By Guest Blogger Darlene Boston
I was shocked this week to read the news that parents and community leaders are being shut out of the effort to turn around Boys & Girls High School.
Chalkbeat reported that a representative from the NYC Department of Education met with school leaders to push them to endorse a draft plan for the school that they weren't given time to review or even an opportunity to provide feedback on.
Sadly, this just adds insult to injury for our community. We want the Mayor and Schools Chancellor to take action to address the crisis at Boys & Girls High School, but so far all we've gotten from them is a lot of empty rhetoric. It's time our neighborhood got a real plan — not a half plan developed in secret and rushed pass us without discussion.
Boys & Girls High School graduates only 39 percent of its students in four years and has seen its enrollment plummet by over two-thirds in the last six years. The school received three consecutive "F" ratings on the NYC School Report Card and was named one of the "Persistently Lowest Achieving" schools in the entire state.
Boys & Girls High School failed my son and I won't let it continue to fail children in this community. My son was part of a class action lawsuit in 2005 because the school warehoused children in the auditorium for 5-6 periods a day rather than teaching them. It is unacceptable that here we are 9 years later and the de Blasio administration does not have a plan for this school.
Boys & Girls High School has been struggling for a long time, but the time has come for things to change. We need the Mayor and the Chancellor to help us. Our children have been trapped in failing schools for long enough. We need a plan to turn this school around.
People in this community believed in Bill de Blasio's 'tale of two cities,' but it seems like he's forgotten us now that he's in office.
After almost a year in office, it's time for Mayor de Blasio to stand up for the "other" New York that he promised to fight for. The parents of Bedford-Stuyvesant call on the Mayor to make good on his word and give us a plan to fix our school. Our kids deserve the same opportunities as children in other parts of the City.
*Darlene Boston is lifelong Bed-Stuy resident, parent and Senior Organizer for StudentsFirstNY