Do me a favor. Say "public school." Think "New York." What comes to mind? Does the visual of plush classroom sofas, walls adorned with framed artwork, communal tables instead of desks, or a bird's eye view of Central Park strike a cord? How about small class sizes? Uniforms? Or better yet -- how about a classroom filled with...all...girls? That's right. Public school -- New York City -- HARLEM. Does ANY of this sound familiar?
in an educational system notorious for its overstuffed classrooms
and understuffed budget, The Young Women's Leadership School in
East Harlem is a prime example of what it is to be victorious. From
its very origin in 1996, the middle through high YWLS (Young Women's
Leadership School) has incited controversy and adversarial protest
from its mere concept: a nurturing, single sexed public
school for inner-city young women.
Some years later, Tisch eventually met and married into money, as her husband's family owns the Loews Corporation. She deplored being called a socialite by press, and though surrounded by luxury and leisure, Tisch still had the innate passion towards improving the public school system in New York City. In 1993, she completely quit her on-air job and devoted her time towards building the foundation for a public all-girls school that would center on math and science. At the time, there was only a short list of two other schools in the country similar in structure -- one in Baltimore, that had been in place for over a century, and another in Philadelphia. Tisch had the challenge of persuading New York's bureaucratic powers, in command of the biggest and most difficult educational school system in the country, that New York needed to be included on that list. I'll presume she conquered that challenge.
you read this, YWLS classrooms are filled with wide-eyed students
and concerned teachers who stand as living testimonials to the proficiency
of bold innovation. Student-teacher ratios generally go no higher
than about 20 to 1, as both teachers and students are put through
an acceptance process before final admission into the school. Teachers
interested in teaching at YWLS are put through careful interviewing
methods by a designated division of the Board of Education, probed
for the passion, energy, devotion, and genuine concern that it takes
to be a part of the YWLS staff. Because of the overwhelming number
of YWLS applicants, students who apply are only considered if they
place the school as their number one choice. District Four students
(Harlem; East Harlem) are granted priority in the admissions process.
© Copyright HarlemLive® 2001 All Rights Reserved
Back to the top