New York City has 24,000 students enrolled in 78 charter schools. That’s only 3% of the total school enrollment; though 8 times more pupils than when Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002. Bloomberg believes in the charter school concept. He cites their success as a reason public schools have gotten better. Give parents the option to place their kids in better schools and they will. Competition is a great thing. However, 3% of anything isn’t much. Certainly 3% after six years isn’t a significant number when charters have proven to be the better option of educating our children. We should increase the pace at which charter schools can be established and chartered. Additionally, the Board of Education should immediately adopt successful guidelines and approaches from the charters and incorporate them in public schools now. Why should millions of kids in the coming years receive a lesser education because they’re not fortunate enough to be in a better school?
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
In New York City, students who need help with English are called “English Language Learners.” An estimated 75% of these students don’t receive adequate schooling in their special classes. Not surprisingly, this large percentage of kids doesn’t graduate on time. Only $13.7 million of $380 million in state funding is targeted for these ELL pupils. So now, I’m raising my hand hoping to be seen. I’m waving my arm wildly now and yelling, “Ooooh, ooooh, ooooh” just like Arnold Horshack on the TV show Welcome Back Kotter once did. Finally, someone from the Board of Education points at me. I ask my question on behalf of students who may be unable to ask the question in English, themselves. Why?
Amidst rumors that some Rikers Island prison guards gave preferential treatment to inmates, New York City's Correction Department has ordered that all guards be thoroughly frisked when they arrive at work. This has upset some in the uniformed ranks however it’s always been the official policy. It’ll just be better enforced now. It’s probably better to upset a few guards at the gate than to jeopardize any guards who must walk through an already restless population inside the facility.