Education in Harlem
New York City is divided into many Community School Districts (CSDs), although many functions formerly performed at the district level are now distributed elsewhere. Those districts with jurisdiction in parts of Harlem are Districts 2 through 6 plus District 75. Some or all of these districts also serve parts of Manhattan outside of Harlem. District 75 is for special education and therefore is a City-wide district that encompasses Harlem.
Some schools located outside of Harlem may have programs that take place in Harlem. An example is City-As-School, a public noncharter high school headquartered in downtown Manhattan that supports education in conjunction with internships across the city, thus potentially including Harlem.
As of 1993, Harlem, as home predominantly to people of African descent with incomes below the current national median, many living in poverty, and thus subject to racism and classism, found education disadvantaged. "East Harlem was consistently at the bottom in reading and math test scores."
In the 1930s, overcrowding in schools in Harlem was identified as a major impediment to education and a subject for reform efforts. Lucile Spence, Gertrude Elise McDougald Ayer, and Layle Lane were educators involved in the reform efforts.
"Opportunities to enter a racially mixed high school were minimal, and by 1913 fewer than two hundred Black high school students attended racially mixed high schools." Also in "1913, only fifteen Black male students . . . [p. 57:] . . . were registered at ["DeWitt"] Clinton ["Evening High School (for Men)"] [(the school was at 59th St. & 10th Av., not in Harlem)]."
Not receiving Regents high school diplomas on time is more common in Harlem than in most other communities in the city, at least as of 2006. This does not include GEDs, special education diplomas, or alternative certificates, as they're unhelpful for career development or college entry. But the lower graduation rates are partly concealed in official statistics, because they're not based on good reasoning about who gets counted and who does not. For example, children in the criminal justice system are not counted, thus when many of them drop out they're not counted.
The public noncharter schools in Harlem and kindred communities have been criticized for decades as being educationally among the worst in the city. By contrast, the charters in Harlem have been praised for their quality of education, even when compared to charters elsewhere in the nation. The operator of one group of charter schools, Eva Moskowitz, wrote as an opinion that well-performing charter schools have led to an improvement in the performance of public noncharter schools, although much more improvement is still needed. Charters have been criticized on other grounds, but not uniquely to Harlem, except for objections to there being so many charters in Harlem competing with public noncharter schools for classroom space. Transfers of teachers involuntarily into Harlem in the 1960s, by sending the teachers to schools with difficult students, were reputedly intended by the City's Board of Education to drive unwanted teachers out of the profession altogether.
Columbia University has periodically planned physical expansion, competing for space with residents, and seeking coordination with New York State for the application of eminent domain on the ground of blight.
Elementary through high school
Publicly funded schools include noncharter and charter schools, generally not charging tuition, and getting their funds primarily from state and city governments.
- Central Park East
- Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, a high school, 280 Pleasant Av.
- Park East High School
- Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem, 105 E. 106th Street.
Charter schools are authorized by any of three authorizing agencies and operate under fewer rules than do noncharter schools, and often have higher expectations for students. In Harlem, many charters outperform noncharter schools, doing a better job of educating students in math and English as measured by state examinations. Charters are generally free of tuition to attend. When a charter school receives more qualified applicants than it has classroom space to admit, it usually runs a lottery and places everyone who is not admitted that way onto a waitlist for possible openings later in the year. Schools offer classes in various grades and some add a grade each year, so that a student, once started, can continue studying in the same school.
Charter schools in Harlem include:
- Amber Charter School, grades K–5, 220 E. 106th St., in Community School District 4; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY):
- Democracy Prep Charter School, grades 6–9, 207 W. 133rd St., in Community School District 5; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- Dream Charter School, grades K–2, 232 E. 103rd St., in Community School District 4; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- Future Leaders Institute Charter School, grades K–8, 134 W. 122nd St., in Community School District 3; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- Harbor Science and Arts Charter School, grades 1–8, 1 E. 104th St., in Community School District 4; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- Harlem Children's Zone:
- Harlem Children's Zone/Promise Academy I Charter School, grades K–6 & 9–10, 35 E. 125th St., in Community School District 5; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- Harlem Children's Zone/Promise Academy II, grades K–5, 2005 Madison Av., in Community School District 5; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- Harlem Day Charter School, grades K–5, 240 E. 123rd St., in Community School District 4; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- Harlem Link Charter School, grades K–5, 20 W. 112th St., in Community School District 3; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- Harlem Village Academies:
- Harlem Village Academy Charter School, grades 5–11, 244 W. 144th St., in Community School District 5; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- Harlem Village Academy Leadership Charter School, grades 5–9, 2351 1st Av., in Community School District 4; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- Knowledge Is Power Program
- New Heights Academy Charter School, grades 5–12, 1818 Amsterdam Av., in Community School District 6; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- New York City Center for Autism Charter School, grades 1–6 & 8, 433 E. 100th St., in Community School District 4; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- The Opportunity Charter School, grades 6–12, 240 W. 113th St., in Community School District; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.:
- The Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, grades K–5, 125 W. 115th St., in Community School District 3; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- St. HOPE Leadership Academy Charter School, grades 5–8, 222 W. 134th St., in Community School District 5; school chartered by N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ.
- Success Academy Charter Schools:
- Success Academy Harlem 1, grades K–6, 34 W. 118th St., in Community School District 3; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY):
- Success Academy Harlem 2, grades K–4, 301 W. 140th St., in Community School District 5; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- Success Academy Harlem 3, grades K–4, 141 E. 111th St., in Community School District 4; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- Success Academy Harlem 4, grades K–4, 240 W. 113th St., in Community School District 3; school chartered by State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY)
- The Success Academy Charter Schools group planned to open another elementary school in Harlem in 2013.
Private schools generally charge tuition to attend.
Parochial schools are generally run by religious institutions. Some include:
- The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, grades K–8, Episcopal, 1047 Amsterdam Av.
- Cristo Rey New York High School, grades 9–12, 112 E. 106th St., Catholic;
- St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School, toddlers-8th grade, Episcopal, 619 W. 114th St.
- St. Ann, The Personal School, Grades PreK3 - 8, Catholic, 314 East 110th St.
Some private schools are not run by religious institutions. Some include:
- Bank Street School for Children, nursery (about age 3)–grade 8, 610 W. 112th St.
- The Children's Storefront, preschool–grade 4, 70 E. 129th St.
- Harlem Academy, grades 1–8, 1330 5th Av.
- Manhattan Country School, grades pre-K–8, 7 E. 96th St.;
- The School at Columbia University, grades K–8, 556 W. 110th St.
- La Scuola D'Italia Guglielmo Marconi, grades pre-K–12, 12 E. 96th St.
- St. Bernard's School, boys-only school, grades pre-K–9, 4 E. 98th St.
Nurseries, sorted by the youngest age they generally accept, include:
- Rita Gold Early Childhood Center, for children 6 weeks to 5 years old, 525 W. 120th St., only for families associated with Columbia University
- Imagine Early Learning Center at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, for children 3 months to 5 years old, 60–62 E. 97th St.
- Bank St. Family Center, for children 6 months to 4.9 years old, 610 W. 112th St.
- Children's Learning Center, for children 6 months to 5 years old, 90 LaSalle St.
- Tompkins Hall Nursery School and Childcare Center, for children 15 months to 5 years old, 21 Claremont Av.
- Family Annex, for children 1 year 6 months to 5 years old, 560 W. 113th St.
- Barnard College Center for Toddler Development, for children 1.7 years to 3.0 years old, 3009 Broadway, at 120th St.
- City College's Child Development and Family Services Center, for children 2–6 years old, 133rd St. and Convent Ave.;, only for children of City College students
- The Columbia-Greenhouse Nursery School, for children 2–5 years old, 404 & 424 W. 116th St.
- The Red Balloon Community Day Care Center, for children 2–5 years old, 560 Riverside Dr.
- The Riverside Church Weekday School, for children 2–5 years old, 490 Riverside Dr.
- St. Benedict's Day Nursery, for children 2–6 years old for grades pre-K to K, 21 W. 124th St.; Roman Catholic
- St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's School, for children 2–13 years old, 619 W. 114th St.
- Broadway Presbyterian Church Nursery School, for children 2.9–5 years old, 601 W. 114th St.
- Bank St. School for Children, for children 3–13 years old, 610 W. 112th St.
- Hollingworth Preschool of Teachers College, Columbia University, for children 3–5 years old, at Teachers College, Columbia University
- La Scuola d'Italia Guglielmo Marconi, for children 3 years old and up for pre-K to grade 12, 12 E. 96th St.
Colleges and universities include:
- Barnard College, primarily for a liberal arts degree, 3009 Broadway; for women
- Boricua College, 3755 Broadway
- City College of New York (CCNY), undergraduate and graduate degrees and part of the studies for a medical degree, 160 Convent Av.
- Columbia University, undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, 2960 Broadway:
- Helene Fuld College of Nursing, AAS and BS degrees, 24 East 120th Street,Manhattan
- Jewish Theological Seminary of America, undergraduate and graduate degrees, 3080 Broadway
- Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, B.A. degree, 3080 Broadway:
- Manhattan School of Music, undergraduate and graduate programs, 601 W. 122nd St.
- New York College of Podiatric Medicine, 53 East 124th Street
- Teachers College, graduate degrees, 525 W. 120th St.:
- Part of Columbia University
- Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, 230 W. 125th St.
- Touro College of Pharmacy, 230 W. 125th St.
Public libraries are suited to self-directed learning and the New York Public Library offer free online access from home to databases for research. In Harlem, the NYPL system has one research library and ten local branches (listed here with the research library first followed by the local branches approximately from south to north):
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Lenox Avenue, is the research library
- 96th St. Library, 112 E. 96th St.
- Aguilar Library, 174 E. 110th St.
- Morningside Heights library, 2900 Broadway
- 115th St. Library, 203 W. 115th St.
- Harlem Library, 9 W. 124th St.
- 125th St. Library, 224 E. 125th St.
- George Bruce Library, 518 W. 125th St.
- Hamilton Grange Library, 503 W. 145th St.
- Macomb's Bridge Library, 2650 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
- Fliegel, Seymour, with James MacGuire, Miracle in East Harlem: The Fight for Choice in Public Education (N.Y.: Times Books (div. of Random House) (Manhattan Institute book) 1st ed. [2nd printing?] 1993 (ISBN 0-8129-2039-2)), p. 23.
- Johnson, Lauri, A Generation of Women Activists: African American Female Educators in Harlem, 1930–1950, in The Journal of African American History, vol. 89, no. 3 (Summer, 2004), New Directions in African American Women's History, in JStor (database), as accessed Jun. 26, 2010, pp. 223–240 (biographies "of three African American female educators and community leaders who lived and worked in Harlem from the 1920s through the 1950s", id., p. 223; "overcrowded public schools disproportionately affected the average Harlemite", id., p. 224; "Harlem in the 1930s . . . became the site of intense organizing and social reform efforts . . . . [and] [p]rime areas of concern included . . . school reform", id., p. 225 (fn. omitted); add'l content not quoted here) (Stable URL).
- Perry, Jeffrey Babcock, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883–1918 (N.Y.: Columbia University Press, cloth [2nd printing?] 2009 (ISBN 978-0-231-13910-6)), pp. 56–57. Id., p. 57 n. 12, cites "[f]or the statistics" Blascoer, Francis (sic (probably should be "Frances")), Colored School Children in New York (1915; N.Y.: Negro Universities Press, 1970).
- Perry, Jeffrey Babcock, Hubert Harrison, op. cit., p. 55 (endnote, with further citations, omitted).
- Losen, Daniel J., Behind the Dropout Rate, in GothamGazette: The Place For NYC Politics and Policy (§ Archives), Mar. 20, 2006, as accessed Oct. 5, 2010 (website by Citizens Union Foundation) (author sr. educ. law & policy assoc., Civil Rights Project, Harvard Law School) (the article does not mention Harlem but the map in the article shows higher dropout rates in Census tracts that approximately coincide with Harlem).
- Brill, Steven, The Teachers' Unions' Last Stand, (Single Page online URL), in The New York Times, in the Magazine, Sunday, May 23, 2010, p. MM32 (print version may differ), as accessed Jun. 10, 2010.
- Moskowitz, Eva, Another Charter School Test Passed, in The Wall Street Journal, vol. CCLX, no. 94, October 20–21, 2012, p. A11, [§] Opinion (Moskowitz is CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools).
- Kohl, Herbert R., 36 Children (N.Y.: New American Library (Plume book) (div. of Penguin) 1st Plume printing Sep. 1988 [17th printing?] 1967 (copyright of main text) (ISBN 0-452-26463-4)) (author taught Harlem public school 6th-grade classes in 1960s; school was at 119th St. & Madison Av.; book is an experiential journal)., p. vi (Introduction to the 1988 Edition (Mar., 1988)).
- Bagli, Charles V., Court Upholds Columbia Campus Expansion Plan, in The New York Times, June 24 or 25, 2010, p. A1, § N.Y. / Region (N.Y. ed.), as accessed Sep. 20, 2010.
- Irwin, Demetria, Columbia's Expansion Plan Moves Forward, in (The) New York Amsterdam News, vol. 99, issue 1 (ISSN 1059-1818), Dec. 27, 2007 – Jan. 2, 2008, pp. 3 & 31 (article), in Academic Search Premier (EbscoHost) (database) (PDF Full Text), as accessed Sep. 20, 2010.
- Boyd, Herb, Harlem Says No: Community Board Soundly Rejects Columbia Plan, in (The) New York Amsterdam News, vol. 98, issue 35 (ISSN 1059-1818), Aug. 23–29, 2007, pp. 1 & 30 (article) (cover story), in Academic Search Premier (EbscoHost) (database) (PDF Full Text), as accessed Sep. 20, 2010.
- Brill, Steven, The Teachers' Unions' Last Stand (Single Page online URL), in The New York Times, op. cit. ("Charter schools are not always better for children. Across the country many are performing badly. But when run well – as most in Harlem and New York’s other most-challenged communities appear to be – they can make a huge difference in a child’s life.").
- N.Y.C. Department of Education, New York City Charter Schools, as accessed Sep. 26, 2010, column listing Charter Authorizer as "NYCDOE", "SUNY", or "NYSED".
- Fleisher, Lisa, New Charters Proposed for Manhattan, in The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2012, 10:17 p.m., E.T., [§] New York, as accessed July 25, 2012 (a version printed as New Charters Proposed for Manhattan., p. A17 (U.S. ed.), July 16, 2012).
- Goldman, Victoria, & Catherine Hausman, revised by Victoria Goldman, The Manhattan Family Guide to Private Schools and Selective Public Schools (N.Y.: Soho Press, 5th ed. 2005 (ISBN 1-56947-389-7)).
- Shining Stars: East Harlem's Cristo Rey High School Is an Educational Beacon, in N.Y. Daily News, Jun. 10, 2010 (§ Editorials), as accessed Jun. 26, 2010.
- Harlem Academy's website, school's mission, as accessed Feb. 22, 2012.
- The City College: Graduate Bulletin 2008–2010, pp. 26–27, as accessed Sep. 26, 2010.
- Overview of Child Development at CCNY
- Overview of the preschool at GreatSchools.org, as accessed Sep. 26, 2010.
- Schomburg's Web page, as accessed Oct. 5, 2010
- 96th St. Library's Web page
- Aguilar Library's Web page
- Morningside Heights library's Web page, as accessed Oct. 5, 2010 (the word "library" is not part of the official name of the branch and is not capitalized here, unlike with various other branches)
- 115th St. Library's Web page
- Harlem Library's Web page, as accessed Oct. 5, 2010
- 125th St. Library's Web page
- George Bruce Library's Web page
- Hamilton Grange Library's Web page
- Macomb's Bridge Library's Web page
- Meier, Deborah, The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America From a Small School in Harlem (1995).
- Haynes, Aquila E., ed., Directory of NYC Charter Schools: New York City Department of Education: 2010 – 2011 (Dep't of Educ.) (editor of N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ., Charter School Office) (updates website)
- Goldman, Victoria, The Manhattan Directory of Private Nursery Schools (N.Y.: Soho Press, 6th ed. 2007 (ISBN 978-1-56947-449-5)), esp. for neighborhoods or areas Uptown and Eastside
- Private Independent Schools (Wallingford, Conn.: Bunting & Lyon, 62d ed. 2009 (ISBN 0-913094-62-5) (ISSN 0079-5399)) (The Bunting and Lyon Blue Book)
- N.Y.C. Charter Center
- New York School Test Scores, as reported by N.Y. Times
- N.Y.C. Dept. of Education: find public charter and noncharter schools
- Lists of principals and other administrators, from N.Y.S. Education Department:
- School District Index for The NYS Administrators Listing (letter N): select a local district of interest
- NYC Special Schools – District 75
- NYC Chancellor's Office