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Gassaway on School's Latest "F" Grade: Says Needs More Time for Change

This year’s “F” continues downward trend for the school that has struggled over the past three years to stave off possible closure.

Although New York City public schools progress reports for academic year 2011/2012 will not be made public until the week of November 26, Bernard Gassaway, principal of Boys and Girls High School, met with his staff on Tuesday to inform them early that BGHS would receive yet another “F.”

This year’s “F” grade is the second in a row for BGHS, but Gassaway insisted that despite the grade, the school-- Brooklyn's first and oldest high school-- was making progress and simply needed more time for improvement.

News of the "F" will continue what has become a downward trend for BGHS, known to most in the community as The Pride of Bed-Stuy.

However, "Bed-Stuy's Pride" has struggled over the past three years to keep its doors open, as the school's progress reports have shown no improvement. Aside from its failing grade on the 2010/2011 progress report, BGHS received a "C" in 2009/2010 and a "D" in 2008/2009.

And like last year, Gassaway insists he is not swayed by his school’s failing grade and remains fully committed to transforming Boys and Girls High School into a top urban high school.

“But it will not happen overnight,” he said. "I am not one to make excuses and I am totally transparent. Our goal is to meet students where they are and to address their social and academic needs."

Gassaway pointed to a plan he launched in collaboration with the school’s advisory council, to transform the school into a full-service community school and said it was still in its early stages.

The plan includes the implementation of learning communities, including the Booker T. Washington Transfer Program for students that are over aged and under credited. There’s also a Scholars Academy to enable high-performing students to obtain early college credits; and the CARE Center established to help meet students’ social, emotional, economic, and mental health challenges, and several other programs.

“I have done in-depth research on this model, and I know that it works and it will work at Boys and Girls High School,” said Gassaway.

“I trust that the community will continue to support us during this period of redesign and transformation,” he said. “I only ask for time and the resources to implement the plan.”

Ebony Price December 16, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I came across these postings and decided to respond to "upset young teacher" who seems to be taken this so personal it deserves a pause to ponder. Yes, there are incompetents everywhere, but that has nothing to do with age. That is the first clue to me that you are ignorant. We talk about Mr. Mickens because we know where the school was when he took control and the condition he left it in. Please note it went from failure to success not success to failure. Under Mr. Mickens there was chalk and talk but there were no "F's. I agree we do need to change as you have rightly said we had a different population then than we now have but you have mastered the art of differentiation and the school is failing. So what is it? Is it the teaching methods? Is it the population? Is it "old teachers"? or is it incompetent teachers? Yes, let us look at the data. under "old teachers" BGHS received B and C ratings, under "young teachers" BGHS received all F's. Whose scholarship report is atrocious? s
Ebony Price December 16, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Prior to the school years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 BGHS received no F ratings. These ratings started appearing after Mr. Gassaway took control of the school. If you remember Gassaway was thrown out of BGHS for incompetence by the then Principal, whose name you do not wish to hear. If years of service has anything to do with competence then it is about time he goes. If that school had a white principal the community would have accused him to racism and asked for his head. Gassaway is there because of the "black old boys network" who are maintaining their lifestyle at the expense of disadvantaged youths of color.
Mary Cassteen December 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Politicians put pressure on the board of Patch and Journalistic corruption begins. Just like on the major networks. Please to take off over half the posting about this issue is sad and it speaks to who you guys are. Thanks but no thanks
Lana Taylor February 27, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Its not over, God sees all of the evil that has come out of this environment. This wicked administration has done all that it could to hurt our children and the African - American community for money. Gross incompetence fills the air at the High. Mickens is turning in his grave.where are the once Afocentric voices that echoed from this institution. Money has taken the place of morals. sorry elders who sold out our children. who was only show boating.
amanisha Penn March 26, 2013 at 07:26 AM
Once again, assay has dismantled a school environment and will move on, destroying African -American children lives as well as teachers striving for a better life. He wasn't a teacher, he was a tormentor. assay, as well as Mr. Smith, a savage of the worst kind, ignorant, incompetent and mean will be dealt with. Ms. Williams, the whore who does their bidding. Their are many more,who will be paid by God. the payment for their sins will fall on their children. God will get these demons from the pit of hell. Just sit back and see the salvation of God.

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