Brooklyn, NY—After weeks of input from the Bushwick community and Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick), the Panel for Educational Policy has indicated it will vote tonight in favor of keeping Bushwick Community High School (BCHS) open.
Last year, the school was slated for closure after a New York City Department of Education assessment indicated the school was failing. However, Senator Dilan and many in the community took issue with the assessment and chided education officials for applying a performance rating that did not take into account BCHS’ status as a transfer school.
“Bushwick Community High School didn’t get a fair shake. This school, and it’s programs, are tailored to student’s that have not excelled in traditional classrooms and curriculum,” said Senator Dilan. “It’s a unique model and should be assessed accordingly. I believe the PEP heard that message loud and clear.”
BCHS serves 17-21-year olds who have not had success in high school but are looking to continue their education and graduate. It offers smaller classroom sizes and one-on-one support and guidance. Last year the city Education Department gave the school a C rating. The two years prior to that the school earned consecutive B ratings.
Senator Dilan, Members of Assembly Rafael Espinal Jr. (D-Cypress Hills), Vito Lopez (D-Bushwick) and City Councilman Erik Dilan rallied together with the Bushwick community to ask that the school remain open.
“It was a well fought victory. Everyone came together and spent day and night ensuring that our message was heard loud and clear ‘keep Bushwick Community High School open.’ This school offers a second chance and any success, no matter how small, is worth fighting for,” said Assemblyman Espinal Jr.
Leading up to tonight’s PEP decision, many in the Bushwick community have asked that moving forward the state Department of Education take into account BCHS’ status as a transfer school in future assessments.
“These students want to learn and they long for the opportunity to succeed. I believe in them, and the community believes in them. I commend the work of my colleagues and the Bushwick community for coming together and doing what’s right by the students and parents of Bushwick Community High School,” said Senator Dilan.