Some schools face closure, others get cash
By Sarina Trangle
The State Education Department has threatened to close DeWitt Clinton High School if it doesn’t improve its academic record by 2015.
As a condition for the No Child Left Behind wavier — which will allow New York State schools not to meet as stringent of federal standards as other school systems — the state created a “priority” list of the lowest performing schools.
Clinton and 121 other schools considered in the lowest 5 percent statewide must improve their state test scores and graduation rates by 2015, or state education officials could shutter them.
Ten percent of schools have also been labelled “focus schools.” They include Robert J. Christen, PS 81, AmPark Neighborhood School, PS 344, Sheila Mencher Van Cortlandt School, PS/MS 95, PS 207, Marble Hill School, PS 310, PS 360 and Bronx Theatre High School.
These schools must whittle down achievement gaps between special education and general education students, English Language Learners and native English speakers or other demographic groups.
Area schools tend to “be coming up short” with special needs students and English Language Learners, according to Marvin Shelton, president of District 10 Community Education Council.
District 10’s specialized high schools — the Bronx High School of Science and American Studies at Lehman College — were among the 250 institutions statewide labeled “rewards schools,” which are eligible to compete for $100,000 in grants.
Both Science and American Studies screen students using a specialized high school entrance exam.
Clinton and other schools were designated “priority schools” because their English Language Arts and math proficiency levels didn’t improve or the institutions’ graduation rates didn’t break 60 percent, according to the SED.