Monday, July 29, 2019
PS 9 in Maspeth Queens is a District 75 school that has students with severe disabilities. These students can be autistic, emotionally disturbed, or mentally retarded. Some have more than one severe disability. and need an environment of small classes, .up to date classrooms, and physical education facilities to help these student succeed. However, at PS 9 only small classes are met and that is because of Federal regulations require it.
In the classrooms of PS 9 there are badly damaged chairs and desks and lack of appropriate technology to help the students master academic and behavioral programs. Further, there are too few bathrooms for the students. Read the New York Post story Here
The school lacks a gym and uses the school cafeteria and kitchen as a gym which is a safety issue. Moreover, the school is smack dab in the middle of an industrial area and the classrooms are subject to industrial pollution and truck noise. Finally, the school itself needs to be modernized and despite the DOE's claim that they will spend $14 million dollars to upgrade PS 9, most people don't believe it and want a new and modern school that caters to the needs of this severally disabled students.
Friday, July 26, 2019
New York City is one of the few New York State districts that evaluates teachers by using the Charlotte Danielson rubric. This evaluation tool, when used appropriately by fair-minded administrators, the Charlotte Danielson rubric is an efficient teacher evaluation tool.
However, there are far too many incompetent and vindictive administrators who use Charlotte Danielson as a weapon to rate teachers who are effective as developing or ineffective. Moreover, approximately 33% of the principals are graduates of the infamous " Principal Leadership Academy". These principals are selected, not by talent, but who they knew who can recommend them. Finally, these Leadership Academy graduates are told that they should run their schools as a CEO and not as the instructional leader.
These Leadership Academy principals are told they should demand staff cooperation and not collaborate. In other words it's "my way or the highway". In addition, due to tight school budgets and Fair Student Funding, these principals are sure to target senior teachers. Since they can save money if they encourage the senior teacher to leave and replace that teacher with an inexpensive "newbie". The difference can then be used by the Principal to put in his slush fund and use it as he or she sees fit.
Will the union push for the removal of Charlotte Danielson as a teacher evaluation tool? Don't count on it since Michael Mulgrew and company are not in the classroom and are not subject to the Charlotte Danielson rubric. The union does not even try to remove these vindictive principals who make teaching a living hell in their school.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Chancellor Richard Carranza has proposed a school integration plan that will desegregate schools. While the idea is goal worthy, the results may not be. It may cause "White Flight" when they only make up 15% of the student population in the public schools as is.
Various studies show that Black and Hispanic students who are bused to integrated schools do better than those who remain in their segregated schools in minority neighborhoods. These minority students who are bused to integrated schools have lower dropout rates, more likely to go to college, and have better job prospects which allows them to become a positive role model to the next generation family members. So far, all this appears to be positive. However, there are negatives as well.
The most negative is "White flight". When a school district tried to integrate their schools by "forced busing" like the federal government did in the South. White families, rather than allow their children to be bused across the district to lower academic achieving schools, either moved out of the school district, or enrolled them in private or religious schools.. The result was the public schools ended up to consist of high poverty, minority students with reduced political power and consequently, lower school funding.
Moreover, if the school district bused minorities to more White schools, those bused were usually the more academically proficient students, leaving the academically struggling students behind in high poverty and minority segregated schools. The result was that peer pressure of low academic expectations became the rule for those schools and their students.
Finally, by integrating schools it became extremely important to have fully credentialed teachers to sell the unpopular integration plan which resulted in a lower percentage of Black male teachers and less positive adult role models for Black students.
While voluntary busing has a positive outcome for minority students. Forced busing is extremely negative since it causes "White flight", high transportation costs, involuntary school selection, and loss of the middle class in the urban areas. In addition, there is a loss of neighborhood school pride and parent involvement.
Joe Biden is right, federally mandated forced busing was wrong and the negative outweighs the positive. Will the Chancellor's desegregation plan work if there is forced busing across the district? I think not unless he doesn't care about "White flight".
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Until Nayor Bill de Blasio and his Chancellor, Richard Carranza, pushed to eliminate the SHSAT by claiming it was a "racist" test and anybody supporting it was "racist", the East Asian community was non-0political and accommodating. The blowback to the Mayor and Chancellor was immediate and severe. The Chinese-American community rose up and called their politicians and the Mayor's plan was never voted on in Albany.
The Mayor and Chancellor tried to get their allies to support his plan to eliminate the SHSAT and allow every middle school student who was in the top 5% to be automatically enrolled in the specialized high schools. The problem was they deliberately excluded the East Asian community and it was so blatant that even many of the Mayor's allies saw the exclusion of the East Asian community as discrimination.
The Mayor's and Chancellor's ill-advised attempt to eliminate the SHSAT gave rise to a politically conservative Chinese-American group that has become politically savvy and media sensitive that resulted in the City's plan to eliminate the SHSAT to become dead on arrival when it showed up at the Democrat controlled State Senate.
Many of the Serrate Democrats were recently elected in previously moderate Republican districts and are not allies of the progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio and don't want to be associated with him when they try to get reelected in their districts. The Mayor's integration plan, while not directly affecting their communities still will have negative consequences by giving their Republican challenger a talking point that they are a "rubber stamp" for the Mayor.
Obviously, the Governor is no fan of the Mayor and with the Senate Democrats shifting toward the middle of the political spectrum as reelection nears, he Mayor's plan to eliminate the SHSAT looks to be a goner in Albany.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
After 150 years the New York Education Department gave an outline of a proposal to the State Board of Regents that is entertaining the notion of dropping the high school Regents exams and replacing it with different alternatives. The reason is that fewer and fewer New York State students are academically eligible to obtain a Regents diploma, according to Newsday.
It seems that in the major New York State cities too many students end up getting a local diploma or a certificate of completion rather than a Regents diploma which hurts their chances of getting into a 4-year college. Too many of the students cannot pass four or five Regents exams to get a Regents diploma.
At one time the New York State Regents was the gold standard of final exams and over the last twenty years the New York State Education Department has dumbed down the exam and added a curve to the gateway Regents of Algebra 1 and Living Environment. Now they are considering eliminate them altogether.
Soon the New York State high school diploma will end up to be a worthless piece of paper.
Friday, July 12, 2019
New York City will start rolling out more speed cameras and will have 720 by June of 2020. The hours of operation will expand from 6am to 10pm weekdays. This is an expansion from 7am to 4pm on school days. This is part of Mayor De Blasio's vision zero policy.
Moreover, the speed cameras can be placed in a 4 square mile parameter around a school. This means that the City will maximize those locations where the can catch the most speeders and generate the most money.
While its true it will help school safety, the main purpose is to generate income for the City. If it was simply a school safety issue, the City would install speed bumps around schools,
Sunday, July 07, 2019
Chancellor Richard Carranza's prime objective is to integrate schools, by any means possible. However, the Chancellor's integration policy seems not to apply to his top level cronies. According to columnist, Susan Edelmen, of the New York Post, two of his cronies, Deputy Chancellor, Cheryl Watson-Harris and Executive Superintendent Meisha Ross-Porter got DOE zoned waivers from their majority Black and Hispanic schools to a more Asian and White schools outside their zone.
Deputy Chancellor Cheryl Watson-Harri's younger child was zoned for PS 170 an elementary school; that largely serves immigrant children. Its 1,000-student body is 24 percent white and 58 percent Asian, with 32 percent of students learning English. In contrast, PS 185’s 650-student body is 68 percent white — the kind of school Carranza would blast as “segregated.” Only 7 percent are English language learners.
Moreover, Deputy Chancellor's Watson-Harris' older child was given an exemption to get in the highly selective IS 187 schools which is 91% Asian and White, despite not going through an academic screening committee like everyone else
Supervising Superintendent, Meisha Ross-Porter who took in a friend's child, using her connections she, Instead of enrolling the child in her zoned Mott Hall Community School — which is 90 percent Hispanic and black and 8 percent white — Porter requested a seat at MS X101, which offers advanced classes for gifted kids. Its student body is 67 percent Hispanic and black and 15 percent white.
What a bunch of hypocrites!
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
District 9 of the Bronx, a high poverty and minority neighborhood, saw over 50% of the students fail the Algebra I Regents. Moreover, only 2% reached the top tier scores By contrast Success Academy 2 in the Bronx had a 100% pissing rate and all were in the top tier. However, on further inspection its like comparing apples to oranges.
If you read only the New York Post you would think that the above paragraph is all there is, Sure, District 9 has academically struggling schools but that's due to high percentages of Special Education, English Language Learners, homeless, and family dysfunction, both financially and the lack of a two parent household. By contrast, Success Academy 2 of the Bronx have few Special Education students or English Language Learners, and homeless students. Furthermore, the family situation is much more stable than in District 9.
A closer look at Success Academy 2 of the Bronx show what the New York Post failed to include. the 30% of students who dropped out (pushed out?) of the school since 6th grade when there were 72 students. That left only 53 students to take the Algebra 1 test. I strongly suggest that you read Gary Rubenstein's blog who did a deep study of the data and showed how poorly Success Academy students did on the Geometry and Algebra II Regents..
Monday, July 01, 2019
I have been posting about academic fraud for years, you can read them Here. Now the esteemed columnist, Susan Edelman of the New York Post, wrote an eye opening article about the grade inflation tha goes on in most of the New York City public schools.
As a high school teacher, I used to get many of these middle school students who could not do simple Math and had no clue what commonly used words meant. Even worse, because these students were academically unable to do high school course work, they would act up and become discipline problems.
Of course the Department Of Education (DOE) would blame the high schools and the teaching staff for their failure to improve student academic achievement when these students do not have the academic tools to succeed in yhe first place.
Teachers have often complained that school administrators pressure teachers to pass undeserving students and the DOE supports school administrators in artificially inflate grades and passing rates. In the high schools many poorly performing schools require teachers to have a "scholarship requirement" that forces the teacher to pass up to 85% of their students.
Unfortunately, if the teacher is not tenured, the teacher will not go against the administrator and pass the students, despite their academic failure. Let the next teacher or school deal with the low performing student.
Despite a new Chancellor who is attempting to "clean house", the DOE mentality is to still punish schools who have low graduation rates. Therefore, principals are encouraged to pass and graduate students despite their academic shortcomings.