From the NY Times:
More than 300 speakers addressed the board, the Panel for Educational Policy, beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene. By the time the panel began voting at 2:40 a.m. they had heard a litany of complaints from hundreds of parents, students, teachers and administrators and just a handful of speakers who said they supported closing the schools.
But as expected, the panel overwhelmingly approved the closures recommended by the Education Department. The votes to close down the schools fell along political lines, with the appointees of the Manhattan, Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn borough presidents voting against the closings while each of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s appointees approved them without question. Nearly every school shutdown was approved with an 8 to 4 vote, while the audience shouted “shame on you” and “disgrace.”
The panel has been widely criticized as a rubber-stamp to the Bloomberg administration and has largely held an obscure role in education policy. But under new laws governing the mayor’s control of the school system, the panel was required to make the final approval of closures of low performing schools, a centerpiece of the mayor and Chancellor Joel I. Klein’s effort to overhaul the school system.