Report: Worst school in U.S. has no books

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?

More news to educate you:

69 comments Add your comment

LydiasDad

January 13th, 2014
9:39 am

Blame the parents. Where are they? Their kids should not be in that school. That should be top priority.

Emily

January 13th, 2014
9:42 am

And where are the parents supposed to send their kids instead? This is a public school in a poor area.

motocross survivor

January 13th, 2014
9:56 am

I don’t think it says anywhere that a school principal can’t drive BMW’s or wear expensive clothing, but to even begin to excuse the person described, while heading a pathetic tax drain calling itself a school leaves most people speechless. Funny media.

JS

January 13th, 2014
9:57 am

Maybe they shouldn’t have kids if they can’t afford them, Emily.

mas30

January 13th, 2014
10:02 am

That’s always a good solution JS, but they did and many will continue to do so so so what now?

Bob Decker

January 13th, 2014
10:12 am

Send B-52 bombers over these schools and bomb them and the areas around them for 6 hours, then rebuild.

Ron

January 13th, 2014
10:13 am

Thugs just can’t do anything right.

Whirled Peas

January 13th, 2014
10:17 am

School vouchers. Give parents school vouchers and let them chose the school they wish their children attend. Good schools will thrive and poor schools will wither and die. Right now parents have no choice but to send their children to the schools the government dictates.

Leslie

January 13th, 2014
10:21 am

This is Queens, New York City. It is a public school. Even if the Principal is not doing her job, there is someone over her – like a an area coordinator. And someone over that person, like a regional director. They should be visiting the school on a regular basis – like monthly. They should all know the deplorable conditions and lack of books or instruction. If a finger of blame or accountability is going to be pointed, then it needs to be pointed at a lot of different people.

Road Scholar

January 13th, 2014
10:25 am

How about investigating the school and its finances? Parents fault for having children..the children were born at least 5 years before attending school! Why haven’t the parents made this a story earlier is the issue. Where are the politicians? From what is printed here, the principal should lose her job! I guess it is hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you don’t have any?

Businessman

January 13th, 2014
10:26 am

Doesn’t sound like anyone involved cares much about the kids.

Denise

January 13th, 2014
10:29 am

Facts: 1. @JS…and your parents were the only ones to give birth to a perfect child. 2. 99% of you commenting don’t have children and suffer from halitosis. 3. If the principal was white, this would be a non-issue. 4. Post-Sandy school with no books…sounds very familiar.

ItCanBeSolved

January 13th, 2014
10:38 am

In 2014, I’m still trying to understand why any school still have books. With the technology we have today there is no need for any school system to still be buying books. I’d bet anything most of these kids have some electronic device they use to watch TV, play games and chat on social networks.

For what it cost to buy books and maintain many of these old dilapidated buildings, these kids could all have an electronic tablet with access to more information than they could absorb in a lifetime. It’s time to leave the 19th century and join the 21st century.

Domin8er

January 13th, 2014
10:42 am

Denise – when faced with reality, play the race card. That strategy only works with complete morons who want to assign blame. Blame doesn’t solve the problem.

just me

January 13th, 2014
10:53 am

JS, it seems like its the school system that can’t afford them, not the parents. My children are both in public school and we both work fulltime and make good salaries. Are you saying that anyone that has children in public schools can’t ‘afford’ them?

just me

January 13th, 2014
10:53 am

BTW, that’s a really nice coat and that lacefront wig is LAID!!

joe

January 13th, 2014
10:53 am

You can tell just by looking at this principal that she doesn’t give a damn. Kids don’t have a chance and I’ll be most can’t read or write…but then again, that is true of many public schools everywhere, especially in Atlanta.

Maude

January 13th, 2014
10:57 am

This is shocking!! Why is this principal not fired and in my opinion in jail? Where are the parents? I know they are poor but at least a few should know something is wrong. This sounds like a third world country in the the USA

ItCanBeSolved

January 13th, 2014
11:01 am

Blame is not a solution.

just me

January 13th, 2014
11:02 am

Why would the principle be in jail? Just because the district isn’t funding the school properly doesn’t mean she shouldn’t still cash her check. The money problem lies with the school system.

The Geezer

January 13th, 2014
11:03 am

Obliviously these children and their education is of no concern to the New York City administration or they would have already made the arrangements to bus these kids to another school with decent facilities and books.

The NYC officials do not care and should be held accountable for their failure to act.

Stupid is as stupid does

January 13th, 2014
11:04 am

Just start calling people racists. That should solve the problem.

NYNick

January 13th, 2014
11:14 am

marcella want her 130000—keep the money comin or she getting sharpton to protest

Bernie31

January 13th, 2014
11:29 am

George this NO SURPRISE to Minorities and People of Color in America.

For A Majority of OUR SCHOOLS HISTORICALLY have LACKED the Basic Necessities any SCHOOL should have to Educate their Children. The issue of BOOKS is only one of MANY. I have seen cases where PAPER,Pencils or even Chalk is not available for the Teachers or STUDENTS.

Such Schools can be found anywhere in the Nation and its SHAMEFUL!

LydiasDad

January 13th, 2014
11:38 am

Exactly WhirledPeas. Where are the parents protesting? Where are the news cameras? The parents obviously haven’t made a big stink about it, so that’s why the sorry excuse for a principal is still employed, and likely abusing the system. There’s a lot going on here that we don’t know about. It’s 2014 in the United States, and this school has no books. Absurd.

Bernie31

January 13th, 2014
11:41 am

Welcome to America…The Land of Fairy Tales and Make Believe.

We ALL are Americans Now!

Tell me another LIE.

uh….huh

Bumper

January 13th, 2014
11:46 am

Very depressing. They’re apparently just warehousing these poor children and making no effort to educate them. Someone – Marcella or whoever she reports to – needs to get off their overpaid butt and fix this or find a new line of work.

MiltonMan

January 13th, 2014
11:47 am

Of course, the worse schools are always in liberal districts. Funny as libs come across as being “experts” in education.

Dumb and Dumber

January 13th, 2014
11:51 am

1. It’s the parents fault – for not getting involved and knowing what their kids are or are not learning in the schools.
2. Ms. Sills’ attitude – I got mine – now you get yours (I’d bet she would sing a different toon if it were her kids).
3. I don’t blame the kids at all – hell they would sit all day and play video games if you let them…they don’t know any better.
4. Our public education (in some areas) – just plain stinks – it’s no wonder some of our kids can’t compete in a global economy.

LORD HELP THEM AND US TOO.

Dumb and Dumber

January 13th, 2014
11:54 am

@MiltonMan

Why does every issue have to be divided into liberal versus conservative, black versus white, republican versus democrate?

Give me a break……Education or the lack of it affects us all—–where is your empathy?

Lord forgive them for they know not what they do or say.

Dumb and Dumber

January 13th, 2014
12:01 pm

How do we solve this issue?

Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

We can send a man to the moon, clone a pig, and even eavesdrop on anyone in the world and yet we can’t seem to solve some of our basic social issues like the crime, lack of jobs, poor health care and a poor education system.

We are a nation divided (between the haves and have nots).

Lord please have mercy on us father – please help us…AMEN

KGray

January 13th, 2014
12:13 pm

As an educator there isn’t anything written that she can’t drive a BMW or wear a FUR coat. However, there has to be some accountability for everyone at the school for their actions. If she isn’t coming to work, then I blame her Administrator for allowing her to miss days from school without an excuse. Secondly, again the DOE of New York has a responsiblity as well to ensure that each school is allotted monies for books for each and every school. As the Principal she should have reached out to the textbook coordinator and let him/her know that she hadn’t received any textbook for ther school and if that was an issue,then just as they have plastered her all over the newpaper and giving her the Title of Worst School Principal, then she should have taken her case to the newpaper and let them know that resources weren’t provided for her school along with other issues they may have had or having. This would have brought to light their issues and then some accountability from both the Principal and the District office and DOE of New York. Just don’t blame the teacher, their has to be accountability the NYDOE and why they allowed this to continue. If they were having Principals’ meeting and school visits then they would have known these issues were taking place.

Hidden agenda

January 13th, 2014
12:57 pm

Sounds about right for a government-run operation. Why does any parent subject their children to the horrors of government education? Why aren’t they all working to dismantle the system and put the money they pay back in their hands to spend as they see fit?

Dee

January 13th, 2014
1:05 pm

If this story is true, where are the parents? The comments about this story should be coming from all the parents directed toward their elected school board officials and other legislative representatives at the local, state and federal levels.

Hidden agenda

January 13th, 2014
1:05 pm

Dumb and Dumber – get the government COMPLETELY out of the education business. That means eliminate the license requirements, the regulations, the monopoly, the taxes, the restrictions, the mandatory attendance laws…everything. There are literally thousands of people with the skills, talent, and training who are able and ready to step up and fill the void the government claims to be filling today with their worthless brainwashing institutions. Real innovations, flexible time arrangements and the like will all come about when entrepreneurs are turned loose to solve a problem that guaranteed money (through the theft of taxation) will NEVER solve. There are far too many who profit from the system as it is for change to ever really happen. Besides, the current modern day government school system is not designed to educate anyone anyhow. Its purpose is far more sinister. Read John Taylor Gatto or check out his great YouTube videos for a greater insight.

Carol

January 13th, 2014
1:14 pm

I don’t give a rats arse what the principal wears or drives. I doubt anyone is taking a survey of what her counterparts in other areas drive or wear. I do care about whether or not this principal has been an advocate for these children. If she has documentation showing that she has been fighting tooth and nail to get them what they need that’s a different story. If, however, she is simply collecting a check, then that’s a HUGE problem.

Dumb and Dumber

January 13th, 2014
1:21 pm

@ Hidden agenda….

See this is why I value other’s opinions.

You have some good points in your response. I really think you nailed it when you stated….”There are far too many who profit from the system as it is for change to ever really happen.”

This point is one of the main reasons we will never be able to solve our Crime, lack of jobs, poor health care and our poor education system.

Folks are making too much money from these problems – …..so the suffering continues.

LORD – PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS….

haywood Jablome

January 13th, 2014
1:21 pm

and as is fully implied here, let’s not forget that the principal, and probably most of the students,are black.

Neal Boortz

January 13th, 2014
1:44 pm

Liberalism at work !

Barry Obama, community organizer

January 13th, 2014
1:47 pm

This is a clear example of Bush-Cheney policies and their long-ranging impact on our childrens education.

Thank Allah ! my girls attend private school where they will have a chance to grow and succeed.

Don't Tread

January 13th, 2014
1:49 pm

This is what happens (well, one of the things that happens) when liberals are in charge of the school system.

FBYJ

January 13th, 2014
2:48 pm

The thing that’s most difficult to fathom is why the AJC would even run this story. It’s essentially a republication of a “largely unsourced article” in which apparently no one would go on record about

Hidden agenda

January 13th, 2014
2:49 pm

D&D – I appreciate the feedback. My thoughts are not new. They are as old as the problem itself. The big difference with the private sector/free market alternatives is that there is still going to be money to be made from providing a quality education to children but in the marketplace (versus the government monopoly system) the only way to make that money is to keep your customers happy. Those in the marketplace today who manage to stay in business despite pissing off their customers almost without exception have some sort of government imposed protection mechanism in place. A great example is the airline industry where despite some level of “deregulation” significant financial barriers to market entry exist – especially in the wake of 9-11.

Freedom works. We should try it again.

FBYJ

January 13th, 2014
2:49 pm

The thing that’s most difficult to fathom is why the AJC would even run this story. It’s essentially a republication of a “largely unsourced article” in which apparently no one would go on record about ANYTHING! Has the AJC stooped to the level of supermarket tabloid now? Reporting rumors and unfounded accusations hardly qualifies as journalism.

Hidden agenda

January 13th, 2014
2:53 pm

As for the pig virus story, the disease is called the Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Makes the thought of eating bacon extra appealing doesn’t it? Glad I became a vegetarian well before Mad Cow, the e-coli outbreaks, the massive salmonella contamination of chickens, and this stuff became widespread. Factory farming of animals only creates the kinds of environments that lead to these epidemics.

That's the fact, Jack !

January 13th, 2014
3:09 pm

Queen’s, NY, where the teachers’ union clings to power like a tic on a hound dog. This is what happens when there is one party – DEMOCRAT rule. No checks, no balances. The voting masses are low information and basically ignorant, products of the very same public school system their kids attend; nearly everyone on government assistance.

Kate

January 13th, 2014
3:11 pm

Anybody who asks “where are the parents” has probably never left their suburban bubble. Try spending a few days volunteering at an truly impoverished inner city or rural school. It’s eye-opening, and they could use your help.

Typically parents in this kind neighborhood are some combination of teenagers, gang members, in jail, drug and alcohol addicted, or single mothers or grandparents working 2-3 jobs for minimum wage. None are going to be marching down to the school to discuss test scores. The adults and children are trapped in cycles of inter-generational poverty, raised in a toxic stew of neglect, abuse, crime, violence, drugs, broken families, limited or no education, malnutrition, poor medical care.

There’s no single answer. But one way to start breaking the cycle is decent public schools that offer a reasonable education, interaction with caring and educated adults, and a safe place to be. Children need to know there is another way to live, and how to get there.

None of this is new nor created by any political party. It’s been like this for several decades in some public schools. Until there are intense and long term local efforts (public and private) to create change, it will continue.

LILLIE FROM FAR ROCKAWAY

January 13th, 2014
4:49 pm

PARENTS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT PART IN THIS. THATS WHY THERE ARE PTA/PA BOARDS AND SLT. HEY MS. SILLS WAS WRONG BUT PARENTS WERE WRONG FOR ALLOWING THIS TO GO ON AND NOT BRINGING THIS TO ANY ONE ATTENTION UNTIL NOW.

PARENTS DO HAVE A SAY SO, THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN USING IT. SMH!!!!!!

Susan

January 13th, 2014
5:10 pm

Interesting. Then rude/arrogant New Yorkers claim it’s better in New York. N-O-T!!!! This is further proof it isn’t. Every single New Yorker I know are fake/phony and very insecure to say the least…

Kev

January 13th, 2014
5:43 pm

“This is what happens (well, one of the things that happens) when liberals are in charge of the school system.”

It’s funny, then, how all the states with the lowest education scores are Red States.

Of course it’s someone from Georgia complaining about Popular Science having too much science. Dammit! Where’s the creationism?