Posts Tagged: Schools

Cures for Afflicted Children

In an age of disease, child labor has consequences. An eleven-year-old tasked with cleaning the bathrooms at LeConte Elementary School came down with whooping cough as a result, according to his mother. As she points out, “bathrooms are health hazards,” particularly ones in elementary schools, which are essentially factories that specialize in the production of terrible and exotic diseases.

The child’s mother does not note, curiously, that according to numbers from the Department of Public Health, four percent of students at LeConte Elementary were exempted by their parents from getting vaccinations for whooping cough. Hrm. Fortunately, there are plenty of remedies for [...]


Rough Month For School Hater Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush, education reformer (AKA charter school profiteer and destroyer of public schools), is finally getting into some hot water. How hot is "school choice" down in Jebland? Well, Pitbull is opening a charter school this week. The "I Know You Want Me" auteur has partnered with Academica and the school will focus on sports management. (I don't know?) Academica is essentially a tax-free real estate conglomerate whose clients are schools. It's brilliant really—and they make money, while 25% of other charter schools go out of business. Jeb Bush as well has been doing nicely, but finally he's coming out on the downside—though only "optically." (Barf.) But [...]


Teachers and Rumors–And What We Find Out Later

I heard about some teachers who supposedly had a habit of groping female students and others who had their eyes on the boys. I heard that Mark Wright, an assistant football coach, had recently left the school under mysterious circumstances. I was warned to avoid Stan Kops, the burly, bearded history teacher known widely as “the Bear,” who had some unusual pedagogical methods. Even Clark came in for some snickering: he had no family of his own, and he had a noticeably closer-than-average relationship to the Bear, another confirmed bachelor.

A very recent history of Horace Mann School.


The Evil Economics Of Judging Teachers

The Times and a host of other publications heralded last week's new study extolling the lifelong money-earning benefits of having a good primary/middle-school teacher. Oh, yay! Let's do what these economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggest, right?

Actually, ugh, no. What economists Raj Chetty and John N. Friedman of Harvard and Jonah Rockoff of Columbia want to do, apparently, is to identify and fire "weaker" teachers, for the sake of a barely perceptible increase in students' "lifetime income." Nobody has actually tried this yet; the report doesn't describe an experiment. It's just the conclusion they draw from their analysis of massive amounts [...]


Building Gardens in the New York City Schools

What's that? A fundraiser to help expand a program in which New York City school kids build gardens, grow vegetables and make documentaries? Sounds like community organizing to me.


"It's Time To Put Politics Aside" And Do Bloomberg's Bidding

"Department of Education spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz wouldn't comment on the legal questions raised by the parents and politicians, but said, 'It's time to put politics aside and recognize that it's in all our kids' interest for Cathie Black to succeed as our next Chancellor.'" Natalie Ravitz! You are really being grotesque while doing your job! That is the least enlightening, most inexplicably insulting, most negative positioning you could possibly establish for the Department of Education's defense of Cathie Black. Somehow this statement manages to be simultaneously outrageous, dismissive, obscuring and just plain dim. Most likely you are being praised over a lunch right now though. But honestly? Dismissing [...]


2014 March Madne$$: The School Tuitions Of The NCAA Bracket

Click for large version.

It is once again time for the NCAA "March Madness" basketball tournament. The eventual champions will get to bask in the national spotlight. And sure, winning a basketball title is worth bragging about—but we all know the real champion is the institution of higher education that can charge the most tuition and still have enough students to keep its rejection letter printer warm. It's The Awl's annual NCAA bracket by tuition, using the college information resource Peterson's. (Where available, in-state tuition was used.) Since we first began March Madne$$ in 2009, the winning tuition has risen from $38,622 to [...]


Elementary School Lockdowns: How We Teach Our Kids About Terror

Do you have or know small children who go to a school for small people? Then you may know about the latest fad for the littlest consumers: terrifying campus lockdowns. Because our Constitution requires all citizens to keep enough guns and ammo to wipe out everyone in their zip code, it takes nothing more than a threatening phone call or some gibberish on Facebook to turn your neighborhood school into a potential site of mass murder.

My oldest child, a second grader, spent the latter part of his Tuesday class time huddled in fear underneath a desk, which is what they were all trained to do after Newtown. In every [...]


Miss Simone's Ninth-Grade Hip Hop Appreciation Class in Brooklyn

Earlier this month, Becca Simone’s music appreciation class at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, NY, sat down to a test. It was four pages long. The test started with:

1. List three characteristics about the Bronx in the 1970s:

2. What type of music was popular during the 1970’s when the hip hop movement was beginning?

And once the students got through those (and the 28 questions following) they were met with the essay question:

Part 2. Write a brief (about 5-8 sentences) response about the hip hop movement. What about it do you find interesting? How has the music changed over the years (i.e., in terms of [...]


Ten Questions Parents Should Frantically Ask About Schooling

This coming weekend, the New York Times magazine looks at our children and what private and charter schools are doing for/to them! It raises so many questions for those of us who are concerned about our babies and if they will go to top-tier colleges after top-tier primary and secondary education, which is something you really do worry about especially if you're dropping half a million on K-12 and then having to make a sizable donation to an Ivy League to make sure that little Crayson, Effexor and Randomly get to go to the right college! Here's the top ten questions that a parent may form whilst reading [...]


Last Night's Ruckus: The Great Walk-Out on Cathie Black

Last night in Fort Greene, more than a thousand people came to shout their way through a hearing. They were at the Brooklyn Technical High School to voice rowdy opposition to the shuttering of twelve more New York City public schools. Earlier this week, the city’s Panel for Education Policy—a body separate from the Department of Education, though filled with a majority of Bloomberg appointees—had already voted to close ten schools. So last night, everyone was back for a second helping—and the teachers’ union and its supporters came hungry.

Before the meeting, the union rallied its members along Dekalb Avenue for more than an hour. The union was here [...]


The Education of Cathie Black

In short, almost literally no one knew that the chairwoman of Hearst Publications was going to be taking on the post of New York City Schools Chancellor. Not even Gayle King! But good news, I guess. "On Monday, Ms. Black was seen at the Hearst Tower with a thick stack of materials concerning public education." That's excellent, she's learning about public schools before she RUNS ALL OF THEM.


The Parent Teacher Organization Is Sorry You Were Offended By The Magic Show

To the parents of students at Sunnyvale Public Elementary:

The PTO has been asked by Principal Steiner to write a letter of apology which addresses complaints surrounding the all-school assembly featuring a show by the “J.C. is Magic! Magicians.”

And so, we the PTO officers (minus Rachel Greenberg) are writing this letter to say we are sorry some of you were offended by the magic show. First off, we didn’t even know the show had anything to do with Christianity. We thought the guy’s name was J.C. since that’s how he answered his phone!

In any case, we don’t understand why anyone would even be offended by an assembly [...]


"World School": The Best Way to Not Let Your Children Near Poors

"Several parents pointed out to me that since the school is for-profit, they won’t be hounded for donations, too." —They finally cracked the code of success with the ridiculous overpriced charter school scheme for rich idiot parents and Suri Cruise. They sure done disrupted the heck out of that education model! This is what New York's all about.


How To Bully Children

I do a lot of pretty random stupid shit thinking that I will write about it. Most of my activities turn out to be useless, though there’s always the idea that I could hit upon something so I live in this constant state of expectation that’s not as exciting as it sounds and is actually mildly depressing. This is because the pretense of adventure, day in and day out, when hardly anything actually ever happens eventually wears on you, especially when you are not rich. As much as one tries to tell oneself that things are being accomplished, such encouragement is no match for the more persistent mantra which goes [...]


Evil Lobbyist Places Op-Ed Piece

"Decades of research confirm that summer learning loss is real." —"Jeff Smink is the vice president for policy for the National Summer Learning Association."


California's Black Student High School Dropout Rate: 37%

"More than a third of California's African American public high school students dropped out before graduation day," according to the just-released 2009 data. (The actual number: 37%.) The state's superintendent of schools blamed this crazily outrageous number on cuts to schools; that, in part, "drastic cuts to summer school have prevented students from catching up on credits during the break." Overall, about 1 in 5 students drop out over four years.


YouTube Delivers Fresh High School Violence Every Day

Here is a secret thing I do sometimes, when I'm feeling old: I search for school fight videos on YouTube, and revel in not being in school. Because school is awful, just like this video from Los Banos High School, in beautiful Merced, clearly shows. High school was always a pretty terrible place, with violence and math, the two worst things ever. Just now it's online. Which is very disturbing.