Saturday, October 19, 2013

An Autistic Boy Goes Missing

And this happened in a colocated school. Is it a good idea to dump schools with very different kids into the same buildings? This argues against it. Clearly this boy needed to be monitored more closely than other 14-year-olds. This is a failure of the city system, a failure of Bloomberg's vision, and a tragedy for the boy and his family.

Why not dump a K-5 school into a high school building? Why worry about dropping 5-year-old children into the same building with 21-year-olds with two credits. What could possibly go wrong? And even if it does, the media could blame it on the terrible public schools.

The problem, of course, is that there are still kids with issues. Many come from poverty. Many have learning disabilities. And many still don't speak English. For some mysterious reason, people who don't speak English have trouble passing standardized tests. No one in government can figure out why that is, so it must be the fault of teachers and schools. The only solution, of course, is to fire the teachers, close the schools, or both. No less than President Obama cheered when a largely ESL school in Rhode Island was to fire all the teachers. Being generous, they settled for having the teachers come to work with severely worsened working conditions.

In the United States in 2013, we favor educational prescriptions that have either never been proven to work anywhere, like Common Core, or have been disproven everywhere, like VAM and merit pay. We're no better than climate change deniers.

Colocations are a terrible idea, lacking vision and benefit for anyone but privatizers and profiteers like Moskowitz. Let's hope de Blasio is what he says he is, and brings a much-needed wave of sanity to our city.
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