Sixth graders at still to be selected schools will stay an extra two and a half hours every day for extra work on literacy skills.
The Department of Education selected 49 under-performing middle schools to receive both literacy training and thousands of dollars in materials. The goal? Bring students up to grade level in reading. While the program generally gets good marks, advocates say the effort is too limited, and comes too late in the Bloomberg tenure.
A mother and child psychologist says the system for middle school admissions reveals the challenges that set some children on a different track from others, and wishes for a better alternatives for everyone.
See which middle schools are the top-rated based on their overall progress report scores. We’ve charted the top three in each school district in time for the school tours and admissions process.
A parent and professor of education writes: “Whatever the argument for school choice elsewhere, in New York City public schools it plays out very differently. Instead of providing better education for all children, choice in New York City ensures a two-tiered system powered by demographics and ZIP codes more than anything else.”
A new report finds students in certain well-off neighborhoods have more access to high-performing middle schools than students from low-income communities in the Bronx and Brooklyn. The Schott Foundation report also concludes that students from low-income, mostly black and Hispanic districts, have fewer experienced teachers and are less likely to attend gifted and talented programs and specialized high schools.
Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott says the city will exceed its goal of opening 50 new middle schools in the next two years. He also outlined several steps he has taken to recruit new teachers and principals at middle schools, and to help struggling students this summer. His report was met with both skepticism and hope.
Like a roller coaster on its final descent, the city’s “turnaround” push for 33 “struggling schools” seemed to be picking up speed and heading toward an inevitable conclusion. But in an unexpected twist, the Education Department decided to give seven schools a reprieve, acknowledging that they were on the ascent and should be given more time to continue to improve.
The Bronx middle school Aspire Preparatory claims it is being unfairly tarnished because of one especially bad year. The school earned its first F last year when a high number of teachers were absent and it had to lean heavily on a revolving door of substitutes. Now it will likely be phased out, only a few years after it took the place of an even less successful school.
A middle-school teacher writes: Often I read a child’s paper, or talk to him or her, and am startled at the interpretation of events in his or her life. It is as though no one has explained the world to these children, and so they try to understand it based on what they can see. We must remember to ask, or we will never know.
Schoolbook is a site dedicated to news, data and conversation about schools in New York City.
Tell us what’s going on in your school. You can e-mail us with your tips or documents, or call 646-801-9698 and leave a voice message.
Join the Public Insight Network and help our journalists cover education in the city. Your stories and insights can help us create relevant and distinctive reporting. Join more than 100,000 people and become a trusted source.