smaller is better, but not only smaller, but effective is better, and that’s the bottom line,” New York City Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott said. “We want effective schools in place for our children.”

Black’s idea a good one or a bad one? Please let us know in the comments section below.

  • Derrick

    wow. Tony Avella really brought it that night I can’t wait to see what the revolution will look like!

  • Joshua

    They should merge 3 school districts into 1. This is a cost savings idea to trim the fat. Do more with less. Centralized the districts.

  • Arnold S

    Understand the process. This is being done to go around the bureaucratic BS to get things done. Smaller schools means smaller classrooms with less students per teacher. That is a good thing. Even though schools are closing, schools are also opening. “New” schools get resources such as new equipment to support that new school. Teachers are pissed because as they close the “old” school, they get laid off. Some of these teachers are just ineffective educators and are protected by some verbage on their contracts. The city can now hire effective teachers and make sure those slackers aren’t taking a free ride on our taxes that fuel their pensions.

  • Tal

    breaking up schools into smaller schools IN THE SAME BUILDING, only accomplishes one thing: more overhead. So less teachers, more “managers” getting in the way. Too bad we are too broke to actually BUILD new schools instead of playing games with (poor) kids’ educations. Stuyvesant has over 1,000 students, how about we break that school up into smaller ones?

    • Arnold S.

      They can’t. Their performances are too good.

  • bobby

    These are just what the City is made up of today they are classless SKIDS

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