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New Principal To Lead Lehman HS, The Troubled Bronx School In State Crosshairs

The city has appointed a first-time principal to take over Herbert H. Lehman High School, a large and troubled Bronx school that has endured downsizing, threats of closure, forced leadership changes, and state intervention in just the past few years.

Situated in a crowded building that stretches above an East Bronx overpass, Lehman’s graduation rate has long hovered around 50 percent, ranking it near the very bottom of city high schools. While that rate inched up under LoBianco, it remained low enough to qualify the school for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new “Renewal” improvement program.

That program is the latest in a head-spinning series of interventions attempted at Lehman. At different points during the past five years, city officials have proposed hiring a nonprofit group to help manage the school, replacing LoBianco and half the faculty, and closing the school. Meanwhile, the city under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg shuttered other large schools near Lehman, forcing it to absorb many challenging students.