The embattled Shuang Wen School has a new principal. Department of Education officials have appointed Iris Chiu, a 19-year veteran of the city school system, as the interim principal at the Lower East Side’s Shuang Wen P.S. 184 school.
Chiu replaces longtime school leader Ling Ling Chou, who was reassigned to administrative duties last week amidst nine DOE investigations ongoing at the school, including allegations about improprieties in enrollment practices, after-school programs and other issues. Chou had headed the Cherry Street school since it opened 12 years ago.
“…the executive director of a troubled non-profit organization has resigned after less than eight months on the job. Winston Chow was hired to run the Shuang Wen Academy Network last fall, just as NY1 found the school was charging $1,000 per student to attend a required after-school program. The Department of Education has opened several… investigations into the school and the affiliated public school, Shuang Wen Academy. The Department of Youth and Community Development… stopped funding the after-school program. Chow has said he was unaware of these issues when began the job. In a statement Thursday, he wrote, “I’m resigning because I’ve come across another great opportunity and so must move on.” Chow declined to say what it was.”
Earlier this week, NY1 aired two reports raising questions about Shuang Wen, the highly regarded LES dual language school. Education reporter Lindsay Christ said the Department of Education is investigating the school’s recent decision to charge students for after-school Mandarin instruction. And she reported that the principal and members of the parent association have received threatening letters. This morning, Winston Chow, executive director of the Shuang Wen Academy Network, responded. Here is the full text of a press release we received a short time ago:
Last week, two Lower East Side Schools went before District 1’s Community Education Council to present their plans for implementing “dual language programs.” During the meeting, the Shuang Wen School (P.S. 184) and the Anna Silver School (PS. 20) outlined two different visions for teaching students in two languages, Mandarin and English.
There will be presentations from two Lower East Side schools developing dual language programs at District 1’s Education Council meeting tonight.
The Shuang Wen School (P.S. 184) is sought after by parents citywide for its dual language curriculum. Back in January, we reported the Department of Education had determined the school did not meet city, state and federal requirements for official “dual language” status. Since sometime last year the DOE and the school have been working to implement new academic programs and admissions policies to bring the school into compliance.