NYC’s LaGuardia High School in uproar over academics

At this rate it’ll become infamous.

The academic debasement of LaGuardia High School — Manhattan’s renowned “Fame school” —  is accelerating, parents fear, as woke principal Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos makes plans to slash its demanding 10-period schedule down to eight periods a day for most students.

“It’s just another example of this principal’s attack on academic excellence,” one parent raged. “She’s big on equity — which in practice tends to mean bringing everyone down rather than helping some students rise up.”

The new “equitable” schedule will force the city’s best and brightest artsy scholars — who take at least three periods of dance, music, visual art, or theater classes every day — to miss out on core college-prep classes such as science and math, simply for lack of time.

“Teachers have been warning students and parents that the eight-period day will decimate academics at LaGuardia,” a furious mom told The Post. “Not just advanced academics, but all academics.”

Ms. Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos
Principal Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos has drawn the ire of parents for the plan.

“The sabotage is ongoing,” another parent said — recalling that Vasconcelos previously made waves for suggesting that AP tests “reflect systemic racism” and tried to scale back LaGuardia’s AP offerings.

Draft schedules circulating among the faculty show the instructional day being shaved down by nearly two hours for the Fall 2022 semester.

While 10 periods would remain on paper, teachers will have to seek special approvals to actually schedule classes during the first and 10th slots, sources said — creating a de facto eight-period day.

“My kid’s guidance counselor told her she can’t take math and science APs next year if she also takes all her arts classes,” one mother complained.

LaGuardia HS
The school has educated generations of top performers like Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro and Timothee Chalamet.

The dumbing-down directive was buried deep in a lengthy May 12 email to parents under the innocuous heading “Bell Schedule.”

“We will continue to offer 10 periods for students who choose this option,” Vasconcelos wrote — but families will have to “request an accommodation” to do so.

The news triggered a deluge of complaints to Mayor Adams and Chancellor David Banks — forcing Vasconcelos to call in DOE Superintendent Vivian Orlen, who oversees Manhattan high schools, for a hastily arranged Zoom meeting on May 23.

“There appears to have been lots of misinformation,” Orlen told the 160 parents, teachers, and students who listened in.

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

But parents believe that a woke quest to level the academic playing field is the real reason — and at the meeting, UFT chapter leader John Hamilton shot down Vasconcelos’s excuse.

“The teachers have expressed the desire to keep as much teaching time in the schedule as possible,” Hamilton said, calling the prospect of cuts to the school’s course offerings “a major concern for our chapter.”

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

A third of them take only three years of math and science, and nearly 40% skip out on languages after two years.

“With this schedule, kids will be lucky to come out with a basic Regents diploma,” one parent griped.

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

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts has educated 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 founding in 1936.

“It’s heartbreaking,” a LaGuardia dad vented. “We feel like we are trapped by this activist principal.”

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