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.

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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.

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

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