Oct 16, 2010

Gangsta High

Gangsta High, the alternative school for bad-asses, starts Nov.1, in the old Jackson Elementary School Building.
The final initiative the committee approved was setting up an alternative school for unruly students who are on the cusp of getting expelled. The school will open Nov. 1 at the former Jackson Elementary School near 14th and Allen streets. Students will be sent to the school for up to 45 days of academic help, as well as psychological and emotional help. They will be bused to the school from pre-arranged pick up sites in the city. They will start and leave at different times so they don't interact with Ramos Elementary students who attend school at the same site.
The school will cost about $1.1 million a year, most of which will come from recurring federal funds. The school will have both an academic and mental health component and be staffed by district teachers. It will be led by Principal Jose Rosado.
The district is also partnering with a national youth services company, VisionQuest, to handle some of the counseling and to set up in-school suspension programs at Allen and Dieruff. That contract costs $247,000 and is part of the total cost of the alternative school. The Morning Call

I wrote in the previous post, Fire Him Now, that if they're going to have an alternative school for gangsters, it better be a big building; It is. I'm concerned that attendance at Gangsta High might become a status symbol in the circle of underachievers. If it comes to past that eventually we have a separate academy for the overachievers, how will this effect Allen and Dieruff? We put the bad apples in one barrel, the good apples in another, and leave the remainder where they are? This post, as was the previous one, are only meant as vehicles for discussion.


Anonymous said...


Under Angello the district ran the ball a long way down the field in a definite direction and made huge investments towards these goals. Now this new super seems to be marching to his own drummer in an entirely new direction. This could prove costly.
Once again, it appears to me that huge sums of money are being spent in an attempt to remedy the symptoms of Allentown’s School District problems while ignoring the cause.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

This is an example of a classic bell curve distribution IMO.

The separate schools, Jackson and the proposed college curriculum institute, are there to serve the extremes.

I think the intent is to free up WAHS and Dieruff to be more sane and safe learning environments for the majority of students.

Times have changed. We have been overwhelmed by so much "diversity" these extremes are more pronounced.

As for Jackson, if students with behavioral issues cannot be part of a sane and safe environment they need to go.

High schools are really not safe, they are breeding grounds for gangs.

This issue will not go away. As much as the DOJ, non-profits and our local esteemed foundations think it has.

Haven't they abandoned all financial support of gang prevention and moved on to the next most popular issue?

By default the ASD has become the safety net for most of the families in Allentown, at least with school age children.

No one else is committed to pick up the slack.

So as much as people criticize these initiatives, they may ultimately save Allentown. No one else seems to be trying.

Anonymous said...

The blogger states that this topic is for "discussion" but prejudices that lofty goal by characterizing the students as "gangsters". If the blogger sincerely wants his reading public to engage in high level discussion, why does he set such a poor example w/ his own language??

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:49, does school for the unruly sound that much better to you?

Katie Bee said...

Have you gotten a chance to check out Waiting For Superman yet? It provides a comprehensive take on public schooling and charter schools. My boyfriend and I saw it last week. He got really really angry (republican against excess spending on failing programs) and I cried (don't judge me, it was kids losing the lottery selection to get into a charter school).

At any rate, I think you would find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

"excess spending on failing programs"

smart boyfriend, marry him

Anonymous said...

It goes without saying that getting into Gangsta High will be THE top priority for every would-be would-be hip-hop gansta thug in town.

Absolutely thrilled to be living in the neighorhood of Jackson School, now.