Saturday, November 18, 2006

Improving Our Schools

Sometimes, the small schools the mayor builds don't work, because everyone knows the crappy schools are still crappy schools. When that happens, the city just sends more kids to my school, which, at a mere 250% capacity, always has room for a few hundred more.

Sometimes, though, these schools seem to work. Their reputations improve, and people actually like them. In cases like that, the city may pour millions of dollars into such buildings before demolishing them.

That's the way we do things here in NYC. We don't fret over things like special schools for autistic children. After all, City Hall is confident kids like that thrive just about anywhere. According to Juan Gonzalez, though, there are a few naysayers:

"The whole thing with a child with autism is consistency and repetition," said Donadelle, whose 12-year-old son Christopher Jones also attends the school. "All the children know, all the teachers know, we don't change things on them."

Thanks to the inclusion program, the school of largely black and Hispanic children has become an accepted part of the wealthy neighborhood that surrounds it...

"These people don't know what they're talking about," Donadelle said. "It would take years for our school to establish the same kind of community ties in some other neighborhood."

...If this demolition and relocation were absolutely necessary, the parents and teachers would perhaps understand. But no one bothered to ask them what they wanted.

To them, this smells like land grab of a wonderful public school that happens to be sitting on upper East Side land that someone else wants.

They must be mistaken. We would never do a thing like that here in New York City. We value parent input, and that's why we treat involved parents so well.

Thanks to Schoolgal
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