Miracle in East Harlem: The Fight for Choice in Public Education
Central to East Harlem's transformation was the institution of "choice." Since 1982 students and parents in District Four have actively selected the schools they wish to attend, rather than being assigned based on where they live. These new "alternative schools" are smaller and more thematically oriented than traditional schools, and those that fail to attract enough students or meet the district's new standards are disbanded and replaced by other programs. The results have been immediate and striking, all the more so because the neighborhood's student body remains among the poorest school populations in the nation. Indeed, today District Four is a model for other communities, rich and poor alike, and is regularly cited by Republicans and Democrats as the shining example of how choice can work in urban public schools.
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History the Hood and the Schools
Debbie Meier and the Dawn of Central Park East
A Handful of Pioneers
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