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The carcass of what once was a proud high school should serve as a monument to the incompetence and arrogance of the city Department of Education.
First the DOE neglected Jamaica High School. After a while, it realized students do not do well at neglected schools. It then carved up Jamaica High and introduced new schools with fancy names.
The idea was that those who entered Jamaica High as freshmen would be allowed to graduate from the school, then it will close. How does this make sense?
The school shares space with four other high schools: Queens Collegiate High, the Hillside Arts & Letters Academy, the High School for Community Leadership and Jamaica Gateway.
Teachers at the dying school say the new institutions get more supplies and better equipment. Teachers have had to share cramped space and use outdated equipment. Students have been given limited access to honors and Advanced Placement classes.
This is not the way a school that has served the community for 120 years should be treated. The DOE bureaucrats do not understand what Jamaica High means to southeast Queens. And, apparently, they do not understand what they are putting the students through who watch as the kids across the hall get all new equipment.
There is still time for the DOE to admit that it made a mistake. Close the new schools and bring Jamaica High back to life.
Taking Aim at AME
We are surprised to see the Greater Allen AME Cathedral on top of the list of the borough’s worst landlords. Two buildings owned by the Allen Affordable Housing Development Fund Corp. have racked up a total of 344 infractions, according to a database published by city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio said the purpose of the database was to put “pressure on landlords who refuse to address violations.”
Residents in the two buildings say they have had to put up with serious problems, such as no hot water.
We would like to hear what the Rev. Floyd Flake, senior pastor at Greater Allen, has to say about this. The former congressman has done outstanding work in southeast Queens.
If he cannot explain what went wrong, we hope he will at least make a commitment to quickly fix the problems.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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