Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NY Post Reveals: Wittlest wee ones not welcome

A handful of city charter schools already set their entry cutoff date at Dec. 1 — something SUNY says it’s allowing new charter schools to continue doing because it’s an option allowed by the state. This is in the purview of charters – to exclude students according to age – cutting off up to one fourth of otherwise eligible Kindergarteners? Clearly this will push up their test scores. ----Leonie Haimson
What the hell is going on there with the NY Post's Yoav Gonen breaking stories that support our side?  See his story on how the DOE decided to support the schools the day after the PEP voted to close them.

Ok. So I stole the lead after Yoav tweeted:  They nixed my "Wittlest wee ones not welcome." lede.

I can't believe the Post wouldn't use it.

Today he does it again with a report on how charters are allowed to play with admission dates for kindergarten, not admitting the younger children who would tend to bring a school's scores down for many years.

We accuse charters of creaming and counseling/pushing kids out who end right back in public school, as Brian Jones points out in our movie when he says, "The win the lottery and then they lose it."

Charters counter that public schools often counsel out too. Sometimes they do --- except the public kids end up right back at another public school. Let's reverse the process -  send counseled out public school kids to charters. They claim to be miracle workers. I say give them a chance to prove it.

My former principal was the queen of creaming and counseling out. She made sure to never have a bi-lingual program, knowing full well the elementary school on the other side of the projects did have one and that most non-English speaking children would end up there. Our school was near the top of the district while theirs were near the lowest. People thought she was a great principal while the guy running the other school was considered a poor school leader. He was Puerto Rican and believe in bi-lingual ed and suffered the consequences. Thus I saw as far back as the early 80's what the system valued in a good leader.

My principal had another neat trick. While she couldn't deny admission to kindergarten by playing with admission dates as reported by Yoav, she just held many children back in kindergarten or 1st grade, thus assuring that they would be a year older for all the rest of the grades in the school, which really makes a difference at testing time. I'm not saying this was absolutely bad policy, given the reality that they started behind the rest of our kids who were also behind, only not as bad as the others. Kids that started pre-k had a clear advantage. In my early years there were kids who did not show 'till 1st grade --- they were basically doomed.

Here are a few more reports from Yoav Gonen:


There was this:
Internal Department of Education predictions of graduation rates at more than 200 public high schools show that a number of schools have been closed even though they met or came close to meeting their expected results, data obtained by The Post shows.
Among them were Franklin K. Lane HS in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway HS in Queens — which both began phasing out in 2008 — and Columbus HS in The Bronx, which last week was approved for closure.
Critics liken those closures — under which most teachers and administrators are bounced and forced to find positions at other schools — to shuttering a police precinct for its crime stats even though it’s known to be in a high-crime neighborhood.


  1. This holding back of younger children, especially if they are not "performing," is well known in the public school system in NY. There are also the folks who hold their children back and start them a year later. NYC has a cutoff date of December 31, while other parts of the stae have a Dec. 1 cut off.

  2. Some states start kinder at age 4. My niece is also planning on holding her daughter back for a year and I don't blame her. Gone are the days when kinder was a time to learn through play and socialization. Now it's the new 1st grade. She would rather have her daughter stay in pre-school and have fun while learning.


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