small schools do not work and wants to spent his billions on other educational initiatives like quality teaching, another murky and unworkable initiative However, Bill Gates believes that the Bloomberg small schools did find success in New York City. I guess if you take the DOE disinformation spin at face value you might think the same thing.
Thank goodness for teacher and blogger Marc Epstein who wrote a fantastic article on the mirage of the Bloomberg small schools. His article, titled "Small Schools Miracle Or Mirage?" debunks the theory that the Bloomberg small schools work. The Gates study points out the increased graduation rates of the Bloomberg small schools and the lower violence statistics given to them by the City. Unfortunately the Gates study failed to show the low "college and career readiness" rates, the massive "credit recovery courses", the lack of experienced teachers, and the habit of these schools in not reporting school safety incidents since it would affect the school's grade. Furthermore, the Bloomberg small schools excluded English Language Learners and Special Education students and recruited outside the neighborhood to "stack the deck" in showing the illusion of success in these schools.
Mr. Epstein brought up the example of the breaking up of Andrew Jackson High School into four small schools called "Campus Magnet" and it resulted in no improvement in student academic achievement or reduce violence. In fact, two of the schools are closing and one other has the most "Unsatisfactory" teacher ratings for any other high school staff.in the City! The result is a large annual urnover of teachers in the school called "Math Science Research Tech Magnet" and an Administration from hell.
Worse, the "career and college readiness" rates for the Bloomberg small schools was a terrible 10.7% compared to an overall high school rate of 20,7% as of 2011. Moreover, the limited curriculum and lack of extra-curricular activities bring with it a rigid education model that overwhelms the small school intimacy that is the selling point for many of these schools. For other problems and limitations of the Bloomberg small schools you can read my post Here. .
It is time to put tho rest that the myth that the Bloomberg small schools are a success. In fact, they are a failure as they lack the amenities, quality teaching, and curriculum flexibility that the large comprehensive schools they replaced offered.