Thursday, March 25, 2010

A "Truly Disadvantaged" School District

John Thompson:

A two decade-long intensive focus on the schools that stagnated, however, showed that they had higher rates of poverty and racial isolation (often above 90% for both metrics), served neighborhoods with higher crime rates (that undercut relational trust), and greater concentrations of children who live with nonparental guardians or come from foster care. In other words, serving "the truly disadvantaged" is a far greater challenge.

And Central Falls is a school district entirely comprised of a neighborhood of "the truly disadvantaged."

As far as I can tell the only one in the country. Probably the only one in the developed world. It would be nice if the press would occasionally note this oddity.

Next time you're coming down 95 through RI, just pop off the highway for ten minutes and have a look around.

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jd2718 said...

There are several candidates here. Bronx District 7? I'm guessing not.

But District 9? Could be. And 12? Maybe more likely.

I'm not sure how to get the numbers to compare, but some external evidence: 7 is a charterization target, 12 is in a continuous restructuring process, and 9... the big high school's long been broken up, every one of its feeders was at one time under registration review...

And these are poor places.

Tom Hoffman said...

Yes, but at this point the district lines in NYC don't mean that much, do they?

jd2718 said...

A little more, and a little less.

I think most students go to elementary and middle school in their districts. Many high schools tilt admissions towards students in their own districts.

Strange dynamic - some kids from these districts do go to high school in other districts - but I believe it is less common in reverse (leaving a few extra seats, emboldening the charter hawks)