Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Two-Faced DOE Propaganda Machine


During the Kleinberg administration the two-faced DOE propaganda machine has been working in overdrive as they have presented to the outside world how well they are improving the NYC public schools and if only they could rid themselves of Teacher tenure, they could achieve even better results. Tweed has spun statistics, lacks transparency on allocations, and ignore teacher input as they present their two-faced policy on the city schools. Let's look at the Tweed spin machine and the truth of what is going on in the NYC public schools.

  1. Student improvement: - The DOE has trumpeted the alleged improvement in student scores from the increasingly dumbed down State test where every State district did better. The reality is that the NAEP and SAT scores have remained unchanged since the Kleinberg administration took over the schools.
  2. Overcrowding & Large Class Sizes : - The DOE has stated time and again that they are addressing the overcrowding situation & large class sizes. They have also stated that large class sizes is not a problem for student learning. The reality is that many of the attractive public schools are grossly overcrowded, some having three times their capacity. In addition, NYC has the highest class sizes in the State. All independent studies show that the smaller the class size, the better the learning environment.
  3. Quality Teaching: - The DOE claims that they want quality teachers in the classroom. The reality is that many principals are hiring newbies and many of them from "TFA" and the "Teaching Fellows" program. Few of these teachers last the five years necessary to master the classroom environment and become a quality teacher.
  4. Recruitment Over Retention: - The DOE has spent time, money, and effort in recruiting teachers to the schools by intergalactic advertisements, giving tuition reimbursement, and rent subsidies. However, no such programs are available for teachers already in the system. Is it any wonder that over 4,600 teachers resigned in 2007? Look for it to be higher this year.
  5. Teacher Respect: - The DOE claims that they respect Teachers and that they give the classroom teacher the support they need. The reality is that Tweed fosters an atmosphere of teacher disrespect. How many teachers have found themselves teaching in trailers in overcrowded schools? Have inadequate supplies and support? Why is there n ATR crises? Overcrowded "rubber rooms"? Teacher respect? Not in the Kleinberg administration.
  6. Small Schools: - The DOE claims that small schools work and add to student improvement. However, the DOE allows the small schools to select the incoming student body and is allowed to exempt special education and ELA students for the first couple of years. In addition, they usually don,t take level 1 students who have attendance and disciplinary problems. Little wonder that the first few graduating classes have good results, when compared to the large comprehensive high schools. The reality is that these small schools are usually run by a "Leadership Academy Principal" with little classroom experience and they make a point of selecting inexperienced and inexpensive teachers to run the classrooms. Further, once the small schools are required to take the very students that they excluded when they formed, their graduation rates will reflect it.
  7. Large Comprehensive High Schools: - The DOE claims that it is to the advantage of the student to break down the large comprehensive high school into smaller /charter schools. The reality is that if the Large Comprehensive High School works, they grossly overcrowd it. If not, they allow the bottom feeders and the students excluded from the small schools to hasten the destruction of the school. What is left unsaid by the DOE is that the large comprehensive high school has a wide variety of courses, majors, and extracurricular activities, unavailable to the small/charter schools.
  8. Charter Schools: - The DOE claims the Charter Schools do much better than the neighborhood schools. However, they fail to mention that all Charter Schools have a parent interview and involvement program. Therefore, only those parents that bother to apply and agree to help the school have their children accepted. THE REALITY IS COMPARING CHARTER SCHOOLS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD PUBLIC SCHOOL IS LIKE COMPARING APPLES TO ORANGES!
The two-faced DOE propaganda program needs to be blunted at every turn and the truth exposed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Check out what is happening this summer school. Many senior teachers are denied positions as principals are hiring anyone they like. Maybe, retention to this activity is being honored, however,the DOE has offered no list of teachers or staff hired this summer so who knows? Also, many positions are being offered to teachers out of license which shows the real priority. The DOE cares less about Quality Teachers and more about Principal control. The question is, do these principals have principles? We know the answer,

Paul said...

Jeez, you hit the nail on the head every time.

I hope your school is not like that; ours has become that way, very recently, very profoundly and very sadly.