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Work scared, work stupid

May 26, 2008 pm31 10:29 pm

Bronx Science filed ed neglect charges against parents of a high school senior even though they very plainly had not neglected the education of their son.

The Post (sorry, there was no alternate) goes on to say that after Nixmary Brown was killed, school officials have been much quicker to file charges. But this has nothing to do with the welfare of any child.

Story: this kid was out 8 days, sickness, and death in the family.

More back story: earlier this spring Bronx Science mailed letters to the parents of hundreds of kids whose attendance was below average for the school. Truants and those in danger of failing or dropping out? Nah, everyone. Kids with 91% attendance. Half the school.

What’s going on? Progress reports. Progress reports count attendance rates against principals. Progress reports count graduation rates against principals.

Almost no one understands 100% of the Progress Reports, adding uncertainty. Almost no one can predict in advance what “score” will be needed, because there is no standard to be measured against, just the scores of other schools.

Bloomberg and his Chancellor breed this uncertainty, this fear. It gets principals behaving servilely. They have no use for administrators who are not afraid. (That is, my guess, why they looked for wrongdoing at Lehman High School).

So Bronx Science official behave stupidly because they are scared, but it’s not really a problem for Bloomberg.

Too bad for the kids.

h/t to nyc ed for linking the post article.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. missprofe permalink
    May 31, 2008 pm31 7:44 pm 7:44 pm

    The work scared, work stupid M.O. on the part of school admin. is one of the things destroying learning and teaching. I see it in various forms every day at my place of employ.

  2. June 5, 2008 am30 5:38 am 5:38 am

    Part of my point is that even smart people, very smart people, produce nonsense when they are working scared.

    We all see it.

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