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The threat of closure, from a small school’s perspective

When the Department of Education announced its intention to close Metropolitan Corporate Academy, a high school in Brooklyn, it cited the school’s falling graduation rate and low progress report grades.

In the community section, Alex Jones, an MCA teacher, writes that the school’s small size — it has just 400 students — complicates those statistics. He writes:

Our student body (total enrollment averaging 390-420 pupils in past 5 years) means that very small events can have catastrophic impacts on our school’s performance. As an example, MCA had three students of the 2005 cohort who should have graduated in June of 2009, but they missed one of the morning Regents exams they needed to graduate in June — two due to illness, one due to oversleeping. When those students took the exams in August and passed, they received their diplomas, but their achievement did not count towards the 4-year graduation rate. If those three students had passed the exam in June, our 4-year graduation rate would have been nearly 6 percentage points higher.

Read Jones’s entire defense of MCA. And check out what teachers have had to say about the proposed closures of large high schools here and here.

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