America’s oldest public high school faces new hurdles: AP

The nation’s oldest public high school in Boston is in trouble, according to an Associated Press wire story today.

Despite it being one of the oldest and most diverse in the city, it is also one of the lowest-performing in the city (and state). And Boston does something unique…it CLOSES low-performing schools.

But here’s an excerpt on what they’re doing:

English was founded in 1821 as America’s first public high school, and its distinguished graduates include J.P. Morgan and Korean War Maj. Gen. Matthew Ridgway. Today, its student body – dressed mostly in baggy jeans and do-rags – is one of the most diverse in the city, and one of its lowest-performing, too.

Most schools that scored as poorly on standardized tests as English High School would have been shuttered by now, Boston Superintendent Michael Contompasis said.

   “I would have closed English, if it wasn’t English,” he said.

    Instead, the state has moved to salvage English. The school will be placed under state supervision next year, enrollment will be reduced from about 1,200 to 800 students, and many union-negotiated work rules will be suspended to give more power to the headmaster and allow longer school days.

E.C. 🙂

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