Monday, December 07, 2009
After 116 years, Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg are closing Jamaica High School. It's not their fault because nothing is their fault. What was once rated the best secondary school in the country has failed under their "leadership," but that's not a factor because they are "reformers."
It's a dangerous place, "persistently dangerous" according to them, so it was necessary to tell every family in the school they had the right to attend another. That emptied out the place fairly quickly. What did Tweed do to help the place? Absolutely nothing whatsoever.
They did, however, open up a smaller school sponsored by the College Board. That school is called Queens Collegiate. As usual with a private/public partnership in Mayor Bloomberg's New York, it displaced kids and teachers in the public school, and got all the technology and conditions that are denied to the public school.
Any time they wished, Bloomberg and Klein could have offered technology and reasonable class sizes to Jamaica kids. They could have offered whatever Queens Collegiate had to everyone in the building. But they deliberately chose not to. And if Jamaica is so scary and dangerous, why on earth would parents opt to send kids to Queens Collegiate, located in the same scary, dangerous building?
In a few years, the "small schools" in Jamaica will have fewer special ed. and ESL kids and better test scores. The special ed. and ESL kids will be dispersed to already overcrowded neighboring schools so they can get lower test scores and be closed just like Jamaica. And Mayor-for-life Bloomberg can rename schools forever and take no responsibility whatsoever for the ones that fail, even if he was the one who started them.