Friday, October 18, 2013
Car 54 Where Are You? - School #3
This school is one of five Bloomberg small schools that replaced a large comprehensive neighborhood school that closed in Southeast Queens. These schools were supposed to be academically superior to the school they replaced. However, my experience at the campus tells me that all the DOE did was "to replace the deck chairs on the titanic". The school I was in call their students "scholars" but most of these students are anything but "scholars". The students are ill-behaved, disrespectful, disinterested academically, and disrupt the learning environment. In the Graphic Arts room that includes computers for the students to work on, I saw a bunch of boys looking at various guns and which ones were the best to hide in their clothes. I had to threaten them with the dean to get them back on task. This is a full scanning school but some students have figured a way to get there cellphones in. For some of the students it is a "pipeline to prison".
Academically, the school is failing with the "college readiness" number of 6.5% for the 2009-12 period and one teacher told me it is under 5% for the 2013 school year. An example how poorly even the best students do is that for the 2011-12 school year only 10% of the Physics students passed the Regents and 11% passed the Chemistry Regents. This school thought that all the students could jump from Living Environment to Chemistry. Well that's obviously not the case after seeing the terrible Regents scores and they are using the Physics teacher to teach two courses of Earth Science the school started this year.. Unfortunately, this error in thinking that making academically unprepared students take higher level Science would raise the students academically has caused many a student to suffer and fail needlessly.
The school is hiding an ART vacancy and is having an ATR Science teacher "babysitting" the Art students while the school has had an ART ATR in the building for the last month and she does teacher coverages, go figure the logic there? The school is one of the worst schools when it comes to staff respect for the Administration and is on Chaz's "do not apply" list.
The school did not provide a bathroom key and the Chapter Leader never introduced herself. The teachers' room has no UFT literature or informational pamflets from TRS. On the bright side, there is plenty of parking at the campus and the commute was easy.
Would I take a position at this school? "Hell no"!