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Specialized means?

February 12, 2007 am28 8:23 am

For New York City public high schools, it means that admission is based on a challenging test. For years there were three specialized high schools: Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, and Stuyvesant. Three small specialized high schools were added on CUNY campuses in 2002: at CCNY, at Lehman College, and at York College. Two more schools were added to the list recently (in Brooklyn and on Staten Island) bringing the total to 8.

Oh, right. Why write this? Because the NY Sun thinks 20 more are opening next year.

In fact, the 20 schools (and the number will go up in February, with more announcements) are five transitional schools for older kids who’ve been failing most of their classes and could not possibly graduate on-time, six 6-12 schools, and nine small Nadelstern-style failure academies (9-12).

The Sun makes writing about educational issues in NYC a specialty. Would have thought they had the basics down. Guess not.

(more below the fold) —>Last year I wrote on Edwize about how the DoE was using statistics to deceive the public about its small schools. This year they produced minimal statistics, and mostly just went with deception.

(Did you know that they throw Millenium in Tribeca into their stats? Or that:

Given the preliminary and limited nature of the student information, it is not yet possible to compare these new schools to other public secondary schools in the city. *

Bloomberg’s chancellor said :

“The results reported by WestEd confirm that our new schools are bringing high-quality options to students from the most historically underserved communities,” said Chancellor Klein. “The new schools that graduated classes last spring replaced schools like Evander Childs High School and South Bronx High School, where an average of 39% of students graduated in 2002. These new schools have, in four years, nearly doubled that graduation rate.”

without mentioning, of course, how the DoE systematically overcrowded Bronx high schools, shunted the weakest and most difficult children from school to school, disrupting all, and allowed introduction of programs that would never have been allowed in middle class areas (I know about the disasterous “Math Connections” but I am certain the same was repeated in several subject areas.)

This topic deserves more. We need to know exactly how well or poorly the mini schools are doing, and with what impact on the rest of the system. There will be a few success stories, but anecdotal evidence suggests that more of these schools are mediocre and even more are lousy.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. JBL permalink
    February 12, 2007 am28 10:20 am 10:20 am

    Do you not count Hunter and LaGuardia as specialized schools? I always assumed that Hunter was the basic model for the three CUNY-campus schools (even though the details are quite different).

  2. February 12, 2007 am28 10:25 am 10:25 am

    Hunter falls under the direct control, I believe, of New York State. It is its own category. LaGuardia doesn’t use the test, but it may count as “Specialized.”

  3. February 12, 2007 pm28 3:26 pm 3:26 pm

    To get into LaGuardia, though, you have to audition before a panel of judges… that must require some kind of special designation?

    How does a NYC high school fall under the control of the state? And I’ve heard that Hunter College HS presently has very little to do with CUNY Hunter.

  4. February 13, 2007 am28 5:02 am 5:02 am

    Don’t forget to count Townshend Harris HS in your specialized schools. They pick kids by their 7th or 8th grade marks.

  5. February 13, 2007 am28 5:14 am 5:14 am

    Townshend Harris is ‘screened’ rather than ‘specialized.’ This produces especially strong classes, since they look at the kid’s total record. The kid who cuts schools, but tests well, the kid who doesn’t do homework, but tests well, the kid with discipline problems who tests well — none of them can get into Townshend Harris, but all of them can make a specialized high school.

    I don’t really get how Hunter High works, but it is public, and it is not under NYC DoE control.

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