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Last Chance High: How Girls and Boys Drop In and Out of Alternative Schools

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Editorial Reviews

Kelly (social and educational studies, U. of British Columbia) spent a year at continuation high schools, where problem students are sent, asking questions, examining records, and just watching. She finds that the schools are designed to protect the mainstream schools as much as to help the students, that there are significant gender differences in why and how students enter and leave the schools, and that class and ethnicity are important factors in the dynamics of the schools. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300052725
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
List of Abbreviations
1 Overview 1
Where Are the Girls? 5
From Factory to Soap Opera 8
Entering the Hidden World 9
A Mini-Traditional School and a Hybrid Alternative 11
In the Eyes of the Beholder: Helper, Hippie, Stoner, Spy 17
Some Definitions 23
Ways of Seeing the Continuation School 30
2 How a Chameleon Survives: A History of Continuation 33
Early Years: A Part-Time Bridge between Schooling and Work 37
Years of Uncertainty during Hard Times 43
Adjustment Education: 1945-1965 48
Alternative Education for "Divergent Youth" 57
The "Discovery" of an Outcast Group: Pregnant and Mothering Girls 61
3 Safety Valve versus Safety Net: The Process of Stigmatization 67
Community and Family Influences 69
Organizational Influences 73
Individual and Small Group Influences 86
4 Slipping In and Out of the System: Symptoms and Styles of Disengagement by Gender 94
Warning Signals: Quiet and Loud 95
Absenteeism and Cutting Classes 100
Classroom Survival Strategies 103
Boys' and Tough Girls' Greater Vulnerability to Pushout 107
5 Reasons for and Timing of Disengagement by Gender 125
Fighting 127
Institution Labeling Practices and Stigma Avoiders 139
Competing Demands of Relationships and the Relationship-Absorbed 142
Early Pregnancy, Parenthood, and Marriage 152
Family and Work Responsibilities 158
Timing of Disengagement 163
6 What Do Continuation Schools Continue? Learning Gender and Class 167
Connections between the Continuation School and Students' Futures 170
Peers' Informal Enforcement of Traditional Gender Identities 181
Consequences of Dropping Out versus Getting a Continuation Diploma 194
7 Reengagement: Who and How by Gender 199
The Continuation Credential 201
Academics: Second Chancers, Push-Throughs, and Pushouts 202
Extracurricular Activities 206
Peer Relations 208
The Limits to Reengagement 210
8 Hidden Hierarchies 215
The Credential Hierarchy and the Dilemma of Difference 216
The Gender Hierarchy 220
The Adult-Child Hierarchy 225
The Knowledge Hierarchy 227
Appendix: Routes through the Hidden World: Charts of Student Flows into and out of Beacon and La Fuente 231
References 249
Index 267
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