20 November 2014

Small Schools Work in New York

More studies show how smaller schools can make a difference - especially in neighborhoods with higher minority demographics:
"New smaller high schools, typically in black or Hispanic neighborhoods, serve about 100 students per grade. More than 90 percent of the students attending these schools are black or Hispanic. Nearly 85 percent qualify for free or reduced price lunches. Three-fourths of them began their high school careers performing below grade level in reading or math."
Smaller schools also produce higher graduation and college rates...
"Students at small high schools have a graduation rate of 71.6 percent, compared with 62.2 percent for their peers in larger schools. The small-school students are also more likely to graduate in four years and go straight to college. The gains are especially impressive among young black men, 42.3 percent of whom enroll in college as opposed to 31 percent of their peers in the control group. Young black women and young Hispanic men and women also matriculated at higher rates than their large-school peers."
...and lower costs...
"The small high schools managed to achieve these gains at a lower cost per graduate than the traditional schools, partly because more students graduated on time and did not need a costly fifth year of education."
...yet people still oppose change!
"The teachers union supported the school closure strategy at first, even though it requires teachers to reapply for their jobs and, in many cases, move elsewhere. But it withdrew support when it decided that Mr. Bloomberg was unnecessarily ramming through closures."
Some people just want to hold on to the status quo - even if change is demonstrably better.
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/opinion/small-schools-work-in-new-york.html?_r=0

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