NYC high school students are in trouble. Because of the Department of Education’s misguided approach to school evaluation, older high school students with few credits may soon have one less option to help them graduate and get on the path to college.
Bushwick Community High School (BCHS), a transfer school, is one of the city’s few where students who have been unsuccessful elsewhere can make up the needed credits and eventually earn a diploma, rather than be pushed out of the city’s education system altogether. (Read more in Michael Powell’s NY Times column.)
However, under the Department of Education’s current rating system, BCHS has been labeled underperforming and slated for a reorganization that would effectively cripple the good work that the school is doing to serve some of New York’s highest-need students.
Unlike in traditional high schools, BCHS students, who enter the school at 17 or 18 — often with fewer than 15 credits — are rarely well positioned to be able to graduate within 6 years and thus the school cannot be evaluated based on the same graduation timeline as traditional schools. However, when compared to other schools in its peer group, BCHS achieved remarkable scores for improving student attendance and English and math Regents pass rates.
The Department of Education needs to compare “like with “like” and reward those schools that are successful — not subject them to needless restructuring.
The Bloomberg Administration has until mid-April to gather the information that they need to make a sound decision about the future of BCHS. Please sign the petition to tell them to keep BCHS open and help us support schools that work and are deeply needed in our communities: