New High School Round Table

Friday, March 02, 2012

As round two of the high school selection process begins, Seung Yu, principal of the new Academy for Software Engineering, Stacy McCoy, founding principal of The Bronx Compass High School, and Bernardo Ascona, principal of the new Union Square Academy for Health Sciences, talk about their new schools.

See information on all ten of the new high schools opening this September below.


Bernardo Ascona, Stacy McCoy and Seung Yu

Comments [11]

Larry from NYC

Is this the same Bernardo Ascona who was investigated in the October 9, 2011 edition of the New York Post? I believe the article was titled, "High school's new rules give failing kids credits toward graduation." I can't believe this guy was rewarded with a new school after his school was graded an "F" more than once. Why don't they get back to teaching the children English and math instead of preparing them to become dental assistants?

Mar. 12 2012 05:18 PM
Tom Forbes

This is a lot of nonsense. The fact that you have to visit the school and probably take some sort of entrance exam, means you are a screened school. This process is set up so newer, smaller, themed schools are virtually guaranteed success. This is one of the major reasons we must take politics out of eduction and end mayoral rule. Remember that if they have a few percentage points difference (which could mean only 15-20 kids, they claim to be working miracles.

I would argue that you could institute any of these programs in a larger high school without being so top heavy. Irving will have 6 principals where there used to be one. These people are absolutely crazy when they talk about teachers. It is about the students as anyone who actually goes to a school everyday knows. The current teachers at Irving are better than any of the teachers which any of these three school will hire. The new schools will not have the gangbangers, have classes of 20-25 instead of 30-35, have new technology, reduced teaching loads for teachers, maybe multiple adults in the classroom and who know who many more factors which make teaching and learning happen. I don't know if it is apparent, but the changes that Bloomberg and the rest of those kind are making in the schools are not really making a difference when you look at the big picture. NYC offers a big enough system that can be played around with just long enough for a new mayor. It will all be exposed as a failure in the end. Maybe we can get back to actually working with kids and making the attempt to educate all, not just some of us.

Mar. 02 2012 11:13 PM

Insulting. Under Ascona's leadership, Washington Irving High School has failed. He is obviously an ineffective leader, yet the DOE agrees to let him start a brand new school. Talk to this man for two minutes and you can instantly see that he doesn't possess the intellectual capabilities or leadership skills to run any sort of organization. People talk a lot about why the American public school system is failing; people like Ascona are why.

Mar. 02 2012 09:47 PM
NYer from New York City

Is that the same Bernardo Ascona who is current principal at Washington Irving, the "failing" high school that is being phased out? Great to see leaders be held accountable.

Mar. 02 2012 09:42 PM
Andrew from Prospect Park, NJ

Listening to your guests talk about their schools respective mission statements made me want to go back to high school! I'm 32 years old and only now reinventing myself as an engineer. Had I been exposed to these types of learning environments and community partners when I was still in grade school I probably would have discovered this passion much earlier. So glad to see this trend on the rise and wish you all success.

Mar. 02 2012 11:36 AM

I can't believe so many of these high schools in NYC only offer Spanish as a foreign language. Very strange especially Harvest Collegiate since it seems to aspire to the liberal arts. What happened to German or Japanese or Chinese? Even in my rural high school in the south I was offered a choice of Spanish or Latin!

Mar. 02 2012 10:49 AM
john from office

Waiting on the use of the word EMPOWERMENT.

Mar. 02 2012 10:49 AM
anon from nyc

Two of your guests and the woman who just called in will be leading schools in the same building (former Washington Irving.) Colocation of schools has not always gone smoothly. Can you ask if they've discussed how they will coordinate start/end times; cafeteria and gym access and afterschool clubs and teams?

Mar. 02 2012 10:46 AM

can u please get guests to answer your probing question; u asked about the 'vocational' approach and your guest went on with glibspeak about helping minorities and women rather than addressing your point; is it helping these so-called 'disadvantaged' groups by guiding them out of college? is that what 'elite' kids are doing? learning to be dental assistants in high school? c'mon; please push guests to address the issues honestly and not in power point platitudes. thank u.

Mar. 02 2012 10:45 AM
john from office

What about simple highschools that teach the basics. There is this need to have a fancy name and fancy programs with alot of ed talk.

All of this will go nowhere till parents do their job.

Mar. 02 2012 10:43 AM
RJ from prospect hts.

Just a note about specialized schools, because this is in the context of the outrageous remarks Santorum made about going to college and vocational and other training schools. New York City *used to have* high school vocational schools that gave the options of electrical, carpentry, automotive etc. trainings. Many were profoundly deficient in English and other humanities teachings, but nevertheless they did have these vocational trainings. Then in the 80s these skills and jobs were denigrated as less than high finance, humanities schools--that the latter white-collar work was "better" than blue-collar work. Suddenly we're rediscovering that we need plumbers and carpenters, jobs that can't be outsourced overseas.

So Bloomberg's "new" policy is a regurgitation, once more, of an old one that, if flawed, worked.

Mar. 02 2012 10:42 AM

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