Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My 2 Cents

    Someone recently asked me how and what I would do to improve the schools. I would focus my attention on the students that want to learn. Their rights should take priority over those that disrupt the learning environment. (But, we have to educate them all! I know that - send the disruptive students to the charters, let them make their money the old fashioned way - earn it.)

     First, I would rescind the cell phone policy, citywide. It's completely absurd to allow students into classrooms with cell phones. Maybe someone should just sit down with Mayor DeBlasio and explain this fundamental fact to him. Carmen can you do it, please?  Secondly, do away with restorative justice. It's making disruptive students worse and pushing marginal kids to the dark side. Next, I'd cap classes (regular ed, hs) at 25. (The better the school, the larger the classes - the one decent school I've been in during the last two years -hey, it's the Bronx - had close to 40 in a class.) I would also focus on improving schools in the Bronx. The Bronx can be beautiful again - iniate diversity by having great schools. I would also bring back vocational high schools. Our students turn into adults and will need to be able to support themselves - pushing students that have a third grade reading level into college is a disgrace. Next, make all the large campus buildings whole (one school) again. It would streamline decision making, unify students and staff, and bring back school pride - and save a ton of money. Bring back seniority rights, making ATRs teachers again. New teachers should be intensively mentored and supported. I'd also bring back  the basics - cursive writing, learning how to tell time and home economics. Last, but not least, mental illness is rampant and many students need help. Get them help, use the professionals (ATR Social Workers and Guidance Counselors) that are being paid not to work, and teach the staff to recognize the warning signals.

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