The New York City Department Of Education's (DOE) policy on teenagers who are seventeen and are classified as a freshmen creditwize is a danger for all high school students who want to learn. The DOE has stated that the New York City high schools cannot remove a student from a school due to academic non-performance until their eighteenth birthday. Therefore, the student(?) is allowed to disrupt classrooms, disrespect staff, and walk the halls without any consequences. In fact, under DOE rules trying to suspend a student for academic non-performance or minor behavioral infractions is almost impossible. As the DOE educrats sit in their ivory walled Tweed offices and dictate policy that have no basis in reality, the schools must deal with this very real threat to learning.
Ask any school Dean and they will tell you that many of the problems in the high schools can be traced to the older students with little or no credits. In the past, the city had special schools for these children and others were sent to a different school, usually across the borough so that they couldn't hang with their posse. However, the DOE has limited alternative schools and eliminated transfers to other schools. The result? These students are free to prey on the student population of their home school.
Many of these students are academic non-performers and in the past would have gone into vocational schools. However, under the misguided philosiphy that all children are academic learners these students are frustrated and cannot compete with the other students so they disrupt the school. Some of the worst end up committing crimes and are sent to jail, only to return to the home school on their release.
Finally, the child advocates run roughshot over the school system by threatening to sue the city if they try to remove dangerous students from the school setting. These child advocates have even been known to threaten schools with lawsuits that try to enforce afterschool detention programs. In other words there may be no consequences for the actions of these students.
If we are to take back our high schools the first thing that most be done is to remove the older students who are operating with freshmen credits and send them to a work or vocational program. This would be a win-win situation with the student finally getting focus and a career and the school proceeding with their mission of graduating as many students as possible while providing a safe learning environment