Miracle in East Harlem:: The Fight for Choice in Public Education

Sy Fliegel, Author, Seymour Fliegel, Author, James Macguire, With Crown Publishers $23 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8129-2039-0
In 1973, Community School District 4 in East Harlem was, by many parameters, the worst school district in New York City. Only 16% of the students read at grade level, and truancy was rife. Fifteen years later, 63% of students were reading at grade level, and parents from outside the district were enrolling their children in its schools. How a small band of educators accomplished the feat--which garnered for one principal a MacArthur prize--is exhaustively recounted by Fliegel, who served as the first director of District Four's Office of Alternative Schools, and MacGuire, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Among the dramatis personae are a cavalcade of Board of Education figures, including ex-school chancellor Anthony Alvarado and present chancellor Joseph Fernandez. The authors present a depressing picture of Board of Ed politics and bureaucracy. The key to District Four's success, we're shown in this inspiring study, was the establishment of mini-schools with specialized curriculums and allowing students to choose which school to attend. (May)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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