Manhattan Hunter Science High School
By Dr. Pola Rosen
The buzz nationwide, supported by statistics, is that the United States is floundering in its output of scholars in math and science. To the rescue: President Jennifer Raab, Hunter College, who founded an early college high school of science in September 2003, that serves 493 students in grades 9-12. At a recent open house attended by leaders in education, students and chairs of departments presented several staggering statistics.
The attendance rate is 96 percent; graduation rate is 97 percent; college attendance rate is 100 percent. During the open house, chemistry students were analyzing acid-base titration; a math class was measuring rooms on a floor plan to assess ratios; and a social studies teacher was integrating science into the lesson which, according to one student, “helps us to analyze and understand what we’re learning.”
Corey Chandler, a freshman at Hunter College with a 3.3. GPA, completed Manhattan Hunter Science High School only after his success at being the “most suspended student in his own local high school.”
Omar, a senior at the high school says that there are “great teachers here.” His dream is to go to Hunter Honors College. President Raab, justly proud of these successes quickly underscores the needs of the program: we must find internships, mentors and scholars who will work with our students. President Raab avers that the high school provides a “pipeline for minority students in local schools to come here, get early college credits, be taught by college level scholars and earn 12-15 credits when they complete high school. Students who succeed here will get full scholarships to Hunter College.” She cited two Ph.D. candidates in MIT have come from Hunter Science High School.
Principal Susan Kreisman, a seasoned veteran with a sense of humor, ensures the smooth transitions from other schools to Hunter Science and the seamless work between the school’s staff and Hunter College faculty.
A student guide eloquently quoted Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.” That “weapon” is clearly visible at Manhattan Hunter Science High School.#