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Unread 07-11-2007, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
152 posts, read 467,086 times
Reputation: 74
Unfortunately, New Mexico has a well deserved reputation for plenty of the "Good 'Ol Boy" (Girl too!) Syndrome.
I'd give APS a C+, considering the resources they have to work with annually. My sister is an over-worked, under-paid Special Education teacher in the APS. No one puts in more effort for her students than she does. Often buying supplies out of her own money.
It's the "stick your nose into everything" bureaucrats that take the big money, and don't really care.
I am however, totally against breaking up the APS into smaller districts. I came from San Antonio long ago, and they had one school district for the inner city, and another for the suburbs. The difference in facilities, and "opportunities" for minorities especially, was terrible. I hope SA has corrected that by now. "Shack" was one of those inner-city kids.
Great schools are made by "enlightened" leadership, and ours have been anything but. Too many "don't rock the boat" administrators too. Stand up, and fight for your teachers, and students!
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Unread 07-12-2007, 01:29 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,810,122 times
Reputation: 643
Default for, or against?

IMHO, one of the problems at APS is that too few of their top administrators have been willing to fight the teachers union for needed changes. No system can go without changes for years on end, but in the unions mind thats exactly what they're shooting for...a permanent status quo.

That said, there's more dead wood in APS than an old bush. Along with UNMH it's a stellar example of how any beaurocracy gradually accumulates more and more unnecessary positions until there are more people pushing paperwork in circles than actually doing the job of the agency. If you actually pulled out every single last APS employee and sat them all down together at The Pit, I'd bet the actual, hands-on teachers wouldn't fill more than half the occupied seats.

Regardless, the true measure of a school system is how good a job they do graduating their students with the skills they'll need to get along or ahead in the world. By this measure APS has a pretty mixed record. Some schools are doing a fine job, with many of their graduates going on to higher education well-prepared and properly educated. On the other hand, other schools and in particular some populations have abysmally low test scores and a high school dropout rate that is far, far too high. Nobody is well served when a kid just decides to quit before he's at least finished with high school, least of all the kids.
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Unread 07-12-2007, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
2,783 posts, read 3,743,344 times
Reputation: 1568
I don't think the district is to blame for 100% of all dropout cases.

If a young man or woman is brought up to see the possibility of a future without a high school diploma, they'll believe they don't need one. It's not a case of lack of educational competence or lack of individual intelligence so much as a different set of values.

This may take the form of a min. wage earner perpetually looking forward to his next bong hit or 6 of bud light, or someone joining the family business to earn money faster, or someone whose parent didn't have a diploma and did all right, or someone whose parents have implied to them that they'll support them forever, or someone who doesn't value money and hard work the same as the rest of us.

The top end schools do a better job of "deprogramming" this mindset than the bottom end, but they're designed as educational institutions, not indoctrination centers. By high school, most students have established personalities and outlooks and it was their parents and peers who had the greatest roles in shaping them. Why didn't Johnny graduate? Maybe Johnny isn't that kind of kid.
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Unread 07-13-2007, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,810,122 times
Reputation: 643
Default right on target

I believe you're right on target there. Everyone wants to blame the schools exclusively when a kid can't pass the tests or just drops out. Where are the parents responsibilities here?

I've said before that NMs cultural issues are holding it back, and I'll say it again. It's all well and good to "celebrate diversty", but if all that leads to is a well-rounded assortment of skin colors filling up the bottom layer of the wage pyramid, what are you really celebrating?

One virtually universal constant of high academic achievement and later success in life is dedicated parental involvement and support, and the school districts can do relatively little to improve that.
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Unread 07-14-2007, 06:39 PM
 
82 posts, read 237,742 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nm_photojournalist View Post
Unfortunately, New Mexico has a well deserved reputation for plenty of the "Good 'Ol Boy" (Girl too!) Syndrome.
I'd give APS a C+, considering the resources they have to work with annually. My sister is an over-worked, under-paid Special Education teacher in the APS. No one puts in more effort for her students than she does. Often buying supplies out of her own money.
It's the "stick your nose into everything" bureaucrats that take the big money, and don't really care.
I am however, totally against breaking up the APS into smaller districts. I came from San Antonio long ago, and they had one school district for the inner city, and another for the suburbs. The difference in facilities, and "opportunities" for minorities especially, was terrible. I hope SA has corrected that by now. "Shack" was one of those inner-city kids.
Great schools are made by "enlightened" leadership, and ours have been anything but. Too many "don't rock the boat" administrators too. Stand up, and fight for your teachers, and students!

I truly feel for the sped teachers. They wonder why they can not get more people to become sped teachers when they abuse them like they do. As for breaking up APS, that would be the best. This would not be an urban/rural or racial break up like SA. It would give people on the westside a true say in what is going on in their schools. Go look at the facilities on the East side (LaCueva, Eldorado, and so forth) then travel over to Rio Grande or even Valley. You can not tell me the two have been treated equitably in regards to facilities.
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Unread 07-15-2007, 07:10 AM
 
12,936 posts, read 22,078,801 times
Reputation: 10662
How about renovating and modernizing these schools also. Haven't we passed two huge bonds over the last 5 years (600 million?) yet ''Highland high'' over here is still very old looking. I remember when i was a kid i went to OLD ''Mesilla Park'' elementary in Las Cruces and did o.k. but when i got to the new ''Octagon shaped'' state of the art school ''Zia Junior High'' it was like WOW !! I thrived and took pride in it as i remember. In high school i went to ''Andress High'' in El Paso and again it was modern and huge and the largest Football stadium in West Texas (back then) and again i was stoked and even to this day i follow my Alma Mater's prep teams.

So since we passed these bonds lets get these schools renovated etc... as i do beleive it will take some of the Ghetto out of the school enviroment.....Anyway thats my take.....
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Unread 07-15-2007, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
2,783 posts, read 3,743,344 times
Reputation: 1568
Unless I'm mistaken, Highland high (the oldest high school facility in Albuquerque) has been getting significant improvements in the bond department, including, but not limited to, new science facilities, running track, swimming pool renovations, and performing arts center improvements.

Plus, unless a structure is unbearably hot or cold, or leaking, its age should have little to do with the quality of instruction there. Highland's problems stem more from the low-income nature of its student body, and a cokehead ex-principal.
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Unread 07-19-2007, 04:06 PM
 
12,936 posts, read 22,078,801 times
Reputation: 10662
I read in this mornings paper (abq journal) that Brad Winter is thinking about applying for the superintendant's job. I voted for him in the last mayors race but not sure about this. I guess we'll see what Ellen Bernstien thinks (teachers union prez) as if she's against him then i'm for him and if for him then against...any thoughts on this ??
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Unread 10-26-2007, 12:21 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,322 times
Reputation: 10
I'm not too thrilled with APS. They are making our children watch Al Gore's movie, Inconvenient Truth, which has been proven to be a mixture of lies and exaggerations. They always push their political views on the children.
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Unread 10-26-2007, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
290 posts, read 564,228 times
Reputation: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmderosa2k View Post
I truly feel for the sped teachers. They wonder why they can not get more people to become sped teachers when they abuse them like they do. As for breaking up APS, that would be the best. This would not be an urban/rural or racial break up like SA. It would give people on the westside a true say in what is going on in their schools. Go look at the facilities on the East side (LaCueva, Eldorado, and so forth) then travel over to Rio Grande or even Valley. You can not tell me the two have been treated equitably in regards to facilities.

Dmderosa - what abuse? I am curious, as I am a NYC SpEd teacher seriously considering moving to Albuquerque next year. I don't consider having to buy supplies abuse, as that is true across the board - in NY, they give us about $200 a year to get everything we need, and that doesn't even cover September. I have seen that the pay for teachers never seems to go up no matter how long you work there, but there is a three-tiered system for advancing your education (not really helpful to me, as I am already qualified for the top tier). But what other abuse is there? And am I wrong about the pay never increasing? Thanks!
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