SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Show Me Sand The Floor Whitney Tilson

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Show Me Sand The Floor Whitney Tilson

I can't believe, nor thank enough, the amount of material Whitney Tilson supplies. Whitney, I am eternally grateful to you. What can I do to show my thanks? Be careful, there are some things I just won't do.

So I open up the email and see that Whitney has blabbered:

What goes on in many of our public schools, especially those “serving” mostly low-income, minority children is a crime of the highest order. I saw the latest evidence of this during a visit a short while ago to one of the finest public schools in the country, which happens to be a charter school, that, like most in NYC, shares space with a dismal, chronically failing district school. How do I know? When the principal and I walked through the district school to get to the charter school’s space in the building, there was the usual chaos, so I whispered to the principal, “Seeing this must make your skin crawl.”

Why not name the school? I betcha the principal and you got cooties.

The principal replied (as we were walking through the auditorium), “You know what really gets me? I come through here regularly, and they’re showing movies.”

Where is here? The hallway? The bathroom? A classroom? You know what gets me? Principals that are 26 years old that have no background in education.

To which I naively replied, “The History Channel? Documentaries?”

Gee, I figured it would be movies of you on your trip to Thailand. Hehehe.

“No. Movies like The Karate Kid.”

OK, not your trip to Thailand, but a good movie nonetheless. But let's wait for the rest of your opinion that no one asked for.

I’ve heard plenty of stories of individual teachers who have given up on their students and don’t even TRY to educate them, so they just show movies in their classroom, but for this to be going on in the main auditorium with hundreds of students means THE ENTIRE SCHOOL HAS GIVEN UP – and these are LITTLE kids!

When educational malpractice is going on, obviously most of the kids will be barely able to read by, say, 4th grade and, statistically speaking, are very likely to lead broken, ruined lives.

What Whitney does here is leaves out certain facts that can put this into context. Was it during lunch time and it was raining outside, was it winter and it was too cold or snow on the ground? Believe this or not, this is fairly standard operating practice in Scarsdale. Or Bedford. Or Roslyn. Or when I was a student. I remember watching Bugs Bunny cartoons when I was a kid. And some of those Bugs Bunny cartoons were not only politically incorrect, but somewhat risque as well.

You fail to mention the grade/age group of the students. Could this have been part of some type of lesson on Asia, Japan, Karate, or even character development? I would like nothing better than to introduce classic movies to 5th graders in my school. Why shouldn't they? Let them see a good John Wayne movie, or the Marx Brothers. Let these students see what is out there. Could this have been a Friday afternoon in which the students through hard work during the week were rewarded with a movie? The DOE at one time advocated and stopped the rewarding of money for grades. What is wrong with a movie?

So once again Whitney you show what you are really made of. There is a part from a Rush song that sums you up. The song is entitle War Paint from the 1990 CD Presto; "All puffed up with vanity We see what we want to see To the beautiful and the wise The mirror always lies" Think it over.

Oh before I forget tonight's Photoshop of Whitney is quite metaphorical.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hm. Why would a charter school principal, who I am sure has plenty to do, be walking through another school "regularly"? I am in a building with multiple schools and I *never* see the other principals on my school's floor. And my principal may do an occasional random sweep through the whole building, but only because he's the campus principal.

Shitney rides again.