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May 29, 2018
Behind the scenes, New York City schools that serve students who have fallen behind are undergoing a ‘systemic’ transformation
At the center is a question New York City has been grappling with for decades: How should the school system help students at greatest risk of dropping out?
October 2, 2017
Nearly 78,000 New York City students switched schools in a single year, report finds
About 9 percent of students transferred schools in the 2014-15 school year, while 84 percent stayed put.
August 23, 2017
City plans to slash funding from Young Adult Borough Centers — a last resort option for students
Education officials plan to reduce funding directed to the city’s 23 Young Adult Borough Centers by an average of $254,000.
a plan emerges
July 17, 2017
Student suspensions will now be used in New York state’s revised plan to evaluate schools
On Monday, education officials released revisions to their draft Every Student Succeeds Act plan.
June 26, 2017
How one Brooklyn teen gave up gang life for a shot at graduation
"I just said, ‘You can’t give up, you can’t give up.’”
CSI New York
June 8, 2017
Will you close my school? Transfer school staff, parents and students worry about the new federal education law
Transfer schools present a conundrum for state officials since ESSA requires that schools with graduation rates under 67 percent are targeted for improvement.
June 9, 2016
City unveils new report cards for schools serving high-needs students
“Some of them could and should be more nuanced, but I think they’re valuable nonetheless,” said Maggie Moroff, a special education expert at Advocates for Children.
Updated November 13, 2015
Under de Blasio, no measures of success or failure for schools serving the neediest kids
Together, the schools enroll as many students as the city of Buffalo. Yet they have not received public report cards in two years.
November 13, 2014
For students aged 17 and in eighth grade, a Bronx middle school tries to break through
New Directions Secondary School is designed for students who are overage – some eighth-graders may be as old as 18 – and in danger of dropping out of school.
June 5, 2014
At Coney Island transfer school, award-winning principal pushes students beyond graduation
When they come home from college, Liberation Diploma Plus High alumnae Ashley Brown and Nijah Preacher make a point of seeing their high school principal. This visit was a special one, however: Principal April Leong was receiving a 2014 Sloan Public Service Award.
May 20, 2013
Charter transfer school helps students overcome past struggles
In the self portrait, her wild, curly blonde hair is tousled to one side of her face, the two sharp arrows from her lip ring poke out the left corner of her mouth and her eyebrows arch upward in a look of skepticism. Samantha Morales said drawing this picture was the hardest thing she's ever done. "I was backing out of it so many times because in the picture I had curly hair, and it was really hard to draw," she said. "But it made me learn not to give up on anything." Morales is a student at ROADS Charter School 2 in the Bronx, a charter transfer school that enrolls 15- to 17-year-olds who are overage and under-credited and have either been homeless, in jail, in foster care or child protective services, or who have dropped out of high school.
May 21, 2012
Wired Olympus students race toward diploma at their own pace
Danielle Boone at work in her U.S. History class. Danielle Boone's U.S. History class at Olympus Academy High School had just begun, but she didn't need a teacher to tell her what to do. The glowing screen looking back at her told her everything she needed to know. Boone typed out the final section of an assignment on immigration – "a FIVE-sentence summary paragraph (including analysis sentence) about immigration and urbanization" – which she emailed to her teacher, sitting nearby, for grading. She then watched a short video online about the Civil War to research her next assignment, an essay on the Transcontinental Railroad. Boone will continue knocking off these assignments on her school-issued Mac computer at her own blistering pace until, finally, she's completed what is required to pass the course and earn a credit. The day after she completes the last assignment for the U.S. History class, she'll start working on another course she needs to pass to graduate. "I'm a student who works fast and this school helps me get credits," Boone said during a brief break in her work. "The faster you go, the faster you get credits." Boone is the kind of self-starter that city officials envisioned when they tasked Olympus Academy, a transfer school, with creating an online learning model in its school for its over-aged population two years ago. Olympus is part of the iLearnNYC initiative, a division of the city's Innovation Zone. Until now, the initiative, which included 124 schools this year, mainly provided technological resources to schools that were devising ways to mix traditional classroom instruction with online curriculum, an approach known as blended learning.
April 25, 2012
Last ditch effort to save transfer school involves Speaker Quinn
Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a school event with UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Council member Robert Jackson last year. City Council Speaker and likely 2013 mayoral candidate Christine Quinn is the latest public official to throw her support behind an effort to keep Bushwick Community High School from closing under the city's federally-funded turnaround plans. A Quinn spokesman said today that representatives for her office have been lobbying the Department of Education in the last week to remove the embattled transfer school from the list of 26 schools being voted for closure at tomorrow's Panel for Educational Policy. Like the school's other supporters, Quinn's office got involved because she "believes in the idea of transfer schools," said the spokesman, Justin Goodman. "The metrics that are being used to close schools shouldn't apply to transfer schools because they're a completely different model." Quinn's lobbying efforts against a school slated to close is unusual. A City Council speaker rarely gets involved in individual school closures, leaving those fights up to council members who represent the local district where a school is housed. But Quinn has actually withheld speaking out about High School for Graphic Communications, a Hell's Kitchen school in her district that's also on the chopping block. Traditionally, Quinn has stayed out of fights with the city over its education policies and she has remained especially mum on school closures. Quinn didn't attend a press conference in January where 2013 Democratic candidates decried Bloomberg handling of mayoral control. Instead, a spokesman passed around statement that lauded Bloomberg's small schools movement. Quinn was also absent from a panel last week that discussed alternatives to the city's approach to school closures because she disagreed with a policy paper released by the event's host, Coalition of Educational Justice.
April 19, 2012
Top DOE official endorses a "turnaround" transfer high school
http://youtu.be/uAM5MyHmko8 At most of the public hearings about the city’s plans to “turn around” dozens of struggling schools, Department of Education representatives have insisted that closing and reopening the schools with new principals and teachers would be in students’ best interest. That was not the case at Bushwick Community High School Wednesday night. After hearing dozens of students deliver emotional speeches in defense of the transfer high school, the department’s second-in-command offered a testimonial of his own. “This is a school that looks at the whole child. This is a school that gives students second chances. It’s a place of redemption. It’s a family. It saves lives,” said Shael Polakow-Suransky, the department’s chief academic officer. “I was moved by what you said tonight,” he said. “I’ve been to a lot of public hearings and I think it’s a tribute to the educators in this community that students here speak with such passion, with such eloquence, and so thoughtfully about what works.”
April 11, 2012
Spring break is no time to rest for protesting transfer school
Credit: Jesus Gonzalez New York City schools are closed this week, but that didn't stop students and teachers from showing up at their transfer school in Bushwick this afternoon. The group was joined by U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez to protest the planned closure of Bushwick Community High School, a school they say was unfairly dragged into the city's newest effort to reform low-rated schools. BCHS landed on the state's persistently lowest-achieving list because just 25 percent of its students graduate within six years, but supporters say graduation rates are a misguided way to measure the school's performance. The school exclusively enrolls students who have already dropped out of traditional high schools and spent long stints out of the school system. Since many of the students who enroll at BCHS are 17 or older, they are rarely in a position to graduate within six years of entering high school. Today's protest was not the first display of opposition that the school has mounted. In January, teachers at the school sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg asking that he remove BCHS from his list of planned closures. BCHS’s placement on the PLA list is the illogical conclusion of a crude, one-size-fits all accountability system. As a transfer school, BCHS is designed to be part of the solution for struggling students in the city, but the current accountability metrics punish us for working with our students while allowing the source of their failures to go undetected.
July 9, 2010
At one school, summer means half the students are still in class
At Lower East Side Prep, where half the students spend July in class, students dissected a Yeats poem. Walking the hushed halls of Lower East Side Preparatory High School today, you wouldn’t know that hundreds of its students are still busy studying and learning. They just do it very quietly. A transfer school for older students who aren't on track to graduate in four years, Lower East Side Prep mainly serves recent immigrants from China as well as a handful of American students. Because few students enroll as fluent English-speakers, a whopping half of the student body takes summer school classes in preparation for the regular school year. That's 300 of the school's 600-student population. This summer the school is offering five ESL classes and other subjects taught in both English and Chinese. Most Lower East Side Prep teachers speak Chinese and English and many have hard-to-find dual certifications such as ESL and geometry. Getting teachers with these qualities to work in summer school is always difficult, said principal Martha Polin. She began putting together her summer school team early this year.
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