Sunday, December 09, 2007

Failing Schools

Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein are busy closing schools that have gotten failing grades and are not showing improvement. They are busy blaming the schools, the teachers and the principals at these institutions. They believe that sending these children to different schools will make a difference. It might make some difference, but it will not solve the problem.

I am a high school teacher in NYC. The school I teach in got a B on the report card and is considered well developed by the Quality Review team. We still have many students that scored 1’s on their eighth grade tests. A grade of 1 in reading means that the student cannot read and a grade of 1 in math means that the kids have no basic skills. These 1's are being required to take subjects that require reading skills on a high school level. The history courses they take require them to be able to read. Kids are learning about composition functions in math and ask things like "what do I do with the g?" They have no math skills. Some of these kids are good students and manage to reproduce what they are taught. Unfortunately, they have no understanding of what they are reproducing. Most cannot even do that.

So now, these failing schools, chocked full of these 1's (and lower) students are being closed. My school does not have as many of these kids or I am guessing we would be on the closing list too. The kids will be dispersed to other schools in the area. Classes will still be too large. Kids will still be unable to get any real help. The kids will still be failing only now they will be failing in a new location.

Way to go Klein and Bloomberg. Rearrange the furniture in the living room but it will still be the same old furniture. Put new slip covers on the couch and it might look better, but the cushions will still sag. The kids will still be ones, no matter where you put them.


Anonymous said...

Just keep remembering that some of the worst schools in the city got As.
Be greatful that some of your students score ls because schools that have a high percentage of 4s got Cs for not showing any improvement.

I do not believe these schools are closing as much as reorganizing which means they can start small schools within schools and get rid of 50% of staff.

Now isn't this the guy all UFT members want to party with!

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

In my school we still don't know the skinny. Randi W said we got an F but my skunk of a principal maybe calling in favors and hoping for that coveted C he so desperatly wants so that he can buy more time as a Principal to retire on a Principal's salary to the beaches of San Juan, Puerto Rico and come back to New York City once in while as an expert consultant on education to the DOE.
It is all about his ego and money certainly not about the kids.

Meanwhile the staff does not know whether the school has a future. I guess we will find out in February.
Stay tuned....

Anonymous said...

Bingo! The closing of some schools means the 1's will be dumped into the nearby schools. It's not about the students it's about the DOE statistics.