December 23rd, 2010

WATCH: Small Schools ... Big Reforms?




“Courageous and arrogant”— that’s how one expert described New York City’s efforts to fix its high schools.  No other city has attempted reforms on a scale as big.

Starting almost a decade ago, the city began closing factory-style high schools that enrolled upwards of 2,500 students and  had graduation rates below 50%. To date, 26 such schools have been shuttered.
In their place, the city created 123 small, open-admission, theme-based high schools enrolling only a few hundred students each.  At these new schools,  graduation rates are higher— as high as 90%.

But not everyone is cheering the changes and some have sued to stop it.  What’s going on?

This piece was awarded second prize in the Education Writers’ Association 2010 Awards within the Feature, News Feature, or Issue Package category.

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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