Wednesday, June 27

Congrats, kids and teachers!

It's the last day of school, and kids and teachers should be proud of themselves for making it through another year, one replete with mid-year busing changes, reorganization announcements, and interim assessments. Enjoy your summers!

We hear so much about the challenges the school system and its students face, but there are always some success stories too, and a number of them have made it into the news lately. Today, the New York Times profiles six valedictorians, many of whom overcame great obstacles to graduate at the top of their classes. The DOE has also been highlighting a couple of top graduates each day, including a student at Eleanor Roosevelt High School who received a full scholarship to Franklin and Marshall College despite a period of homelessness and a Midwood High School graduate who left his family in Ghana to come to school in New York. He plans to be a teacher.

Taking a longer look at success, the New York Daily News checked in earlier this week with members of a 1994 kindergarten class at Harlem's PS 36. The students should be graduating from high school this year, and more than half are. Some, especially those who made the cut to attend the selective Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, have done quite well and been admitted to selective colleges. In a city where the four-year graduation rate has only recently topped 50 percent, it's no surprise that some PS 36 kids are still enrolled or have dropped out. But across the city, kids have worked very hard to graduate, and we should all be proud of them.

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