The changes will merge the institution’s middle school admission process into the DOE’s current system and admit a larger number of students with disabilities
Wednesday afternoon, a united front of elected officials including State Senator Jesse Hamilton, State Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson, State Assemblyman Walter Mosley, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Public Advocate Letitia James was joined by educators and parents to voice their objections to the recent changes planned by the Department of Education (DOE) for Medgar Evers College Preparatory School (MECPS) in Crown Heights.
“We must continue to advocate for a quality education and excellence, when it comes to the academic future of our youth,” said Assemblywoman Richardson as she addressed the community at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Carroll Street. “It is imperative that we collectively seek ways to strengthen, not dismantle, our high performing model, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School.”
Earlier this month, the DOE announced two changes to be implemented at MECPS, as Kings County Politics reported. The first change seeks to merge the institution’s middle school admission process into the DOE’s current system; the second plans to admit a larger number of students with disabilities, consistent with the percentage in District 17, which includes Prospect Heights, East Flatbush and Crown Heights.
“For over a decade Medgar Evers College Preparatory School has been one of the top-performing middle schools in New York City,” said Assemblyman Mosley. “Thus, it is incomprehensible that the DOE would attempt to water down their academic standards and limit their student body diversity by altering the admissions policy to concentrate on low-income, minority students in a school that already has a sizable population of both.
The coalition is particularly concerned that community was not consulted prior to the DOE imposing the changes. They claim the new regulations threaten the successful academic model of MECPS, which includes a competitive, fast-paced curriculum, as well as a wide array of Advanced Placement classes.
Parents and community leaders have high praise for the current structure of the school. The Crown Height’s prep school has a 96 percent graduation rate with a large number of students continuing their education at Ivy League colleges such as Columbia University and Cornell University, as well as at historically black colleges such as Howard University and Spellman College.
“Instead of altering a program that is clearly working, we must prioritize the success of the students and MECP,” said James.
State Senator Jesse Hamilton announced that he wants to introduce legislation that requires the DOE to consult parents and educators before imposing changes on admissions or other major areas impacting the successful operation of schools.
“The parents and educators at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School deserve to have their voices heard,” said Sen. Hamilton. “The DOE should consult with parents and educators, hear out their concerns, and ensure the community has had an opportunity to engage.”