Saturday, June 29, 2013
Loretta Prisco: A View from the First Row
In a Data Driven System, Why Isn’t the DOE Looking at Their Own Data? Can’t See the Forest for the Trees!
The Mayor through his minions, Klein, Black (remember her?), and Walcott have done everything from reorganizing the system to reorganizing it yet again, from firing teachers to hiring newbies and excessing them, to training new principals without teaching experience and rating their schools “F”, to closing schools and reopening new ones and closing them, to cooking the books in ways that might even top the skills of an Enron bookkeeper, and have still not be able to raise reading and math scores. Yet the answer is waiting right under their noses. Hey guys, you claim to be data driven, just look at the data – it sits there waiting for you! Why even a lowly teacher like me can see it!
1. The schools that have the highest percentage of students in the free lunch program tend to have the students who also perform the lowest on standardized tests. Don’t you see the connection here? Free lunch = low scores! Suggestion lifted straight from the data: To improve reading and math achievement, just do away with the free lunch program. Voila! Join the high scoring schools with fewer free lunch kids. And save the Feds all that money they spend on breakfast and lunch for a bunch of ungrateful kids who do nothing but whine about the food.
2. Our kids go to school for 10 months, for 6 hours and 57 ½ minutes. Those who are have not done well on standardized tests aren’t promoted, are mandated to go to summer school for 15 days (and some will be absent for some of those days), 3 hours a day, be retested and most will have their scores go up and pass the grade. So we take the most challenging students and do in 15 days what cannot be done in 10 months with double the daily time. See the connection here? 10 months = failure on tests. 15 days = success on tests. Hey! Cancel 10 month school and mandate a 15 day school for all students. Imagine what the most successful students will be capable of achieving in 15 days! Kids whine about going to school anyway – ask them, they hate school. We are not teaching art, music and offering gym anyway in year round school as schools are focused on test prep. So what are they missing? Give the schools to charters, which is what the DOE really wants to do anyway. And save all that money.
Take a sniff – the solutions are right under your noses!