I have a few posts to make about the NYC Public School system, mere speculation on my part, much of it, but some of the paranoid observations of mine just might be true, especially given the current climate when it comes to funding and standardized tests. So I hope, in the next few days, to put my more outragious conspiracy theories up there for you to chew on.
We’ll start with standardized testing, and monies given to help students improve.
In the 3rd grade, I felt my daughter needed additional math help. I was unable to get it for her. She was in a gifted program and perhaps they felt that was good enough? But because we changed schools due to a move, the two different teachers and lessons had her behind, I felt.
In the fourth grade, we managed to get her some after school help. This consisted of a program where a disinterested teacher gave out problems and later on gave the answers out. There was no instruction, nor was there going over why some children got the problems wrong. If it helped my daughter at all, it was her teaching the other students how to do problems — despite having problems, there were children far worse off who couldnt understand the very basics of math. I would imagine the practice helped her as well.
Later on that year she took a standardized math test and got a mid to high three. (Out of four.) I think two is passing. So she did well, not perfect, but got a solid score I was proud of.
So now in the fifth grade I was told that my gifted daughter with decent test marks behind her is REQUIRED to attend a 37.5 minute additional math class 4 days a week. We will put aside the inconvenience of picking up one child, turning home, dropping off books and coming back, or of staying outside in the cold for 37.5 minutes. If my daughter were needy, I would do this, after all, I fought so hard to get her help in the third and fourth grades.
But her tests show me she doesn’t need it. Her homework questions to us show us she doesn’t need it.
What shows me she needs it is a school that probably gets money per seat filled in this special tutoring session after schools.
What shows me she needs it is the thought that getting a kid up from a mid to high three to a four is easier than getting a kid from a one up to a two or a three — and at the end of the day, those combined results of the children pushed to a four will make the school look a LOT better. Is she a pawn to make a mediocre school look better?
I found out I can write a note requesting that I want her out of those classes. I do. I don’t like to see my daughter coming out bitter and resentful like she did last year, especially knowing that she will not receive any instruction, nor will it matter at this point in the game.
Do I want my child to get a perfect score? Of course that would be great! This isn’t a matter of me wanting to deny my child an education. What I do want is my child to get one, not be placed in a seat for who knows what motive, losing interest and wasting time. The enrichment I can provide is better than the tossing problems at children and then telling them what was wrong that the school offers.
I’m telling you, private school is looking better and better…