Thursday, July 20, 2017

From Reaching For The Stars To Back To Basics.

Over the last few years, many schools were pushing their students into higher level Math and Science courses.  This was known as "reaching for the stars".  It also didn't hurt that the DOE gave high schools extra points for the total number of students who took these higher level Math and Science courses. However, many parents and students started to complain that these higher level courses of Algebra II (Trigonometry), Chemistry, and Physics were a "bridge too far" for the students  Moreover, many schools pushed students to take these courses, despite the added pressure, stress, and reluctance to take these courses that many were destined to fail..

One of the reasons that many low performing schools pushed students to take Chemistry and or Physics was the lack of certified Earth Science teachers as well as getting more credit as a school bu the DOE.  According to the ATR pool there was only one certified Earth Science high school teacher available, citywide,  in June and he had just came out of his 3020-a hearing that Spring.  Moreover, many schools use teachers not certified in Earth Science to teach the Regents Science course and, for the most part, their students did poorly.  Finally, many seniors, are forced to take the Common Core Algebra II Regents and complain bitterly about taking a difficult Math course that means little to their college acceptance since the Regents is given after the student received their acceptance letter.

Some forward thinking school administrators are finally seeing the light and realize that to "reach for the stars" you need the academic tools to built a spaceship to get their and far too many students lack those tools.  Therefore, these administrators are now going "back to basics" and only giving those academically proficient students higher level Math and Science courses.   These administrators have learned a painful lesson and that is "reaching for the stars" is just a dream when there is a failure to launch a successful rocket ship due to the lack of the academic tools to build it, which hurts the students confidence, self-esteem, and ability to move ahead academically.


Anonymous said...

Administrators are learning a lesson indeed. Different factors influence a student's ability to do well. Education is not a business. If you treat it like a business, you get inflated grades, inflated graduation rates, cheating, lying, etc.

Anonymous said...

Great post Chaz. This post reminds me of the years I worked at a YABC
site , where the kids were pushed to take those higher level courses you mention.
It appears the higher ups forgot we were dealing with 20 and 21-year-olds
who were in their sixth or 7th year of high school. NEED I SAY MORE?!
It's laughable yet sad.

Anonymous said...

Under Carmen there is no way we go back to basics. Carmen has every student she can find take AP classes and exams. Most of these kids barely score a 1 but Carmen feels every student should be in AP.

Anonymous said...

had a principal who used to say that at the end of every morning announcement as a motivator, like it would have ever worked with "these" kids. anyway I took that when ms. lotakis would ride in on her broom she would try and fly up near the stars. (because she was a witch) first principal to excess me. nothing to do with article but a thought it was funny!

Anonymous said...

It's sad also when students could meet certain criterias and do not. There are a lot of students in this situation as well.

Anonymous said...

Most principals will not heed the common sense. Most of them, in my experience, have drank the Kool-Aid and believe that a kid with a second grade skill set in grade 10 can 'master the material,' and if they don't, it is because of the evil, possibly racist (if white), ineffective teacher.

At my high school, 90% of the students are SIFE and ELLs. I'm friends with most of the math teachers. They ALL say the same things: "These kids can hardly do two digit addition and subtraction - what are we supposed to do with them in Algebra class?" This is compounded by the across the board low skills and the admins refusing to let us address those more basic deficiencies.

Anonymous said...

This is where education should not be treated like a business @10:26AM. The basic deficiencies need to be addressed. So much for the brilliant minds governing schools.

Pogue said...

Fear not, group-work cures all educational ills.

Anonymous said...

"The basic deficiencies need to be addressed." Right or wrong, you do know that if those deficiences were address a good 60 - 65 percent of the high school and junior high school population would be doing work that is in general three to four years behind their appropriate level right? Again - right or wrong - that is the issue we deal with in this city and I would dare say a lot of the nation. How to fix it? I haven't a clue really. I do believe that if someone did have the correct and difficult fix, we as a city and nation wouldn't have the "balls" to do it anyway.

Shady C. said...

A couple of postings ago I mentioned that I received an email from a principal in Midtown reminding me that I am banned from his school and he will help fight along with me that both of us can't be under the same roof or in the same building.

I purposely did not mention the name of the principal even though my friends and colleagues begged me to.

Please read:

I applaud principals who are speaking out because this makes my next 3020A hearing easier to win when principals are saying there is no way I want an ATR to forced upon me.

Has anyone talked to Kevin? The ATR in Manhattan with the tattoos?

K.M. said...

@ Shady
How are you BUD? You are still hysterical but why are you blasting my info online and all over the place? LOL

Why did you post? "Lastly, I met an ATR 3 or 4 years ago who had tattoos on his butt cheeks of every principal who ever tried to u-rate him. His name was Kevin M. If anyone runs into Kevin please tell him to contact me ASAP. I ran into a principal that I would like him to add to his left butt cheek if he still has space. Kevin - I love u!!! Contact me. Still livin the good life and fightin the battles."

Friends told me you posted that June 26th. Why didn't you just call? If you did I did not get any missed calls but I did leave on vacation June 27th. Just got back into town.

No new tattoos for me but by the way the UFT sent in Amy to warn me that I could be brought up on charges if I show anyone my tattoos or post them online even if my face does not show. They said as long as my butt (literally speaking) can be seen and identified then I could be brought up on charges. She also asked me if I had a tattoo of Mulgrew on my butt? Not sure who told her that but people are rats. I wonder if someone told her I had placed UFT on my butt?

Then a year and half ago a principal called me into his office who said he admired art work and tattoos and wanted to see some of my work. At first I thought he was trying to nail me but it turned out he was gay and really really trying to nail me and nail me if you know what I mean. He kept asking to see my butt tattoos but I refused. NO WAY NOT TODAY or any day.

Shad: let's please me meet up. Want to support your ATR agenda of having everyone under one voice - one man - one plan. I see you are still on that.

You should tell everyone who is the principal who banned you and the whole story. Let them know. Love you Brother!!!

Anonymous said...

Remember everyone. Check out the New Action Do Not Apply site for information on different schools. Good luck to all.