Wednesday, November 02, 2016
How Small Themed School Principals Want To Game The System By Rejecting High Needs Students.
I read the Beth Fertig schoolbook article on how small themed schools try to get the most interesting applicants to their school and have some real issues about how naive Beth Fertig is, considering how experienced she is on New York City education issues.
First, she bought the kool-ade that small themed schools should be allowed to "screen" the applicant list to only select the "interested student". Despite the fact that all schools must take a lower third student population. Gone are the days when the Bloomberg administration allowed the small schools to exclude the lower third academically challenged student to ensure that the school succeeds while dumping the rest into the schools he wanted to close and did.
Second, these principals of the themed small schools would be happy to exclude "high needs" students, like Special Education, English Language Learners, and behaviorally challenged students if given the chance. Yet, Beth Fertig seemed not to understand that's what these principals were really requesting.
Finally, Beth Fertig should have asked the obvious question to these principals from the small themed schools, What then happens to the students who cannot meet the school's threshold criteria? The answer is also quite obvious, you dump them in the academically struggling schools and make it their problem.
Of course, the reason the small themed schools want only "interested students" is because these are the students that most likely have good academic skills, parents who went to school fairs or made a school visit, and best of all will have the best chance to graduate high school. Remember, the DOE still uses the graduation rate as the main focus of a school's success or failure and the first thing parents look at is the school's graduation rate. Given the chance, these themed small schools would "game the system" and could not care what happens to those "high needs" students, as long as they can reject them for their school.
To read a more detailed analysis of Beth Fertig's article please read the Ed the Apple blog.