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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.”

MaybeSmart December 01, 2012 at 01:32 AM
BGHS has an F. About 70% of all NYC high school students are not college ready. These are facts. In addition, many of BGHS students have extreme behavior and are mentally challenged students. What is the current administration doing about this? In many ways little. What are parents doing about this, in many ways nothing? What are teachers doing about this; a lot! Teachers at BGHS feed their students often, listen to their stories of being raped, kicked out, abused by parents and their daily trials of being a teenager. Should teachers in NYC high schools be responsible for Student K who never comes to school and has reached out to parents through phone calls and letters? Report cards =BS Teachers ask for support from administration when the child comes in one day every three weeks so ACS wont visit their house or so they can keep a metro card or because it is a safe place for the day. BGHS is not the only school with these problems but have a disproportional amount of students who do. More than 60%. Having ATRs who are experienced teachers not work in these schools permanently is a disservice to the so called No Child Left Behind Act. The fact that students come to school and teachers come to a career that they were inspired to do so to develop young minds is what is being forgotten. Every child wants to learn Every teacher wants children to learn and become successful All of the above allegations are true. However, what are we as citizens of our communities going to do?
Truth4Students December 01, 2012 at 01:27 PM
But, no one is looking for Mick to come back from the dead. Experienced teacher are and will always adapt new methods primarily because they have years of experience and different students, Your statements are illogical and show poor reasoning.It's quite evident that you cannot differentiate between experienced and learned teachers from those you are conjuring up as OLD. The only one who is referring to age is YOU! It's pathetic that you dont know the difference between AGE & YEARS OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE. Perhaps your "YOUTH IS AN HINDERANCE & a STUMBLING BLOCK." That's a big log in your eyes. You're making making false statements. Your thinkintg is so twisted & warped. There's no mentioning of "old" teachers except by you. Secondly, experience afforded experienced teachers to adapt their teaching styles to new students every year. READERS OF THE COMMENTS OF UPSET YOUNG TEACHER, please don't take this person seriously. Catchy phrases should really be considered meaningless. In this comment should be considered the thinking pattern of an unlearned person. The reasoning is poor. To say that experienced teachers lack class management skills & cannot differentiate and this young and twisted thinker can do these things, indicates that this is a "YOUNG TWISTED MIND, and apparently cannot differentiate between experienced teaching and age. READERS COMPARE & CONTRAST THE TWO. EXPERIENCED TEACHERS ALWAYS LOOK AT DATA.
informed December 01, 2012 at 11:42 PM
TO MAYBESMART. MY CHILD HAS ONE TEXT BOOK THAT HE CAN TAKE HOME.IF THE CLASS HAS A TEXT BOOK IT IS FOR IN CLASS USE ONLY. I WENT UP TO BROOKLYN TEXT H.S. AND ASK THE STUDENT ONE DAY DO THEY HAVE TEXT BOOKS.THIS WHAT THEY SAID, THEY GET A TEXT BOOKS TO TAKE HOME AND THEIR ARE TEXT BOOKS FOR IN CLASS USE. BROOKLYN TECH GRADUATION RATE IS NOT 45%.
informed December 02, 2012 at 12:35 AM
FIRST OF ALL, WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT 70% OF THE SCHOOLS . WE ARE TALKING ABOUT BOYS AND GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL. TWO, THE ONLY STUDENTS WITH EXTREME BEHAVIOR AND ARE MENTALLY CHALLENGED LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE. THREE, A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THAT BECAUSE HE IS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN HE CAN BE A SELL OUT. REMEMBER ,THE ONLY REASON HE HAS THE JOB IS BECAUSE NO OTHER PRINCIPLE WANTED TO BE ACTING PRINCIPLE WHEN THE SCHOOL IS TURN OVER. THEY DON'T WANT THAT ON THEIR RESUME. I CAN GO ON FOR HOURS ABOUT THE THINGS HE HAS DO IN THE SCHOOL TO BRING DOWN TO SCHOOL. HERE IS ONE, IN 2010 HE REMOVED ALL OF THE TROPHIES IN THE FRONT ENTRANCE OF THE SCHOOL AND PUT UP PLY WOOD. UPON QUESTIONING HIM ABOUT IT AT THE PTA HE HAD NO ANSWER ,THE NEXT WEEK I WAS TOLD HE REMOVE THE PLY WOOD AND PUT THE TROPHIES BACK. HE HAS AGAIN REMOVED THE TROPHIES AND PUT UP SOMETHING . TUESDAY DEC 4, 2012 THEIR IS A COMMUNITY MEETING AT THE SCHOOL . NOW THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT TURNING THE SCHOOL IN TO CONDOMINIUM. i'AM NOT SURE ABOUT THE TIME . MAYBE 6:30
Hope December 02, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Many of you have joined the conversation regarding the future of the children at Bghs and its clear we are all furious with administration, and the statistics regarding the school, but the truth is, as a mother, I would be doing a true disservice to my child if I allowed them to attend BGHS. Yes, it's clear that we can't blame Gassaway and his admin for the consequences of the move to privatize education, but we can hold them accountable for the nonsense they are carrying on with in that building. If there was a possibility that the students at the high could beat the odds, there no way they could do it under the leadership of those Gassaway and his administrative clowns. I doubt that any teacher in that building would dare to allow their children to attend that school. With his focus on getting rid of what he calls incompetent teachers, he's unable to see the building collapsing around him. The focus needs to be on working together with all the teachers and giving them the support they need to be successful, not putting all your energy into getting rid of them because you didn't like one lesson. I'd like to see he and his admin try teaching a class of students who are in gen Ed classes but clearly need special Ed services. Gassaways legacy and that of some of his mentally challenged admins will speak for itself but its unfortunate that until that happens, the children will suffer the consequence.
Hope December 02, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Any good leader has to realize at some point that the movement is bigger than any one person, and is confident and strong enough to pass the baton to someone who is capable of actually offing the job.
Hope December 02, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Doing the job.
StudentsasProducts December 02, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Those who have joined in this conversation, let's continue to reason through these comments. A question to be answered, why would Bernard Gassaway, Jeffrey D. Harris, Catrina Williams, Bridget Carrington, Tuwanna Williams-Gray, & Andrea Toussaint mischaracterize experienced teachers as being old teachers? Experienced teachers, who have taught in their license have a plethora of knowledge, skills & experience in developing lessons, devising exams, etc. Generally, these experienced teachers have more than one master degree. How can experienced teachers become incompetent? Bernard & Jeffrey are members of the Old Negro Men's Network within the System. When Spender Holder was demoted from being principal. B&G's Progress Report showed a "D". At the conclusion of Bernard's 1st year, the Progress Report was a "C". Bernard and his corrupt administration refuses to admint that those very same experienced teachers, who he managed to slander & push out, brought the grade up to a "C". After maligning the careers of experienced teachers, forcing some to retire, they were now gone. School's Report Card showed an "F". at the end of Bernard's 2nd year. Another "F" at the end of his third year. More than 1/2 of the experienced teachers were gone at the end of his 2nd year. Who will these irreputable, irresolute, degenerates blame now? The few experienced teachers remainign are currently being worked on to force them out. Bernard is very deceitful. There's news that must come out next.
SuperType7 December 02, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Yes there are plenty of books for the required courses. Textbooks are a necessary expense. With textbooks being used at home, students can reread what was taught in school. Parents need to discipline their child to read to increase learning & read along with them. They should also read for pleasure. That is books, that are clean. grammatically correct to enhance their wrting abilities and speech. But, there's also required reading that all students must complete. Experienced teachers are facilitators in the classroom and, students programmed for classes resulting in regents, do pass them. However, the electives, often uses a class set of books. No person should never advocate not using textbooks. Worksheets should be used in conjunction with textbooks & workbooks that accompany textbooks.
Truth4Students December 02, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Perhaps, you should differentiate between required courses, subjects students must take in order to graduate. And, the electives, stduents must take and pass, I think 7 is is required. There are an abundance of textbooks. But, that's not the same for electives. They usually use a class set of textbooks. Students usually don't have books to take home.
Truth4Students December 02, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Brooklyn Technical H.S. is a special high school. Students take entrace exams & usually, they are your achievers. The point being made here, they study more and are the "Gifted" students. Their parents probably demand that textbooks be given and, these students probably spend hours studying. I'M NOT SURE if this a budget issue. Money is allocated for books. Usually students will take care of the books also. Students attending B&G are a different type of student.
Truth4Students December 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Usually money is allocated in a school's budget. Unless controls are put into place, books are lost & students may not be held accountable for lost books. The perception may be that good money is being thrown out after bad. If a textbook is seen as being too heavy & two big, they will be left in the students' locker. They won't take them home,
Truth4Students December 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
It's interesting that you mention television stations. What results did you get? Were they interested in your story? How about the Board of Education? I don't think anyone is surprised by the the response of 311. But at least you recognize the necessity of textbooks & its role in academic achievement.
Truth4Students December 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Maybe this may clear some things up regarding teachers using a copier versus B&G purchasing books. As the numbers of students decline, the school's budget is adjusted. There will be less money in the school's budget. Parents are still receiving letters to transfer their child out of B&G. It's a failing school. Period. Administratively speaking.
informed December 03, 2012 at 12:55 AM
FALL SEMESTER 2010 BOYS AND GIRLS HS. WHEN I DISCOVER THAT MY CHILD DIDN'T HAVE A TEXT BOOK . I TRIED TO TELL EVERYBODY THAT I COULD. I CALLED 311. ALL THEY DID WAS CALL GASSAWAY AND TELL HIM, BECAUSE HE MENTION IT AT THE NEXT PTA MEETING . I TEXT ART MACFARLANE AT ABC NEWS AND TOLD HIM. HE TEXT ME BACK ,BUT NEVER CAME UP TO THE SCHOOL .I TEXT NBC AND CBS ANDTOLD THEM. I ALSO WENT TO ANTIOCH BAPTIST CHURCH ON GREEN AVE. EVERY FIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH THEY HAVE A MEETING WERE POLITICAL LEADER COME OR SENT A REPRESENTATIVE. I STOOD IN FRONT OF ALL OF THEM A TOLD THEM ABOUT NO TEXT BOOKS. I WAS EVERY SCARE WHEN I DID THAT. ONE OF HIS PASTORS WAS THERE.HE CALLED GASSAWAY AND TOLD HIM. NEXT SEMESTER GASSAWAY PUTS MY CHILD IN CLASSES THAT ISSUE BOOKS. FALL 2011 GASSAWAY THREW OUT HUNDREDS OF WHAT HE CALLS OUTDATED TEXTS BOOKS. I SAW THE BOOKS IN THE DUMPER MY SELF.WHY DIDN'T HE DONATE TO BOOKS TO A LOCAL CHURCH OR THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. A LOT OF PEOPLE IN BED STUY JUST DON'T KNOW ABOUT HIM.
informed December 03, 2012 at 01:35 AM
HERE IS ANOTHER ONE .AT BOYS AND GIRLS H.S. OCTOBER 27 2012 JAZZ WITH ELEGANCE. A SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER. CHARGE 35$ PLENTY OF FOOD AND ALCOHOL. CASES OF CHAMPAGNE . DRINKING ALCOHOL ON BOE PROPERTY. IS THAT ILLEGAL . I KNOW BECAUSE THEY SHOWED THE PICTURES AT THE PTA MEETING .
Chance4Students December 03, 2012 at 04:31 AM
But, where did that scholarship money go? How much money did they raise and where did it go? You're probably right about the legality of serving alcoholic beverages on gov't property. But, who will tell? Is this one of the benefits of being members of the Negro Old Boys Club? Although it can be safe to say that the chancellor, Al Vann, Hakeem Jefferies, Ed Towns and church leaders in Bed-Stuy want to support this administration. But, to cover up his failure & the collective incompetence of his fellow inept team, he won't expose the reasons for the failure of his administration. B&G was never in this predicament prior to his coming. Bernard dances around the table with them. How do experienced teachers become incompetent? What is the difference between experiened teachers and old teachers as one lame brain above states. In general the experienced teachers he worked to slander as incompetent have more than master degree. But, that doesn't matter to anyone. These two grades of "F" occurred on his watch and never before. He won't admit to the wrong he has done to staff. He's trying to save his own hide.Next year, there will be another "F." Strange those very same competent teachers are being mischaracterized as old so that he can get rid of them, were the ones who worked with Mr. Mickens for a number of years & B&G was a success. Bernard is trying desperately to reinvent himself due to his criminal past. At the expense of the kids. He lacks integrity. He has no character.
Chance4Students December 03, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Did you survey the "many schoolsl" in the city? This is not an accurate statement. Money is allocated within a school's budget for textbooks. How a schooll spends its money is another thing. What you just uncovered is how your school operates. There are schools that purchase books, & barcoding textbooks is the best way to keep up with the books. Students must be held accountable for them & parents must teach their child how to responsible for the materials they are given. Today's generation of students are influenced by the negative music they listen to. It's rebellion against everything. Listen to the lyrics of the songs.
Mr. Anderson December 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Good Morning All, This is Mr. Elmer Anderson from Boys and GIrls HS. It was brought to my attention that someone negatively and freely referenced our Oct 27th Jazz concert featuring Pieces of A Dream, Phil Perry and Alyson Williams. I would first like to comment on the person who stated there was alcohol beverages being served. There was absolutely no alcohol being served at this wonderful event for the school community. What Mr. Informed should have noted is that he saw a simple fun slide show that illlustrated photos of Guests enjoying some marvelous entertainers and sponsors. The photo of the bottles of Wines wrapped neatly by one our Parent volunteer as gifts for our VIP guests were just that, take home gifts provided by Bed Vyne Wines of Bedford Stuyvesant. I do apologize that someone would misconstrue beautiful pictures as a means of ammunition against anyone in the building, deeming us irresponsible. In regards to the monies that were being raised for this event it went towards the overall expenses of the show and further door sales ($35) were hampered by the pending Super Storm Hurricane Sandy, which was entirely out of our control. We were not disappointed one bit, especially after the unfortunate damage done to so many lives because of the storm. Therefore, any further fiscal questions related to the event is easily available. Again, I am sorry that I needed to reply to such a poorly protrayed account of what occurred on October 27th. See The DVD of the Show
stop the corruption December 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM
As THE PARENT COORDINATOR, aren't you supose to be advocating for ALL the parents? How can the parent coordinator objectively advocate for the parents when he is also, the assistant basketball coach? One would also reason that the parent coordinator SHOULD also, have a child that attends that same school! There were numerous complaints about students not having enough textbooks in their classes along with subs and paraprofessional instructing them. These pertinent issues aren't address, but rhetoric about alcohol at an event is? Perhaps, the public along with the Office of Investigations should conduct an investigation about the frequent alcohol parties that the parent coordinator engaged in when he had his own office!!! F.Y.I. anyone who tries to defend the corruption going on at BGHS be prepared to have the truth exposed!
informed December 04, 2012 at 07:07 AM
YOU ARE THE PARENT COORDINATOR, NOT PARTY COORDINATOR OR PIPP DIDDY.THE IS YOUR SECOND PARTY IN TO YEARS. I THOUGHT IT WAS IN VERY POOR TASTE FOR YOU THE PARENT COORDINATOR TO SHOW SLIDE OF A PARTY WITH CHAMPAGNE AT A PTA MEETING. WHEN THE SCHOOL IS SITTING ON A 45% GRADUATION RATE. IF YOU DON'T SEE THIS AS PARENT COORDINATOR THEN I HOPE SOMEONE ELSE CAN EXPLAIN IT TO YOU BETTER THAT I HAVE. I NEVER SAID ANYBODY WAS DRINKING. I SAID THERE WAS ALCOHOL ON BOE PROPERTY. IS THAT ILLEGAL? GO BACK AND READ IT PARTY COORDINATOR. IF YOU SHOW SLIDES OF CASES OF CHAMPAGNE AT A PTA MEETING WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PARENT ARE GOING TO ASSUME. STOP SHOWING SUGGESTIVE PHOTOS .
Truth4Students December 04, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Bernard Jeffrey Chris Catrina, Cami manipulated the numbers. Graduation rate June 2012 was 34%. They manipulated those numbers to come up with 38% it's still far below 65% which the State Ed Dept. required. Some who know what triggered this. But waiting 4 truth to be uncovered. There's no reason to close B&G. get rid of Bernard & his cabinet of demoted staff would be the beginning of a "restart." He has more plans. forcing out competent assistant principals, brought in his own demoted crew, & the school has not performed any better. False statements in experienced teachers, observation reports & rating their lessons as unsatisfactory, ( which reflects his twisted and warped views of himself projected onto teachers) & he uses to rate experienced unsatisfactory for the year with plans of blaming them for the failure of the school. He's cleaning house. How can experienced, skilled teachers who are teaching in their license area, become incompetent? Many students plan to be disruptive in a class. The last three years, students have spent more than one month in a class they were programmed for without a teacher, no instruction. WHY ISN'T THIS INVESTIGATED. FOR SOME STRANGE REASON, NO ONE CONTACTS THE COMMISSIONER OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS, 80 MAIDEN LANE, NEW YORK, NY. Ask the kids. They will cofirm this. It's really, really strange, no one asks the kids. There's more to this and this is why the school is a failure and why students are not passing. YOU WON'T STEP UP.
Jones Barber December 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I hope that a movement is created t pedagogues support and transform the injustice that has overshadowed the profession. good administration good staff and great effect on students. The same results for ineffective administration and teachers. The school rating speaks for itself. Assaway , should not be receiving a check for failing our students him and his ineffective administrators. Clearly, he must go...
StudentsasProducts December 08, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Here's a CRITICAL ANGLE... Gassy-Way & Jeffrey Harris Poop-a-Lone are trying to build a career & future for themselves as "educational consultants." The Go TO PERSONS. At the expense of the students in this school zone. You know, "experts" in the field of education. Meanwhile, they lack the integrity & insight that's required to build a consulting business. Or, some organization to save children. How hypocritical & deceitful can they be? They envision themselves as being speakers & sought after, knowledgeable talkers. Blah, Blah, Blah. No content, & no substance. We're sure that Al Vann, Hakeem Jeffries, Ed Towns, Dr. Lester Young, have been hoodwinked
Crownheights1992 December 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Ever since this new principal stepped into BGHS the school went to a down fall . I'm speaking as a student who was there to witness the madness , they always had money for entertainment but never any money to hire substitute teachers they would have school aids in a class room trying to teach a class . From the time I seen that he was getting rid of the veteran staff teachers we went from learning to do what ever you want . Then he states he cares about students and their education but yet doesn't hold students back when they leave school without having a cut schedule that was part of his moving the front desk back from the main exit . There is so much more I could go on and on but everyone gets the picture Bernard Gassaway must go !!!!
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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