Jamaica High School Community November 29, 2010 Joel Klein Chancellor New York City Department of Education 52 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007 Dear Chancellor Klein: We the undersigned students, parents, staff members and friends of the Jamaica High School Community urge you to not phase out or turnaround this 118 year old historical institution. Jamaica High School has been treated very unfairly by the Department of Education and deserves support rather than phase out. For the 2010-2011 school year, Jamaica High School has been forced to endure a cut of 30% of the teaching staff from last June (student enrollment drop is less than half of that) while roughly half of the school’s space has been taken away, class sizes have exploded beyond what the UFT Contract calls for in scores of classes, while popular elective courses including an Advanced Placement Government class the kids wanted and pre-calculus have been taken away from our students. Two new schools have been opened in two wings of the building, while a third new school is expanding in another corner. These new schools are equipped with up to date technology, their teachers are provided with lower class sizes and there have been makeovers for their parts of the building while students and staff at Jamaica High School are shoved into the middle of the building in obsolete rooms. Lunch schedules are set up to favor the new schools. Their students eat lunch during normal lunch hours between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. while Jamaica’s pupils are eating lunch starting at 10:00 a.m. or after 1:00 p.m. There are separate and unequal schools in the same building. In spite of terrible learning conditions, Jamaica has raised its graduation rate 16% over the last four years. This growth rate exceeds the increase in the graduation rate city wide. We have succeeded despite the odds being stacked against us. We petition the Chancellor to allow us to remain open and provided with sufficient resources to build on our success. Sincerely,
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