New York’s LaGuardia High School in turmoil over academics

At this rate, it’s becoming infamous.

The academic degradation of LaGuardia High School – Manhattan’s renowned “fame school” – is accelerating, parents fear, as woke principal Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos plans to cut the demanding 10-hour schedule to eight hours a day for most students.

“This is just another example of this principal’s assault on academic excellence,” raged one parent. “She places a high value on justice – which in practice means bringing everyone down rather than helping some students rise.”

The new “equitable” curriculum is forcing the city’s best and brightest artistic scholars — who take at least three hours of dance, music, fine arts or drama classes each day — to miss core college-prep courses like science and math, simply due to lack of time.

“Teachers have warned students and parents that the eight-hour day will decimate LaGuardia’s academics,” an angry mother told the Post. “Not just advanced academics, but all academics.”

Mrs. Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos
Director Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos has drawn the ire of parents.

“The sabotage continues,” said another parent — recalling that Vasconcelos had previously made waves for claiming that AP testing “reflects systemic racism” and attempting to limit LaGuardia’s AP offerings.

Draft timetables circulating among the faculty show that the teaching day for the fall semester 2022 will be shortened by almost two hours.

While 10 hours would remain on paper, teachers must obtain special permissions to actually schedule classes during the first and 10th time slots, sources said — creating a de facto eight-hour day.

“My child’s guidance counselor told her that if she takes all her art classes, she can’t do APs in math and science next year,” lamented one mother.

LaGuardia HS
The school has trained generations of top performers such as Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro and Timothee Chalamet.

The dumbing down policy was buried deep in a long May 12 email to parents under the innocuous headline “Bell Schedule.”

“We will continue to offer 10 hours for students who choose this option,” Vasconcelos wrote – but families will have to “request accommodation” for this.

The news sparked a spate of complaints from Mayor Adams and Chancellor David Banks — forcing Vasconcelos to invite DOE Superintendent Vivian Orlen, who oversees Manhattan high schools, to a hastily arranged Zoom meeting on May 23.

“There seems to have been a lot of misinformation,” Orlen told the 160 parents, teachers and students who listened.

On the call, Vasconcelos claimed that demands from the United Federation of Teachers were behind the schedule changes.

But parents believe a woke quest to level the academic playing field is the real reason – and at the meeting, UFT chapter head John Hamilton slammed Vasconcelos’ apology.

“Teachers have expressed a desire to keep as much class time in the curriculum as possible,” Hamilton said, describing the prospect of cuts in the school’s course offerings as “a major concern for our chapter.”

Even with 10 hours available, LaGuardia students struggle to fit into the four years of English, science, math, social studies, and foreign language courses that competitive colleges require.

A third of them need only three years for math and science, and almost 40% skip languages ​​after two years.

“With this schedule, kids are lucky enough to come out with a basic Regents diploma,” complained one parent.

DOE spokesman Nathaniel Styer denied that any changes to LaGuardia’s 10-period schedule were on the way. “That’s absolutely wrong,” he said.

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts has trained generations of top performers – including Liza Minnelli, Eartha Kitt, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jennifer Aniston, Adrien Brody, Nicki Minaj, Ansel Elgort, Timothee Chalamet and hundreds more since its inception in 1936.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said one LaGuardia father. “We feel like we’re trapped by this activist director.” New York’s LaGuardia High School in turmoil over academics


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