Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Letter to Klein from O'Donnell and Nolan re PS 241

April 6, 2009

Joel I. Klein, Chancellor
New York City Department of Education
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chancellor Klein,

We are pleased that New York City Department of Education has decided to reverse its decision to phase out P.S. 241 this fall. We request that you now provide us with detailed information about DOE’s plans to support P.S. 241 going forward.

In your April 3, 2009 correspondence with the P.S. 241 community, you assert that you “will continue to support the school and will review its performance in the year to come.” Obviously the support offered by DOE prior to this point has been insufficient for a school with such high percentages of English Language Learners (22.2%), students receiving special education services (22.8%), and students who qualify for Title 1 funding (80.9%). Academic success for a school with these challenges, far beyond DOE averages, necessitates special intervention and support from DOE.

Although it is not entirely clear from the abovementioned letter, we hope that DOE’s goals are to strengthen P.S. 241, improve its ability to prepare students, and prevent future phasing out. We would like you to specifically describe how DOE will increase its support of P.S. 241, including a targeted strategy to increase achievement, allocation of additional resources, and meaningful consultation with the school community about its needs.

Without a comprehensive plan in place to support this school, it could be perceived that DOE is creating a self-fulfilling prophesy that allows it to move forward with an agenda that excludes a viable P.S. 241 community. We sincerely hope that this is not the case, and look forward to your response.


Hon. Catherine Nolan Hon. Daniel O’Donnell

Chair, Committee on Education Assembly Member, 69th District

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