Wednesday, June 04, 2008

One Fewer Voice of Reason

That's what NYC media has, with Sam Freedman departing as education reporter from the Times:

As regular readers know, I have been a skeptic on the ballyhooed overhaul of New York’s public schools under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein.

In particular, I have questioned their spotty record of providing required English as a Second Language classes to immigrant students, and have asked whether the creation of small schools — a signature of the Bloomberg administration — has caused collateral damage by shunting lower-performing students into traditional high schools.

No education column received greater reader response than one last August about an award-winning, idealistic young math teacher, Austin Lampros. He had been overruled by his principal at the High School of Arts and Technology in Manhattan when he tried to give a failing grade to a senior who missed scores of classes, didn’t even show up to take the final and claimed a dubious medical excuse.

The student got her passing grade and her diploma. The principal still has her job. The only loser was Mr. Lampros, who quit a profession he adored rather than be party to a travesty.

Hopefully they will find a well-informed replacement. But they'd better look carefully--there aren't many opinion columnists who know what goes on in city schools. Michael Winerip springs to mind. But he's gone too, of course.

You'll be missed, Sam.
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