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Queens Neighborhood Paper Gets It Right

September 8, 2014

WOW! Seldom have I read an editorial that touches all the bases in terms of critiquing public education, but Bob Harris’ of the Times Ledger clearly sees what is going on in NYC! Here’s one paragraph that looks at the challenges NYC schools face given the poverty in much of the city:

How does one expect students to learn to evaluate and analyze when some have to dodge bullets in their neighborhoods; live in homeless shelters with no place to study; fight off roaches, bed bugs or rats; deal with drug pushers or gang members who want them to join them or pay them protection money; have parents or family and friends who may abuse them; family members who are addicts or alcoholics and use their money for these purposes; students who disrupt classes and are not stopped or cannot be stopped due to DOE policies, see pimps, prostitutes and drug sellers; see demoralized and frustrated teachers who cannot teach due to disturbed students; and frustrated principals who cannot control students the DOE sends them from correctional institutions?

Harris’ editorial concludes with a paragraph bursting the Success Academy “success” and in between defends the union’s actions given the impact of school closures and the privatization of charter schools. If only NYC’s “newspaper of record” recounted the facts in the forthright fashion of this neighborhood newspaper… but the facts are inconvenient and bothersome if you want to promote the privatization narrative.

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