Last week, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch came out against the city’s “turnaround” plan for schools, in which 33 high schools will be closed, renamed and see at least 50 percent new faculty. Tisch blasted the Bloomberg Administration proposal as being political strategy and not about improving children’s education.
“There’s a fight going on here that has nothing to do with what’s going on at the school,” she told GothamSchools. “It’s a labor dispute between labor and management and has nothing to do with the kids.”
Among the schools slated for turnaround measures are Sheepshead Bay High School, John Dewey High School, William E. Grady High School and Franklin D. Roosevelt High School – the last two of which have seen major improvements in performance in recent years, scoring B’s.
Tisch visited Grady last week, and praised the school’s growth under previous reform efforts, and expressed concern about the city’s new change in direction, which appears to undermine any achievements.
“This is a school that is moving in a really fine direction,” Tisch said of Grady. ”This is the wrong message to this school at this time. Don’t be so dismissive of the efforts going on in that building.”
That’s not to say Tisch is a proponent of saving all schools. She has previously advocated for the closing of schools that struggled to improve despite additional measures and resources, including Automotive High School – which is also slated for turnaround.
What do you think? Is the city’s turnaround plan a politically-motivated end-run around the teachers’ union? Or does Bloomberg have the students’ best interests at heart?