In one of his first official decisions as the city’s new schools chancellor, Richard Carranza sided with the status quo, putting adults’ interests over kids’ education.
On Monday, he opted not to close middle-school grades at Wadleigh Secondary in Harlem, as had been planned. Instead, he’ll keep them open for at least another year while he looks to merge Wadleigh and Frederick Douglass Academy II.
Ouch. Wadleigh should’ve closed years ago. Nearly all its kids flunk the state tests each year. In its middle-school grades, just two passed math over the past five years.
Wadleigh was first targeted for closure back in 2011. It got a second chance after folks like then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio fought to keep it open — clearly to protect staff from consequences.
It failed to improve. Yet now-Mayor de Blasio cut it another break, making it a “Renewal” school and sending it nearly $1 million in added funds over the past three years.
Which is why it’s laughable to hear the NAACP and local pols (both of whom have gotten money from the teachers union) blame its woes on a lack of resources.
No matter. Carranza will now give Wadleigh a fourth mulligan, keeping all its grades while trying to merge it with another awful school in the same building, FDA II. Don’t expect progress.
Meanwhile, kids at a third school in the building, Success Academy, have done great. But Team de Blasio refuses to give it added space there for more grades, though students fleeing Wadleigh and FDA have left ample room. That’s because SA’s a charter public school. Instead, the plan is to move a “welcome center” into the building.
The chancellor’s Wadleigh call comes just two weeks after his vow to keep the failed Renewal program going, though he himself notes its “theory of action” is “a little fuzzy.”
Carranza says that if a school isn’t “good enough for my child, it’s absolutely not good enough for anyone else’s.” His standards for his own kids must be pretty low.
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