The NY Times has a piece on music programs being done away with as big high schools are turned into a number of small high schools. Diane Ravitch picked up on it and hammered it beautifully.
Thank you Diane for mentioning Jamaica High School in her post.
Here are some of the main parts:
Today(Monday), the New York Times observed (too late to matter, too late to save Jamaica High Schoool in Queens or Christpher Columbus in the Bronx) that the Bloomberg-Klein decision to close large high schools and replace them with small schools has effectively destroyed successful music programs. The compensation is supposed to be that the graduation rate is higher in the small schools. But as I reported in my book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,” the small schools enroll different students from the large schools they replaced. The neediest students are shuffled off elsewhere.
The Times gives an incomplete picture:
Between 2002 and 2013, New York City closed 69 high schools, most of them large schools with thousands of students, and in their place opened new, smaller schools. Academically, these new schools inarguably serve students better. In 2009, the year before the city began closing Columbus, the school had a graduation rate of 37 percent. In 2017, the five small schools that occupy its former campus had a cumulative graduation rate of 81 percent.
This sounds real good but it doesn't tell the whole story. Diane just takes the article's claims apart piece by piece: