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A Lehman teacher reflects at start of week's turnaround hearings

Hearings This Week

School for Global Studies, Brooklyn
Grover Cleveland HS, Queens
Herbert H. Lehman HS, Bronx

HS of Graphic Communication Arts, Manhattan
William Cullen Bryant HS, Queens

J.H.S. 166 George Gershwin, Brooklyn

I.S. 339, Bronx
Richmond Hill HS, Queens

Among the many people set to attend a hearing tonight about the city’s plan to “turn around” Herbert H. Lehman HIgh School is a teacher who has spent time on both sides of the documentary eye.

James McSherry, who has taught writing and film at Lehman for the last 20 years, was the subject of not one but two recent student reporting projects at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. In one story (above), by Nabil Rahman, McSherry empathizes with his students and shares pieces of his life story, saying, “I know what it’s like to be hungry, to be lost, to be forgotten by a system that really doesn’t care.” A second story by Alex Robinson (below) focuses on the turnaround plans and McSherry’s response to them.

McSherry won’t be alone in opposing the turnaround plan tonight. Anne Looser, the school’s UFT chapter leader, sent a press release last week drawing attention to the hearing and calling on the Department of Education to keep Lehman open with the same teachers. And students, too, are organizing to oppose the turnaround plan, which would require the school to be closed and reopened with a new name and many new teachers.

Lehman’s hearing is among eight taking place this week. They are listed at the right.

Robinson’s video is below.
Shared Sacrifice – By Alex Robinson from CUNY J-School Video Storytelling on Vimeo.

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