Total Pageviews

Friday, November 25, 2011

Forbes's Mystery

Thomas Forbes, a veteran NYCATR correspondent, sent us this small but important report.  It contains some good news, and a gnawing question.

I have been sent to three nice high schools in Manhattan the last three weeks: the N.Y.C. Museum School and the N.Y.C. Lab School for Collaborative Studies (in the same building on 17th Street) and now the Institute for Collaborative Education (in the old Stuyvesant building). I was in the same building about a month ago at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services. All have motivated students, and teachers and students are happy despite mediocre administrations. 

A little isle of tranquility in a turbulent sea
They are out of the path of all this Bloomberg nonsense and you do not feel the uncomfortable pressure that exists in many schools. I am trying to understand how these little pockets of positive school environments exist. My 20 years in education has been in the less functional schools with a high percentage of very high needs kids. 


  1. Maybe those schools do not take "high needs students" or claim they do not have the resources to service them?

    Furthermore, at least one of those schools have a "screening process" and I wouldn't be surprised if they all do.

  2. I have been lucky to have been in two specialized high school for the past couple of weeks! How amazing is it that these kids actually want to learn and know what to do before I even tell them!

  3. Maybe they have "decent" and supportive (as opposed to destructive) networks. If you follow Norm Scott's (Education Notes online)look into the networks that are responsible for a lot of the disfunction, you can see that a school is only as good as its network allows it to be.

  4. These small schools were set up by Chancellor Levy at the demands of local upper middle class parents who complained to Levy about the similar small high schools he set up in the minorities neighborhoods. Students in the schools have to live in the area where real estate is expensive and partly due to good schools. These students are the students who did not make to the elite specialized high schools. Better parents bring up better kids, it is not complicated at all.