Kids in the Crossfire
Is Mayor de Blasio really willing to sacrifice the future of 842 sixth-grade kids to further his vendetta against charter schools? That’s how many Success Academy and Bronx Charter School for the Arts students will be forced back into the regular public schools if the city Department of Education continues to stall on OK’ing the charters’ request for space to open new middle schools.
Thursday’s report from Families for Excellent schools details the risks: Of the city’s 271 majority-minority middle schools, only five are high-achieving — that is, with more than 75 percent of students reading or doing math at grade level. At most of the rest (250), less than a quarter of the kids test at grade level.
And those five are all selective-admissions schools.
So the 842 at-risk children, who’ve been attending good schools so far, can try to get in — but they’ll be displacing 842 other kids if they succeed. Either way, that’s needlessly pushing children into failing schools.
Those 250 schools enroll 72,043 children; the five quality ones, just 1,231. That’s 59 kids stuck in a failing school for every child in a nurturing one.
Yet despite the glaring need for good middle schools, Team de Blasio continues its passive-aggressive refusal to accommodate the charters’ requests for space.
Even though the DOE’s own records show the space is readily available. And though studies show that sharing a building with a quality charter boosts the performance of regular public schools.
If the mayor’s minions don’t officially identify space for these schools and release related documents by Friday, the requests will be left off of the Panel for Education Policy’s meeting agenda for November — making it extremely hard for the new middle schools to open next fall.
These are legitimate requests, filed in a timely manner — and in a spirit of cooperation, after City Hall vowed to start handling these issues in a fair and timely manner.
The potential victims are mainly minority and from low-income families; some are homeless. How in God’s name can anyone justify robbing them of hope?
And hundreds of fifth-graders are coming up right behind them — at risk of being dumped into failing schools in fall 2018.
Please, Mr. Mayor, for once: Make the bureaucrats do right by the children.