It Can Be Done: DOE Reverses Decision to Co-Locate Thriving Brownsville High School

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So, remember how in December we concluded that there's nothing that a public school can do to successfully fight off co-locations with other schools?

Well, Brownsville Academy High School proved us wrong.

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reign, rulings on co-location proposals seem to be guided by an unspoken scientific law which asserts that a co-location in motion shall remain in motion.

But, less than a week after dozens of BAHS students filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education challenging the co-location of a Success Academy charter school, the DOE has notified the lawyer of the students, Arthur Schwartz of Advocates for Justice, that it will scrap its plans to co-locate the building out of which BAHS operates.

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UPDATE: Parents, Students and Community Not Sure They Have Real Voice in School Co-Location Process

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Jason Lewis/Village Voice
From the school's rally against co-location in October.
UPDATE: Anyone who fought against the recent round of co-locations can now rest assured that they never had a say in yesterday's Panel on Educational Policy's vote.

The PEP voted late last night to approve every co-location proposal up for consideration. The approvals came after hours of impassioned pleas to the panel from members of the public both against and in favor of the proposed co-locations.

Everyone in attendance should demand that the DOE reimburse them for five hours spent at a meeting that essentially amounted to an open-mic therapy session at best.

Students from transfer high school Brownsville Academy, where the PEP ultimately voted to approve the co-location of a Success Academy Charter School, stayed until 11 p.m. pleading with the panel to reconsider.They were trying to figure out why the panel would potentially disrupt one of the city's rare high-performing transfer high schools to co-locate an elementary school.

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Parents, Students and Community Not Sure They Have Real Voice in School Co-Location Process

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Jason Lewis/Village Voice
From the school's rally against co-location in October.
Students, parents and the surrounding community have made it clear that they don't want the New York City Department of Education to co-locate a new school alongside Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts in Brooklyn.

But, they're unclear whether they possess the power to stop it from happening.

The City's Panel on Educational Policy is set to rule on proposed co-locations around the city later today. Those looking to prevent co-location at their community school aren't sure whether they've had much say in the matter.

"I honestly I feel like the decision might already be made. I've attended as many meetings as I could," Anthonine Fiote, a parent of two middle school students at Susan McKinney, tells the Voice. "This school is really filled with talented kids who want to take [their craft] to the next level. If you take that away from them, I just feel like that's wrong."

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