“In the All Hallows HS vision, all students are children of God, deserving the best.”
For more than 100 years, All Hallows High School in the Bronx has been educating immigrant and lower-income boys. Early on, the students were Irish; later, they were Italian; today, they are Hispanic and black. But despite demographic changes in the area and dramatic cultural change in the Catholic Church, All Hallows maintains its traditions, practices and aims.
Before charters, many viewed Catholic schools as the model for inner-city education, since they achieved so much success with children from low-income families — the type many public schools failed to educate. The earliest charter schools tried to mirror Catholic practices, but what made Catholic education effective was often lost in translation: It’s much more than strict rules.
All Hallows is a school that works, though many would think that it couldn’t, given its demographics. It serves 510 young men from Harlem and the Bronx. Sixty percent come from single-parent homes; 78% are Hispanic; 20%, black.
By the standards of public education, All Hallows is under-resourced. It spends about $11,600 per student — less than half of what neighboring public high schools spend and about 64% of outlays at charters. All Hallows teachers earn dramatically less than their public school counterparts. The 90-year-old school building is compact, vertical and spartan. Its gym has no bleachers for spectators, though its walls are adorned with banners commemorating glories.
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