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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hold On To Your Tilden Sweat Shirts, Folks

From the official Samuel J. Tilden High School website: Brooklyn 5800 Tilden Ave Brooklyn, NY 11203

The staff of Samuel J. Tilden High School is a staff committed to excellence. This excellence will be evidenced in the development of out future leaders. It is our plan to insure that the young people that graduate from these portals are prepared with the social and academic skills necessary to achieve in an ever changing, technologically developing world. Within our young people we will reinforce the positive values that they bring from their homes and their communities. As they develop a sense of self-worth and dignity, they will also develop a strong appreciation for their own culture and respectful tolerance for the lifestyles of others. We will reaffirm the necessity for our youth to be academically prepared, socially concerned, and intellectually discerning human beings who will feel confident and adept in an ever changing multicultural and multifaceted environment.
Well, it seems that not everyone agrees with the above statement. Certainly not the New York City Department of Education ('Board of Education' to us Boomers) who on December 11, 2006 said that it would close five failing high schools that had proved unsalvageable.
That honorable distinction was bestowed on Tilden, as well as Lafayette and South Shore, and two small Manhatten schools.
The Brooklyn schools will be replaced by collections of small schools with about 400 - 500 students, typical of the Bloomburg administration, which has closed or is in the process of closing 17 other large schools across the City.
Education officials said the schools to be closed had notably low four-year graduation rates, did a particularly poor job helping students who were already behind as incoming freshmen, and proved exceedingly unpopular with prospective students.
In addition, the schools all had safety problems. Extra police officers and security guards were put into each of them after each school was named an 'impact school.' (South Shore and Lafayette were taken off the list after improving.) Hey, remember when Ralph was the only cop assigned to the school and there probably wasn't enough for him to do.
At Tilden, 43.5 percent of students scheduled to graduate in 2006 did so. (What was the graduation rate the year your graduated? Did you even know anyone who did not graduate?)
Don't throw away your Tilden keepsakes.
They're sure to become great conversation pieces. You can tell your grandchildren that you remember when Tilden was a great school in a great neighborhood, in the best borough of the greatest city.
A sad day.

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