An Independent Voice That Advocates For The Classroom Educator Without The Corrupting Politics Tied To Our Union And DOE Leadership.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Horror Stories That Hurt Student Academic Achievement This Halloween.
As we approach Halloween, its "trick or treat" time for the kiddies. However, when it comes to the New York City Public Schools, its all about tricking the students and their parents rather than treating them to a good education. Thanks to the DOE and Chancellor Carmen Farina, the schools remain underfunded, short on teachers, and continue to have the largest class sizes in the State. Here are some villainous actions the schools and the DOE has done to their students.
A middle school in District 24, with a significant immigrant population from Latin America had hired provisionally a bilingual ATR guidance counselor to service this needy population. The guidance counselor has loads of experience and her ESL extension on her license gave her the ability to better serve the students and their parents. The Principal, rather than hire this person, hired a friend of the Principal's sister instead. The "newbie" has no school experience, is not fluent in Spanish and has no bilingual extension. The joke is on the students because its what's best for the Principal and not for her neediest students.
A high achieving high school in District 28 found out that the DOE will no longer pay for the "sixth period" classes and the school would need to pay for them out of their own budget. The Principal's response? He eliminated all Science Advanced Placement courses and reduced electives to save on teacher hiring. The riddle is how can these high achieving students, having fewer options, can advance in their field of interest and help their college ambitions?
A high school in District 29, that saw an exodus of over 50% of their staff this school year, had a 0% passing rate in Regents Chemistry, The Principal decided to hire a Physics teacher who hasn't quite mastered to English language to teach two classes of Regents Physics and one class of Advanced Placement Physics. Quite a trick to expect students who couldn't pass Chemistry to pass the much harder Physics Regents. Moreover, this school needed twice as many over the counter students as the other schools in the campus just to stay afloat More level 1 students and higher level courses is a two-faced policy that's doomed to fail.
This high school in District 24 is known for an infamous Principal that has one of the lowest staff trust factors in Queens. She targets veteran teachers and has numerous investigations dealing with her running of her struggling school. She is poison to ATRs who dare complain about the school, I have been told that 5 ATRs were subject to discipline in the first semester last year alone.. This school made the papers for academic fraud, financial mismanagement, and age discrimination. Yet, the DOE refuses to take action against this Principal. How this situation is good for student academic achievement is beyond me and she is poison to any teacher who dares to fight back.
The "Leadership Academy Principals" that put their petty and vindictive behavior above the academic needs of their students. School after school run by these principals have untenured staffs, high teacher turnover, and an unstable school environment that hurts the academic needs of their students.
The bloated Renewal School administrative staff, led by Superintendent Amiee Horowitz who are moistly rejects due to discipline or poor performance in their previous positions. This high salaried staff provides little leadership to the Renewal schools but demand accountability to show improvement while not being held accountable themselves.
The DOE claims that they must essentially freeze school budgets and keep the schools underfunded They only give the schools 89% of Fair Student Funding and even when they grant the schools a measly 3% raise, they take things away like forcing the schools to self fund a "sixth period" that eats up the increase. Yet the DOE budget has increased by 54% since 2008 as they must pay for a bloated bureaucracy and questionable consultant services. As the students suffer from lack of resources and large class sizes that hurt academic achievement, the DOE says "feed me more"!