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Low Enrollment, Controversy Forces Changes At Brooklyn Arabic School

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)Education officials said a controversial Arabic-themed middle school in New York City will close and re-open as a high school in 2012.

When it opened four years ago the Khalil Gibran School became a lightning rod for criticism. Opponents feared it would teach Islamic extremism. The founding principal sued the city after she said she was forced out.

The school’s biggest problem ended up being low enrollment. Arabic-speaking parents were turned off by the controversy and the school’s remote location, which was far from public transportation.

Educators hope the school will be more successful with older students in a new spot in downtown Brooklyn.

The Panel for Educational Policy is set to vote Monday night on the changes.

What do you think of the Gibran School? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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