Sunday, February 23, 2014
Why School Letter Grades Are A Joke - PS 106.
Most educators knew that the school grades assigned by the DOE do not represent the actual school learning environment and student academic achievement. However, many principals were told how to "game the system" to achieve artificially high grades for their school. A prime example is none other than PS 106 and "Leadership Academy Principal" Marcella Sills who ran her school using questionable methods and had poor staff morale. Yet until last year her school received either an "A" or "B" for the years 2010-12 and was rated "proficient" in the 2008-09 school year. I'm sure if it wasn't for the relocation of the school due to Hurricane Sandy, the school would have received another "A" or "B". Yes PS 106 receive high letter grades from the DOE despite the numerous complaints by staff about Ms. Sills, the lack of a special education teacher for the students with special needs and no payroll secretary. Add to that the high staff turnover rate also didn't seem to affect the school's letter grade and the failure to give the school's students Physical Education and Art was omitted in determining the bogus letter grade assigned to the school. If that wasn't bad enough the school library issue where money allocated to it was apparently diverted and the school administration was not held accountable to explain where the library allocated funds went to. These school letter grades are useless and not worth the paper it was printed on.
Veteran teacher Patricia Walsh wrote an article for the New York Post and described in detail how PS 106 deteriorated and what it was like to teach under Marcella Sills until she left the school in 2009. Ms. Walsh's story just reinforces everything we were told about the horrible situation at PS 106 under Marcella Sills watch. The numerous complaints and actions taken against staff since Marcella Sills became Principal has been written about in this and other blogs as well by the New York Post and now that the Principal has been reassigned and faces termination under State law 3020-a. The real question is why as these abuses occurred at her school the DOE still gave her school one "A" and two "B"s in the last three years it earned a grade?
Will heads roll at Tweed because of their failure to take appropriate action against the abuses that Marcella Sills was allowed to get away with at PS 106? Of course not since only teachers are held accountable not administrators who allowed this travesty to occur and when alerted failed to take action.
"Children First"? Only if you believe in the "tooth fairy" when it comes to these no accountable DOE administrators like District 27 Superintendent Lloyd-Bey, the useless and money sucking Children First Network 531, and the leadership at Tweed.