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The Community School Farce

June 1, 2015 am30 7:08 am

New York City is getting community schools. Mayor de Blasio likes them. The UFT likes them.

They have “wrap-around” services – which can mean a lot. They have drop-out prevention programs. They have medical and dental care. They have mental health services. They have expanded guidance services. And each school is supposed to develop further services to meet the needs of its community.

But for high schools, there is no community.

It is a farce to call them community schools.

Mayor de Blasio says:  “Every Community School is different and reflects the strengths and needs of its students, families, and local community. ”

The report the UFT posts says “Community in this model is defined in the broadest sense possible, including not only non-profits, but also private-sector businesses, hospitals, universities and communities of faith. ”

But under Bloomberg’s DoE, most communities do not have their own high schools. Students are assigned to a school by OSEPO, after going through an insane process of listing 12 choices, and sometimes getting none of those. Students are often drawn from across their borough, or beyond. There is no neighborhood. And how do we call it a community without a neighborhood?

When a kid does not apply to attend a special school, or a school with a special program, where is the neighborhood school that is his or her default? Under Bloomberg, such defaults were eliminated or destroyed.

Carmen Fariña and Bill de Blasio have been running the show for a year and a half now. Every neighborhood or group of nieghborhoods should have their own neighborhood high school. They should be good choices, with good programs, good extracurriculars, good course and elective options. And yeah, it would be very cool if they could provide the wrap-around services in the Community School model.

But until then, please don’t tell me about community schools that have no community.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Arthur Goldstein permalink
    June 1, 2015 am30 8:43 am 8:43 am

    There are a few community schools left. I’m sitting in one now. All in all, though, you’re right.

    • June 1, 2015 pm30 8:04 pm 8:04 pm

      Arthur, yours is a neighborhood school, and a good thing that. We need to return to the days when every neighborhood had its school, and a good one.

      But this program, “Community Schools,” is something else. They are part of a plan backed by de Blasio and the UFT, a good plan, to bring lots of services to particular schools.

      But how can those schools be called “Community Schools” if they serve a population from all over the place????

      Here’s where you can find the list:

  2. Jack Israel permalink
    June 9, 2015 am30 8:48 am 8:48 am

    Stop trying to make sense Jon. Sadly, it would seem the “horse is out of the barn” to speak in regard to the “community” school. I attended Gorton in Yonkers a scant 4 miles from where I sit now at DWC. Groton was a racially diverse “community” school in the true sense of the word. Entire families graduated from Gorton and the continuity of staff was a given. Suffice to say the “college” ready stats would have been outstanding as was the “4 year graduation rate.” You are dead on in regard to confusing and frustrating process of choosing a school which seems to be designed to fail. Hopefully moving forward we can fight to “reform” this process. However, I won’t hold my breath on that one!

  3. Jack Israel permalink
    June 9, 2015 am30 8:48 am 8:48 am

    (so to speak that is)

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