Many years ago, I visited the alleged “worst school” in the U.S., an elementary school in Greenville, Fla.
During my visit, I learned the kids weren’t stupid, but the school struggled to produce good standardized test results because the students were poor and many were the children of migrant workers and didn’t speak English.
The new principal hired to turn things around was retired military and had the kids wearing white uniforms and marching in line between classes.
Those kids didn’t know how good they had it.
The New York Post, in a largely unsourced article, says an elementary school in the Queens area of New York City doesn’t have textbooks or teacher guides and “the kids have seen more movies than Siskel & Ebert.”
Public School 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, is a short distance from the coastline ravaged by Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012.
Part of the school was wrecked and not repaired. Unnamed sources say the school is now a dump, with 40 preschoolers spending their days in trailers that reek of urine. The library “is a junk room” and when a teacher calls in sick, no substitute is provided. Instead, kids are divided up and sent to other classrooms.
Who does the Post blame? Marcella Sills, described as a BMW-driving, fur coat wearing principal who only occasionally shows up for work.
Sills reportedly makes $128,000 a year and pulls in about $3,000 extra for overtime, so she may be able to afford a BMW and fur coat. Maybe she scheduled some time off work the week the Post followed her around?
And where (other than the Post) does it say good principals can’t drive expensive cars or wear animal pelts?
Sills refused to speak to the newspaper, but another unnamed source said she blames the administration for not providing books needed to teach the required Common Core Curriculum.
The principal’s silence didn’t stop the Post from writing a separate story where it is alleged she forces children to pay $110 to attend a “bizarre” wedding party. Almost 100 percent of students at P.S. 106 receive free or reduced lunches.
The Post doesn’t say how students fare on standardized tests, and New York City’s Department of Education does not list a post-Sandy score for P.S. 106.
Many New York principals have signed a letter rejecting Common Core, saying, among other things, that the standardized tests are so tough children vomit and/or lose control of their bladders and bowels.
Maybe that’s what’s causing the smell in those trailers?
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