Friday, December 07, 2007

Something Stinks at ACORN

Joseph Parker, the principal of the ironically-named ACORN School for Social Justice, doesn't think parents and students need to know how he spends their student dues. He's not very good about providing classroom materials either:
PTA President Dawn Beckles said her daughter's American history class spent most of the fall without enough textbooks to go around. Then the class got textbooks dating from 10 years ago. New books finally arrived this week.

I've taught classes with no textbooks, and no hope of ever receiving them. I thought that was par for the course in NYC schools. Intolerable, sure, but you have to expect a few inconveniences when you select folks like Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg to run school systems. Honestly, though, I've never understood how city schools full of kids with little money mustered the nerve to demand "senior dues" from graduating seniors. Of course, at ACORN, things are even worse:

"A yearbook, that's ... part of the memories from high school. How dare you take something like that away from us?" said graduate Jacole John.

When John's mother called the school in July, she was told the yearbook was on its way, John said.

A representative of the yearbook publisher, who didn't want his company named for fear of scaring away business, said ACORN had an outstanding balance of $4,282.82 from 2005 as of last month, and had not come up with a payment plan.

Mayor Bloomberg saves a fortune by saddling New York City with the highest class sizes in the state. He doesn't bother making remotely adequate space for the kids who already attend, preferring to construct seats in sports stadiums. But those savings, at least a portion of them, ought to help out these kids.

Personally, I could understand charging kids for yearbooks, if they want them. But to preclude kids from attending graduation because they haven't paid for it is really unconscionable.

Thanks to David Bellel
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