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Central Park East and Its Graduates

David Bensman Patricia A. Wasley Ann Lieberman Joseph P. McDonald

168 pages
Teachers College Press
In 1974, Central Park East Elementary School (CPE) in East Harlem opened its doors with a mission to provide inner-city children with the finest educators and pedagogy available. Instead of saying that the old neighborhood had to be torn down and students more rigidly tracked, the reformers dared to ask the question, What would happen if we gave inner-city students the best education the country has to offer? The results of this bottom-up reform were astounding, and to this day, Central Park East is known as one of the most academically enriching schools in the United States. David Bensman gives voice to the extraordinary young adults who emerged from poverty as a result of the powerful educational experiences they received at CPE. A rich compilation of stories, this account establishes the power of public schooling and the value of community.
Author Bio
David Bensman is an Associate Professor in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.