Tuesday, August 01, 2017
The DOE's Slogan Of Children First Rings Hollow.
The DOE will claim that everything they do is geared on putting the students first and when bloggers like me point out the hypocrisy of their "children first" claims, the DOE will simply ignore the inconvenient truth. Let's look at why the DOE's claim that they put children first rings hollow.
Large Class Sizes: New York City public schools have the largest class sizes in the State. In some schools like Francis Lewis High School, almost all classes have the maximum 34 students. Moreover, the school is vastly overcrowded with over 4,700 students crammed into a school that shooed have less than 3,000. Moreover, try to walk on the second floor hallway between 4th and 5th period and you feel like your in a Japanese subway car at the peak of rush hour as bodies bump into you from all sides. Finally, book-rooms with no windows and little ventilation are being used as classrooms. Ask the students at Francis Lewis High School if the DOE is putting their needs first?
Parent Exclusion: Since the Bloomberg years parent voices are deliberately ignored by the Chancellor and the Central Bureaucracy. Just look at what happened at Townsend Harris High School and at Central Park East 1, where the DOE tried to ignore parents and only backed down when the media got hold of the story, The DOE is quite happy if parents remain clueless and quiet so they can do what's best for them and not what's best for the students/ The C-30 selection committee is a prime example of how little parent (and teacher) voice means as its simply a fig level for the Superintendent to pick his or her favorites as principals for the schools in the District.
Principal Hiring Practices: The DOE implemented a policy called "fair student funding" that requires schools to pick up the salary of all school staff members. The result was that principals were incentivized to hire "the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school. To penalize principals who dare hire a veteran teacher the DOE only funds the schools at 90% of their fair funding, despite a 6 billion dollar budget surplus for the City//
Uncertified Teachers: Far too many schools are using teachers uncertified in the subject they are required to teach. At the high school level, Regents Earth Science is just as likely to have an uncertified teacher than one certifried to teach the course. Moreover, many high schools shortchange Science students by going to a 4-1 from the State recommended 5-1 program. The result is that City students experience lower Regents grades and a higher failure rate. This is done to save on hiring scarce Science teachers. This is certainly not putting children first.
The bottom line is when the DOE claims that they are putting children first, what they really mean is they are putting their ideological aims first and children last. See nyc educator for a similar take on the DOE's children first policy.