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New study finds where you live impacts your graduation rate

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THE BRONX -- Jackie Wayans is a single mom in the Bronx who is a real success story.

She raised three children in an underserved community and used School Choice to get her kids the best education, out of her neighborhood.

"When I found out what my neighborhood schools were like, I started to cry," Wayans, host of Don't Give Up Radio on Blogtalk, told PIX11.

But after doing some research, "they all went to school in east Harlem, the citywide talented and gifted school for young scholars called Tag," Wayans said.

She wasn't surprised by the Measure of America study that found six in 10 public school students who live in Morris-Heights Fordham South and Mount Hope in the Bronx graduate from high school in four years compared to nine out of 10 students in top-performing districts in Manhattan including Battery Park City, Greenwich Village, Soho and Tribeca.

The study said middle schools need more guidance counselors with fewer student caseloads and students need more good high schools options.

Those who work hard to tell parents about the choices they have weren't surprised by this study.

"Richer neighborhoods have more resources," Pamela Wheaton, the managing editor of Insideschools.org, told PIX11. "In the poorer neighborhood, families work late, often until 11 p.m., English isn't first language."

The Department of Education spokeswoman Dvora Kaye responses to the study:

“We recognize the challenges families face as they navigate the high school enrollment process, and we’re working hard to address and improve this."

To the people at Insideschools.org there is a message here for parents.

"It's telling them to do the research, be proactive if their neighborhood schools aren't good enough," Wheaton said.

For more information, you can go to the insideschools.org website. There is even a mobile app to help you find the right school for your child.