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Bloomberg's panel votes to close/switch up 23 public schools

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 3/1/2012, 4:09 p.m.

Mendingshall's 12-year-old son Joseph is asking the mayor to save the school. "We are like a brotherhood here. I don't want to go to another school and make new friends and start all over again. I like it at ABCD."

The PEP voted to close the school this summer.

Santos Crespo Jr., president of Local 372, NYC Board of Education Employees, slammed the panel for even voting to close four schools that had improved their grades to As and Bs, saying, "The four schools improved because of the working relationships teachers, parents and the community fostered to ensure successful student learning experiences."

Crespo stated the DOE is deliberately failing schools in order to gift high-priced consultants with public funds, and that they want to make sure they get a share of the $60 million Race to the Top funds that the federal government awarded to the city.

"In moving forward, we have to look at changing mayoral control because it makes parents have no input and no voice. In the schools, the administration has no input or no voice-obviously the principal has no voice, and the parents in the schools that are chosen to be closed have no voice," said Arlette Williams, PTA president of PS56, which despite a fight by students, staff and supporters, has been slated for phasing out this summer, with the introduction of a new middle school. Parents at an open house for Urban Assembly Academy of Arts and Letters middle school told the AmNews this weekend that scouts for the new proposed school, M.S. 351, were trying to pick up new students.

Asked if legal action will be taken to stop the closings, Mulgrew told the Amsterdam News, "I'm the person who has sued them numerous times, so I think that can happen."