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Old 04-10-2009, 03:05 PM
 
Location: USA
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Just curious what is everyone's thought's on NYC closing a lot of schools in recent years. I noticed a few schools from back in the day have closed or will be closing(Wingate, Canarsie, and Francis Scott Key etc). Do you think this is the solution to the problem that these schools are facing? Are should there be different alternatives?
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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I'm not familiar with these specific schools, but know that a number of large high schools have been closed/reconfigured into multiple smaller schools within the same structure. In theory, this should be a good solution. Smaller schools means that teachers know more of the students and it's easier for collaboration to take place.

In reality, it doesn't always work. I spent a year in the former Seward Park H.S. complex which, at the time, housed five smaller schools. Our school didn't have enough space for all the students, which meant that we had to use rooms assigned to one of the other schools. Passing time was a nightmare, due to inter-school rivalry (their kids made fun of our kids, our kids responded, etc.), and more than a few after-school fights resulted.

Because of the smaller staff, we weren't able to offer all the classes we wanted, and students had few options with respect to their classes. Special Ed students, especially, were grossly under-served, because there were too many students to cluster into one class (legally), but insufficient staff to be able to cover them when they were separated.

The teachers who'd been there in the Seward Park days agreed that, while the bigger school wasn't necessary better, it certainly offered a wider range of services for all its students. They were all more than a little nostalgic. The Principal, on the other hand, much preferred the new set-up, as it gave him a lot more authority and autonomy than he'd had previously.

It would be helpful to see some graduation numbers for the bigger schools vs. smaller ones, to be better able to compare the "success" of the different models.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
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It still staggers my mind how the city can build two new stadiums at well over a billion dollars, but at the same time close schools. Love the priorities.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:31 PM
 
185 posts, read 721,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolhand68 View Post
It still staggers my mind how the city can build two new stadiums at well over a billion dollars, but at the same time close schools. Love the priorities.
Totally agree... Because, you know.... subsidized major league sports is more important to our cities future than *ahem* diversified and top notch educational opportunities (Sarcasm).

From Personal Experience, I saw this Idea succeed AND fail, of smaller schools within the schools.

Washington Irving was a nightmare, it was divivded into several schools, and just like squeezeboxgal said, we had similar problems. Sometimes all the classes couldnt be fit into the right area because of overcrowding, so hile many of my classes were supposed to be in one area, I had to often cross into other floors, sometimes all over the place, up the stairs, down the stairs, and up again. It was awful. We had so many people per class, that I often spent 20 minutes with 5 or 6 classmates searching our floor or even other floors for spare desks. Often we sat on the window sill, or even ON the teachers desk while he stood.

There were rivalries between the different schools, and of course WE were the only school required to wear a uniform, so WE were the targets and always singled out (except on Fridays when we could dress like the rest of the school)

It was so bureaucratic, that the actual principal had no real control because the office couldnt coordinate between all the schools, the system became too complicated, parents could never get the right phone numbers, or to the right administrators, and sometimes, for certain regulations we were forced to take classes with kids in the other schools anyways.

On the bright side, the was a closeness among the students that did have similar classes in the school.

------

Counterside: G. Washington High, IT worked perfect.

4 different floors, 4 different school, so stairwells were monitored and students seperated completely except for lunch and gym. Organized staff, still tough to get the right numbers for parents though, sue to such separation. School was MUCH safer. We knew everyone within in our "school" and because it was so small, We were all extremely good friends. We got to have a VERY personal graduation of 18 students (That lasted 2 hours long *sigh with singig, and having to actually sit ON Stage (hated that part with those blinding lights) ), BUT, the yearbook AND Prom was organized with the WHOLE Building, (all 4 schools participated as one), so that we wouldnt lose that advantages that a big school can sometimes offer.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:34 PM
 
Location: USA
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It seems as if these officials really have no answer whatsoever to even make the problem a little better. Like stated earlier, it is crazy that people can find the almost billions to invest in new sports stadiums, but can barely find enough money to go toward public education. Now I do understand that the whole stadium thing is more so is a thing of economics(the whole investment theory: people will come to the games regardless, and also sponsorship will happen). But investing in children's future is a better investment; because more productive citizens in society will be produced. With that being said please do not think that I am trying to say this is the only factor in improving education in America!!
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:32 AM
 
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I think the smaller school initiative is basically Mod cut: language (student shuffle) to make it appear that something is being done to improve the school system.

The smaller schools as mentioned are often sharing space and resources in manners that range from inconvenient to chaotic.

Many of the new smaller schools have as administrators graduates of the "Leadership Academy" who have little experience in administration and with the student population they serve.

The evaluations of the schools and the administrators are questionable at best.
(i.e., for principal evaluation, superintendents visit the school and talk to teachers and students handpicked by administrators for such purpose. Likewise, for school evaluation a team from Australia or who knows where comes in and observes classes and talks to teachers handpicked by administrator).

The system is so wrought with problems and has been for so very long. Unfortunately the students and education are not the priority.

It's one huge corrupt business and political travesty, wherein the students and their quality education is simply not priority.

It does work for some students, but most often the students who need the most help get the least.

Last edited by Viralmd; 04-12-2009 at 05:22 AM.. Reason: Language
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
9,088 posts, read 22,639,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnaReed View Post
I think the smaller school initiative is basically Mod cut: language (student shuffle) to make it appear that something is being done to improve the school system.

The smaller schools as mentioned are often sharing space and resources in manners that range from inconvenient to chaotic.

Many of the new smaller schools have as administrators graduates of the "Leadership Academy" who have little experience in administration and with the student population they serve........
I will back Donna up on this.I taught at a couple of the smaller "academy" type schools( south Bronx) when I started teaching and I found the environment next to impossible.Chaotic is the correct description.And I think it is the lack of experience of administrators( principals,V.P's) that is the biggest factor.Splitting the big schools up into many little schools created lots of new administration jobs and most of them got filled with young,naive and inexperienced people.I never have had a problem controlling my classroom but many teachers do and they got no help from the administrators. It was sink or swim and most of them sank.Some might think that they should sink if they can't handle it but I saw a lot who could have grown into good teachers but got no help whatsoever from their administrators.

I also feel that the narrow focus of these schools leaves the kids missing a lot of what they need.They just don't get a well rounded educational experience.

I finally moved to a big,old fashioned school with 1,500 students where they have everything and the difference is like night and day. A much better teaching and learning environment as far as I am concerned
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,454 times
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Default Closing Public Schools

Closing schools signal, a lack of resources, to amply go around. This a major concern for NYC families, especially those of low income - those with not many options, but to accept the state of public education. Closing schools lead to overcrowded-ness, in the schools that ARE open, longer commutes, and longer days for our children.
How much louder do we need to protest?
SandraDaley
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 14,751,462 times
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The schools open back up, but they're made into smaller individual schools separated inside one building. The teachers have to interview to keep their positions. That's what stinks for teachers when it comes to schools closing. I'm grateful my school is still ok.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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Okay I see alot of false statements being thrown around so I will set the record straight. The most popular being "we can spend billions on stadiums, but no money for schools/not enough money for schools/close schools". REALITY: NYC spends an inordinate amount of money per public school student...and education is one of the biggest chunks of NYC's budget. It is not the lack of money, it is the monumental lack of accountability, bureacracy, waste/corruption, "victimization" mentality of the population, and power-hungry Unions....which means you can basically provide a 1 trillion dollar "bailout" to NYC schools, and the results will always be the same...bad schools, mismanagement, waste, etc. Until students, parents, teachers, put students FIRST, instead of the "us vs them" usual politics, AND the city streamlines the system, there will NEVER be change. So we can just pour billions forever into public schools, and basically never do anything else in NYC, no repairs, no new housing, no new transportation, no new parks, stadiums, new WTC...nada....and why should we because otherwise we would have "horrible priorities." Schools are closing because they are VERY BAD and the city is taking ACTION to fix the problem. DO they have all the answers? Nope...are they trying different models to see what works? YES....thats the only way to solve the problem. Or we can just keep all schools open no matter how bad they are, and funnel 100% of NYC's budget to the bottomless pit of the public school system. I say close the schools and keep implementing some different programs that MAY be better...what do you have to lose at this point? The system is horrendously broken and doing far more damage than good.
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