John Ericsson MS 126 gets an 'A'
by Andrew Shilling
Nov 20, 2013 | 5410 views | 4 4 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Principal Marcos Bausch and his staff at John Ericson Middle School.
Principal Marcos Bausch and his staff at John Ericson Middle School.
When Marcos Bausch took over as principal of John Ericsson Middle School 126 in Greenpoint, the school had spun out of control, was ranked in the bottom 8 percent in the city with a D grade on their progress report, and in desperate need of reform.

Just two years later, Bausch and his team have taken the school, which was once on the verge of closing due to poor performance, and earned one of the best scores in the city with an A grade from the Department of Education (DOE).

“My biggest problem was dealing with perception in the community, parents and what people thought about the school,” Bausch said after receiving the news about the updated progress report. “There has been a wave of positive press and buzz in the community, and a lot of people are entertaining that thought in the school.”

By cutting 22 underperforming teachers and replacing nearly 65 percent of his staff with a newly invigorated team, Bausch immediately turned what was once a failing school into an efficient, engaging work environment.

“We did really well and the letter grade we got rhymes with ‘yay,’” he said after receiving the news. “Just in terms of what was, an ‘A’ on the progress report is not the end all be all, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol applauded the new principal for his work at the school.

“Not only has Marcos helped turned the school around, he has brought on new staff and teachers that are also helping to lead these children in the right direction," Lentol said.

While Bausch’s high mark was a huge accomplishment for his school, 67 percent of new unscreened high schools also earned an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ this year, in comparison to last year when just 46 percent reached the prestigious status.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott praised the schools that moved up in the ranks and noted the importance of holding schools accountable for their performance.

“The most important job of our schools is ensuring students are on track to succeed in college and their careers,” Walcott said. “These results are further evidence that the hard work of our teachers and principals is paying off.”

All in all, 442 schools received an “A,” 576 received a “B,” 459 received a “C,” 102 received a “D” and 45 schools received an “F” on their progress report.

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September 01, 2014
So, is there going to be a follow-up article about how this "Miracle Worker," failed the school, community and himself? He's been DEMOTED to an Assistant Principal and is working in Manhattan now. He got caught STEALING and tried to blame it on a teacher. Hmmmm ... he got rid of 22 underperforming teachers and he brags about that? It's called KARMA!!! Now all the "SOUTHSIDE," friends that he brought in are really going to have to "work," for the new ghetto principal coming in. I'm seriously LMAFO because all the new teachers are going to get a taste of the same medicine served to the 22 highly dedicated staff that was tortured.

Also, so fact checking please. Anyone thinking about sending their kid to this school should go to and look at the data. Less than 8% of the kids are at reading level. That's criminal. I would never send my child to this school, ever!!!
September 01, 2014
As a witness to how this administration achieved its "A" rating. Mr.Jeff Merced purposely steered and manipulated students into replying positively to questions on school surveys by making suggestions and putting ideas in their heads. (Eg.Sugarcoating the amount of fights that took place in the building that year and suggesting a number of "one or two" Hiring a bunch of musclebound goons, who flexed their pecks and intimidated rowdy students into staying in line isn't my idea of an innovative approach to teaching.
T. Badamo
November 21, 2013
Congratulations to Mr. Bausch on all the hard work that was put into changing MS 126 from a failing school to an "A" school in two years!! We welcome all new parents and students who are applying to MS 126 to an exciting and exceptional learning experience in the upcoming school year. Staff and students are proud to be part of this "A" school.

David V
November 20, 2013
That's an AMAZING job. As I heard this was a school that no Assistant Principal in the whole district even entertained as a possibility! I applaud Mr. Bausch for his foresight and vision in seeing the amazing potential there obviously was at MS 126. It's clear that if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem!

You always hear the disgruntled teacher's perspective when someone comes in and cleans house! But guess what guys, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE TEACHERS! It's about the children and impacting students lives for the better. Too many teachers get caught up in my contract says this and my contract says that! I wonder if the chancellor know that this school was on the closure list and how fast it has turned around! This is a good success story!!!!!