Saturday, February 28, 2009

A NYC Teacher/Parent Asks: Closing Schools - WHY?

In my social circles, I speak with a number of people that have children in both private and public schools. Many of the parents are completely dumbfounded by the fact that a public school can just be closed down by the DOE WITHOUT any consultation with the parents or the community.

Closing the schools in a neighborhood completely changes everything for the people living there. Children must be registered with new schools, education is disrupted, bussing schedules changed, life must be completely reorganized. Parents and children must change everything to scramble to get their children into new schools and start over again.

NOT that these parents WANT ther children to be sent to a school where violence is strife, or the atmosphere does not contribute to learning. The BIG question is this: WHY can't the existing schools be made more productive, without closing them, and turning them into other schools?



It would seem to me with all of the geniuses that hold Harvard and Yale degrees in the offices of the DOE,that rather than blaming the teachers, there would be some studies made at the schools where there are problems to pinpoint precisely why schools fail. The simple fact is this- the school is an extension of the community- if the people that most have a vested interest in education of their children are kept out and excluded from the educational process (parents, teachers, school administrators), how could ANY school have the opportunity to turn itself around? Aren't those of us most directly involved more aware of what makes a school work than some bureaucrat sitting in Tweed?

Still, we let these bureaucrats close these schools, and we just let it happen. My opinion- it's time to put the word PUBLIC back in education and in service. Call me naive, but, aren't these PUBLIC servants like Bloomberg and Klein supposed to be answering to US?

It's time to grow a pair, people, and not only speak up, but GET the control back to where it belong- the people that pay the salaries of the Kleins and Cerfs- US!


11 comments:

  1. Each and every school closing should be appealed to Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills in Albany, pursuant to Education Law §310, within thirty days of the date that the closing is first announced.

    See the following website for information about appeals to the Commissioner:

    http://www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/

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  2. They need to close schools so they can find space for Eva Moskowitz to put her charters, of course. Why don't you get with the program, Norm?

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  3. Parents need to question principals at the SLT meetings. In my school they sit there with no input! Half of them don't understand english and no one is translating anything to them. I wonder how many parents even know about their SLT's?

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  4. I agree there are other more things a school can do before just closing the school. Closing a school is a easy way but is not a solution. Parents and kids are the ones affected most.

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  5. In the matter of a school closing.
    At what point is a school deemed incapable of educating a child?
    Who makes this decision?

    And the stretch between educating a child...and evaluating a child?

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  6. In the matter of a school closing.
    At what point is a school deemed incapable of educating a child?
    Who makes this decision?

    And the stretch between educating a child...and evaluating a child?

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  7. Educating a child? I bet every school in the nation doesn't educate some of the children and every school no matter how bad educates some children.

    So I don't believe in classifying schools as such. If a school is not educating the bulk of children -- and exactly what do we mean by 'educating" - standardized tests? - then first let's find out why and then figure out what needs to be done and do it.

    My high school in the 60's educated many of us very well but also had general diplomas and drop outs. What to do? Close it?

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  8. At what point is a school deemed to be closed....how and who makes this decision?

    Granted, Education is a subjective thing, However....

    And, during that period of time...just before a school is closed...is that deemed effective Teaching time....

    If the school is deemed incapable of Educating a child...are there other implications?

    Is the Evaluation of Teachers any different in a school that is closed?

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  9. I thought we answered this. There is no point to close a school. Try adding resources, change the leadership, etc. figure it out and don't take the easy way out by just closing it down and changign the teaches and students. It doesn't work and never will work.

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  10. "We answered this...."
    I am famliar with the Whitney Young IS l93 at Prospect Ave in Bronx....It was closed so many times...who can count..."

    In black and white...at what point
    is a school closed by the authorities? At what point does Guardian have a right to demand immediate removal of her child? At what point, if any, can an Administrator maintain you cannot evaluate her because the school is deemed to be in a state of Emergency? Can a Knickerson letter be a automatically generated in such a school?

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  11. Are there different standards for evaluating Administrators...and Teachers...in a school closed by the authorities...

    Should more money be paid to those who teach in such a school?

    Can a parent make the argument...that since the school is closed...it was unable to educate my child...so therefore...I am entitiled to some degree of compensation?

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