"Let me tell you what’s happening to me. I’m on the PTA at my child’s school, the Secondary School of Journalism in Park Slope. I’m currently advocating on behalf of my child, and seventeen other children whose parents don’t speak English. These kids are from Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, everywhere. These kids have all done very well on their Regent’s exams— I’m talking 90/95th percentile. Very smart kids. They were on their way toward qualifying for an Advanced Regents government scholarship,that would give their parents badly needed money to help in their education. But the fine print of that scholarship says the children need three full years of a foreign language.
And the principal at the school FIRED the Spanish teacher. She is not hiring another foreign language teacher for an entire year, effectively disqualifying all these kids from that scholarship they need. When we try to talk with her about it, she acts like she doesn’t owe us an explanation. When we try to call the Board of Education, they tell us to put it in writing. They get us all excited. They have us think if we write a nice letter, and use good grammar, and use all the correct punctuation, something will happen. Meanwhile another year passes, and nothing. And the kids don’t get their scholarship. You know something like this would never happen at a nice Manhattan school like Stuyvesant.
We’ve got a new mayor and a new chancellor. So we aren’t blaming them. But they need to know how impossible they’ve made it to help our kids. Trying to get something fixed in these schools is like praying to some false God. You call and email hoping that God is listening, and nothing happens. Meanwhile the kids suffer. All these parents that I’m representing are good, simple people. They say: ‘Don’t worry Annette, God is going to fix it. God will make it right.’ I love them. And I love God. But I tell them: ‘God won’t fix it! We’ve got to fix it!’”
This lady is fighting the good fight. I can’t believe the principal has effectively & single-handedly destroyed these kids’ chances at this scholarship.
This is so exciting! These two students have basically found a way to turn anything into a touchpad! Seriously cool - watch the video, you’ll see what I mean.
UPDATE: I found myself on their kickstarter page and couldn’t resist backing them & ordering one of their first manufactured units. This is such a great educational device, in that it’s fun & inspires creativity. I can’t wait to introduce this to my brother (he’s going to turn 11 so it’s almost the perfect age)! I don’t know if this comes across through all of my exclamation points, but I’m seriously excited!
This piece was inspired by a heated discussion I had with a man who believes that teachers have an easy job. Please feel free to share it with others if you agree with the message.
I used to be a molecular biologist. I spent my days culturing viruses. Sometimes,…
A great (and fast) read
Fearing that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests.
The word “dinosaur” made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported. “Halloween” is targeted because it suggests paganism; a “birthday” might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
So this is really a religious issue, and not an educational one. I would think a tenet of most major religions would be tolerance of opposing viewpoints and philosophies.
…it could be a tenet but that doesn’t mean people follow it. Also, what bunk!
This almost brought tears to my eyes. It’s so painful to listen to the public hate on teachers when I work my ass off every day at a job that most people I meet raise their eyebrows at and say, “I could never handle that job.”