Remember when Navin Johnson was so excited that the new phone books arrived? We here at SBSB are just as excited as he that the test scores have arrived.
Yes, with PS 154 sliding down its slippery slope, due to upper echelon (NOT AT ALL THE FAULT OF THE TEACHERS!!!!) incompetence, the test scores are out and like Navin Johnson PS 154 is going places. Down to be exact. (click below to enlarge)
We got to this point because of the sheer neglect of former principal Marsha Elliott. As mentioned earlier only speculation has fueled the guessing as to why Marsha Elliott was replaced. However, it has come to the attention of The Crack Team here at SBSB that there were irregularities concerning school funds. The Crack Team has learned that in May of 2012 PS 154 had been running a deficit of $9K. Is this true, we don;t know, could it be criminal? Only Robert Johnson, Bronx District Attorney can answer. But this explains the lack of substitutes available to PS 154 the last 2 months of school.
It also explains why we had classes bursting at the seams, why there were no coverages for preps, why there was no writing program and/or curriculum in 2nd grade.
But with Marsha Elliott, what served her best was plausible delegation of responsibility. It is one thing to delegate, it is another to delegate and bury your head in the sand and ignore all going on about you. While Rome, er 154 was "burning," Marsha Elliott was busy praising God and praying he would make everything all right.
It was the same with the discipline. I mean, the lack of discipline. Students knew that they could get away with whatever they could and wanted to. Throw a chair? Have a piece of chocolate. Stab a kid with a pencil? You need a hug. Start a riot in the yard, your parents will never know.
And what to do about those kids in crisis, those that really needed intervention? Do what Oscar the Ostrich does when faced with stress. Find some dirt, bury the head, hope that the problem will go away. If that didn't work, you could just close your eyes really hard and wish the problem away.
I do not see things getting better and I am not the only one at 154 that feels this way. With more special ed. students now in general education, the new special ed. bowel movement that will be unleashed on the school, let alone the entire NYC DOE backfire like a '57 Chevy with a bad muffler.
Now students that would have been in a small class size structure will be exposed to classes of up to 30 kids, which will cause them not only to be over stimulated, but worse, get lost in the shuffle of the bigger class. Not only with these students not get the education they need, but will in all probability act out more, be disciplined more, and lose their knack for wanting to learn.
And what about the general ed. students? They will be hugged, cajoled, and not have any consequences in their behavior. If they get out of line, look for them to be sent to the overtaxed SBST. Sent, but not seen too. If memory serves, the SBST needs to first service the students it is assigned to, the students that have stack upon stacks of anecdotals and are in true crisis and need placement or evaluation, and then any other real crap that happens. Not this make believe liberal crap that will be thrust upon it.
But again, for all students, as long as there is no real curriculum, no true leadership, no true collaboration, and overcrowded classes there can be and won't be any learning at all in PS 154. `
How can we get those scores up and not be closed within 2 years? First, let's stop hiring first year, under 25, TFA teachers. The Open Market system is a great way to find good, veteran teachers. Use technology as it was intended, to increase students higher order thinking skills and to have students have the world virtually at their fingertips.
Have NYC DOE stop cutting the budget. It behooves logic that a school in crisis is having its budget cut year after year. But since this is a fact, get out there and get money! Solicit funds. Eva does it, why can't we? If a student is in educational crisis, deal with it immediately. Right then, right there. Discipline should be zero tolerance, not like in the charters, but the suburban schools. No putting students on computers for bad behavior, no more rewarding of students. Yes, I know, these students come from crisis, from fucked up homes, but these students need boundaries. They crave it. We need to give it to them. The liberal mindset must end.
I hope I am wrong. PS 154 is a great school, with great students, great families, and great teachers.