Community Roots is the only charter that felt like a great school out of the many I have visited. That said, why can't we get parents and teachers opening public schools? I work in the east village where many of the progressive schools were started by parents. Yes, this was 30ish years ago, but that's where the noise came from.
I taught in my district for years. I didn't leave because I didn't like many aspects of it - but because there are no progressive schools in the district. I feel it's wrong to allow whole districts to have only more-of-the-same schools. There is not a single school that identifies as progressive in districts 17 or 18 -- two districts I taught in for years.Xlizellx what do you mean by "progressive"? Do you mean a school not using the common core curriculum?
I taught in my district for years. I didn't leave because I didn't like many aspects of it - but because there are no progressive schools in the district.
Unlike other NYS school districts, NYC property taxes do not directly contribute to school budgets. If they did, the public would have to vote on a school budget, like they do in the 'burbs.
"So PS 9 has found a way to get these families in the door but the school remains pretty segregated within. "
I believe this was the inaugural year for 316's G&T. At least that's what the principal told me they were planning last spring. She is very committed, and hands on. She had grand plans of applying for PYP (primary years program- the elementary extension of the International Baccelaureate). I don't see them being approved, but the fact that she's open to such an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary curriculum speaks volumes. This may be the "progressive" school folks are seeking after all.My personal problem with 316 is the lack of supervision at dismissal, as well as the tolerance of violence and obscene language on the playground. If this elusive "cadre" of which whynot speaks we're to materialize, I might be game.
First off, wow. Haven't been on this site with any regularity in about a year and a half. Hi all!
Our daughter has been at 316 since Pre-K, she's now 7 and wrapping up 2nd grade. My wife has been heavily involved here for the last four years, serving at various points on both the PTA and the SLT. 316 is really a great school, with, at least in our experience, dedicated teachers as well as great music and science programs. Our son will also be starting there next school year in Pre-K. Ms. Maloof, the current principal, is in fact working very hard to continue making improvements to all aspects of the school. The G&T program just started this year, and as of now I believe only encompasses Pre-K and Kindergarten, with plans to expand to higher greades. Very little to complain about here.
Regarding the post I've quoted above - be sure you're not experiencing the middle school located on the second floor of the same building. By and large, the older kids do indeed use foul language, and fights often break out on the sidewalks and even on school grounds. I'm also sure that some kids in 316, particularly on the playground or when the school lets out, also get into some foul language issues. But that happens far less than the middle school kids.
I think that it is really difficult to change the admissions structure to the elite public high schools program. The Standardized High School Admission Test (SHSAT), like the LSAT and the MCAT, fairly accurately predicts how well students will do in a truly academically rigorous environment. If you don't do well on the SHSAT, you probably won't do well at an elite public high school, where the curriculum is structured in such a way that the teachers assume a large amount of base knowledge and academic readiness. These schools are not set up to provide remedial education, except through an optional summer program that takes kids who performed at a borderline level on the exam and gets them ready for the elite schools. So, adjusting the admissions formula to these schools will be awfully hard, because on one hand you have the argument that prepping for the test, either on your own with the prep book or through a prep class or because you went to PS 321 and had a great education and test well, rewards those who really want to be at the high school. On the other hand, you have he truly disheartening de facto segregation of these schools in terms of the number of Black and Hispanic students, and any formula that tries to increase their representation will be accused of being race affirmative action, which is politically untenable and not smiled upon by many courts. My solution, all you politicos who read this blog, is that only by increasing the academic rigor of all NYC elementary and middle schools will you really be able to solve the root problem. If more kids are academically ready, then more kids have the cognitive skills and study skills to be able to succeed at the SHSAT and those elite schools. And I'd give every NYC public school student a free SHSAT prep book in 5th or 6th grade, along with an annual program that raised awareness about the elite high schools and the admissions stuff you have to do in order to get in. And I'd hire additional guidance counselors at any school with, say, more than 40% free lunch attendance, so that they can identify students who could be successful at the elite schools and push them to prepare for the test and help with the high school admissions process.I'm fairly passionate about this subject. I got into an elite high school and an elite college on the merit of my exam scores (as well as my GPA), which I prepared for diligently on my own, with library rental prep books. My family did not expect that much and did not believe in test prep, so I do fully believe that kids who really want the elite high school experience will figure out how to get in. Of course, even knowing that schools like Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech exist is a huge part of the game...and you can't prep for an opportunity that has never been presented to you as an option. Truly hard stuff to grapple with. It is my hope that if NYC elementary and middle schools really up their game, and get students excited about learning, that there will be so many qualified students passing the SHSAT that they will have to open more elite high schools. And wouldn't that be amazing?
I have a tough time believing that the zoned elementary and middle schools can get the students who come with multiple obstacles excited about learning to the degree that they can compete.Although they target a subset, the schools homeowner mentions seem to be our best shot at creating upward class mobility: Prep for Prep, A Better Chance, Oliver Scholars, etc.
Trends like these make schools harder to integrate:http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-black-middle-class-population-shrinking-study-article-1.2005073
Take a look at this. Uptown Manhattan is getting a music-focused charter (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150210/washington-heights/music-focused-charter-school-proposed-for-northern-manhattan). Whereas we in District 17 get "Explore Exceed," KIPP, and Success Academies, the known law-n-order charter schools. Not fair. I hope our new superintendent takes note of this.
I can believe it: Charter parents don't want their kids near those kids, and they (along with their PACs) are increasingly politically active.The parents I know want the disabled and impoverished to be included in some other child's class. Not their child's.