Last year Mayor Bloomberg visited Harlem Village Academy high school and called it "the poster child for this country."
Can a school that can't retain 75% of its teaching staff be considered a poster child?
This year Harlem Village Academy opened its doors with only 4 full time teachers returning, a turnover of more than 75%. There are office staff, department heads and and administrators that returned (some of them teach one period) but only four full time teachers returned. Teachers were told they would be working 9 hour days when they were hired, but the week before school started they were told they would be working 12 hour days. School starts at 7:30 so teachers arrive around 7. School ends for children at 4:15 and there is a mandatory meeting for teachers from 5-7pm from Monday-Thursday. Can be called a model that can't retain 75% of its teaching staff. The school sent a letter home addressing parents' concerns over the turnover without saying what caused it or how it will be fixed.
The Post article also references a 100% passing rate on the state math exam in 8th grade. In order to be promoted in middle school you must have an 80% in each class (I am not sure if this practice is legal.) A number of students that do not have an 80 in each class choose to leave the school rather than be held back or go to summer school. In fact DOE numbers show that they lose 32% of their students between 6th and 8th grades (See the link below.) Under standing their standards for promotion, it is easy to see that the 32% of students that leave are almost all the lowest performing students. If traditional public schools withheld students that got less than an 80 it would be easy to have high passing rates, but we would have to build 30% more schools. Essentially HVA dumps its lowest third of students back into public school system.