How teens view alternative schools

Clemente High School

Raymond Lopez, junior: It’s a good idea. I was kicked out for gangbanging, and I want to go to school, and they won’t send me to their [Clemente’s own] alternative school.

Calvin Lewis, freshman: It’s not a good idea. There’s some reason they’re troublemakers, and alternative schools won’t help. But it will help the regular kids.

Alternatives at a glance

Performance goals

The School Reform Board is requiring that alternative schools achieve a success rate of at least 70 percent for each of the following:


Seniors who earn a diploma or GED.

Non-seniors who continue in the program, transfer to another program or transfer back to a regular public school.

Students who make at least one month’s gain on standardized achievement tests for each month they are enrolled in the program.

Students who earn at least two high school credits before the end of the school year.

Eligible students who are enrolled in a vocational program.

Kids’ truancy lands parents in court, could bite into welfare checks

Program ‘working well’

In 35 of the 42 cases, parents were placed under court supervision and required to get their child back in school. In most instances, the student’s attendance improved, and supervision was dropped, reports Ernest Grant, director of the the board’s Student Truancy Retrieval Assistance Program (STRAP). In the remaining seven cases, parents failed to show up in court.

A Learning Outcomes sampler

Students should be able to do the following :

Interpret, analyze, and critique the literal and non-literal messages in oral and written texts that represent different cultures.

Appraise the work of self and others and reassess one’s own thinking, speaking, and writing, using new understandings.

Speak and write, using standard conventions in a well-organized and coherent manner appropriate to a variety of audiences and purposes.

Write narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive material for different purposes and audiences, using all stages of the writing process.