Ed Panel Votes to Close 19 Schools Over Loud Protests

After hearings that lasted long into the night, a Department of Education panel voted at about 3 this morning to close 19 city schools for poor performance as angry parents and teachers protested.

The Panel for Educational Policy -- which the Times portrayed as a nearly do-nothing, unregarded body last April -- had what might have been its most contentious meeting ever, with hundreds of educators and parents protesting loudly and one presenting a satirical puppet show ("I am a puppet from the Panel for Educational Policy, and I brought my rubber stamp"). Attendees, reports GothamSchools, cried "leader!" when a Panel member voted to keep a school open, and "puppet!" when a member voted to close.

NBC has a full list of the doomed schools, which includes such hopefully-named entities as Frederick Douglas Academy III in The Bronx and the Metropolitan Corporate Academy in Brooklyn, which was founded in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Gotham Schools runs through the original list of 20 -- The Bronx's Alfred E. Smith High is being reconsidered, if only for its automotive program -- and the probable reassignment sites for their students, where known.

Opponents of the closings have earlier protested in front of the Mayor's house over the Mayor's objections, but the outcome of this vote was never in doubt. The Panel members appointed by the borough presidents, excepting Staten Island's, voted the keep the schools open, and the Mayor's appointees voted to close them.


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