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Making School Completion Integral to School Purpose & Design

Authors: Jacqueline Ancess, Suzanna Ort Wichterle
Date Published: January 13, 2001

By correlating their values, their instructional, curricular, relational, and professional practices, and their organizational behavior to the assessment process by which students graduate, the Coalition Campus schools make completion integral to their purpose and design.
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From the Introduction:

In 1992 and 1993, the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) and its New York City affiliate, the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE), collaborated with the New York City Board of Education (BOE) on the Coalition Campus Schools Project (CCSP), which was co- directed by Deborah Meier and Dr. Marcia Brevot. The intent of the CCS Project was two-fold, to pilot a model for transforming the large urban comprehensive high school, which was failing students at ever higher rates, and to create a new model of secondary school education which would enable its under-served students to succeed. The BOE decided to phase out two of its lowest performing, highest dropout rate high schools: Manhattan’s Julia Richman HS, which in 1992 had a four-year graduation rate of 36.9%, and the Bronx’s James Monroe, which in 1992 had a 23% graduation rate. At the same time the Coalition created 11 new high schools in separate spaces. In the first cohort they created the Coalition School for Social Change, Landmark HS, Manhattan International HS, Manhattan Village Academy, Vanguard HS , and the Legacy High School for Integrated Studies (which withdrew from the Project prior to this study); in the second cohort, Bronx Coalition Community School for Technology, Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HS, the New School for Arts & Science, Wings Academy, and Brooklyn International HS. Now eight years later, serving students demographically comparable to those who attended the schools that were closed, the new schools’ 4-year graduation rates are substantially higher and their dropout rates substantially lower than Richman’s and Monroe’s. Eight schools remain in external spaces and three are located in the buildings of the closed high schools, which are now educational complexes housing multiple schools.

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