As the proud parent of a student at Success Academy Harlem Central, I was absolutely heartbroken to hear of Mayor de Blasio’s sudden decision to close down my son Michael’s beloved middle school. Michael has been thriving in Success Academy for the past 5 years. He has excelled academically and developed a deep sense of pride in his accomplishments. He is talking about college and wants to be a pediatrician (or on some days, a basketball player). That is why I never thought I’d see the day that the city would try to take this school away from him and 193 of his classmates.
What makes the situation even more disheartening is the Mayor isn’t just closing down any school. Harlem Central is among the very best middle schools in the city. At a school where 97% of the students are black and Hispanic, and 78% are from low-income families, last year’s fifth graders were #1 in the state in Math! First in the entire state! This school is proving every day that zip code does not have to determine destiny. Why wouldn’t the Mayor, who says he stands for the 99%, want to support a school like Harlem Central?
If Harlem Central isn’t allowed to remain open next year, Michael and his classmates might have to attend one of the nearby district schools that are among the worst in the city. This would be devastating to our children, our families and our community. By allowing this decision to stand, the Mayor is not listening to parents — something he promised to do. Instead, he is taking away great schools from communities like mine that need them the most.
It shouldn’t matter if a student attends a public district school or a public charter school. All that matters is that all students have the opportunity to learn and to thrive. As a parent, I just want my child to have a future that’s brighter than my own. A future where anything is possible. Because that’s what every child deserves – a chance to succeed in life.
I have faith that if the Mayor and Chancellor hear from enough New Yorkers like you and me they will reverse this decision. That’s why I’m asking you to join me in calling on Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña to let Success Academy Harlem Central stay open next year, to make sure these 194 public school students have the space that they need to remain at a school that they love, a school where they are receiving an incredible education that will change their lives. Please help me protect the hopes and dreams of 194 students that have shown they can beat the odds.