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No Home and Then No School
September 24th, 2010

Efforts to improve New York City schools may be leaving some homeless students behind, according to a new study. The report by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness in New York City found that several of the high schools slated for closure last year — notably Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx — had a far higher proportion of homeless students than other high schools in their boroughs.

The report said that more research needs to be done on the effect closing these schools would have on the homeless “given that these students are already housing displaced, at an educational disadvantage, and highly likely to fall through the cracks during transfers and phase-outs.” The institute also called for helping homeless students in schools slated for closure transfer to other schools.

The closings seem to represent just one arc of a vicious circle for homeless students. As Education Week reports today, studies have found they are more likely to repeat a grade than their counterparts. They are also more likely to attend low-performing high schools, which are the schools officials in New York and elsewhere try to close. And, then studies of New York and Chicago have shown, they are at risk of transferring to another low performing school. According to Ed Week, a 2009 study in Chicago concluded that the effects of having to shift to another school eliminated the benefit for students of closing the first low-performing school.

The report is likely to reinforce calls that, before closing schools, the New York City Department of Education more fully consider the impacts that closing would have on the students, community and other schools. The courts earlier this year halted the closing of 20 schools, ruling that the Department of Education had not adequately addressed possible impact. The department has indicated it will try to close the schools again this year.

By on September 24, 2010, 1:23 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City,Housing | Comments Off on No Home and Then No School

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