Where does the good go

Everything new is old again

My job has this insane internet filter which knocks out any sites with the word “bl-g” “wordpr-ss” or “typep-d” Also, it bans twitter, allows facebook, but bans games on facebook. So I spend a lot of time reading statuses and leaving sad messages on people’s walls. Oh, and working. I mean totally definitely like just working all the time. Anyhoo, the only bl-gs I can read are mine, Mary’s and Ugarles’. But Mary’s background comes out all weird and hurts your face.
But that’s not the point, this is the point: Ugarles, actually, I think it’s a Carrie post has an interesting piece up about trying to get a charter school started in East Flatbush – er…I mean, Prospect Lefferts Gardens? The charter school folks want to temporarily house the science focussed school in the brick and mortar home of PS 92. AKA PS Forgot about you or PS They will stab you or PS um something something real bad ending in you.
Remember how I told you kids made fun of me for “talking white”? Yeah, those kids went to P.S. 92.
This school was where I was supposed to go, based on geography, but instead my mom made me take the placement test for PS 235’s SOAR program (I don’t remember what that stood for, but there was a rainbow shooting toward the sky with a star at the end of it, so imagine it was something good.) That’s where I went.
Two things stand out for me about the argument during the meeting that Carrie reports on: 1. Damn, really? 30 years and PS 92 still sucks? What happened to not leaving children behind? 2. How big is the set on the folks who want to house their “good school” in the bad school? Big and brassy, I’d imagine. (One of the funnier lines was the person who asked if the Charter school kids would be getting bodyguards?)
The thing about PS 235 is that apparently, it sucks too; but somehow they manage to keep the SOAR kids isolated from the suckiness. We had our own lunch times, our own recess times, our own classrooms and assigned teachers. The first time I even realized there were non-SOAR kids and classrooms was in fifth grade when my teacher took ill in the middle of the day and they didn’t have enough seats for my whole class in the other SOAR sections, so we got divvied up into the regular classes. I will never forget the terrified 3 hours I spent in a FIFTH grade class with children I’d never seen in my FIVE years at the school learning the difference between mines and mine. We’re right next door analyzing Romeo and Juliet and these mugs are saying poems to remind them that the first person possessive doesn’t have an ess on the end.
When we reconvened with a substitute teacher the next day, my classmates all had similar stories.
I don’t know how 235 manages it, and I know there was some blowback from “the community” about the disparity. So I’d venture to say that sticking a charter school in the midst of PS I wouldn’t want to be you will be an uphill battle.

13 Responses to “Everything new is old again”

  1. Alceste Says:

    In one of the states in which I grew up (you get one guess), there was such a backlash against separating out the smart kids that the state banned programs like SOAR in secondary schools (my class was the last class grandfathered in) — strangely enough, if one had a disability, they weren’t allowed to deny separate classes, so my LD-gifted brother would have been able to participate in the remnants of the program had we not moved.

  2. Jamie Says:

    there was a rainbow shooting toward the sky with a star at the end of it

    And that’s one to grow on

  3. Astin Says:

    What’s mines is mines…

    I could get into a small rant about education. Which I will.

    “No Child Left Behind” actually seems to make sure that every child gets left behind. We don’t have that program up here in Canada, but since I was in school, some pretty moronic polices have been enacted.

    When I was doin’ all my book learnin’, you could FAIL a class. You also FAILED a test or assignment if you didn’t show up or write it. Now? It’s marked as “incomplete” and the student can do it whenever they’re able. Failure isn’t even possible.

    There were 3 levels of classes in high school – basic, general, and advanced. Now there’s one, and an advanced program in the later grades that doesn’t actually do much to prepare students for University like it claims. The result? Everyone who would have been “advanced” now learns at the “basic” pace. The stupid kids drag everyone down to their level.

    And I’ve seen my mother’s tests and assignments (she’s a teacher) – kids are fucking stupid today. Like it-hurts-my-brain stupid. The smart kids are so held back by this it’s sad. It’s enough to make me look at homeschooling if ever I have spawn.

    Why? Because everyone wants their kids mollycoddled. Everyone should feel good about themselves instead of actually, you know, LEARNING SOMETHING. There are people who will NEVER get math. There are those who will NEVER understand Shakespeare. There are those who couldn’t paint to save their lives. But instead of finding and focusing on strengths, everyone gets blended into a general paste of stupidity. Weaknesses are ignored, and you end up with 17-year old illiterates who can’t add, and never bothered to look into trades or arts or other areas they might excel at because they’re a special fucking snowflake who has to be told they’re the same as everyone else, when NOBODY is the same.

    Want to fix education? Realize that kids are different and that if Jimmy has a hard time with subtraction, he’s never going to work for NASA, but maybe he could write the Great American Novel, and see if that’s an avenue that works for him. Or maybe he’ll discover he likes working with wood and be a very rich carpenter. But no… spend 5 years teaching him and all the rest of his classmates the difference between “mines” and “mine”, so that everyone is equally uneducated.

  4. Mary Says:

    Umm…the Carrie link goes to my blog – you really are trying to make everyone else feel the pain. And by the way, if you weren’t using IE6 to view my blog, the background image wouldn’t hurt so much.

    : )

  5. Mary Says:

    Oh, and what Astin said.

  6. Ugarles Says:

    The charter school is going to be in PS 92. Which is pretty impressive, since all of the parents of those kids once said “No matter what happens, we are not sending our kids to PS 92.”

  7. Ugarles Says:

    Also, 30 years ago? Did you take that test when your mother was pregnant?

  8. Dawn Summers Says:

    Ugarles, Oh…um…yes. It was administered via Sonogram. It was very advanced.


    If I should ever have spawn I will send them to you to be homeschooled. Please focus on cake baking skills. #pleasethankyou

  9. Dawn Summers Says:

    Also, please administer the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. Um…in French, I guess. #WheninRome #ImeanCanada

  10. Angela Says:

    I didn’t read this post. I just want to say that I want to punch this snow in the face.

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    Hahaha so say we all!

  12. Mark Poling Says:

    In fifth grade I had five classmates. But then again, the kids in fourth and sixth were in the same room, and our teacher was explaining to all of us that airplanes got lift from the gas in the wings.

    Ghetto ain’t just an urban thing. Unfortunately, neither is Contemporary Country.

  13. Chilly Says:

    Honestly I couldn’t read past the first paragraph, so I’ll just say “yeah, what Astin said.”

    Since your employer blocks things you should use an RSS reader. These often get around blockers.

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