Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why the building trades program at Alfred E. Smith HS should not be shut down!

On January 26th the NYC Department of Education voted to phase out 19 public city schools. Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical HS was one of the original 20 schools to be voted on.
As you may know, we were taken off the list (temporarily) in part due to "feedback from the community and the demand for an automotive program to continue to exist in the Bronx."

Despite this, we're still in a crisis situation as the DoE plans to phase out our Building Trades program and move two existing schools into the building and co-locate with Alfred E. Smith (Bronx Haven High School and the New York City Charter High School for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industries).
We welcome change, however, phasing-out our Building Trades Program in one of the poorest congressional districts in the United States and replacing it with a for-profit, fragmented charter school that doesn't offer endorsed diplomas or hands-on training is unambiguously a mistake.
(Here's a photo of electrical, architectural drafting, HVAC, plumbing, and carpentry students, collaborating to build a functional model house on site at AES.)
Eliminating Career and Technical Education in electrical, plumbing, carpentry, architectural drafting, and Heating, Ventilating, and Air Condition (HVAC) for economically disadvantaged South Bronx students is an educational injustice. We need your support. If interested and available, please consider attending our public hearing, PEP vote and/or simply submit a public comment (instructions below) in support of keeping our Building Trades Program open. Your support is much appreciated!

See this link, with 14 reasons not to phase out Alfred E Smith Career & Technical Education High School.
--Nathaniel Thayer Wight, MS CCC-SLP, Speech & Language Pathologist; Green Science Club Coordinator / Teacher at Nwight@schools.nyc.gov

I. Please attend the Public Hearing at 5:30 PM on Friday, February 12th, 2010 at Alfred E. Smith CTE High School, 333 East 151st Street, Bronx

Those who wish to speak will be given two minutes to provide their input regarding why Building Trades 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 February 24th. Your attendance would be very appreciated and invaluable.
II. Attend the PEP hearing and vote on phasing out of AES Building Trades: at 6 PM on Wed., February 24, 2010 at the High School of Fashion Industries, 225 West 24 St., Manhattan; come at 5:30 PM to sign up to speak.

III. Submit a public comment to Samuel Sloves (HS.Proposals@schools.nyc.gov, 718-935-4414). Put Alfred E. Smith CTE High School Building Trade in the subject line. Public comments will be accepted through Feb 22 (and through March 21 for 08X381, 84X395).

Feel free to use any of our 14 reasons not to close this school (available at this link).

For more on AES and why it should not be closed see NY Times article here; Juan Gonzalez Daily News column here; AES Shop Classes, Music Video here; and AES Student Voices here.