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dewitt clinton high school
October 19, 2017
The entire staffs at two troubled New York City high schools must reapply for their jobs
Teachers and other staffers at Flushing High School in Queens and DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx will have to reapply this spring.
May 25, 2016
Despite major city investment, struggling ‘Renewal’ schools shed another 6,300 students
The low-performing schools serve about 6,270 fewer students now than in 2014, as many families continue to shun them despite the city's expensive intervention.
August 12, 2013
What’s At Stake In Student Journalism’s Iffy Future
GothamSchools is looking for teachers to help us shape our Student Journalism Initiative, a new program launching this fall. Details about the program, what we're looking for, and how to apply are here.Here, Ashley Persaud, who graduated from the Bronx's Dewitt Clinton High School in June, describes what student journalism meant for her high school experience — and why she's worried that future students won't have the same opportunities she did.
June 25, 2013
Santiago Taveras, a former DOE official, returning as a principal
Santiago Taveras, a former deputy chancellor, will be the principal of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. (Photo courtesy of Facebook) All it took was one interview question for Santiago Taveras to realize he wanted to be a principal again. Taveras, a former Department of Education deputy chancellor, will be the new principal of the struggling DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx this fall. The position marks a reversal of the trajectory Taveras's career has taken up to now. After starting his career as a city teacher, Taveras headed several schools before landing a position in the Department of Education's central administration. He was the deputy chancellor for teaching and learning until the department dissolved that division, then served as the city's first and only community engagement czar. Taveras left the department at a time of turmoil in April 2011, just days before Cathie Black's brief tenure as chancellor ended. He became a vice president at Cambridge Education, the consulting firm that conducted the first quality reviews in New York City schools, which Taveras oversaw while at the department. But in recent months, Taveras said he wanted to work directly with students again, so he interviewed for a schools superintendent job in New Jersey.
March 18, 2013
At Dewitt Clinton, tackling progress report as informational text
Ann Neary, right, looks over her school's progress report with teachers at a conference on education and social activism. When it came time to teach her ninth graders to write a research paper, Ann Neary, a teacher at Dewitt Clinton High School, decided that rather than write about a topic distant from their lives, students would try to decipher the school’s city-issued progress report. The idea formed in November, when the city announced that Dewitt Clinton was so low-performing it might be closed. The school had just received an F on its November progress report, Neary told teachers at a conference about education and social activism hosted by the Museum of the City of New York over the weekend. The city ultimately opted not to close Dewitt Clinton, though the Panel on Education Policy voted last week to shrink the school and move two new schools into the building. But back in November, when it still looked like the school might close, students got to work. “We were really rallying around this issue in the school,” Neary said. “So I adopted it as a way to teach research.” An assistant principal had just asked all Dewitt Clinton ninth-grade writing teachers to assign a Common Core-aligned research paper, Neary said, and urged them to focus on non-fiction texts that included graphs for students to analyze. “It wasn’t an assignment I thought would be interesting to my students,” she said. “I thought the F would be more meaningful to them.”
January 8, 2013
City says it wants to close 9 more schools, bringing total to 26
The Department of Education has named nine more schools it intends to close or shrink, bringing the final tally of schools it will try to shutter this year to 26. Seven of the new additions would phase out over time, while two would have some of their grades lopped off under the city's plans. P.S. 156 in Queens and the Academy for Social Action in Manhattan would lose their middle schools but their high schools would remain open. On Monday, the department announced that it would seek to close or phase out 17 other schools. That means 32 schools that the city considered closing will stay open instead, and department officials said they were considering "a wide range of potential interventions" to help the schools get better. They said the options could include, for schools that are eligible, federally prescribed school overhaul strategies like the ones the city has tried to use in the past. The schools that evaded closure this year, the last when the Bloomberg administration will be able to carry out closure plans, include Boys and Girls High School, Murry Bergtraum High School, and DeWitt Clinton High School. The three comprehensive schools have some of the weakest performance statistics in the city — and some of the most ardent defenders.
December 3, 2012
Many are gearing up to defend schools the city might close
Metal detectors greet students at DeWitt Clinton High School. This photo is taken from a documentary about the school by alumni Danny and Bill Schechter. Click the picture to watch. As the Department of Education begins holding meetings at the high schools officials are considering closing, some of the schools are tapping into decades-worth of alumni ties and institutional memory to defend themselves. Representatives of Boys and Girls High School, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, and DeWitt Clinton High School have put out press releases encouraging families, community members and the press to attend the department's "early engagement" meetings at their schools this week. At the meetings, which are typically closed to the public, superintendents and other department officials will listen to teachers, families and administrators describe their schools' strengths and the challenges they face. The meetings are a required first step in the process by which the city initiates school closures under state law. The department typically recommends closure for about half of the schools that undergo early engagement each year, but the process by which officials narrow down the preliminary hit list is murky. School communities are expected to make the case that their schools should stay open, despite low graduation rates and other issues, and demonstrate that they have the capacity to make dramatic improvements.
November 26, 2012
Among 24 schools city says it could close, some familiar names
Marc Sternberg, the Department of Education deputy chancellor in charge of school closures, said the city would consider whether to phase out 24 struggling high schools. Seven high schools that the city tried in vain to close last year are among the two dozen that the Department of Education might move to shutter this year. Department officials announced today that they had added 24 high schools to the list of schools they are considering closing. The schools join 36 elementary and middle schools already slated for “early engagement” meetings, the first step in the city's school closure process. The department named those schools in October but postponed the meetings because of Hurricane Sandy. The high schools were culled from 60 whose progress report scores made them eligible for closure under the city's rules. Their test scores, attendance, graduation rates, and readiness for college do not measure up to city standards, according to Deputy Schools Chancellor Marc Sternberg, the department official who oversees school closures, who said the schools' presence on the early engagement list indicates that they have deep problems to address. "What we see in a school that can't demonstrate the capacity to improve dramatically and to improve quickly is a calcification of the systems that lead to good schools," Sternberg told reporters in a briefing on the reports this afternoon. "The adults are not communicating clearly and well with each other, there's a lack of collaboration, a lack of organizational alignment that will enable the kind of instruction we know is important and necessary to lead to good outcomes."
June 1, 2012
Portrait of a GothamSchools reader: Parent Ayanna Behin
Behin and her son, Asher, read together in his classroom at Williamsburg Northside Preschool, where Behin volunteers frequently. Being an active parent in the New York City public schools is practically a family tradition for GothamSchools reader Ayanna Behin, the winner of our reader survey drawing. Behin's grandmother went to Hunter College High School before continuing onto Hunter College, and her grandfather went to Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx before attending New York University and Harvard Law School. “When they were done with high school, they could speak Greek, they could speak Latin," Behin said. "They had poetry galore memorized, they knew how to think, and they had a core knowledge.” But because they were West Indian immigrants, her grandparents' parents had to fight to to keep their children from getting tracked into non-college preparatory classes. “So even then their parents had to go to school and know people,” she said. Behin’s daughter Marley represents the fourth generation in her family to attend New York City public schools (fifth if you count Marley's great-great-grandfather, who went to City College). Marley is a student in the inaugural kindergarten class at Urban Assembly Academy for Arts and Letters in Clinton Hill.
October 25, 2011
Among low-scoring schools, familiar names and dashed hopes
Yesterday's high school progress reports release put 60 schools on existential notice. Fourteen high schools got failing grades, 28 received D's, and another 14 have scored at a C or lower since at least 2009 — making them eligible for closure under Department of Education policy. In the coming weeks, the city will winnow the list of schools to those it considers beyond repair. After officials release a shortlist of schools under consideration for closure, they will hold "early engagement" meetings to find out more about what has gone wrong. City officials said they would look at the schools' Quality Reviews, state evaluations, and past improvement efforts before recommending some for closure. Last month, they said they were considering closure for just 20 of the 128 elementary and middle schools that received low progress report grades. The at-risk high schools are spread over every borough except for Staten Island and include many of the comprehensive high schools that are still open in the Bronx, including DeWitt Clinton High School and Lehman High School, which until recently were considered good options for many students. They also include two of the five small schools on the Erasmus Campus in Brooklyn and two of the three small schools that have long occupied the John Jay High School building in Park Slope. (A fourth school, which is selective, opened at John Jay this year.) They include several of the schools that received "executive principals" who got hefty bonuses to turn conditions around.
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