In a shocking turn of events just days after the Department of Education announced plans to 'turn around' 33 schools, the city removed seven from its list, including the , located at 284 Baltic Street between Court and Smith Streets.
"After receiving public input, the Department of Education has decided not to proceed with the proposal to close [the school]. Thus, the public hearing scheduled for tonight has been canceled," read posters being taped up by Florrie Chapin, Director of the Teacher Performance Unit of the DOE, at 5:40 p.m.—roughly 10 minutes after .
Oswaldo Bajana, a parent of a sixth-grader at the School for Global Studies, was waiting for his son Saddam Ali, 11, in the hallway at the time that the hearing was cancelled.
"I'm very happy with the news that they are not closing the school," said Bajana, whose son had planned to speak at the hearing. "Global is one of the best schools. I'm very happy with the quality of the education and the learning environment. In fact, here because the students are already successful and on the right track."
The DOE had been widely criticized for proposing to turn around seven schools that had met the city’s performance benchmarks by receiving A’s or B’s on their annual progress reports.
“After careful consideration, including school visits from my leadership team, we have come to believe that these schools have strong enough foundations to improve — and today, I have decided that we will not move forward with proposals to close and replace these seven,” Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement on Monday. Principals at the seven schools were called that afternoon.
15K429 Principal Joseph O'Brien made a brief appearance in the hallway of the School for Global Studies, greeting the Bajana family while they spoke with a Patch reporter.
"I heard the news," O'Brien said cheerfully, but declined to expand upon the afternoon's events except to say that the school's staff was getting the word out to parents.
Not everyone is as elated.
"The only people who benefited from this entirely cruel and destructive exercise were the Success Academy crowd," said President of CEC-15 Jim Devor, who had previously advised the DOE of the Council's intent to boycott the hearing. "But then, that was the whole point wasn't it?"
Devor went on to say that despite the School of Global Studies' sudden reversal of fortune, severe damage has already been inflicted by the DOE.
"The admissions process for the High School has, as far as I know, been completed as well as the Middle School applications period," said Devor in an e-mail to Carroll Gardens Patch. "Consequently, I understand the number of applications, not surprisingly, has been 'disappointing.'"