Yep, it's true. Following the links we're taken to: "ACORN High School for Social Justice."
And then, a quick Google search turns up this quote, "4 year graduation rate: 41.9%." And "0% white students" attend the school. And according to Inside Schools:
JANUARY 2008 UPDATE: Joseph Parker, principal at the time of Insideschools' visit, resigned in late December after sustained protest from parents, and ACORN, the community group that helped create the school ... they alleged that under Parker's leadership, gang violence went unchecked, students failed to graduate ...The Inside Schools website is kinda sketchy, but it links to this New York Sun article, "Parents Press for ACORN Principal's Ouster." The piece includes this beauty of a fact:
Morale is so low, the report says, that at last year's graduation the valedictorian, Sharifa Noble, stood up and declared: "ACORN has let me down." The remark prompted a chorus of boos aimed at the principal, Joseph Parker.Here's the long blurb from the school's website. This is the case for home schooling - I'd never send my children there:
ACORN High School for Social Justice is “A Star that Shines in Brooklyn”. In addition, our school is distinctive because it is:
- One of three community initiated NYC public schools affiliated with the powerful Acorn Organization.
- A Landmark building with turn of the 20th century neoclassic Architecture which was once a Lowe’s theater where Jackie Gleason (a renowned entertainer) performed.
- The first NYC DOE school to have an Executive Principal.
- The first NYC DOE school to pilot an Icareers Academy.
- Selected as one of a few New York City public schools to become an AVID school. The Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program is a rigorous college awareness and preparation program for students who will be the first in their families to attend college.
- Success in attracting and keeping teachers from the NYC Teaching Fellows.
- We also include an additional course in Social Justice, a course on the Civil Rights Movement (Sojourner Project), and double periods of English and Mathematics at the 9th and 10th grade levels.
- International Teachers Programs. We now also have a partnership with Columbia University as a site for Peace Corp Fellows to complete their teaching internships.
- Support for the development of our teachers through a unique PD model. All teachers meet for common planning daily. Their assistant principal of supervision attends the common planning sessions at least twice weekly. The school’s schedule was modified to include two preparation periods per day for each teacher instead of one per day which is the norm in most NYC public schools.
- September 2008 will be the launch of state of the art Film/Media and music recording studios that will be centers of premier art programs including a Television Show in collaboration with Entertainers4Education Alliance.
- An emerging honors program including honor level classes, Advanced Placement courses and College Now. We are working on an Associate Degree program as well.
- Unique utilization of technology to deliver instruction and to assess academic performance. All teacehers will be provided with school laptops for use in lesson planning and delivery and they all have access to LCD projectors and smart boards. A writing lab is planned for school year 2008-2009.
- Annual College Tour to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We will be initiating Ivy League and baby Ivy League college tours as well. 98 students participated in this year’s tour.
- Implementation of an excellent library program that will bring community members, actors, singers, and leaders into the building to speak with students and to participate in events such as Black History Month, Hispanic History Month, Poetry Month and Women’s History Month.
- A diverse after school program, in collaboration with our Community Based Organization, Acorn, comprised of academics, sports, the arts, and community service experiences for our students.
- A school’s website including WebPages for all teachers to promote greater communication with students and parents.
- Administration of the Acuity periodic assessments in English and Mathematics.
- Students will have access to the world of work through partnerships with law firms and corporations through participation in our Legal Careers Academy or Icareers Academy.
- A number of sports teams including a winning PSAL Boys Varsity Basketball Team, going as far as the PSAL Division B championship this school year. Our students participate in other PSAL varsity sports as well as intramurals.
- Strong student government with a council in each cohort. The council is comprised of elected officials and other student leaders from the cohort who act as peer mentors for other members of their cohort.
- The Asset Program, a community based organization, is supporting this endeavor. Students are given opportunities to participate in all aspects of the school including working here as members of the Ladies and Gentleman Club.
- Great results with the use of School Island. School Island is a web based program that allows teachers to post assignments on line for students to complete.