Councilman Dominic Recchia On The Future Of John Dewey High School

Empty classroom John Dewey
Source: Wordbuilder via Wikimedia Commons. Will this be Dewey's fate too?

Councilman Dominic Recchia, a graduate of John Dewey High School, is pleading with the Department of Education to keep his Alma mater open. On his Facebook page, Recchia posted this status on Wednesday: “Proud to speak in support of John Dewey at last evening’s public hearing. As an alumnus of this school, I want to see John Dewey High School flourish.”

In January, Councilman Domenic Recchia wanted to clean house at John Dewey High School and have Principal Barry Fried removed. Fried resigned last month, however, the fate of the school is still unknown.

As for the rest of the staff, they may be let go as well if the Department of Education decides that Dewey will be the next school to participate in the federally-funded turnaround program. The program’s stipulations demand that failing schools change their name, replace most of the teachers, and break the school up into several smaller schools in exchange for over a million dollars in funding.

The Department of Education labeled Dewey a “failing school.” It has received low scores on the lat three city-issued report cards. the high school is just one of 52 New York City schools facing major changes or closure soon.

According to Courier Life’s Brooklyn Daily, Recchia is not interested in the turnaround plan. Rather, he blames the school’s education and safety problems on the former principal and believes that since his departure, Dewey students are on the right track.

“Let’s bring back the school, let’s bring back the arts. Let’s bring back the auto shop,” Recchia said. “Come down here and see what a wonderful school this is, how wonderful the students are, and how wonderful the staff is.”

Though teachers and students protested against the proposed changes last month, the Department of Education will still have a meeting to decide the outcome for the school. The meeting will be held at Brooklyn Tech High School  at 29 Fort Greene Place between DeKalb Avenue and Fulton Street on April 26 at 6:30 pm.

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