The DOE has a slogan that claims "children first"...Always, except it is not true. The DOE is much more interested in their own pseudo-reform policies that waste millions of dollars on useless technology, high-priced consultants, and Administrative bloat. When it comes to real improvements in classroom resources that directly affected the children, the DOE pleads poverty and blames school Administrators and staff for the lack of proper materials that are necessary to educate the students.
A case in point is Jamaica High School that was starved for resources and complaints were made to the State Department of Education (SED) about the effects of lack of resources on the students at the school. To the shock of most everybody, the SED, presented with the overwhelming evidence by Chapter Leader James Eterno and State Senator Tony Avella, wrote a damming report summerizing how the DOE hurt the students of Jamaica High School by starving them of resources, truncating their course selections, and worst of all, had non-certified teachers teaching Special Education students! In summary, here is what the State found.
· No honors or advance placement classes are offered to students
· The school no longer offers calculus, chemistry, or physics
· Only three electives are offered to students
· Off –track classes are no longer available
· Students are not offered SAT prep courses
· Students are not able to complete specialty programs such as Business, Computer Science,
Engineering and Finance Institutes or Art Institutes
· Two teachers are not certified in the subject area they are teaching
The entire report can be found here.
Interestingly, the major media mouthpieces of the media, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, and the New York Times bothered to report it. Only NY1 ran with the report and can be found here.
The ICEUFT blog has been writing about the Jamaica High School situation and is a must read for the history of the DOE's attempts to destroy a once great school.