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Monday, July 24, 2017
The Difference Between The Typical Urban And Suburban School.
There are stark differences between the typical urban and suburban public school and these inequalities are the major reason that urban schools consistently fall behind their suburban counterparts when it comes to academic achievement, especially in New York City and the suburbs. Let's look at these differences.
Class Sizes: The urban public school usually have more students packed into a classroom than the suburban school. In New York City, the average elementary school classroom has 25 students in the K-2 grades and 28 students for 3-8 grades. At the high school level, the average class size is 32. By contrast, most suburban schools have 15-20 students in their K-2 grades and no more than 25 for the rest of the grades 3-12.
Teacher Retention: A study dome by the UFT showed that there was a high teacher turnover in the NYC public schools that and that 8.8% of all new teachers left by the end of their first year in 2014-15 . Moreover, as we move further away from the 2009 great recession, teacher attrition is increasing annually. Finally,with the inferior Tier VI pension benefits and the punitive teacher evaluation system, teacher attrition is a growing concern as a teacher shortage looms on the horizon. More NYC teachers are fleeing the school system for better opportunities elsewhere. On the other hand, teacher attrition in the suburbs for their first five years is below 10%.
High Poverty Schools: The urban public schools almost always lag behind academically since they suffer from student poverty, large class sizes, high teacher turnover, and lack resources for their "high needs students". Furthermore, these schools have far too many inexperienced teachers and unqualified school administrators. Finally, parent support for these schools are lacking. Many of these schools don't even have a functioning PTA. In the suburbs, few schools are considered high poverty schools and parent support is usually strong. The PTAs in the suburbs usually fund raise for additional services for their children.
Parent Issues: Far too many students come from one parent homes where the other parent is not supporting the family financially, emotionally, or providing a positive role model to the student. This affects the student academically and you can see the results in my post Here. In addition, the dysfunctional family increases the likelihood of the student coming to school with the negative baggage of his or her home life. Is it any wonder, that these children show up at school academically unprepared, behaviorally challenged, and lacking emotional control? By contrast, few students in the suburbs suffer from the high poverty that their urban counterparts and even in a one parent household, the students have both financial and food security.
Student Body: In the urban public schools, misbehaving and disobedient students are cheered on by the rest of the students and the high achieving students are the ones ostracized by the student body. These schools suffer from "the broken window theory". While in the suburbs its the misbehaving students who are ostracized by the student body. Peer pressure is extremely important and a school's success or failure is strongly correlated with how the student body responds to academic and emotional stimuli.
Of course there are some highly successful urban schools in New York City, like the Specialized high schools, and the schools in solidly middle class White or Asian neighborhoods like Bayside, as there are terrible suburban schools like those in Hempstead and Wyandanch. However, the average urban school is usually has more student poverty, less resources, more unstable staff, and less family support. That's why suburban schools do much better academically.