Monday, June 15, 2015

The Coming Education Bloodbath in New York State

School districts in New York State are extraordinarily diverse in terms of the resources they have available, as well as in the racial and economic background of their students. Some districts have schools which have an incredible array of arts programs, excellent libraries, and a full complement of intramural and interscholastic sports programs; other districts get by with the basics with sports, the arts, physical education and even honors classes, seen as luxuries. If the most resourced school districts had the neediest students, these disparities might not be so troubling; but as fate would have it, the highest concentration of students growing up in poverty and English language learners often attend schools with the fewest resources.
So what does the New York State government, spearheaded by Andrew Cuomo, decide to do? Does it try to make sure every child in the state has access to the same resources?
NO! It makes sure that every child in the state is held to the same standards and punishes teachers, principals and entire districts if they don't meet them!!!
This approach, is quite simply insane. It presumes you can cajole, threaten and punish your way to equality of outcomes when you do nothing to assure equality of conditions.
We are about to see an educational bloodbath in New York State as these policies are implemented, with teachers, students and families, especially in the poorest school districts, being put under intolerable pressures to perform without being given the resources and support they need.
And when that happens, the private sector will step in, taking advantage of a priceless opportunity to profit from the shredding of what was once seen as a public resource and a public trust- the public school systems of New York State.