Keeping kids in citywide schools
Poly, City and Western are jewels of the troubled city school system, providing an outlet for middle class families to send their children to public urban high schools and an opportunity for smart inner-city kids to get a top-notch education.
But the schools have historically been able to transfer out students who are struggling. They've also admitted non-city residents paying tuition over city kids if their grades and test scores are higher.
Under the Alonso administration, both those practices are changing. Earlier this year, the school board approved a policy change to give city residents preference in admissions to the city's magnet high schools. And as I report today, the system is also making it tougher for schools to kick students out for academic reasons. They now need to prove that they've provided multiple interventions, and they need to be able to explain how they've exhausted their other options. Alonso says the schools are already getting the city's brightest students, and they must do everything they can to make them successful.
Some parents and alumni worry, will the schools' prestige suffer? Others question the value of that prestige if students who have shown they have potential can be easily written off.