Academy for Social Action: A College Board School

Phone: (212) 234-3102
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Principal: Rhokeisha Ford
Neighborhood: Harlem
District: 5
Grade range: 07 thru 12

What's special:

School plans to offer certificate in digital media

The downside:

Kids complain of fights and bullying

Middle School Stats


High School Stats


Our review

Opened in 2007, the Academy for Social Action is designed to offer a demanding college-prep curriculum but has struggled to maintain an orderly atmosphere where children can learn.

Students complain of fights and bullying; nearly one-third say they don’t feel safe in class and more than half say they don’t feel safe on the property outside the school, according to the Learning Environment Survey. In one incident that made the newspapers, a girl sprayed mace into a classroom, sending nine students to the hospital. Ninety percent of teachers responding to the survey said they mistrust the principal and think she is an ineffective manager.

On the positive side, the school won a grant to buy Smartboards and computers as part of the principal’s plan to start a Career and Technical Education program that would offer a certificate in digital media. Staff make themselves available to help students. “Students are motivated to attend school even when they are experiencing a personal problem because they know they can talk to a teacher or staff person if they need to during the school day,” according to a Department of Education report called a quality review.

The school was founded in partnership with the College Board, the not-for-profit group that administrators the SAT, PSAT, and Advanced Placement program. Students are encouraged to take Advanced Placement courses and take part in community activities and internships.

Admissions: limited unscreened. (Clara Hemphill, news reports and DOE statistics, September 2012)

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