Bread and Roses was one of three uptown public schools slated for phaseout by the Panel for Educational Policy this week, along with the Choir Academy of Harlem and J.H.S. 013 Jackie Robinson. MS 45/STARS Prep Academy, a Grade 6 to 8 school in East Harlem, will close at the end of the school year.
When all was said and done and their school’s phaseout was official, some students at Bread and Roses Integrated Arts High School placed the blame for the failure squarely on their own shoulders.
“This school is not bad, it’s just the kids that’s in it,” said Erica Davis, 16, a junior at the Harlem school, though she also noted that large class sizes and a lack of quality after-school programs contributed to their poor performance.
Bread and Roses was one of three uptown public schools slated for phaseout by the Panel for Educational Policy this week, along with the Choir Academy of Harlem and J.H.S. 013 Jackie Robinson.
A fourth school, MS 45/STARS Prep Academy, a Grade 6 to 8 school in East Harlem, will close at the end of the school year, the panel decided. It was one of two schools that will be closed in June.
The schools were among 22 city public schools that were slated to be phased out or closed.
All students who currently attend one of the schools slated for phaseout will be allowed to continue until the last class graduates in 2016. The schools will no longer admit incoming students.
Another Bread and Roses student, Jose Diaz, also pointed the blame at students.
“The teachers are good,” the 14-year-old freshman said. “But the students are the problem. They don’t pay attention.”
Onacis Pujols, a 15-year-old sophomore, echoed Diaz.
“The teachers do everything they can,” she said, “but if we don’t care this is what happens.”
Parents pointed fingers at the Department of Education, saying they were disappointed in the process — as well as the outcome — and complaining that students were being slighted.
“I’m hurt for the children,” said Yvette Patrick, co-president of the Bread and Roses Parent Association. “In my opinion, the Department of Education dogged this school.”
Patrick said parents were led to believe the school would be a “turnaround school,” but instead the foundering school was left for dead.
“I am so disappointed because these kids worked so hard,” said Patrick, who has a daughter, a 17-year-old junior, at the school. “No one is paying attention to the fact that they are working hard.”
In the fall, the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem will begin teaching its first class in the Bread and Roses building on Edgecombe Ave. near W. 135th St.
The all-boys school will start with a sixth-grade class and expand each year until Bread and Roses is phased out.
At the Choir Academy of Harlem, on Madison Ave. near E. 128th St., the head of the school parent association also expressed disappointment.
“I’m starting to lose faith in the Department of Education,” said Elizabeth Porter, the Parent Association president. “. . . I feel like they know what they want to do before they do it.”
Article from New York Daily News.