Eight Queens high schools identified by New York state as “persistently low-achieving”— Flushing, William Cullen Bryant, Long Island City, Newtown, Grover Cleveland, August Martin, Richmond Hill and John Adams — in September 2011 were given three years under city Department of Education restart and transformation models to raise graduation rates and test scores. These goals were to be accomplished without any of the schools being closed or undergoing changes in administration or faculty.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his January 2012 State of the City address proposed a “turnaround” model for these schools as a way to keep $60 million in federal funding. Under the “turnaround” plan, the high schools would be closed and then reopened in September 2012 with new schools operating in the existing buildings. New administrations and staff with no more than onehalf of the personnel from the school’s previous incarnation would be in place. Teachers not selected would