It appears that the millions of dollars earmarked to save Boys and Girls High School may be in jeopardy.
One reason is due to stalled negotiations between the teacher’s union and the Cityaround how to best implement teacher evaluations, which will greatly impact the way teachers are hired and fired. But until an agreement is reached between the two parties, the State will hold the money.
The second reason has to do with the school’s principal Bernard Gassaway. In a letter he released to Bed-Stuy Patch this morning, Gassaway presented a resounding objection to Restart – the school reform model under which the money would be awarded – insisting that most of the $3.5 - $6 million grant that may come with Restart would be restricted primarily to professional development.
Gassaway has long stated a preference for the Turnaround (Transformation) Model as the most viable approach for student improvement at Boys and Girls, as it would grant him authority to replace teachers he deems ineffective.
"Money alone is not the answer," said Gassaway. "I have espoused that of all the models being offered, Turnaround would give us the best chance to speed-up the reform of Boys and Girls High School. While I defend all efforts to keep Boys and Girls High School open forever, I do not defend the right of incompetent staff to remain with children indefinitely.”
Boys & Girls High School has ranked as one of New York State’s lowest performing schools for the last two years, and less than half of its students graduated in 2010. In December, the city narrowly spared Boys & Girls from complete closure.