An Independent Voice That Advocates For The Classroom Educator Without The Corrupting Politics Tied To Our Union And DOE Leadership.
Monday, September 18, 2017
The DOE's Education On The Cheap Policy Academically Shortchanges The Students.
Over the years and certainly since the recession of 2008 the New York City Department Of Education (DOE) has shortchanged the schools with reduced budgets and lack of resources. Worse, the DOE reuses to fund the schools based on their own Fair Student Funding, with most schools receiving only 90% of what they are allocated for. The result is that New York City's Public School students suffer academically due to the DOE's education on the cheap policy.
In my travels from school to school as an ATR I have noticed the many cost saving strategies school principals use to conserve resources.
First, the fair student funding formula incentivizes principals to :hire the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school. With "newbie teachers" who must learn classroom management skills, develop curriculum knowledge and master the Art and Science of teaching, students are simply guinea pigs to these teacher's steep learning curve and suffer academically.
Second, many of the Bloomberg small schools have a limited selection of courses and teachers. Electives are few and extracurricular activities are limited or non-existent Quite a few students complain about the lack of electives. Many schools only have one teacher teaching a subject and if a problem develops between a student and either a teacher or another student in the class, there is no option to put him or her into another class of the same subject.
Third, most schools no longer give Music as a course because of the cost of instruments and their upkeep. The ATR pool is full of excessed Music teachers as the tight budgets makes Music a prime candidate to be eliminated from the school course selection, especially in the small schools. The same goes for Health teachers as schools rather use a Physical Education teacher to teach Health than hire a certified Health teacher.
Fourth, most schools have reduced Science to a 4 to 1 program rather than the recommended 5 to 1 program for Regents level Science. The elimination of the extra day allows schools to reduce their Science teaching staff. However, the result has been a lowering of Regents passing rates and scores. While it saves the schools money it hurts student academic achievement. Only the DOE in New York State allows schools to use uncertified teachers for Regents Earth Science is just another example of putting budget first over the academic needs of the students.
Fifth, our class sizes are highest in the State and most classes are at contractual limits. This has a negative effect on student academic achievement,
Finally, the DOE encouraged discrimination against veteran teachers has resulted in many highly experienced teachers tobe targeted and retire early which are then replaced by untested inexperienced teachers who usually leave their first hiring school within five years (about 80% according to a Chicago study) and leave the system.system entirely (50%).
The DOE's education on the cheap policy continues as real student academic achievement is a poor second to budget shenanigans by school principals and encouraged by the DOE. This allows the DOE to keep throwing money at their bloated Central Bureaucracy as the schools starve for resources and with tight budgets that do an injustice to their students.