Sunday, March 22, 2015
To The Daily News. It's The DOE's Education On The Cheap Policy That Causes Student Failure.
The New York Daily News ran a series about the New York City schools that was biased and supported Governor Cuomo's badly flawed education agenda. However, in one of their articles, they did touch on a subject that they, and other media outlets have deliberately ignored in the past. That is the influx of "newbie teachers" and the use of teachers forced to teach in subjects they're are not certified in. Maspeth High School had an astounding 88% of their teachers who had less than three years of experience while Banana Kelly had 69% of their teaching staff with less than three years of experience.
The Daily News article reported that there were 21 NYC schools that had over 50% of their teaching staff with less than three years of experience and are probably nontenured as well. Worse yet, are the amount of classes being taught by teachers who are not qualified to teach the subject. According to the Daily News and my own experience in traveling in the Queens high schools, this is a common problem and the more pervasive the practice, the lower the school's academic achievement ends up to be. Even the DOE admitted to the Daily News that many schools use their Living Environment teachers (Biology) to teach Earth Science (Physical Science) and the results are uniformly disappointing with the majority of these students who have these uncertified teachers, failing the Earth Science Regents. Remember my article on Excelsior Prepatory High School where the school decided to not give the over 100 students the Earth Science Regents rather than hire an Earth Science teacher? How's that putting children first?
The question is why does the DOE and the UFT allow our NYC Public School students to be exposed to uncertified teachers instructing in subject areas that they have no business teaching in? The answer its the DOE's "education on the cheap" policy. That's right, if you think its about what's best for the students, than you probably believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and yes, Santa Claus. The truth is that the DOE imposed a destructive budgeting practice on the schools that's called "fair student funding" that forces principals to hire the "cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school. Add that to the 14% budget cut since 2008 and the rise of the "Leadership Academy Principals", with little actual classroom experience and you have a receipt for educational disaster. I have written about this travesty previously and it can be found Here. Finally, many schools try to save money by assigning phantom teachers to courses and force the unfortunate students to take an online or blended learning course. Remember this? Or in today's New York Post.
Its too bad the Daily News didn't bother to dig deeper into this issue but then they would have found out the real truth that its what's best for a school's budget than what's best for the students in the DOE's "education on the cheap" policy and that would bring into question the validity of the Governor's education agenda and their "blaming the teachers theme" for the school system's many problems.