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Including the excluded. Educational pathways for marginalized young people in the USA & AUSTRALIA Dale Murray. OVERVIEW.

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Including the excluded l.jpg

Including the excluded

Educational pathways for marginalized young people in the USA & AUSTRALIA

Dale Murray

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  • This presentation begins with a brief look at the Centre Education Programme (CEP) then moves to give reasons for the exploration of Alterative Educational Communities in the USA.

  • There are many more expressions of Alterative Educational sites in the USA than presented here. I will focus on a couple that in some way operate with inclusive practice as the driving force.

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Centre Education Programme

  • …Why CEP.

  • 1986. Br Terry Kingston of the Christian Brothers. (with a number of other brothers and the support of the Province Leadership team moved to Logan City…

  • Mission …The tradition of Edmund Rice…”Walking with”

  • Research around Australia – Lead back to Logan City………

  • Logan City. the need…high rates of truancy and young people disengaging.

  • Wembley Road House

  • The house…1987 – 88… 10 -12 young people 4 staff, mainly religious. Woodridge high young people referred across in a part time programme …still enrolled at Woodridge ----attending the CEP…this became the start of the CEP relationship with EQ..

  • 1988. Mid year I was employed as a teacher– literacy and numeracy, outdoor…building relationships….music…hangingout….

  • 1989 shift to Mary st…Annex to Boystown for educational registration and funding issues. Growing numbers and staff…25 young people… 6-8 staff

  • Focus on Literacy/numeracy, life skills, outdoor ed continues to grow…

  • Mid 1993 Purchase of Mudgee st site… House and some demountables…10 staff – 30 young people.

  • 2000 Independent registration with EQ through the office of non-state education.

  • 2003 Redevelopment of building (BGA grant) 1,100,000. to re build

  • 2004 65 young people 15 staff…5 staff in the Outreach programme. daily referrals….

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Mission statement.

  • The Centre Education Programme, an Edmund Rice community, exists for young people to experience education as liberation.

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Student Numbers

  • Referral figures.

  • 1998 97 students

  • 1999 112 students

  • 2000 120 students

  • 2001 148 students

  • 2002 207 students

  • 2003 230 students (101 young people have been enrolled for 2003, for August census = 67 young people)

  • 2004 65 enrolled. ( to date for 2004 we have had 80 referrals)

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Core business

  • The core business is informed by a common sense approach to justice. We believe that the culture from which our students come generates a number factors that can contribute to a young person having an overwhelming experience of failure with schooling; the cumulative effect of which, results in either chronic truancy, repeated suspension or eventually expulsion. This culture is predominately influenced by poverty. Hunger, homelessness, substance- abuse, generational un/under-employment, violence, physical, emotional & sexual abuse are its hallmarks!

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Some Reasons

  • ….Primary reasons for referral

  • Behavior problems

  • History of violence

  • Exclusion/suspension from schools

  • Truancy

  • Criminal History

  • Drug use

  • Mental Health issues

  • Learning difficulties

  • Emotional difficulties

  • Dysfunctional family environment

  • Victim of bullying

  • Homelessness

  • Young Motherhood

  • Unemployment

  • Neglect

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The Results

  • Frequent suspension

  • Chronic truancy

  • Learning difficulty

  • History of educational failure

  • Exclusion

  • Inability to cope with mainstream education due to dysfunctional family/home environment/social intolerance.

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Operation by Principals

  • Operation by Principle.

  • The Centre operates on four principles.

  • 1 Respect

  • 2 Participation

  • 3 Safe and Legal

  • 4 Being Fair Dinkum

  • The processes used to uphold the principles requires all who attend the Centre to commit to the belief that freedom, independence and self-reliance/self responsibility can only be realised through individuals owning their behaviour.

  • Resolution of conflict, negotiation about learning, recognition of rights and responsibilities and acceptance of consequences are modelled and explored both within the group and individually. This process is expected to occur equally for adults and young people.

  • The skills necessary to engage in this process are:

  • Active listening (demonstrating you have heard)

  • Open questioning (inviting to speak- to tell their story)

  • Problem solving and decision making

  • Negotiation skills (agreeing on consequences)

  • There are a variety of meeting environments where this process takes place:

  • Whole group meetings

  • Sounding board meetings

  • Pastoral care group meetings

  • Special person meetings

  • Class meetings

  • Individual meetings

  • Informal meetings

  • Staff meetings

  • The development of authentic relationships through the use of meetings is the key to operation by principle. All who attend are asked to take part in the development and maintenance of relationships through this process of continued negotiation and resolution.

  • Outcome of the process.

  • Staff and students must invest a large amount of time and trust in the process to develop the skills that will ensure they can successfully manage family, school, work and social relationships. Every time we enter into this process skills are further developed and learning is reinforced. The internalisation of this process empowers students to confidently negotiate outcomes and accept responsibility for their behaviour and life.

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On the Ground

YOUNG PEOPLE. (65 Young People) (19 full time staff + 5 part time + volunteers)

  • Year 8-10 non indigenous. 30 students - 3 staff (Teachers)

  • Year 11-12 group 15 students - 1 staff (Teacher)

  • Year 8-10 Indigenous Unit 30 students - 3 staff (School Officers/Teacher)

  • Principal.

  • Outdoor ed worker.

  • Youth worker.

  • Tutors – drumming, singing, dance, sport, music.

  • Manual Arts worker/mechanic.

  • Ground Person/caretaker.

  • Office staff/bursar.

  • Outreach and research. 2 Outreach workers

    1 Indigenous Transition worker

    1 Stable Accommodation researcher

    1 Admin support person.

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Why I go to CEP

I go to the centre because the staff treat you as you are in the real world and you get treated fairly.

The people at the centre actually care about where you go in life.

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I like the centre because they help me to understand and over come difficulties that I had in mainstream schools.


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Students feel comfortable at The Centre in a way that they don’t in other schools

………….Simone and Stevie……………

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  • Through the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 a number of Community Youth Services, Education Queensland and some Christian Brothers Schools in Queensland approached CEP with the request to develop relationships with the CEP that would support their work in developing and maintaining appropriate learning environments for marginalized and alienated young people. Discussions began with the Executive Director Edmund Rice Education Directorate and the Christian Brothers Queensland and the Northern Terrority regarding the possibility of such support. One outcome of such discussion was to investigate a number of alternative education learning communities in the USA to widen our knowledge of possible future enhancements at a local level.

  • In January 2004 I, with my family, traveled to the 3 major cities in the USA to visit 10 alternative (in some cases not so alternative) learning communities and a number of leading professionals working in this field. Following are some of the findings relating to the sites visited.

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  • Sites.


  • New York Department of Education Alternative and Further Education.

  • 1. Satellite Academy High School. 120th west st site.

  • Principal. Allan Bartz.

  • 2. Humanities Preparatory Academy. 351 West 18th St .

  • Principal. Vincent Brevetti.

  • 3. Satellite Academy High School. Forsyth st site

  • Director. Sarah Blos.

  • 4. Rice High. 124 and Lennox st.

  • Principal. Br Michael Connelly.

  • 5. Nativity Mission Centre.

  • Principal Nick Romero


  • 6. Telpochcalli School.

  • 7. Perspectives Charter School.

  • 8. Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.

  • President. Father John Foley. SJ.

  • 9. University of Illinois. Head of Education. Professor Bill Ayers.

  • (Small school project, Students for Democratic action, numerous papers and book on education).


  • 10. Verbum Dei High School, Jesuit High School

  • President/ Father John Weling. SJ.

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New York City

  • New York Department of Education.

  • Alternative Schools Programme

  • Principal, Allan Baratz,

  • Director, Forsyth street site. Sarah Blos,

  • Satellite Academy. 4 sites, 2 in Manhattan, 1 in Queens, 1 in the Bronx.

  • (a)    curriculum. College prep for those students who were about two years behind their peers.

  • Not all who referrer are accepted into the program. Must have basic Lit and Numeracy and passed a number of middle school exams.

  • (b)    pedagogy. Smaller class sizes, longer classes. Ethnic understanding. Students talked about being listened to, openness to discussion and debate. Family group plays a large part in allowing young people to engage in all aspects of the program. (ie, the new super had declared that young people were not allowed to wear their hats in classrooms – this has many staff and students up in arms. Much discussion happening in family groups about this issue and how students could have there side of the story heard…staff also concerned that they were spending a lot of time disciplining students about wearing hats in class….)

  • (c)    student profile/s. 17 – 21 years of age, African American, Hispanic. Co ed.

  • (d)    mission. To provide marginalized young people a place to reengage with learning.

  • (e)    spiritual formation. Non denominational.

  • (f)    funding. State funded, coalition of essential schools, private sponsorships.

  • (g)    engagement practices. Small class sizes, family groups – referrals – word of mouth, past students, parents,   

  • (h)    networks. Long association with a variety of educational support networks.

  • (i)    Board support. Principal (4 sites) Director of each site, teacher from each site. One meeting a month. Superintendent of the Alternative and Further Education Department (New York Education Department) is the direct Line manager of the Principal. (currently in a process of change-funding issues

  • (j)    Leadership 'density' within institutions. See above, but essentially a top down within the educational department. Super, Principal, Site Directors, Teachers, Students. Although this structure existed there was a large amount of shared decision making at a school level. Time was made for staff to discuss students, subjects and ways of developing a more student centered approach. (much work was going on to develop curriculum that was seen to be relative to students needs, - ways of assessing students that are not necessarily exam based _ - ie outcomes based measurement.

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Nativity Mission Centre

  • Nativity Mission Centre.

  • Principal. Nick Romero.

  • (a) curriculum. essentially a middle school, mainstream subjects

  • (b)    pedagogy. Small class size (8-10) total school pop around 50.

  • (c)    student profile/s. mostly MEXICAN/ SPANISH, all from the lower east side in low socio economic area. (at this site-there are some 40 sites across the USA, all based in low socio-economic areas, working with ethnic communities)

  • (d)    mission. To provide young people with a quality Jesuit education.

  • (e)    spiritual formation. Catholic. Jesuit.

  • (f)    funding. Jesuit, foundations (no state or federal funding)

  • (g)    engagement practices. Introduction camp ( 7 weeks – a streaming plan)   Quite structured programme, uniforms, discipline – alternative to a mainstream middle school where there may be 1500 students. 

  • (h)    networks. Jesuit, Catholic high schools, Jesuit Uni.

  • (i)    Board support. Board, PLT, President- Fr Vincent, Principal, Staff.

  • (j)    Leadership 'density' within institutions. Top down, Principal, support staff, teachers (mostly part time, volunteer’s, Jesuit brothers.)

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Satellite Academy

  • Satellite Academy High School, Forsyth Street Site.

  • Director. Sarah Blos.

  • (a)    curriculum. Based in Lit and Num, attempts to get students ready for college entry. (Emphasis on “family group” as the place where young people take responsibility for their place in the programme)

  • (b)    pedagogy. Student centered

  • (c)    student profile/s. African American,

  • (d)    mission. Provide education for young people (16-21) that have fallen out of the mainstream stream system. Graduate Prep for college.

  • (e)    spiritual formation. Non denominational.

  • (f)    funding. State funded plus non government collaborators – see mission statement –last page.

  • (g)    engagement practices. Smaller class size. Bi lingual. Family group is very important in allowing young full participation in the program.

  • (h)    referral. Local high schools, parents, other students

  • (i)    networks. Coalition of Essential Schools

  • (j)    Board support. Same as New York department of ed site

  • (k)    Leadership 'density' within institutions. As above.

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Humanities Prep Programme

  • Humanities Prep Program.

  • Principal. Vincent Brevetti.

  • (a)    curriculum. Mainstream subjects, Lit, Math’s, History, Art, Science, Music, Language –Spanish Phys ed (off site YMCA, YWCA)

  • (b)    pedagogy- small class size, 20-21 students. Mixed groups around levels of ability. Scaffold learning. Attempt to spread ages around groups. PBATS (Performance based assessment tasks – similar to Qld Education Queensland Outcomes based assessment in that everything that a young person does can and is assessed, ie lit to family group. Portfolios of work within the PBATS.

  • (c)    student profile/s. African American, Hispanic. 14 -20 years co –ed. (some 80 students in the programme)

  • (d)    mission. Based in core values. Family group integral part of the operation.

  • (e)    spiritual formation. Non denominational.

  • (f)    funding. Education department of NYC. Non Government agencies.

  • (g)    engagement practices. Authentic – student Centred, cooperative decision making around the core values. Family group meets three times a week. Platform for discussion, negotiation of issues around core values.

  • (h)    referral. Local high schools, parents, other students

  • (i)    networks. State system, other alternative high schools, coalition of essential schools

  • (j)    Board support

  • (k) Leadership 'density' within institutions. Principal + Co-director, co operative decision making. Two 1 – 2 hour staff meetings a week. (time formal and informal for discussion around students) Formal curriculum development. Social worker and counselor on site. 14 teachers (mostly young – not much of a turn over – issues of provisional teacher registration and having to leave to gain masters quals for full registration. )

  • Notes. Operates in a shared building with a big high school. (3000 students) issues about space and $ spent on the alternative program. Issues around discipline of the “high school” students in the Alternative space.

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  • General InformationSchools and ProgramsAdult & Continuing EducationOffice of Technology  -Email GatewayStudent ResourcesParent ResourcesEducator Resources  -CalendarJob OpportunitiesProjects & Collaborations  -Grants  -International BridgesManhattanBrooklyn & S.I.BronxQueensMulti-SitedDetention/Correctional Directions to the SchoolMore Information Schools & Programs in ManhattanBallet Tech/NYCPS for Dance890 Broadway 7th Fl (212) 777-7330Beacon School227 West 61st St(212) 245-2807Cascades Center for Teaching & Lrng.198 Forsythe St 3rd fl(646) 654-1261Central Park East1573 Madison Av (212) 860-8935Choir Academy of Harlem2005 Madison Av (212) 289-6227Coalition School for Social Change220 West 58th St (212) 247-3651Edward A. Reynolds West Side HS140 West 102nd St (212) 678-7300Ella Baker Elementary School317 East 67th St (212) 717-8809Gregorio Luperon High School516 West 181st St (212) 927-2561Independence High School850 10th Avenue(212) 262-8067Landmark School220 West 58th St (212) 247-3414Legacy High School for Integrated Studies34 West 14th St (212) 645-1980Liberty High School250 West 18th St (212) 691-0934Lower East Side Prep145 Stanton St 4th Fl (212) 505-6366Manhattan International High School317 East 67th St (212) 517-6728Manhattan Village Academy43 West 22nd St (212) 242-8752Park East High School230-34 East 105th St (212) 831-1517Public School Repertory Company 123 West 43rd St (212) 382-1875School for the Physical City55 East 25th St (212) 683-7440Unity High School121 Av the Americas (212) 343-8038Urban Academy Laboratory School317 East 67th St (212) 570-5284Urban Peace Academy2351 First Av (212) 987-1906Vanguard High School317 East 67th Street (212) 517-5175Schools & Programs in Brooklyn & Staten IslandBrooklyn College Academy2900 Bedford Ave(718) 951-5941Brooklyn International H.S.49 Flatbush Ave Ext(718) 643-9315Community Preparatory School69 Schermerhorn St(718) 842-9200Concord High School109 Rhine Ave(718) 447-1274(718) 447-1275East New York Family Academy2057 Linden Blvd(718) 927-0012EBC HS Public Service-Bushwick1155 DeKalb Avenue(718) 452-3440EBC HS Public Service-East N.Y.1495 Herkimer St (718) 498-7163Frederick Douglass Literacy Center832 Marcy Av (718) 636-5770Freedom Academy116 Nassau St 5th Fl (718) 694-8357High School Redirection226 Bristol St (718) 498-2605Metropolitan Corporate Academy362 Schermerhorn St (718) 222-6200Pacific High School112 Schermerhorn St (718) 855-7155Street Academy832 Marcy Av (718) 622-4310Schools & Programs in the Bronx and all points NorthBronx Coalition Community H.S.1300 Boynton Ave(718) 860-8200Bronx Little School 1300 Boynton Ave(718) 860-8180Bronx Regional High School1010 Rev. James A. Polite Av (718) 991-2020Fannie Lou Hamer High School1021 Jennings St (718) 861-0521High School of World Cultures1300 Boynton Av (718) 860-8120Hostos-Lincoln Academy475 Grand Concourse (718) 518-4333James Baldwin Literacy Center1010 Rev. James A. Polite Av(718) 842-9200Monroe Academy for Business & Law1300 Boynton Ave (718) 860-8140Monroe Academy for Visual Arts and Design1300 Boynton Ave(718) 860-8160New School for Arts & Sciences965 Longwood Ave(718) 617-1252Phoenix AcademyBox 458 Stoney St (914) 962-2491University HeightsUniversity Av & West 181st (718) 289-5300Wings Academy1122 East 180th St (718) 597-1751Schools & Programs in QueensBaccalaureate School for Global Education47-07 30th Place(718) 729-6009RF Wagner Jr Inst. for Arts & Tech47-07 30th Pl. (718) 472-5671Multi-Sited Schools & ProgramsAdult & Continuing Ed. See all sites42-15 Crescent Street 6th floor(718) 609-2770Auxiliary Services for High SchoolsSee all sites198 Forsyth St(212) 673-8254Borough AcademiesSee all sites40 East 29th St(212) 889-7567Career Education CenterSee all sites448 West 56th St 4th Fl(212) 262-0817City-As-SchoolSee all sites16 Clarkson St (212) 337-6800Co-op Tech EducationSee all sites321 East 96th St (212) 369-8800Eight Plus Learning AcademiesSee all sites212 w 120th St(212) 749-1194NYC Vocational Training CtrSee all sites100-00 Beach Channel Dr. (718) 318-3766Offsite Educational ServiceSee all sites100-00 Beach Channel Dr. (718) 318-2216Outreach ProgramSee all sites832 Marcy Ave(718) 638-4235Program for Pregnant & Parenting SvcsSee all sites22 East 128th St (212) 427-5060Project Blend See all sites142-10 Linden Blvd rm 415(718) 322-3580Satellite AcademySee all sites120 West 30th Street (646) 674-2800Second Opportunity SchoolsSee all sites100-00 Beach Channel Dr.(718) 318-2216Alternative Educational Programs in Detention & Correctional FacilitiesAustin McCormick Island Academy11-11 Hazen St(718) 626-7835Horizons Academy15-15 Hazen St (718) 546-4636Passages Academy560 Brook Avenue (718) 292-0065

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Cristo Rey High Schools

  • Cristo Rey High Schools

  • Chicago and LA.

  • (a) curriculum. Mainstream 14 -18 years of age, co ed, College Prep.

  • (b)    pedagogy. Mainstream subjects. Class size around 20-25.

  • (c)    student profile/s. Based on neighborhoods, ie. All Mexican (Chicago), all African American. Student population =500.

  • (d)    mission. To provide quality catholic education to underprivileged young people, college prep, Transition to employment/further education.

  • (e)    spiritual formation. Catholic. Jesuit.

  • (f)    funding. Foundations, ( Private funding made up 95% of funding)

  • (g)    engagement practices. The schools are really two organization in one.

  • 1. The School. Mainstream educational pedagogy offering young people who are capable of the work load and academic rigor of a Jesuit education.

  • 2. The school is also an employment placement agency. Every young person enrolled has a job that is organized by the school. The jobs are real and young people are expected to participate fully in the work programme. Companies pay the school $25,000 US a year for the employment of 4 young people to rotate through the job. (a second team of workers ran this side of the school, another team ran the fund raising area of the school)  

  • (h)    networks. Wide ranging – see sponsors, foundations.

  • (i)    Board support. PLT, Board, President, Dioceses.

  • (j)    Leadership 'density' within institutions . Mainstream – top down. 

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Alternative Education: Literature Review and Report on Key Informants Experiences Pat O’Brien, Avril Thesing and Paul HerbertNew Zealand 2001Report to the Ministry of Education

Five areas of consideration:

  • The place where the programme operates. Quality Programmes need to be compact settings that are unlike schools where students feel a sense of ownership, emotional security and have the ability to reflect and engender students personal interest in terms of décor and out door activities.

  • The Students. Students are supported to make a commitment to the programme, attempts are made to value all student achievement and recognition exists of the difficulties associated with adolescent development.

  • The Students Families. Families are perceived as a very important in terms of reinforcing the educational experience of the programme. Whilst family disruption may be contributing to the student alienation, the importance of trying to build family relationship should be a first priority.

  • The Programme Curriculum. Effective alternative programmes offer more individualized curriculum support than mainstream. They deliver literacy, numeracy and other areas of content knowledge, as information required by students in real life situations in order to maximize learning opportunities rather than present subject packages. Diagonsitic assessment is important to provide guidance in planning individualized programmes.

  • The Programme Providers. There is a team of providers, which is most effective when it operates collaboratively, providing support for team members as well as for students. Team members are involved in multidisciplinary approach of providing health, educational, social and emotional support for students. Alternative educators need to develop warm relationships with their students, as well as helping them with basic life needs. The importance of having trained teachers/para –professionals who have a professional approach must be emphasized.

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QUESTIONS ????? Informants Experiences