Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Save Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical Education High School

We have a rally on Friday, Jan 8th. Our Public Hearing is on Monday, Jan 11th. We could use your support to keep Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical Education High School open. Also, please read the below email (and attached letter). Feel free to pass along to anyone.

Nathaniel Thayer Wight
Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical Education High School

What: Public hearing regarding proposal by New York City Department of Education to phase-out AES HS
To see the proposal click here
To learn more about AES and the proposal click here

When: Public Hearing: Monday, January 11, 6:00pm
Public Hearing Rally: Friday, Jan 8th, 3:30 - 4:30pm

Where: Rally & Public Hearing will be at Alfred E. Smith CTE High School
333 East 151 Street, Bronx
For directions click here

Subject: Save Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical Education High School

Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical Education (CTE) High School is one of the public schools proposed to be phase out by the NYC Department of Education (DOE) due to poor graduation rates. The DOE's Panel for Education Policy (PEP) states that Alfred E. Smith CTE HS will be phased out without replacement. We welcome change, but phasing out our school is not the answer and unacceptable; not having a plan that involves the continued use of the building to educate the economically disadvantaged South Bronx students in pre-engineering, plumbing, carpentry, electrical, HVAC, and automotive mechanics is disgraceful. A phase out would mean no freshman will enter the shop classes in September 2010. The teachers will be released, shop classes will be increasingly underutilized and eventually nonexistent. As a result, plumbers, electricians, HVAC mechanics, carpenters, automotive mechanics and pre-engineers no longer be trained at AES. Phasing out Alfred E. Smith HS and eliminating its unparalleled Career & Technical Education component is unequivocally a mistake and not the solution to the problem, here are quantitative reasons why:

- Alfred E. Smith CTE HS partners with Edward J. Molloy for Initiative for Construction Skills which provides students the unique opportunity to enter NYC Unions upon graduation. Since 2001 Alfred E. Smith CTE HS has repeatedly helped place over 20 percent of each graduating class in high level union jobs, including Con Edison, MTA, Long Island Railroad, Smalls Electrical Construction Inc., and New York City School Construction Authority to name a few. Many others find professional jobs in Plumbing, Electrical Installation and Practice, Carpentry, Auto Mechanics, Heating, Pre-Engineering, as well as in Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC).

- Alfred E. Smith CTE HS has been ranked #2 in the Nation by AYES (Automotive Youth Education Systems) for Automotive Internships, as students are constantly placed in local automotive internships, including: BMW of Manhattan, Mercedes of Manhattan, Riverdale Chrysler, and Lexus of Queens. AES graduates readily fill specialized positions upon graduating high school and instantly become contributing citizens of our communities.

- The DOE Panel on Educational Policy (PEP) has justified phasing out AES is due to poor graduation rates, however, Alfred E. Smith CTE High School's 4-year graduation rate increased 22.2% between 2008 to 2009.

- The DOE claims the Alfred E. Smith CTE HS is not making progress, however, our overall Progress Score has increased from 37.3 (2006-2007) to 52.4 (2008-2009), representing a 40.5 percent overall increase.

- Since the 2006-2007 school year, Alfred E. Smith CTE HS has shown a 93.1% increase in the area of School Environment, 60% increase in Student Performance, and 18% increase in Student Progress as per the DOE's Statistic page online. Here's the data represented in a graph.

- Only 44 percent of Black and Latino students in NYC public schools graduate within six years. Student population at Alfred E. Smith CTE HS is over 95% African-American and Hispanic, yet Alfred E. Smith CTE HS had a much higher graduation rate in 2008 for this same subgroup, even though AES students are required to take 55 credits to graduate, 11 more than what NYC public high schools require.

- Alfred E. Smith CTE HS is situated in The South Bronx, one of the poorest congressional districts in the United States. AES's certified Career and Technical Educational (CTE) programs allows economically disadvantaged students to get unparalleled hand-on instruction in the trades, thereby provide a way out of the poverty cycle. A majority of AES graduates find jobs upon graduation. Phasing out AES would be an act of giving up on the economically disadvantaged.

- Alfred E. Smith CTE HS services a large special needs population. More than one out of five students, or 20% of the total student body, has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Smith is one of the last standing schools in this city that provides self contained classes and integrated shop classes for a large IEP population. Many of these IEP students have excelled in their respective trades and have gone on to secure employment, something they would not be able to achieve in a non-CTE school.

- Alfred E. Smith CTE HS is associated with the following professional organizations: New York Electrical Contracting Association, New York Building Congress, New York Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Building Trades Employers Association, Architectural Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentoring program

- Alfred E. Smith CTE HS provides free adult classes at night for the community; Smith is not only an educational facility for adolescents, but also for the community.

- Alfred E. Smith CTE HS offers the training to put technical education to the test in regional and National competitions. Year after year Smith students practice what they've learned, compete, and consistently take home trophies from Skills USA and the National Automotive Technology Competition.

- CTE high schools are more successful: CTE students in New York are four times less likely to drop out before graduating than the overall average in New York City.

What Can You Do?
- Submit a public comment to Samuel Sloves (, 718-935-4414). TYPE Alfred E. Smith CTE High School in the subject line. Feel free to use any/all of the above reasons, or just simply state you don't want to see AES phased out. Keep resending emails (every day) through January 25th.
- Reach out to politicians: re-send this email to the following people (and whoever else you can think of):
- Attend our Public Hearing at Smith on January 11th at 5:30pm (333 East 151st Street, Bronx, NY, 10451). More information on our Google Document. The DOE will visit our school and give those who wish 3 minutes to provide their input regarding why we 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 January 26th. Your attendance would be invaluable.
- Get signatures: printing this petition, collect signatures in your community. Additionally, you can sign this online petition.
-Peruse this Google Document to learn more. Important websites and dates of events that relate to our school and its potential phase out are listed here. Note: this information is constantly changing, and the Google Document will be updated periodically.

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