Managing by the Numbers:
Empowerment and Accountability in New York City's Schools
by CLARA HEMPHILL AND KIM NAUER
WITH HELEN ZELON, THOMAS JACOBS, Alessandra Raimondi, Sharon McCloskey and Rajeev Yerneni
New York City has been the proving ground for a grand experiment in school governance since 2007, when Schools Chancellor Joel Klein replaced a tightly controlled top-down administrative structure with one that gave principals new powers to shape the culture and practice of their own schools. The report offers one of the first broad analyses of the Bloomberg administration's reorganization of school management, explaining how principal empowerment and school accountability are intertwined, and how this management structure is shaping children's lives.
The New Marketplace :
How Small School Reforms and School Choice Have Reshaped New York City's High Schools
BY clara hemphill and KIM NAUER, with helen zelon and thomas jacobs
An 18-month investigation by the Center reveals that Chancellor Joel Klein's high school reforms created valuable new opportunities but also caused collateral damage. Klein's reforms created 200 new small high schools and expanded high school choice, but weakened large high schools attended by tens of thousands of vulnerable students at risk of dropping out. The report explains that the majority of city teens continue to attend large high schools, despite the small schools initiative.
Strengthening Schools by Strengthening Families:
Community Strategies to Reverse Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades and Improve Supports for Children and Families
BY KIM NAUER, ANDREW WHITE AND RAJEEV YERNENI
Last year, more than 90,000 children in grades K through 5 (more than 20 percent of enrollment) missed at least one month of school. In high poverty neighborhoods, the number was far higher, approaching one-third of primary grade students. The implication for these students' long-term success is enormous, but this is only part of the story. This report also describes how chronic absenteeism at an early age can result from problems at home, and how strong partnerships between public schools, community organizations and other institutions can make a difference.
A Schoolyard in Brooklyn:
Strengthening Families and Communities Through the Innovative Use of Public Space
By John Kixmiller, with Andrew White and Rob Fischer
As part of PlaNYC 2030, Mayor Bloomberg proposed opening 290 city schoolyards to the public during non-school hours. A Schoolyard in Brooklyn offers a proven model for how to do it right, strengthening families and communities along the way. The report tells the story of the schoolyard at P.S. 503/506 (formerly P.S. 314) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, that became a community plaza with activities for all ages. Now known as Neighborhood Center, it offers an affordable and proven model for reclaiming urban community space and many of the city's poorly used schoolyards and parks.
About This Project
The Schools watch INITIATIVE is a new project of the Center, focused on improving the educational prospects of New York City students of all ages who may ultimately be at risk of dropping out.
This is a natural outgrowth of Center's longstanding work on antipoverty strategies and family supports. Public schools are crucial players in the lives of New York City's poor and working class families. They can play a central role in safeguarding student's stability, health and well-being.
The initiative focuses on the broader role that schools can play in the community— connected to crucial indicators of school success including attendance, attachment, academics and graduation. The initiative seeks to strengthen the ability of teachers to work with disengaged students. And we look for successful models of collaboration among communities, families, the public schools and other institutions and support networks.