Thursday, January 14, 2010

Feeding Your Pet Snake



Manuel was in my geometry class last year. He was (and still is) a quiet, sweet boy who was absent quite a bit. When I questioned him about his absence, he told me about his different illnesses. I foolishly believed him and let the whole thing slide. I assumed (and made the ass out of u and me) incorrectly that his resource room teacher would look into the problem. I guess it was better late than never but I did start looking into the problem, got his ISS guidance counselor involved and we did our best to help him.

One of the things I discovered last year was that Manuel's Math A regents grade was not on his transcript. Manuel told me he took the exam and passed it and the teacher he had for Math A confirmed this. I spoke to Mr. AP about the missing grade, I spoke to Ms. AP Guidance about the missing grade, I spoke to the teacher about the missing grade, but it never appeared. I was worried because if Manuel straightened himself out, he would graduate in 2010 and I did not want him to be missing the credit for an exam he needed and already passed. (Unfortunately, he only got a 60 on the geometry regents, short the points he needed to pass.)

A few days ago I got an e-mail from the ISS guidance counselor asking me if I knew anything about the algebra regents. I'm sure my screams went from Texas to New York. This poor kid will have to take the algebra regents in January and while I am guessing he will pass and not even mind taking it, I mind. I resent the incompetence that is making him do this.

Packemin HS is too big but even if we were smaller, mistakes would still occur. Guidance counselors, teachers and even assistant principals, even in smaller schools, have huge case loads which make it impossible to avoid mistakes like this. Someone needs to take the fall for Manuel and it shouldn't be someone from Packemin. I HOLD BLOOMBERG AND KLEIN ACCOUNTABLE. They are the ones that refuse to do anything to reduce class size. Schools will keep failing and they will keep closing them. They will shift the kids to different schools with the same over sized case loads and the problems will continue.
NOTHING IS CHANGING. KIDS WILL ALWAYS BE LOST IN THE SHUFFLE. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT BLOOMBERG, KLEIN AND THE PEOPLE LIKE THEM DO NOT CARE. TO THEM, THESE KIDS ARE THE MICE THE PET STORE SELLS TO SNAKE OWNERS.

6 comments:

Liberty Rose said...

You consistently nail the issues every time! It is all just so overwhelming. For years I was content to just make sure that the kids in my circle of influence were well taken care of and advocated for. But that just is not enough any longer. But what to do?

mathman42 said...

It's unclear from your post if he actually passed Math A or the grade/test was misplaced. We had kids take both Math A and IA if we could as they only need one. We're much smaller but sometimes have these problems as well. My school is one they are trying to close now as well. The shade problem is familiar too.

Basically I've never seen 40 % on my Prep rosters.

Pissed Off said...

he supposedly passed Math A and the regents grade is missing. He wasn't my student at the time so I don't know for sure if this is true.

mathman42 said...

The test papers can be searched for if they are at your school. I'm not sure how long they are retained.

A big job at your school.

Pissed Off said...

They were searched and no one could find the paper.

NY_I said...

The DOE closes large schools and reopens them as small "academies", regardless of whether doing so is logical and the best path for the students.

I found NYS Ed Department data and I contrasted the two types of schools, at my latest post: Numerous large schools perform just as well as the small schools that the city favors. My latest blog post combines some highlights of Leonie Haimson et al's book NYC Schools Under Bloomberg / Klein and analysis of the schools using New York State's own data:
http://nycityeye.blogspot.com/2010/01/data-debunks-bloomberg-administration.html
.