9/17/2005

Hurricane Fluff from The New Yorker

Usually, when there's something in the New Yorker that touches on education issues, you're going to get a piece that's well-written and that gives you insight both into the human elements of schools and their larger political and financial underpinnings.

For example, recall Katherine Boo's insightful piece about the charter school in Boston that was designed originally for Chinese immigrant children but has ended up serving low-income African American kids. Or Malcolm Gladwell's fascinating if inaccurate comparison of No Child Left Behind to a centralized industrial economic model.

But not last week. In a short "Talk of the Town" piece, a writer whose byline I've never seen before basically profiles the arrival of a high school senior from New Orleans into the NYC public school system. She's taken to the head of the line. She gets into a specialized high school in Brooklyn. She wants to be an actress.

That's about it. There's some colorful backstory about how she and her family got to New York, and the family's long history in New Orleans. But there's little else -- about immigrant and refugees students, about the debate over whether to educate the Gulf Coast kids separately. It's too bad.

Transfer Student (New Yorker).

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