High Schools: Academy for Hard Cases

Sherry Osborne twists, grinds, bumps and shakes two nights a week at the AH Baba Club in Schenectady, N.Y. She is 19, curvy, and makes $100 a week as a go-go dancer. During the day she is a senior at Albany's Philip Schuyler High School. Like 80% of Schuyler's 800 students, Sherry works for a living—which is just how Principal Ben Becker expects it to be.

Schuyler is not an ordinary high school, nor is Becker an ordinary principal. Located in Albany's slum-ridden east side, it is an academy for hard cases—40% are...

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