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Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Myth of Failing Schools and Success Academies

Ny.chalkbeat.org recently posted a piece entitled "In interview Eva Moskowitz addresses backfill and test prep critiques."  Moskowitz described backfill, the policy of schools filling vacated seats with new students, as a "long, complicated debate."  She apparently now backfills her schools through the 4th grade. 

In my opinion, backfill is not a "long, complicated debate."  Although it seems a responsibility of public schools, short, simple and sweet, backfill is a threat to Eva's Success.  If new students were accepted in her schools, they would pull down her already "weeded" and highly-prepped population.  In Eva's words, "We have an obligation to the parents in middle and high school, and the kids in middle and high school, that until the district schools are able to do a better job, it's not really fair for the seventh grader or high school student to have to be educated with a child who's reading at a second or third grade level."

In my mind, if you "counsel out" sub-par students, you could "do a better job."  And, if you hesitate to take on new students, including those who have arrived from the far reaches of the earth, speaking, perhaps, very limited English, "it's not really fair."  And when the Success of her kids prepped in overdrive for the State tests can't even transer over into a single passing grade on the test for elite City public high schools, it really says a lot about her definition of "Success."

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