Monday, February 8, 2010

Alfred E. Smith HS — public hearing this Friday

Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical HS is still fighting to stay open, and they're asking people to come to the public hearing on Friday, Feb. 12th (at Smith) and to Klein's PEP meeting on the 24th (at Fashion Industries). See details for both events in the sidebar at the right.

GEM received a letter from Nate Wight, who writes:
"We need your support. If interested and available, please consider attending our public hearing, PEP vote and/or simply submit a public comment (instructions below) in support of keeping our Building Trades Program open. Your support is much appreciated!"

(in his words)
On January 26th the NYC Department of Education voted to phase out 19 public city schools. Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical HS was one of the original 20 schools to be voted on. As you may know, we were taking off the list (temporarily) in part due to "feedback from the community and the demand for an automotive program to continue to exist in the Bronx." Despite this, we're still in a troubled situation where the DoE plans to phase out our Building Trades program and "move two existing schools into the building and co-locate with Alfred E. Smith" (Bronx Haven HS and the NYC Charter HS for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industries)

We welcome change, however, phasing-out our Building Trades Program in one of the poorest congressional districts in the United States and replacing it with a for-profit, fragmented charter school (see attached letter or this link) that doesn't offer endorsed diplomas or hands on training is unambiguously a mistake. Not having a plan that involves educating the economically disadvantaged South Bronx students in plumbing, carpentry, electrical, HVAC, and architecture is an educational injustice.

To learn more about our school and this situation, see these links:
Jan 21st New York Times article, click here
AES Shop Classes, Music Video, click here
AES Student Voices, click here
Important websites and dates, click here

Those who wish to speak will be given 2 minutes to provide their input regarding why Building Trades shouldn't be shut down. Our ability to show how important the school is to the students, parents and community will be considered by the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) when they vote on February 24th.
You can contact Nate at for details about the school and how you can send the DoE letters against the proposed closings.

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