Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Why not try to improve Canarsie HS before shutting it down?

See this article in the NY Times about DOE’s plans to close Canarsie high school.

It goes without question that a 30% graduation rate is not acceptable. However, how is closing down the school a solution?

The students who are failing will only move on to other schools where the cycle will repeat itself. Canarsie itself started to fail, according to this article, when other large schools closed nearby and it became a “dumping ground” for the students that were excluded from the new schools started in their place.

Would not it be more reasonable to leave Canarsie intact, and improve conditions, as it seems the new Principal was attempting to do? Shuffling around students may make a difference on paper, but not in the likelihood of these students’ success, especially if it creates worse conditions in neighboring schools.

How about bringing in extra staff to work on the truancy problem? Extra staff to lower the classes so that students can receive the individual attention they need?

Creating five or six new small schools in the same space, which requires paying for five new principals instead of one, and support staff for each school is misusing money that would be better spent on more attention and direct services to kids. How is it that no one points out the numbers game that is being played?

-- Dorothy Giglio

Note: According to the recently released official DOE data (in excel), most general education classes at Canarsie ranged from 28-30 students this fall– hardly a formula for success – or evidence that anyone at Tweed really cared whether this school improved.


Anonymous said...

Canarsie HS is my alma mater and although I would hate to see it close as we had problems when we were there, I think that the only way to improve it is to get rid of most of the teachers that are there now that really CARE!!! Unfortunately the ones that have retired in the past five years or so were the ones that made the school work. Now there is alot of DEAD WOOD. They removed a principal namely Mr Harris who was a decent man and educator and administrator. They did this because some of the staff didnt like him!!! Is that fair that this man is now sitting in a rubber room??

drpanzer said...

Canarsie high school needs to be revamped..... with NEW TEACHERS that is what would make it work.