RSI Corporate - Licensing

School Closures In New York City

Education Next – James J. Kemple

“New York City’s public hearings on closing schools for poor performance often featured passionate testimony, shouting from the audience, and parents and teachers waving signs that read “Save Our Schools” and “Stop School Closures.” The educational improvement tactic of last resort almost always triggers protests—similar scenes have played out in Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia in recent years. Closing schools is clearly controversial. But does it work? We found a unique opportunity to study performance-based high-school closures in New York City, which closed 44 low-performing high schools from 2000 to 2014. The closures were part of a sweeping and interconnected set of secondary-school reforms introduced by former mayor Michael Bloomberg and chancellor Joel Klein, which also included opening more than 200 new small, themed high schools and extending high school choice to all students throughout the district. By implementing these changes together, they hoped to eliminate dropout factories, improve educational options available to students who had been historically assigned to failing schools by virtue of where they lived, and raise graduation rates. After they were slated for closure, high schools would stop accepting new students and gradually phase out as students transferred elsewhere, graduated, or dropped out over the next three years.”(more)

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