Newsflash to Dennis Walcott--in his too long term, Bloomberg has made the level of education in this city an all time low. Walcott should dry his tears and look at the system today and compare it to the one that educated his children and, if he can't see a difference, he needs to go back to school.
Back when Walcott's daughter was a student at Francis Lewis HS, learning mattered. She had to go to class, do homework and pass rigorous regents exams. If she didn't cut it, there were repeater classes and summer school. There was no boot camp and no chances to get her friends or to pay someone to answer online questions for her. She worked and her teachers made sure she worked and learned. I'm not sure, but she might have been in an algebra class of mine. I don't think Walcott would have had any problem with the quality of education she received. And, since she is a success today, that reinforces what I am writing here.
Many kids today graduate without being able to perform simple arithmetic operations, write a coherent paragraph, or even be able to read. Under fear of having their schools closed, Principal's are getting everyone out. Kids are taking 8 regular classes, 2 after school classes, Saturday classes and then doing credit recovery work online. None of this makes any sense. A child who could not do well with 5 classes certainly can't handle a course load like this. My former AP thinks every teacher should be able to have 100% of their classes passing. This is hardly a reasonable goal. I've had kids say to me, "If I don't pass, you can get fired." Teachers have to pass them, whether they deserve to pass or not.
Bloomberg's reign has created an era of entitled students who think showing up half the time is enough. I see this in the college. The secretary told me the tale of students walking in, demanding to see the chairperson because their teacher refuses to give them extra credit to make up the homework they did not hand in, the tests they failed and the classes they missed.
I'm not a teacher worried about my job. I've left the system. I've had enough with the bull that passes for education reform. I've had enough of the bright kids getting mediocre educations so everyone can pass.
Walcott, wake up and listen to those Democratic mayoral candidates. I've been in the system. They know what they are talking about.