New York Schools

The New York School was an informal group of American poets, painters, dancers, and musicians active in the 1950s and 1960s in New York City. They often drew inspiration from surrealism and the contemporary avant-garde art movements, in particular action painting, abstract expressionism, jazz, improvisational theater, experimental music, and the interaction of friends in the New York City art world’s vanguard circle.

Concerning the New York School poets, critics argued that their work was a reaction to the Confessionalist movement in Contemporary Poetry. Their poetic subject matter was often light, violent, or observational, while their writing style was often described as cosmopolitan and world-traveled.The poets often wrote in an immediate and spontaneous manner reminiscent of stream of consciousness writing, often using vivid imagery. They drew on inspiration from Surrealismand the contemporary avant-garde art movements, in particular the action painting of their friends in the New York City art world circle such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

The New York School which represented the New York abstract expressionists of the 1950s was documented through a series of artists’ committee invitational exhibitionscommencing with the 9th Street Art Exhibition in 1951 and followed by consecutive exhibitions at the Stable Gallery, NYC: Second Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, 1953;[2] Third Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, 1954;[3] Fourth Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, 1955;[4] Fifth Annual Exhibitions of Painting and Sculpture, 1956[5] and Sixth New York Artists’ Annual Exhibition, 1957.[6] Included in the New York School were Bradley Walker Tomlin (1899–1953), Rosemarie Beck (1923–2003) and Philip Guston (1913–1980)

 

Martin Guichardo’s first shot at high school did not go well. While attending Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, which has over 3,500 students, he would skip class to hang out with his friends, and he rapidly fell behind.

By the fall of what should have been his senior year, in 2006, he had only nine of the 44 credits he would need to graduate. A counselor told him that if he stayed at F.D.R., it might take him several more years to finish.

But she suggested another option: a small school that had recently opened called West Brooklyn Community High School, dedicated to helping students who had gotten off-track get their diplomas. In its more intimate setting, with a lot of one-on-one attention from teachers and counselors, Mr. Guichardo buckled down and was able to graduate in 2008.

“Without West Brooklyn, I think I would have probably ended up dropping out or going for a G.E.D.,” said Mr. Guichardo, 27, who is now a commercial pilot. “I’m really, really glad I had that opportunity.”

West Brooklyn Community High School is what is known in New York City as a transfer school. The city’s Education Department now runs 51 such schools, serving 13,000 students.

The schools are small, and many of them work with community-based organizations to offer counseling, college and career advising, and internships. They have a significantly better track record than other high schools in graduating students who are two or more years behind. But because students often enter transfer schools with few credits, it can take them six, seven or even eight years in total to graduate.

Now advocates and city education officials fear the schools may be in danger. On Monday, the State Education Department is expected to present the Board of Regents with regulations to conform with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind. Under the expected regulations, the vast majority of the city’s transfer schools would be designated as “in need of improvement” and could be at risk of being closed.

Under the regulations, schools that fall short of a six-year graduation rate of 67 percent would be put on a list to receive “comprehensive support and improvement.” Only four of the city’s 51 transfer schools currently meet, or are on track to meet, that benchmark.

If a school could not get off the list within three years, it could be moved into the state’s receivership program, which could eventually lead it to close.