Department of Education proposes to co-locate schools again
VICTORIA L JOHNSON Special to the AmNews | 5/30/2013, 2:03 p.m.
"It isn't fair that someone could come into the school and not care what happens to the children who attend the Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts," said Kathleen Delgado, president of the Parent Association of the Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts (UASPA). Delgado, along with other parents, teachers and students, is protesting the New York City Department of Education's (DOE) plans to co-locate the themed high school with grades five through eight of the Success Academy Charter School Harlem 2.
The proposal was heard on Feb. 26 at the Academy for Social Action: A College Board School, and voting on the proposal will take place on March 11 at 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Technical High School (29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn). Last Friday, Delgado hosted a public meeting protesting the proposal. In an email to the Amsterdam News, she said, "We the parents are not happy with this. ... It seems that parents of the students of our school or any other school don't have a say in what happens to our children. That is not true."
UASPA is located at 509 W. 129th St. in Harlem and already cohabits the space with Academy for Social Action: A College Board School (ASA), Renaissance Leadership Academy and the Urban Assembly Institute for New Technologies. According to the UASPA's website, the school was founded in 2006 and "integrates performing arts into every aspect of a challenging college-preparatory curriculum."
During the 2011-2012 school year, UASPA received an overall grade of C and a progress report grade of F. In the progress report for 2010-2011, the school received a D. However, in the 2009-2010 progress report, they received an A. According to an article in the Columbia Spectator, DOE officials said they were replacing a failing school with a successful one. Considering the fact that Harlem Success Charter Schools have received As on their progress reports since 2009, this could be true. But it seems that grades are not always the issue when it comes to co-locating schools.
A similar situation happened with 2012 A-grade school Brownsville Academy High School (1150 E. New York Ave.). Last year students, staff, parents, religious leaders, political leaders and community members joined together to rally against Brownsville Academy's co-location with the Brooklyn Success Academy. According to an email sent to the Amsterdam News, it stated "Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg is proposing to 'colocate' and squeeze Success Academy Charter School into the school building starting next school year." Additionally, the Brownsville Academy will have shrunken from 34 classrooms down to eight by the time the plan is complete. The proposal was voted on and approved on Thursday, Dec. 20 at the Panel for Educational Policy meeting at High School of Fashion Industries. However, the DOE withdrew the proposal and is no longer seeking to co-locate Success Academy Charter School 7 with Brownsville Academy High School.
On April 8, the Department of Education will propose to have Success Academy Charter School Harlem 4 co-locate with P.S. 185 The Early Childhood Discovery and Design Magnet School, P.S. 208 Alain L. Locke Magnet School for Environmental Stewardship and the Harlem Link Charter School. The hearing will take place at 21 W. 111th St. On April 17, the Panel for Educational Policy will vote on the proposal at 6 p.m. At the International High School's Prospect Heights campus, located at 883 Classon Ave., Brooklyn.