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January 24, 2009

Another Great Charter School: Girls Prep

This past week I visited another great charter school in New York City: Girls Prep on the Lower East Side.  This school is fantastic.  They love to have visitors.  Check it out!  Here is their website and here is a ridiculously cute video:


Girls Prep is the only all-girls public elementary school in New York City.  They are opening a second all-girls school in East Harlem next year.  They currently serve 230 students, K-4, and they will eventually go up to the 8th grade.  Their results, in the form of test scores, have been excellent: 100% of their 3rd graders passed the state math exam (versus 87% for the district) and 80% passed the English exam (versus 61% for the district). 

To really appreciate Girls Prep, though, you must visit the school.  This is a place of joy, learning, and inspiration.  They have two teachers in each classroom of about 24 children so they typically split up into two groups that sit around small tables.  They can afford to do this because each teacher pair consists of a more experienced teacher and a new junior teacher right out of college.

One issue that Girls Prep is facing is that more and more middle-class parents are applying to the lottery.  Imagine that... a non-selective public school with excess demand from parents from all sorts of backgrounds.  Girls Prep is a terrific example of the potential of charter schools to produce extraordinary learning environments.    


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Wow. That video brings a smile to the face and a tear to the eye. As a boy, I didn't realize that I "stomped on books", but I probably did.

How many grades will they include? I am suddenly terrified that these girls will lose each other in middle school.

I agree with your concern! Thankfully, I think the plan is to go up to eighth grade.

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