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Although three Queens high schools are on the city Department of Education’s chopping block, two in western Queens ranked among the most successful city schools based on the most recent progress report.
The Academy for Careers in Television and Film in Astoria and the International High School at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City achieved an overall score above 90. And Long Island City’s Newcomers HS, which got a B, ranked among the best schools in the city when it came to closing the achievement gap.
The reports combine attendance rates, school surveys, performance on standardized tests and progress toward graduation.
Unfortunately, Law, Government and Community Service and Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship in Cambria Heights and Flushing high schools remain on a list the city has targeted for closure.
The DOE should focus on what is right at the Astoria and Long Island City schools and look for ways to duplicate that success at the schools on death row.
Before the city closes any more schools, we’d like to see a comparison of the schools making progress with those that aren’t.
Backing Off Stop-and-Frisk
The number of stop-and-frisks by city police is in decline in nearly every Queens precinct. The policy, designed to remove illegal guns from the city, was well-intentioned but a failure.
In the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights, which ranked third in total stops last year, stop-and-frisks were down almost 50 percent, counting 3,427 stops through the first nine months this year compared to 6,805 in 2011, according to the NYPD.
There is no indication stop-and-frisk reduced gun violence and gun-related crimes have not increased in areas where the campaign has been cut back.
According to New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman, the program has a 90 percent failure rate.
“It remains a tremendous waste of resources, sows mistrust between police and the communities they serve and routinely violates fundamental rights,” she said.
Getting guns off the street should and will continue to be a priority of the NYPD, but it needs a more effective approach that doesn’t alienate minority communities.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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