Thursday, May 26, 2016
The Renewal High Schools Are Losing, Not Attracting Students.
Not unexpectedly, the renewal high schools are failing to attract students, especially the academically proficient students, to these struggling schools. This is despite the promise the De Blasio/Farina administration made to make these schools better by providing more money and resources. As a 20 year teacher in the high schools, I could have told you that these schools would not be able to attract academically proficient students and would probably continue to lose students since these schools have a bad reputation and were told to limit the amount of "over the counter" students assigned to various high schools in the City.
To me, its very obvious if I know anything about my child's potential high school, I am not going to have my child select a renewal school and that's what is occurring throughout the City. Moreover, these schools are also suffering from high teacher turnover, and an exodus of veteran teachers, when given the opportunity to leave. Just look at what happened at Automotive High School. Additionally, many of the renewal high schools use teachers who are not certified in the subject they teach in. An example of this is Richmond Hill High School who has multiple classes of Earth Science with no certified Earth Science teacher instructing them. Finally, with all the extra requirements placed on staff and students at the renewal schools (time being only one) the school environment is not very conducive for staff and students and the result is a staff of "newbie teachers" and indifferent parents who dump their child in any school that accepts them. Not an encouraging sign of a successful school.
Maybe its time to bring back the large comprehensive high schools that are community based and only allow the highest academically achieving students to select another school, based upon rigorous criteria. Otherwise, throwing money and resources into these renewal high schools is like pissing into a hurricane, the more you piss against the strong winds of the hurricane, the more likely it lands back on you. That's what's happening as the renewal high schools who cannot attract the academically achieving students necessary to improve these schools.