Posts tagged "extra credit"
November 30, 2012
At Harry S. Truman High School, juniors in an honors English class arrange their desks in concentric circles to discuss Marxist and feminist theory in the American literary canon.
At Central Park East High School, students taking the Mt. Sinai Careers course develop research projects on the health sciences while interning in hospital departments like pediatrics, orthopedics, and Mt. Sinai’s morgue.
And at East Side Community School, seniors compare ancient Greek tragedies.
The courses are as challenging as any Advanced Placement class, their teachers say: To pass, students must demonstrate not only deep knowledge but also the kind of critical thinking required for success in college. But last year, when the Department of Education moved toward giving high schools credit in their annual letter grade for exposing students to college-level work, the courses did not count.
This year, they are among 52 courses in city high schools to get the department’s “college and career preparatory” stamp of approval, meaning that students who pass them typically stay in college after many ill-prepared students drop out. (more…)
April 11, 2012
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.