The False Promise of School Closings…NYC Education as Performance Art…

The idea that “school closings” represent a sound student academic improvement plan is beyond being false; it is also a dangerous myth. It truly speaks to a “reform movement” that is bankrupt of ideas, and is lost in its own theoretical deficiencies. It is the soup du jour move for these folks; but then, (in classic Brooklynese): “you can’t beat nothing, with nothing.” Students who are “under performing” at an “under performing” school, don’t suddenly become high academic performers, just by changing buildings; (in high school they don’t pick up credits on their way to their new school) particularly when they are just crowed into another, (on the verge of) “under performing” school. If anything  the receiving school is under-resourced and is on the “tipping point” (toward “under performance” itself); now taking in large numbers of struggling students, forces that school then to become the next school “in need of closing”…A vicious cycle, and game played on the communities that are least able to (politically) resist these disruptive actions; and at great harm to students least able to absorb dramatic “lateral” change (lateral meaning: its not like they are moving these kids to Bronx Science or Brooklyn Tech!)… well these dramatic (gives the public the “feeling” that something is really happening!) closings would only make sense if your plan is to put that newly found school consolidation money into something other then classrooms; or, to turn the children (of the most informed and best organized parents) into traveling ATM machines; and ship them off to charter schools where their attendance promises to generate if nothing else… money for somebody….