Dozens of NYC schools in danger of closing

November 4, 2011 1:40:37 PM PDT
Parents throughout New York City are bracing for possible bad news that the Department of Education is considering closing 47 schools.

The bulk of the schools are high schools.

If it happens, many are wondering where there kids would end up.

Although P.S. 256 has fallen to the lowest levels of academic progress, parent leaders say the school administration is not at fault.

"It's the...Department of Education. They've cut us, they've taken a lot of money away from us which, in return, a lot of programs, taken teachers away that we needed, extra tutoring after school; we got hit with a lot of things," said Christina Cassella.

The list is seen as a "death sentence" by some school communities but at a pre-marathon event for kids today in Central Park, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said no final decisions have been made.

"I mean, what we promised last year was to engage the communities a lot earlier, and we're starting that process in meeting with the school communities, going over the issues with the schools and then we'll come out with our plan," said Walcott.

Washington Irving High School was designated for phase out before this year.

Senior, Khadija Bowden, is confident she knows why the school is failing.

Because the teachers here at the school, they don't help us to succeed here, they help us just to pass; sometimes the students don't deserve to pass and they pass us anyway," she said.

Along with over 20 other schools, Irving was saved by a teachers union lawsuit.

The same legal effort failed this year, and the process is now more thorough for deciding whether schools are delivering on education.

"There are some schools where that is not taking place and we have a responsibility, and i have a responsibility as chancellor to make tough decisions on how we improve the performance," adds Walcott.