Friday, March 30, 2007

Only the Best for Our Kids

Bloomberg is once again saying that he wants the best education possible for the children of NYC but, this education does not include small classes. I know that this man is not stupid. He can't really believe that children learn just as well in a class of 34 as they do in a class of 20. The only explanation for his not agreeing to smaller class size must be greed. He would rather put the cities money into his little pet projects than into the future of our children. According to an article in today's NY Sun Bloomberg is once again blaming the union and teacher tenure for all the ills of the school system. Will he ever admit that this is just not true? Will he ever come to a school and see what is really going on?

I spent some time today with Nut Job and boy could he be the poster child for small class size. When I first met him I thought he was brainless, disruptive and if not a hoodlum presently, definitely a hoodlum in the making. I've gotten to know he well and see now how wrong my first impression of him was. He is disruptive. He gets distracted easily, but, he is smart and he is not a hoodlum and will probably never be one. Smaller classes would help him. His distractions would be kept to a minimum. Teachers of smaller classes would have an easier time keeping him on track because they wouldn't have to deal with as many other students. I looked over a test paper that Nut Job just handed in. What he completed was excellent. He was one of the few kids that could successfully graph a parabola and a straight line, find the points of intersection and do the checks correctly. In spite of this, he still failed the test because he couldn't simplify the radicals that were also on the test. On the days those topics were being taught Nut Job was sneaking out of the classroom whenever his teacher turned to write on the board or help another student. Nut Job has taken a liking to me. Today, he walked into one of my classes and wanted me to help him with the radicals. Of course I couldn't do this, I had my own class at the time but what a saw was a sign of hope a sign that he really wanted to learn and do well. He just needed a little individual attention.

Not only are kids like this one not getting an education, they are the kids that will end up in trouble--either jail or dead on the streets, not because they are dumb or evil but because no one was able to reach them in high school or before. They will end up doing the wrong thing because every teacher in their lives only saw them as the disruptive, brainless kid who was good for nothing. Thirty four in a class just not allow us to really get to know them and to see through the exterior they often present.

I know this blog means nothing to Bloomberg and people like him. Klein and Bloomberg keep walking away from meetings where they will be forced to face this issue. Hopefully, one day, with enough people writing and protesting something will be done and the children of NYC will finally be able to get the education that they are entitled to get.

1 comment:

Patrick Sullivan said...

Actually, the Mayor went a step further yesterday. He called those of us, both teachers and parents, who advocate for smaller classes "phenomenally dangerous". And this from a man who thinks he should be president.