In the last round of school closure announcements for the year, the Department of Education said today that it intends to close three more high schools starting next year.
The three schools are Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education School, a vocational school in the South Bronx; Monroe Academy for Business/Law, one of five small schools on the Monroe campus in the Bronx; and the School of Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship, located on a Queens campus where two of the other three schools began phasing out this year.
The announcement brings to 20 the number of schools the department plans to close next school year, with high schools making up 15. A DOE spokesman, William Havemann, said the department does not plan to propose any more school closures this year.
Alfred E. Smith is the second career and technical education school the department plans to close this year, after announcing last week that it intends to phase out Brooklyn’s Maxwell High School. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced an initiative to improve career and technical education programs earlier this fall.
The school on the Monroe campus has a graduation rate below 50 percent, but another school in the same building, the Monroe Academy for Visual Arts and Design, has a 4-year graduation rate of just 42 percent, according to its most recent progress report. This school is remaining open.
“We chose schools that we deemed did not have the capacity to turn around,” Havemann said. “The graduation rate is certainly a large part of that equation, but it is not the only part.”
According to the school governance law passed in August, the proposed closures must be given public hearings and approved by the city school board, known as the Panel for Educational Policy. The panel has never rejected a DOE policy proposal.
The full list of schools and the city’s bullet-pointed reasoning behind the closure of these schools, taken from an e-mail sent to reporters by DOE spokesman William Havemann, is below:
Phase-out of Alfred E. Smith CTE High School (07X600)
- The Department of Education is proposing the phase-out of the Alfred E. Smith High School, a Career and Technical Education high school in the Bronx that currently serves students in grades 9-12. Under this proposal, the school would stop accepting new ninth grade classes starting in September 2010.
- The graduation rate has consistently remained below 50%:
- In 2007-08, the graduation rate was 37.5%.
- In 2008-09, the graduation rate was 45.7%.
- Credit accumulation rates are also low. In 2008-09, only 57% of first-year students accumulated 10 or more credits, up slightly from 55% the preceding year.
- Average attendance at the school last year was 77.2%.
- Demand for the school is very low:
- The 2008-09 enrollment was 1,131 students.
- This year, the enrollment is 1,103 students.
- Smith has received a C on its Progress Report for three consecutive years.
- The school earned a D on the Environment sub-section of the 2008-09 Progress Report.
Phase-out of the School of Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship (29Q496)
- The Department of Education is proposing the phase-out of the Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship High School, a Queens high school that currently serves students in grades 9-12. Under this proposal, the school would stop accepting new ninth grade classes starting in September 2010.
- Graduation rates are low and declining:
- The 2007-08 graduation rate was 62%.
- In 2008-09, the graduation rate declined to 57%. The average graduation rate in Queens is 67%.
- Credit accumulation rates are also very low:
- In 2007-08, only 41% of students earned ten or more credits.
- In 2008-09, 51% of students earned ten or more credits.
- The school’s Progress Report grade has declined every year. It earned a B in 2006-07, a C in 2007-08, and a D in 2008-09, including an F grade on the Progress sub-section and a D on the Environment sub-section in 2008-09.
- Significant dissatisfaction was indicated by the school’s constituents on the 2009 Learning Environment Survey:
- Only 58% of students feel that their teachers inspire them to learn, and only 51% of students feel safe at school.
- Only 60% of parents feel their child is safe at school.
- Only 52% of teachers feel order and discipline are maintained at the school.
Phase-out of the Monroe Academy for Business/Law (12X690)
- The Department of Education is proposing the phase-out of the Monroe Academy for Business/Law, Bronx high school that currently serves students in grades 9-12. Under this proposal, the school would stop accepting new ninth grade classes starting in September 2010.
- The school’s graduation rate is low:
- In 2007-08 the graduation rate was 48.4%.
- In 2008-09 the graduation rate was 52.1%.
- Credit accumulation rates are also low:
- In 2008-09, only 46% of first-year students earned ten or more credits, a key predictor of future academic success. Only 33.5% of second-year students earned ten or more credits.
- The large number of students repeating grades is causing enrollment to increase beyond the school’s intended capacity.
- Monroe earned a C on the 2006-07 Progress Report, a C on the 2007-08 Progress Report, and a D on the 2008-09 Progress report – including D grades on both the Environment and Student Progress sub-sections.
CORRECTED: This story has been updated to include the correct graduation rate for the Monroe Academy for Visual Arts and Design.