STOP THE UNJUST CLOSURE OF PAUL ROBESON HIGH SCHOOL, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
We the undersigned, call upon the Panel for Educational Policy of NYC to stop the injustice by the DOE of targeting Paul Robeson High School, Brooklyn New York for phase-out/closure.
We do not want to see Paul Robeson High School become a phase-out school and we need your support. We believe in our students, our community and our mission. Yes, Robeson has some serious challenges, as do other schools; yet, for many of the young people who come to school on a regular basis we have offered opportunities to participate in a rich educational environment and to achieve their personal best.
The DOE’s Fact Sheet (December 2010) recognizes that the Paul Robeson community has worked hard to improve the school and states the DOE has “provided considerable support” to Paul Robeson High School. This has not been our experiencePaul Robeson High School never received “intensive support” from the DOE. Given the trauma our school community experienced last year due to the impact of the proposed phase out, the ensuing fight against the phase out and then the removal of our principal, we needed, but never received, “intensive support” to not only recover but to address the issues that had initially brought the school to this place. We need that intensive support even more now.
We believe that we could have a greater impact and higher rates of achievement if we are allowed to develop a turnaround model where the existing school remains open and is completely redesigned. We have already begun conversations with staff of Pearson’s School Turnaround Educational Program or STEP and they are ready to begin a planning and diagnostic stage immediately.
Closing Paul Robeson High School is not a solution.