Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cruelty + No Imagination = NYC Principal

I found this story so ridiculous on the face of it I couldn't think of anything to say about it. How on earth does a principal tell a special education student (or any student) that he doesn't "have the brains" to accomplish something?" But Schoolgal, who's actually endured experienced spelling bees, had this to say:

Why was it only one class participated in the bee? Usually the whole
5th grade does it in class and then we send 2 winners to compete in the grade contest (usually held in the auditorium).

Principals usually select a teacher to be in charge. The teacher then
informs the grade to hold a spelling bee in class. Then their 2 top
spellers compete in a grade competition usually held in the auditorium.
In this case, this was not done at first. Only one teacher (the
special ed teacher) did it, and that's when the principal realized she did not follow the procedure and held a grade contest.

By telling the first child he was not good enough I think she scared off the
first and second place winners who backed out of the regional competition. I
believe the child in question came in 3rd. (given that there were probably
only 4 classes competing).

This principal was more about her image than anything else. The next
level was the region, and many children would be eliminated on the first round, not just her school.

If this principal had any savvy, she would have gotten a coach for this kid and made a big fuss over the fact that this child is special ed--a missed opportunity to be proud of the achievement!

Instead she berated the kid and now denies the conversation took
I was very impressed with these comments. As cruel as I thought the principal had been, she turns out to have been blessed with a complete lack of foresight as well. No wonder she moved up so high in a system where people needed to ask permission before dialing 911.

cross posted to Kitchen Table Math
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