Thursday, September 30, 2004

No Way Out

My October 2004 Reason magazine article on the No Child Left Behind Act and school choice is up at Reason Online.

Here's the opening:

Like every junior high school student in Camden, New Jersey, 12-year-old Ashley Fernandez attends a school that has been designated as failing under state and federal standards for more than three years. But low expectations were the least of this seventh-grader’s problems. In 2004 Ashley’s gym teacher became irritated by his unruly class and punished all the girls by putting them in the boys’ locker room. Two boys dragged Ashley into the shower room. One held her arms and the other held her legs while they fondled her for more than 10 minutes. The teacher was not present, and no one helped Ashley.

Ashley’s principal, who has refused to acknowledge the assault, denied her a transfer out of Morgan Village Middle School. Since the gym incident, Ashley has received numerous threats, including repeated confrontations with male students who grab her and then run away. When Ashley’s mother began keeping her home from school, she got a court summons for allowing truancy.

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