English High School, located in the city of Boston, MA, is America’s oldest public high school and has served its community for over 186 years. However, what was once an excellent facility has now deteriorated to a shell of its former self. Last year English high was threatened to be closed down by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts due to its poor student performance in the MCAS exams and by No Child Left Behind – where it is categorized under “Restructuring” for both english language arts and mathematics.
This year, English High has been formulating a turnaround strategy that will motivate their diverse student population to achieve academic and personal success. But what can they do? English High serves a mostly Black and Hispanic student population (combined, 92% as of scholastic year 2006-2007), with many students needing special and/or bi-lingual education as well. Average student daily attendance is at about 83% while nearly 13% of students drop out every year. What can teachers and administrators do to increase student attendance and participation?
How do you motivate such a diverse population into believing that attending school is in their best interest? What type of institutional changes need to occur that will allow students of all backgrounds to achieve academic success?
Some of these questions on educational mobility for students of color will be addressed during my internship here at Intercultural Affairs. I hope that you will check back frequently and participate in the discussion.
You can read more about English High School below:
Peace be with you!
~Jade, The Intern