Monday, June 13, 2005

Impact Schools

A report by the DRUM Major Institute for Public Policy sheds some light on "Impact Schools," 20-some middle and high schools in high crime areas in New York City where the police presence has been beefed up. A piece in the The Gotham Gazette today points to the disturbing trend of criminalizing kids while doing nothing to address the root cause of the problem. The report shows that Impact Schools are large, overcrowded and (surprise!) receive less funding than the average city school - an average of $1,482 per student less. Kids at these schools are also predominately poor, overage and black (there are also far fewer white students than in the average school).
What isn't mentioned, according to Luis Reyes of the Bronx Institute of Lehman College, is that English Language Learners (ELLs) make up a higher percentage of students at Impact Schools (17.7 percent) than they do at other city schools (13 percent). ELL students already are in the midst of a drop-out crisis for a number of reasons (more on that later) and being in rough, poorly funded schools certainly doesn't help.

No comments: