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Teens who attend a new small high school have a better chance of graduating than their peers at larger, established schools, according to a study released yesterday by the research firm MDRC.
The study compares students who were accepted by lottery to one of 105 new schools to those who applied to the same school but did not get in. Fnded by the Gates Foundation, the study looked at students who entered a new small school -- mostly in Brooklyn and the Bronx -- between 2005 and 2008. It found that "67.9 percent of the students who entered small high schools in 2005 and 2006 graduated four years later, compared with 59.3 percent of the students who were not admitted and instead went to larger schools," the New York Times reports.
Education advocates say that while many of the new small schools opened by the Bloomberg administration post better results than the large, failing schools they replaced, not all of them are successful. In fact, the city is moving to close some of them.
"We do know that overall the small schools are successful. We also know that some of them are terrible failures. What we don't know is what makes some of them successful and some of them failures," Insideschools' Clara Hemphill told NY1 reporter Lindsey Christ. "The small schools did start out with a lot of energy. The question is whether that can be sustained."
Financial mismanagement and low performance have likely doomed a handful of charter schools. The city announced Monday it would move to close Peninsula Preparatory Academy in Far Rockaway, Queens and Williamsburg Charter High School in Brooklyn. Peninsula students would be assigned to local elementary schools. Williamsburg students could be left scrambling for placements for September. Williamsburg's charter network, Believe High Schools, has been under investigation by the state Attorney General's office. Now the state says it will try and revoke the charters for the two other schools in the Believe network.
Rachel Monahan of the N.Y. Daily News reports: While Mayor Bloomberg has touted gains for the poorest students, middle-income kids' test scores have failed to improve during his administration.
Winter recess begins on December 24th. Some students will head home with a bookbag full of holiday homework, while others will have a lighter load.
In this week's poll, we'd like to know how you feel about teachers assigning homework over the holiday break. Is it important to keep the momentum of the learning process moving during that downtime? Or, do kids deserve a break?
Vote now to let us know how you feel about holiday homework. Kids and teachers are welcome to vote too! Let's hear your reasons, for and against.
City funding for hundreds of free after school progams that serve 53,000 students may be slashed by the Bloomberg administration in an upcoming round of budget cuts, the Center for New York City Affairs reports.
Two years ago the Out of School Time programs got $117 million from city, allowing 87,000 kids to attend free after school and vacation programs. City support was reduced to $90 million this year and now, a proposed contract for 2013 anticipates that the city would provide less than $70 million for the OST programs. The cuts mean that fewer than half the current number of students would be served, advocates predict.
A representative for the Department of Youth and Community Development which distributes the funding says the cost of providing services is rising because in the future all programs will be required to provide both after school and summer programs.
Advocates voice concern about the impact of such cuts on families with the loss of affordable child care for working parents.
Read the full story here: Mayor's Axe to After School?
The non-partisan institution, which promotes school choice in education reform, gave New York City a grade of "B" on an A-F scale, and rated it top among the 25 largest school districts in the country for its school choice policies. Brookings looked at such factors as access to charter schools and magnet programs, online learning, and the closing or restructuring of unpopular schools, when they evaluated the districts' choice policies.School districts were invited to highlight what they considered to be their best practicies and New York City singled out its high school application process. All students must apply to up to 12 high schools and most students do not attend a zoned school. Those applications were due on Dec. 2.
This week thousands of 8th and 9th graders are finishing up a season of high school fairs, info sessions, and school tours, designed to help them decide where to apply to high school. After a last thumb-through of the humongous high school directory and a check of school profiles and comments on Insideschools.org, applications must be turned in to guidance counselors by Friday, Dec. 2.
The task of selecting up to 12 high schools to list on an application can be daunting -- for native New Yorkers as well as the many new residents and immigrants. In addition to a list of 12, thousands of students also apply to one of nine specialized high schools, or to a charter school, which requires a different application. Even parents and children who attend all the workshops can get confused when faced with a choice of more than 400 high schools.
For those of you in the throes of high school admissions (or who have recent memories of being there), we'd like to know: Do you feel prepared? Did you get enough guidance about how to apply to high school? Take our poll!
For 8th graders and their families who are logging hours pouring over the high school directory, reading Insideschools profiles and comments, watching our videos on how to apply to high school, and trekking all over the city for open houses and tours, decision time is here. High school applications are due on Dec. 2.
Here’s our advice about how to fill out the application.
School bus drivers may go on strike as early as Monday morning, leaving yellow bus riders to find an alternate way to get to school, the city warned parents today.
The threatened system-wide strike by Local 1181 bus drivers stems from the Education Department's bid for a new contract for buses which transport special needs pre-school students to school. The current contract expires in June 2012 and the union is asking for job protection for its workers in the event that their current employers don't get the bid.
The city considers the strike illegal and is seeking a federal court injunction against it.