The Daily News has an excellent and highly interactive feature of the stories of an entire class of kindergarteners from Harlem, who should all be graduating from high school this month. Most are, but a few slipped through the cracks, in an otherwise extraordinarily successful class. 60% of black and Latino students never manage to graduate high school in four years, but the 23 children who tested into a gifted program at Harlem's PS 36 did better than most. It was not an easy passage
One of the girls would grieve the murders of both her parents. One of the boys would be arrested three times and spend a week on Rikers Island. One would get involved in a gang. Another would attend a city high school so violent she'd see four knifefights in four years.
The Daily News managed to locate 21 out of the 23 children. Eleven are graduating this month from city schools. Some are still enrolled and others are graduating from schools in other cities. Three left school and are unsure whether they ever intend on finishing school.
"Once you leave, you're going to get too used to this outside life, sleeping all day, doing what you're doing," he said. "You ain't ready to go back to school."
We have to recommed reading the full feature, because it includes details on the hardships of families, teachers, and the school system that all eventually filter down to the kids that have to endure 13 years of public schooling, whether they like it or not, and how they respond to that period. Kindergarten Class 206 of PS 36 in Harlem did quite well for themselves. Congratulations kids.