Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The "Restart/Transformation" Schools Are Shortchanging The Students By Not Giving Them A Proper Science Education.

I have been to three "Restart" Schools this school year and one of my ATR friends have been to a "Transformation" school and we both found that the four schools are shortchanging the students by not providing a proper science education and jeopardizing their ability to obtain a "Regents Diploma".

All four schools only give four, not five classes of science weekly. These schools shortchange the students who take Science by one class weekly. This means that more pressure is put on the teachers to keep the students on task since the Science curriculum is based upon five classes weekly, plus a laboratory period. This requires that enrichment lessons to make science more interesting has to be abandoned as the teachers strain to fit five days of work into four, not an educationally sound plan. Especially for struggling students. Worse yet, many of the teachers teaching Earth Science, the second Science needed to get a High School diploma, are not certified in the subject. Many of the Science teachers teaching Earth Science are Living Environment teachers and are required to teach the Earth Science classes which is not educationally fair to the students. Especially, the ones who want the more valuable Regents diploma. Furthermore, all these schools appear to have vacancies, either hidden or announced and have failed to fill them. The question is why?

You might ask why would the "Restart/Transformation" schools shortchange the Science students and not fill their other vacancies? Don't they need to show academic improvement to survive? Wouldn't extra teachers help student academic achievement? You would think so. wouldn't you? However, it is really about the budget for these principals. First, by shortchanging the students one class weekly, the school does not have to hire two Science teachers and by having uncertified Science teachers teaching Earth Science, they don't have to hire hard to find Earth Science teachers who tend to be highly paid. The schools know that they only need to achieve a 60% graduation rate and reduce the dropout rate by 5% to meet the federal funding requirements so if the students are failing their courses, just give them "credit recovery programs" for the last month to get them to pass and not dropout. Knowledge, what knowledge? Who cares if these students are not "career or college ready"? That's society's problem. For the school it is meeting the 60% graduation rate and reducing the dropout rate by 5% by any means possible.

As for the long-term future of these students? It is not the school's problem once they award the academically challenged students their bogus diplomas. "Children last. Always".


Anonymous said...

No one cares! The principals want every student to pass and graduate even the ones that are illiterate...

Anonymous said...

the problem is, no one ever said there had to be a competent subject teacher teaching a class to give a student a credit and pass.

Anonymous said...

Does the membership of the UFT have to actually vote on changes in the status and rights of ATRs, in the event that the UFT leadership wants to "sell them out?" The contract says that "ATRs must be placed" or something akin. Or is Mulgrew omnipotent in making this deal with the DOE?

Anonymous said...

Let me guess,the population of those schools couldn't possibly be almost totally comprised of poor minority students could they?

The formula appears to be closing a school in a neighborhood that has been minority.

Usually very nice examples of architecture. This is a naked real estate. The next step is to push 4 or 5 small schools into the building, as the old school is being starved of resources and kids from other schools, that are further along in the death spiral, are being dumped on said closing school.
The new schools that displaced the dying school will have a lot more in the way of resources and the clientle will be creamed from the local population.

The top performing and attending students. The difference between the schools is blatant.

The old school will be dilapidated and have old and faulty equipment.
The staff of the dying school will be older than the teachers in the schools that have grown and metastasized inside the host.

It is a disgrace and an atrocity.

The new schools will eventually be phased out in favor of charter schools.

The privatization of public sector services and funds will be complete.

Truly fiendish in its genius.

This is the start of the neofuedal age.


Angry Nog

Anonymous said...

Credit Recovery....a disgrace to all. The 370 student small school in Long Island City focused on credit recovery for the pd day on Tuesday. There I sat (an ATR) watching as the young staff was excited to make the extra cash of persession. The few ( I mean 5) teachers that were able to read between the lines had expressions of disgust!

Anonymous said...

What a joke ...fast food credits....3 credits in 3 days 3 hours...such a waste

NY_I said...

Of course, the DOE is short-changing the students. Why should the DOE give the students the classes they need, taught by skilled teachers?

The disregard for the students serves the ultimate goal to declare the schools so lacking, that even transformation status couldn't put the school back together again.

Starve the school for resources, deny students the opportunity to take courses in preparation for a Regents diploma, and then you see the turnaround school has failed. Then the DOE can pursue two goals: target the teachers as inadequate, and then replace the school with charters.

So, there's a reason why the principals won't hire the appropriate teachers. They've done the bidding for the DOE for ten years. There's no reason why they would stop now.

As to the anonymous that wrote,
"Does the membership of the UFT have to actually vote on changes in the status and rights of ATRs, in the event that the UFT leadership wants to "sell them out?" The contract says that "ATRs must be placed" or something akin. Or is Mulgrew omnipotent in making this deal with the DOE?"
A majority of the Delegate Assembly members vote in assent to what Mulgrew and his allies say.

Anonymous said...

4 classes plus 1 lab allows for the same teacher to teach lab to his own kids- a vast improvement. If the class periods in a school are 46 minutes or better, then the 54 hours per semester /108 hours per year class time and 1200 minutes of labs are more than covered. 5 classes plus lab per week are just a ploy to make schools hire more teachers. Nice try.

Chaz said...

Anon: 11:09

Even if you are right about the classroom requirements. The reduction of one class weekly makes it even more difficult for struggling students, which NYC has many, to get them to pass a Regents. Just take a look at the college remediation rate if you believe otherwise.

Further, do you also think it is right to have uncertified teachers teaching a Regents Science?