Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Renewal High Schools Are Losing, Not Attracting Students.

Not unexpectedly, the renewal high schools are failing to attract students, especially the academically proficient students, to these struggling schools. This is despite the promise the De Blasio/Farina administration made to make these schools better by providing more money and resources.  As a 20 year teacher in the high schools, I could have told you that these schools would not be able to attract academically proficient students and would probably continue to lose students since these schools have a bad reputation and were told to limit the amount of "over the counter" students assigned to various high schools in the City.

To me, its very obvious if I know anything about my child's potential high school, I am not going to have my child select a renewal school and that's what is occurring throughout the City.  Moreover, these schools are also suffering from high teacher turnover, and an exodus of veteran teachers, when given the opportunity to leave.  Just look at what happened at Automotive High School.   Additionally, many of the renewal high schools use teachers who are not certified in the subject they teach in.  An example of this is Richmond Hill High School who has multiple classes of Earth Science with no certified Earth Science teacher instructing them.  Finally,  with all the extra requirements placed on staff and students at the renewal schools (time being only one) the school environment is not very conducive for staff and students and the result is a staff of "newbie teachers" and  indifferent parents who dump their child in any school that accepts them.  Not an  encouraging sign of a successful school.

Maybe its time to bring back the large comprehensive high schools that are community based and only allow the highest academically achieving students to select another school, based upon rigorous criteria.  Otherwise, throwing money and resources into these renewal high schools is like pissing into a hurricane, the more you piss against the strong winds of the hurricane, the more likely it lands back on you. That's what's happening as the renewal high schools who cannot attract the academically achieving students necessary to improve these schools.


Anonymous said...

What else would you expect? Every few months we're required to send letters home to parents telling them that we are a failing school and that they can transfer out if they like. Also, all seniors are scheduled for an eight period day plus Extended Learning Time classes regardless of how many credits they need to graduate. It seems like the people who are telling us to make our school more enticing to kids and parents are doing their best to chase them away.

Anonymous said...

I am in a Renewal school. We work like slaves, and still the third-world admins in power call us lazy (literally). The students are in from 8:30 to 4:00 every day. They are tired as heck and stop performing by lunch time. Observations are mostly punitive and ratings are unfairly low across the board. We get mostly over the counters. PDs are idiotic. Meetings are scheduled for literally every little thing. Everyone is so burnt out. Too many good teachers here are saying they're going to leave. I stay because of the closeness to my house, but if that were not a plus, I would leave too!