Sunday, September 23, 2007

Are they looking at the same NYC Public School System as I am?

The New York City Public School system has been given a $500,000 Broad Prize of Urban Education by the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, an award granted to urban areas with schools that show high performance and a shrinking achievement gap between students who are from high-income or non-minority familes and those who are from low-income or minority families. Compared to other cities in the United States, low-income and minority students in NYC get higher grades on standardized tests and overall school performance is apparently improving. The half-million dollar prize will serve as scholarship money for NYC public high school seniors. As fabulous as it is that more money is being poured into the education system, I cannot help but comment that the reasons for which this prize was given to NYC seem to be inconsitent with the accounts of public high school students in all five boroughs, and from research that has been done concerning the severe overcrowdedness and appallingly low graduation rate of public high school students. Just looking through the high school guidebook from last year, I noticed several schools listing average Regents performance scores in the 50s and 60s. Granted, the graduation rates for the class of 2005 were not available, but it does not take an expert to estimate that those were probably not too stellar either. NYC public schools, in general, are far from perfect. It's going to take a whole lot more than $500,000 to make them that way!

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