Dear Deputy Chancellor Sternberg,
I am writing to ask that you grant a waiver to remove 32K564, Bushwick Community High School (BCHS), from among the 33 schools slated for the turn-around model at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
BCHS is a transfer school serving students 17-21 years-old who have had unsuccessful experiences at other high schools in the city. Most students begin at BCHS at the age of 17 or 18, with fewer than 15 credits. Therefore, it is almost impossible to graduate students before their cohort expires. BCHS should not have the standards in the metrics for graduating students at the same timeline as other schools. As a result of the current metrics with which schools are assessed (that does not take into account the unique characteristics of transfer schools) BCHS has been placed on the PLA list.
However, students at BCHS routinely demonstrate improved outcomes over their prior school experience(s). On the transfer school-specific Alternative Cohort, BCHS made AYP for Regents exam performance in the 2010/11 school year. Additionally, the school’s NYC Progress Report highlights much of its success. Compared to the other transfer schools, BCHS is given a 95% for improving student attendance, a 90% for its English Regents pass rate, and a 100% for its Math Regents pass rate. This means BCHS is performing at the top of our peer group of schools in these vital areas. These factors contribute to our grade of “B” for “Student Progress.”
Please work to stop the closing of BCHS by granting a waiver that will allow it to continue to provide such a vital service to students who have been failed by their previous schools. Thank you in advance for your efforts.