Max Eden, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has developed a nifty new tool for parents to determine the safety level of individual schools. Luckily for Gothamites, one of the two cities available is our very own (the other is Los Angeles), chosen specifically for their status as the two largest school districts in the country.
His work was published yesterday in The 74.
Eden notes that the new federal law called Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA, is focused on school accountability metrics “that parents rarely see” or even care that much about, and don’t reflect student safety or school culture. “Few schools rate these important factors,” he says, “and fewer still report them,” even though one in four college students recollect that they didn’t feel safe in high school and one in three felt that their high schools weren’t emotionally safe. (For more information on ESSA, see my colleague Lane Wright’s explainer here.)
Eden wondered, what if there was another school just a block or two away students weren’t distracted by fears of violence breaking out, or where they felt safely ensconced in a warm and nurturing environment? And why is this information not readily available? “Parents,” he concludes, “deserve better.”
Consider: A New York mother who sends her child to P.S. 306 in Brooklyn might be alarmed to learn that 68 percent of students say physical fights occur “most” or “all” of the time, 80 percent of students say their peers don’t respect each other, and 80 percent of teachers say order and discipline aren’t maintained.
Whereas, less than a half mile away, at Achievement First East New York, 10 percent of students say physical fights occur frequently, 35 percent report disrespect, and only 2 percent of teachers say order and discipline aren’t maintained.
To check out the safety ranking of your child’s school, simply click on here for the piece and scroll down to the map of New York City. Is your child’s school safe? The answer is a click away.