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NYC: City panel votes to close 10 schools

A video with many good insights at an NYC local FOX News: here
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(excerpt from) NY Daily News
City panel votes to close 10 schools after five-and-a-half hours of testimony
by Rachel Monahan / Wednesday, February 2nd 2011

After more than five-and-a-half hours of testimony from hundreds of speakers, a city panel voted early Wednesday morning to close 10 schools.

About 2,000 parents, students and teachers flooded the city Education Department’s Panel for Educational Policy meeting about not only closing schools, but also about requiring existing buildings to share space with new schools…

A second meeting on closing another 13 schools will be held Thursday…

Like Monday, when about two dozen people were arrested protesting outside the Education Department’s headquarters, tempers flared…

As the panel deliberated beginning at midnight, Chancellor Cathie Black got booed by the crowd of by-then just 150 stalwart audience members when Sullivan asked about one of the locations for a charter school…

The panel, which has a majority of mayoral appointees, has never voted down a closing and rarely rejects a proposal from the agency.

When the votes were in shortly after 1:15, the crowd – joined by United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew – rebuked the panel members, chanting, “fraud.”

Earlier, Public Advocate Bill De Blasio asked the city to delay Tuesday’s vote on two of Success Charter schools in Manhattan because he believes the city hasn’t addressed parents’ concerns.

Some students at Wadleigh Secondary School will have to eat lunch at 9:45 a.m. if the agency moves forward with plans to bring Harlem Success Academy 1 to the building already shared by Frederick Douglass Academy II, he noted in a letter to officials.

At the Brandeis campus, where Upper West Success is slated to move into a building already shared by five high schools, De Blasio raised several issues: overcrowding in the district, the building’s recent $22 million renovation, and the “safety concerns” raised by 5-year-olds sharing space with teenagers…

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A story at the Examiner – Patterns in school closings suggest that charter school/privatation plans are behind public school closures

from a story at Labor Notes: “NYC Mayor’s School Closings Snow Job Not Fooling Anyone”

The same can be said for the charter school “co-locations” up for proposal. By mid-March, nearly 30 charter schools will be forcibly placed into public school buildings, against those communities’ wishes. These are in addition to the 80 education corporations already given free space in public schools in New York City, forcing kids like those at PS 241 into a sublevel basement, while the Harlem Success charter school students spread out on the upper floors, previously occupied by PS 241 students. – Labor Notes

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Kimberly Wilder’s thoughts on the school closing/charter school situation:

“If Mayor Bloomberg is so rich, and Cathie Black is so successful, let them come up with some of their own resources for real estate where Charter Schools can be built.

What a great business plan, they are using now. I could make any business or school seem to take a giant leap, if I start off with free real estate, ripped off from the public dole.”

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