Two high schools in Brooklyn:
A teacher, trying to stop a fight, is pushed into an elevator shaft with the struggling student; fortunately, the drop is only six feet.
Diane Ravitch tours a Catholic girls’ school where teachers will work for less because the students are eager to learn.
Although many come from stable families, the student body includes girls who live in desperate poverty; daughters of incarcerated women; girls with a parent living with HIV/AIDS; students in foster care; and refugees from Africa, Latin America and China. Some 55 percent of the students are black; 40 percent are Hispanic, with nearly 5 percent Asian and less than 1 percent white.
The school’s results are re markable. An amazing 98 percent of the girls complete high school, and 90 percent of the graduates attend college.
Small miracles happen here. This unlikely school has produced a speech team that consistently wins state and national competitions. The library is brimming with its trophies. Last year, the team ranked as one of the top five in the nation, having bested hundreds of public and private high schools. The girls’ achievement is even more miraculous in light of the fact that their coach, David Risley, is legally deaf.
The Catholic school spends $6,400 per student versus $12,000 for public New York City schools.