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VIDEO: Parents of ABCD Plead DOE: "Don't Close Our School"

Parents and students of the Academy of Business and Community Development rally in the cold to keep their school open

Around 10 parents and a dozen students attending the rallied outside of the school early Monday morning in a last-ditch effort to save the all-boys middle school and high school from closure.

The group braved the bitter cold at 7:00am, more than an hour before the first bell, pleading for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the DOE to give their school a second chance. However, if the success of other schools that have made similar pleas is any indication, the decision to close the school is final, and the school’s fate likely is sealed.

It would be an unfortunate end for a school that started with such high expectations. ABCD was established in 2006 with the help of the Urban Assembly, a not-for-profit group that, since 1997, has been behind the creation of 14 - and counting - small, public high schools in New York City.

The school’s founding principal, Clyde Cole, chose a male-only academy to focus squarely on the needs of young black boys. However, after four years of progressively failing marks on its annual progress reports, the DOE replaced Cole with a new principal, Simone McIntosh, hoping she could help turn the school around.

But under McIntosh’s watch, the school didn’t fare much better. This year, ABCD’s middle school ranked in the bottom 8 percentile on its 2010-11 School Progress report, with an overall score 21.4 out of 100, and an overall grade of a D. The DOE announced early December the school would be closed by the end of the year.

But the protesting parents argued that the school had been lacking in critical resources to address students’ needs, such as a library and working computers, and that even after McIntosh was brought in, the DOE still failed to provide the school any support.

“We want Bloomberg to give these children a chance to perform and show what they’re doing,” said Shameka Travino, whose 14-year-old son attends ABCD as a freshman. “They didn’t have the backup from the DOE. They just put them in there and basically just left them there.”

The DOE will hold a final hearing for ABCD and its supporters, along with Frederick Douglass Academy and Satellite 3, two other Bed-Stuy schools slated for closure, on Thursday, February 9, at Brooklyn Tech High School, 6:00pm.

Shaun January 30, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Why the heck would parents be so passionate about keeping open a failing school? Have our standards dipped so low?
Nikki January 31, 2012 at 04:33 AM
If your child was failing would you close him or her out? Or, would you choose to help them with all you have, which would encourage them to do better and show them that you care. What happen to each one teach one, workshops , after school programs and educational support. You just added to Bloombergs ego! Thanks.
Shaun January 31, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Do you know what a "closed" school means? It means that everyone is fired or reassigned from the failing school and a new effective administration is brought in. A large part of the failure is a lack of educational discipline at home. However, ineffective teachers and shoddy administration add to the failing formula. I strongly suggest you look up a -A- school and go visit. You think you know what a good school is/needs until you go see it all working. To make it fair go visit a immigrant neighborhood where the parents are dirt poor and English challenged, but the kids do well so we eliminate the poverty factor in the comparison. I promise you will change your mind.
pat January 31, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I agree with Shaun. We were broke when we were kids. We knew better than to come home with anything other than a B. That was something that was understood, not because we were abused. It just was, it was something instilled in us based on our elders parenting techniques.
Christina January 31, 2012 at 07:24 PM
@Nikki I agree with you. My son attended ABCD MS 2008-2011 and we faced many challenges and I was involved. Principals Cole and McIntosh and the dedicated teachers assisted struggling students by offering tutoring in all subjects afterschool. I would vote to give it another chance to turn ABCD around. It will take money, innovation, creativity, motivation, technology and what is already there continued dedication from the teachers and for it to remain an all boys school.
Vincenza September 04, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Cole got what he deserved. I worked there and he played games with the taxpayers money. He abused (mentally) good teachers and other workers who were dedicated. He loved looking good for himself, but, did not take care of what was needed for the students. He loved to gossip and chit chat instead of really coming down to what was important.
Vincenza September 04, 2012 at 06:10 AM
I agree
Christina September 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM
@Vincenza I understand your comments but what did Cole get he still has a job. The only ones that got what they didn't deserve were the children that attended the school, they were the ones that was short changed. Too late to cry over split milk I hope all is well with you. Peace.

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