Saturday, May 19, 2018
The NYC Small Schools Have Many Disadvanatages.
Being an ATR, I have first hand experience of the many disadvantages of the small school experience. Unfortunately, for the students of these small schools they soon realize that the propaganda that the small high schools allow for a more family-like atmosphere and better academics (not true) pales in comparison of the many disadvantages associated wit the small high school experience. Let's look at the many disadvantages of the small school experience.
Now that the small schools are under the same monetary limitations as all other schools which is about 90% of their fair funding, they cannot offer enough Advanced Placement or higher level courses to better prepare the student for college and students who do not like the teacher is stuck with him or her, . Moreover, they lack flexibility and have limited choices beyond the State required courses. Finally, in these small schools only one teacher may be certified to teach the subject.
Due to budgetary restrictions and DOE inspired hiring practices, many of the small schools have hired the "cheapest and not the best teachers" for the schools. For many principals it's how much they can stretch their tight budget and veteran teachers are just too expensive. Its common knowledge that there is a steep learning curve for "newbie" teachers and it takes 5 to 8 years for these teachers to master the Art of teaching. That includes classroom management, curriculum knowledge, and social skills to work with a student population. In addition, the small schools are subject to high teacher turnover and an unstable school environment.
Lack of Extracurricular Activities:
Many of the small schools lack space for sports programs, may don't even have a gym! Further, the limited funding means that schools must choose to offer either Art or Music but can't afford both, Moreover, physical education is limited to two or three days a week rather than everyday.Finally, programs like Dance, Literature, and clubs are almost non-existent in the small high schools.
Top Heavy In Administrators:
Many of the small schools are top heavy in administrators with each small school having a Principal and between two and three assistant principals. In the campus of a closed large comprehensive high school, the total amount of administrators to oversee 3,000 students was eight administrators, one Principal and seven assistant principals. Now the four small schools that replaced it has fourteen administrators, four principals and ten assistant principals. This does not include administrative managers (coaches and financial managers etc.) assigned to the school who must pay for their services. The small schools are usually headed by Leadership Academy Principal who have a reputation of not running a collaborative administration.
Ask any high school student who go to these small high schools and they will tell you that they made a mistake because of the restrictions and limitations of the small school experience.