Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Social Promotion To The Large High Schools

Previously, I commented on the Department of Education's (DOE) policy of promoting "not ready for promotion" eighth graders (8+ students) to the large traditional high schools as they mistakenly believe that the size of the school will solve the problem. I pointed out that that the best environment for these 8+ students would be a school dedicated for these students and self-contained small classes similiar to Special Education classes. However, this would cost money and in the Kleinberg tradition of education on the cheap and children last politics, its easier to dump these s 8+ students into the large high schools. For Tweed this is a win-win proposition. First, you don't have to spend any more money on these 8+ students for programs that are necessary for them to succeed. Second, it advances the Tweed ambition of showing that the large schools are academically inferior to the small schools as these 8+ students terrorize their classmates and their inclusion lowers the academic level of the school.

Yes, I understand that it is not in the best interest of the middle schools to have 16 year old boys preying on 12 year old girls or bullying the student body. However, dumping them into a setting that almost ensures their droppimg out before they graduate, is certainly not the answer. The only thing this accomplices is the next generation of criminals and poverty wage workers. Even Wal-Mart won't hire them! For the skeptics that don't believe this does not go on I will give you a couple of examples.

I spoke to a middle school teacher who informed me that she was required to write the exit projects for five 8+ students who refused to write it. When she balked at doing student work her principal informed her that I don't need these students terrorizing the students in the school. She did the exit project and all five were sent to the large high school close to the school.

In another case a student with over 125 absences and had assulted a female classmate in the middle school was passed along to one of the large high schools where within two weeks he and a friend were allegedly involved in assulting another student which resulted in that student being sent to the hospital. What was Tweed's response? Blame the large high school it can't be the child's fault!

I only mentioned two examples However, I'm sure there are many such stories throught the city schools and I would like to hear your experiences dealing with the 8+ students.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Wal-Mart won't hire them. But sooner or later the DoE might.

Anonymous said...

The DoE, by not providing a place to remediate them, gives us an awful choice: where do we put these kids? and what do we do with them?

Where do they go now? Annoying question.

Chaz said...


My point exactly. DOE refuses to provide proper facilities for them so DOE dumps them in the large schools. Then when these students cause problems the DOE goes after the school for safety issues.

I have said this many times. "Why doesn't the UFT expose this travesty?" It seems to me that Randi & gang don't seem to care.

Anonymous said...

Are there that many 8+ programs? It is not in every school, is it? I could imagine that, given that it is not a huge issue it might naturally not be high up on anyone's list. I could also imagine that with neither high schools nor middle schools really wanting these programs, that the "hot potato" factor might lead some people to ignore it.

But go ahead, if you like. Advocate off-site high school readiness prep for these kids, and you will bring some middle school and high school people together.

You could try writing it for Edwize. They might take it.

Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chaz said...


As for writing for Edwiz, that was a joke was it not? Edwiz is a Unity mouthpiece which does not allow articles that might put them in a bad light.

As for the off-site schools? Why not? Look at all the money being wasted for scanning, cameras, and police in the schools. If you took out the 8+ students, the money can be used for their off-site facility. How about naming it Rikers Prep? A Klein Charter School.

Anonymous said...


it wasn't a joke. They have guidelines which it is not so hard to follow (whether or not you like them is another issue). No explicit reference to Unity or the other caucuses. And I am guessing direct criticism of the leadership might be a problem; at least it would have to be polite.

But Unity has no position on 8+. Nor does, afaik, any of the caucuses. If you wrote an advocacy piece --

(need to set up separate schools. here's why they don't belong in high schools. here's why the doe puts them there. here's why they don't belong in middle schools. here's why the $ doesnt' matter, or is a wash. our union should be advocating this)

-- I think they would run it, and it might get some discussion going with more than just the two of us.

Anonymous said...

The new thing on Edwize is that it's strictly verboten to mention Unity, as that is electioneering.

I find it odd that a blog that purports to be sponsored by the UFT needs to make believe the monolithic machine that's controlled it for fifty years doesn't exist.

By the way, Chaz, I got another email from you (word for word the same) at the DoE address, to which I cannot reply, and tried at Hotmail. Please let me know if you get my response.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chaz,

I got another email from your DoE address, and I can't respond to it.

If you want me to write you back, please use another originating address.