A NY Post editorial, using the picture above,"Back to school--for NYC charters, anyway," recently unleashed more venom against public schools. These pieces seem to be written by people who assume they have all the answers, as they march along wearing their expensive blinders.
My initial reaction was to realize these people don't want the truth. They want to see things only as it conveniently fits their worldview, or Weltanschauung. In their world, I am a public-school teacher, thus, in my best "Pattonese," I must be a lazy, "son-of-a-bitch."
In the end, I decided to write my letter to the editors anyway. Their response or lack of it will be very telling, if not already told. My letter may go straight to their bin of deleted junk, but I will comfort myself with the notion that I have done something more than say there's nothing I can do and if everyone did the same.... And, I will contemplate what more I can do.
"Back to School"
To the Editorial Department of the NY Post:
In an editorial entitled "Back to school--for NYC charters, anyway," you asked readers if they ever wondered why kids at some NYC charter schools get very high test scores while the failure rate is high at traditional public schools.
I am a NYC public school teacher with about twenty years of experience. Your analysis seems to be based primarily upon ignorance, personal bias or a combination of the two. If you were truly concerned to present your readers with an unbiased view, you would analyze school populations to determine which type of school helps kids who face the greatest academic challenges, including severe language deficiencies and other huge obstacles to learning, such as those sometimes outlined in I.E.P.s. You would analyze the student attrition rates at the most successful charter schools and you might even note that one charter school expelled a whole cohort that wasn't up to snuff. You might analyze how these "successful" charters increase societal segregation. You might compare class size, student-teacher ratio and the availability of supplies in the two systems. You might ask yourself if Test Prep mania as evidenced in charter-schools, sometimes even culminating in pep rallies, is really in the best interests of children.