Friday, March 21, 2014
No Pathway To College Here. - School #19
Well, I found myself in another school in Southeast Queens and this school shares a building with their own middle school and another middle school. Its four stories and no elevator. The staff is fairly young with less than eight years of experience but were all quite friendly. On the other hand, the administration is lead by another "Leadership Academy Principal" who hid in her office during the week I was there. The hallways are narrow and crowded at the bell change and the odor from the students bathrooms into the hallways can make one gag.
The high school students are supposed to wear uniforms but few do and many of the boys display the "thuggish look" as they keep the pants down and show their underwear. School tone is poor as administrators don't handle the discipline problem like they need to do. Some classes are totally "out of control" while others were somewhat manageable. The "college and career readiness" scores are abysmal in the low single figures. Meaning few, get advanced Regents diplomas and online courses are needed for many of the students to graduate. A new state-of-the-art-science lab was essentially destroyed in two years and is barely useable.
The teachers room has no computers, and the administration walks in whenever they feel like. The school is 95% black and many of the students are in the halls, walking into other rooms, and are "unprepared to learn". Teacher morale is poor, primarily due to the many requirements that the administrators pile on the staff. Like many of the unscreened schools in Southeast Queens, the freshman class consists of "1's" and low "2's with behavioral issues and the staff has their work cut out with this grade. The 10th grade is little better.
This school suffers from all the maladies of the other schools in Southeast Queens, lack of academic tools, little student diversity, and administrators that blame teachers for the ills of the school. On the bright side, the school is easy to get to and parking is available with a block or two from the school. I wouldn't want a position there.