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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Education Justice
Type: Pubs & Reports

So Many Schools, So Few Options: How Mayor Bloomberg’s Small High School Reforms Deny Full Access to English Language Learners

Over the past several years, the New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and New York City Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, have undertaken a wide range of school reform efforts, the cornerstone of which has been the dismantling of large, failing high schools and the creation of nearly two hundred new small high schools that are designed to offer a more rigorous and engaging curriculum and a personalized learning experience.

The New York Immigration Coalition and Advocates for Children, along with Chhaya Community Development Corporation, Chinese Progressive Association, Chinese-American Planning Council, Council of Peoples Organization, Haitian Americans United for Progress, Make the Road by Walking, and the Metropolitan Russian American Parents Association embarked on this report seeking to answer the following question: Have English language learners (ELLs) been effectively included in the City’s small high schools reform initiative? The report concludes that ELLs are not being provided full and equitable access to all small schools in New York City.

To develop the findings and recommendations in this report, we reviewed data from the New York Department of Education (DOE) and the New York State Department of Education (NYSED). We also surveyed more than 1,150 parents and students about the services schools were providing to ELLs and their experience with the high school admissions process and obtained feedback on the survey questions through a dozen focus groups with more than 100 parents and students from immigrant families and from surveys of senior staff in more than 126 schools.