Thursday, August 24, 2017
The Renewal Schools Continue To Be An Academic Mine Field.
The Renewal Schools continue to shed students and must take over-the-counter students just to kept student numbers from falling over the cliff. Despite Chancellor Carmen Farina's commitment to eliminate the Renewal Schools reliance on over-the-counter students, the fact is that the percentage of over-the-counter students has remained virtually unchanged since Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina formed the Renewal School program due to the loss of so many potential students. Moreover, these schools puts greater accountability on teachers and few veteran teachers apply to work in these hard to staff schools. Therefore, quite a few teachers are inexperienced and these Renewal Schools suffer from high teacher turnover. Finally, few academically proficient students apply to the Renewal Schools as parents refuse to allow their child to go to a school with a poor academic reputation.
Chalkbeat published an article that shows how the Renewal Schools want the over-the-counter students so that they don't need to excess staff and lose badly needed funds. This shows up in the 2016-17 school year as Renewal Schools had basically the same amount of over-the-counter students as the previous year. Despite the Chancellor's commitment, to the Renewal Schools to reduce the over-the counter students. The Renewal Schools averages 19% of the student body compared to 15% for the average school. Since most over-the-counter students are academically behind because of their previous academic performance, coming from a different country with an inferior educational systems, or lack English skills, Putting them in already academically struggling schools like the Renewal Schools is a recipe for disaster.
The bottom line is that the Renewal Schools continue to lose student, cannot recruit experienced quality teachers, and have a disproportionate percentage of "high needs students"and expecting significant academic improvement from these schools is just wishful thinking.