Friday, May 21, 2010

Not Jumping For Joy

I should be jumping for joy. Yani, the most difficult boy in my ninth period class just got a superintendent's suspension. I should be happy, but I'm not . The system failed Yani. Everyone in the building knows how difficult he is and now that he is gone there will be one less problem child to deal with. I know there are kids who can't be helped and Yani might be so incorrigible that he is one of them but nothing was in place to help him. Yani was always one of 34 kids, in a class with other troubled kids, taking subjects he was not prepared to take. The deck was stacked against him.

Schools are being closed all over the place and kids like Yani are being shuffled from one place to another with no system in place to help them. NCLB and Race To The Top have done nothing to help kids like Yani succeed. Bloomberg has done nothing to help them either. I've been teaching a long, long time and have seen new programs come and go. There have always been kids like Yani and there always will be kids like him. All the money that has been spent on Quality Reviews, ARIS and data analysis hasn't changed a thing.

But let's keep blaming the teacher. Let's make the teacher accountable for Yani's success and let's make sure no money is spent to help the teacher help Yani turn himself around. I'm not jumping for joy because another child will now be lost. Heaven help us all as I can only imagine the kind of adult he will become.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not the teacher---it's the new policy that makes principals want these kids out of their schools and off their bonus track ASAP.

My school had a set of twins that were not ready to be promoted to Jr. High. The principal told both their teachers to make them pass the final promotional assessment. So even that test is a crock.

The mayor claims he has stopped social promotion, when all he did was find a way to change how it happens.

My principal cut the special ed staff--we used to have 2 SETTS teachers now we are down to one.
And the Title 1 Math program is a part-time position run by her friend who gets F-status.

A few years ago when the budget got cut again, the GC worked a split schedule between 2 schools. Now they are talking about getting rid of school nurses.

When a teacher retired during the year, no one new was hired to replace her. Instead the class was split giving the remaining teachers higher registers.