West Brooklyn Community High School is what is known in New York City as a transfer school. The city’s Education Department now runs 51 such schools, serving 13,000 students.
The schools are small, and many of them work with community-based organizations to offer counseling, college and career advising, and internships. They have a significantly better track record than other high schools in graduating students who are two or more years behind. But because students often enter transfer schools with few credits, it can take them six, seven or even eight years in total to graduate.
Now advocates and city education officials fear the schools may be in danger. On Monday, the State Education Department is expected to present the Board of Regents with regulations to conform with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind. Under the expected regulations, the vast majority of the city’s transfer schools would be designated as “in need of improvement” and could be at risk of being closed.
Under the regulations, schools that fall short of a six-year graduation rate of 67 percent would be put on a list to receive “comprehensive support and improvement.” Only four of the city’s 51 transfer schools currently meet, or are on track to meet, that benchmark.
If a school could not get off the list within three years, it could be moved into the state’s receivership program, which could eventually lead it to close.
A spokeswoman for the State Education Department, Emily DeSantis, said that, in response to feedback, the department had abandoned an earlier version of the regulations. Under that version, transfer schools that failed to get off the comprehensive support and improvement list after three years would have automatically been put into receivership.
Under the new version, Ms. DeSantis said, the state education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, “would partner with districts to determine the…