Instead on fixing those two things the superintendent seems more interested in gimmicking our way to success.
Remember last year when the district had to have open enrollment, it just had to! Then after significant community push back revealed the plan wasn’t so well thought out, the Superintendent announced he was going to table it. Well he must have tabled it real good because we haven’t heard word one about it ever since.
Then there is restorative justice the feel good discipline plan that the superintendent dropped in our schools. You know the one which says not till a child’s fourth fight does anything meaningful happen. Sadly only masochists think getting punched in the face feels good. Who knows if done right this might help unfortunately it hasn’t been done right and it has led to discipline getting even worse.
Next there is single gender classrooms which despite dubious evidence the superintendent says he is looking to expand. I think that districts have to experiment to see what works but I also believe the sexes can be educated together too. The recent puff piece celebrating the success of a local single gender middle school in the Times Union failed to mention the 53 staff members (41 teachers and admins, 12 full time city year members), not counting support staff for 471 students and unprecedented level of support. I believe that more than anything led to the small gains at the school.
Then in today’s paper he said, let’s get uniforms, yes less than two months before the start of the school year he wants the kids at our middle and elementary schools to get uniforms something Duval tried once before and it was a disaster. It’s not even getting uniforms that bothers me so much it’s he think a paradigm shift for a district of 120,000 kids, many very poor can happen in two months
I think we could add getting rid of books on the elementary level in favor of printouts to the list as well.
Instead of doing whats right the super seems more interested in using whatever gimmick or fad du jour he stumbles across. He needs to understand that the basics did not fail us but moving away from them has.