Today, I was the guest on a great public radio show "The New Orleans Imperative" hosted by Ray Sanders. We were talking about the future of public education, and I told him that if you want to see what is possible to accomplish in public education in high needs communities, you need to head to the Bronx and visit PS 55, led by Principal Luis E Torres. Located in the middle of the poorest housing project in the poorest Congressional district in the nation, this school is a beacon of light and energy and hope. It features a full service medical clinic, a school based agriculture and science instruction program, the Green Bronx Machine, with a world wide reputation; championship basketball softball and step teams, and a hip hop pedagogy program featuring old school legends like Grandmaster Caz and Melle Melle! It also features parent education programs and close ties with local officials from the Borough President on down.
Most importantly, this is a public school, not a charter school, that is open to all children in the community.
It's wholistic approach is the one we need to give hope and agency to our young people who suffer the wounds of uncontrolled testing as well as the wounds of poverty.