Southern Brooklyn

Sheepshead Bay High School And Others May Close

Courtesy of Wikipedia

We haven’t been able to confirm it, but is reporting that Sheepshead Bay High School, John Dewey High School, William E. Grady High School, and FDR High School are set to close by the end of 2010.

We first wrote in November that administrators were considering Sheepshead Bay H.S. (3000 Avenue X) for closure, but at the time the principal denied the claims. Since then, the city’s list of “persistently lowest achieving” high schools swelled from about a dozen to 34, including the addition of the three other southern Brooklyn high schools.

The list of targets was created as part of a proposal for Race to the Top, a federal grant program aimed at encouraging states to be aggressive in fixing or closing their lowest performing schools. New York State stands to gain about $500,000 for every school it reforms using one of the federal government’s four models. New York Times describes them as follows:

They have confusing and similar-sounding names: turnaround, transformation, restart and closure.

The least drastic of the four is the “transformation” model, which requires that the city replace the principal and use a “rigorous and equitable evaluation system” for teachers and other administrators to weed out the poorly performing ones from the good. That model could be used in up to 17, or half, of the schools on the list…

The other 17 schools would have to follow one of the more aggressive strategies. The “restart” requires the city to hand over management of the school to a charter or other education-management organization. In the “turnaround” model, the school either remains open but replaces at least 50 percent of its staff, or shuts down year by year, in the same way that city schools currently close. In the “closure” model, the school is simply shut down.

The city says it will decide which model to use on a case-by-case basis, and since there haven’t been any official announcements regarding the four southern Brooklyn schools, it’s possible they may just be “reformed.”

Councilman Lew Fidler, who chairs the youth services committee and is a member of the education committee, told that the changes are a part of a quiet initiative by the Department of Education to shutter large high schools and replace them with smaller public and charter institutions.

“The day they closed Canarsie [High School], I predicted they’d be coming for Sheepshead next,” Fidler told “It really has nothing to do with Sheepshead so much as this agenda that DOE has to close the large high schools. They go where they think the political will is weakest. There’s no way they’d be able to get away with closing Midwood, Murrow or Madison so Sheepshead was the next logical choice.”

Fidler is a staunch opponent of charter schools.

“I think that the charter system creates a two-tier system of public schools,” he told Sheepshead Bites in July. “They ought to pay more time and energy in public schools that need to be improved rather than creating a second tier of schools, and the argument that charters perform better than public is based on misleading and distorted facts.”

He explained his reasons for opposing charter schools here.

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  1. What a shame. I am a 1983 SBHS graduate…those were the heydays of Sheepshead and, I must say, some of the best years of my life. Yeah, so I was a geek…AV Squad Captain….

  2. if they got rid of the students that have zero interest in learning,maybe,just maybe the school can be saved!!!just 10 years ago,when my son was a student(i went there also,class of 69)i was always going down there to ask for help with him not just going to school,but staying there(in the front door out the back).anyway i was not embarassed to ask everyone(teachers, principals and truant officers)for help. i was told that there were at least 400 truant students they had to look into. i told them.”screw” the others. i have a smart kid making stupid choices,please help. to make aloooong story short,(this went on for years) a few months before graduation, the truant officer(whom i had met) showed up at my home to tell me my son was “absent for at least 30 days(not in a row. i made like i was shocked. then proceeded to tell him we had met and that i had pleaded for help,to no avail. he did not graduate on time,however,once in summer school,he was the top student. proving to himself and me how bright he is. where was the help for all those years. i am sure i was one of a few parents who cared. i think the inmates are running the sad.

  3. i thought they closed down fdr long ago. anyways, i always wondered why it made sense to the board to choke the schools that have low test scores, have a big percentage of a “minority” student body and that have limited resources, choking to the point where the school can no longer really function. everyone says how great nj public schools are. its because of all the tax dollars that are being poured into them. if at least one of these schools that are set to close had the money given to them the way it is in nj, there seems to be a high possibility that these schools would flourish. also, nobody wants to address that the entire education system needs to be renovated.

  4. What a shame! I graduated in 1963. In those days Sheepshead was a terrific school. Some of my fondest memories and best friends are from those days. I'm still in touch with people I knew then. It would be terrible to close this school. The DOE believes it's easier to run away from problems rather than make a concerted effort to try and fix them. People I graduated with became judges, baseball and basketball stars, politicians, doctors, business owners and many other productive members of society.

  5. I graduated from Sheepshead Bay High School, Class of '65. What have you people done to it? Used to be a great school. Everyone went on to the best that higher education had.

  6. I could give you one opinion on what happened but it wouldn't be politically correct nor would many people be happy at the insinuation so I'll just leave it up to your imagination.

  7. Omg ; you guys really need to stop. i sware im in tears right now.. i LOVE this school with all my heart. coming from a girl that used to be SCARED to go to school from 4th grade to 8th because every school i went to i got bullied because im a “weird ugly white b*tch” :’(!!! This school & the students took me in for who i am & did not judge nor discriminate. DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT SHEEPSHEAD BAY BEAT BROOKLYN TECH & ANOTHER SPECIALIZED H.S IN LAW!!!! but WE DONT GET CREDIT FOR THAT?? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! com’on you guyss!!!!!!! Like seriously this school offers so Many classes you can take.. so many programs .. so many clubs & stuff. This school has 6 GYMS!!!! Its nice and big. You have to scan to come in to the school .. this school makes me feel so safe. Yeaa SOME of the students are ghetto but everybodys so frendlly. The teachers are sweethearts.. i sware to god i love this school. im taking track.. gym .. music .. science .. social .. english .. spanish .. my classes are great. im getting 80′s & 90′s . the only problem is that theres a lot of kids that dont speak english that just came to this country thats why the grades are slacking!!!! THERE IS NOTHING wronge with sheepshead .. i repeat THERE IS NOTHING wronge with sheepshead .. THERE DOING GREAT & REALLY PICKING UP. the problem is you guys ASUME this school is bad .. & its NOTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At all .. you cant even cut !! Oh Yea Midwoods a Great school huh? All my friends that go there a freakin drug dealers .. theres so many fights & a lot of drama & beef in that school.. Sheepshead is such a nice place.. i feel so safe in there .. this school feels like home to me. i have freshmen .. sophmore & junior & senior friends.. everyones really cool. This year there was only 3 fights in the WHOLE school . you guys really have to stop judging the school without actually going there. This school is wonderfull man! My sister is 19 years old & went to this school 2 years ago. she is now in collage studying hard to become a lawyer. she studdied law in that school. You guys need to acutally come to the school take a look for yourself. This school is wonderfull. Thankyou sheepshead for taking me in 🙂 I PRAY TO GOD THAT THEY DONT CLOSEE!!!!

  8. I hope they don’t close sheepshead. I love that school. Every school has its bad seeds but it doesnt mean the whole school. I mean changing it into a charter school isnt going to do anything forthe students. Thats what people should remembr, schools are for students, no te governents on prvate reasons. Why send a whole bunch of kids to other schools. Your basically seprating a family and sending all the kids to different foster homes. closing sheepshead is such a bad idea


  10. if the schools bad come on close them the principal isnt helping others by lieing and saying the school is good and its underperforming as in grades and hows shellbank is it still bad?

  11. Bill Cosby always goes on his rant about “people”.  I truly believe that you can blame those people….


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