Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is Lucy Calkins Legally Insane?

We have called for the arrest and prosecution of Lucy Calkins. We have sampled the child abuse of Lucy Calkins methods. We have called for all administrators that buy into Lucy Calkins to be terminated post haste. And we have pulled back the sheath of the Cult of Lucy Calkins.

The sign of insanity is doing what results in failure over and over again and hoping for a different outcome. Apparently if any administrator that relies on anything from Lucy Calkins to improve the reading and writing skills of the students in the charge must be legally insane.

Therefore we hear at SBSB feel it is incumbent on ourselves to advocate, nay, call for, any administrator that believe that after years of failure of the Calkins Method to be legally insane. Of course it goes without saying that Lucy Calkins could be legally insane as well.

So with that being said, please read what my pal The Frustrated Teacher wrote back in 2008; 

Many school districts are forced to purchase, institute, and receive staff development on, new curricular materials due to failing to meet NCLB targets. Here is all you need to know about one of the most popular choices of districts: The Lucy Calkins Writer's Workshop, a useless heap of crap that no self-respecting teacher would rely on. Sure, there are a couple of good nuggets, but that's about it. You can get those nuggets from any veteran teacher, without the million dollar price tag. Here is the money section from a Hoover Institute review of Lucy's material:
So Do Her Methods Work?
Calkins is shaping the education of millions of children, yet no independent research backs the efficacy of her programs. Aside from grumblings from the New York City teachers required to work under her system, there has been remarkably little open debate about the basic premises behind Calkins’s approach, or even feedback on how the programs are faring in the classroom.
What controversy exists generally centers around two concerns: First, her programs do not explicitly teach phonics—which she calls “drill and kill.” She favors a “whole language” approach to literacy, which builds on the premise that reading and writing develop naturally in children. Her detractors argue that this lack of direct instruction leaves many children, especially those who already struggle, at a disadvantage.
The other argument, perhaps resonating with a larger audience, is that her methodology lacks real content, has no reference to any knowledge that should be learned. In The Art of Teaching Reading, she explains that she doesn’t want “all reading and writing to be in the service of thematic studies” but instead seeks to “spotlight reading and writing in and of themselves.” Calkins’s insistence that students should focus mostly on writing about their lives rankles the many educators who believe that curriculum should be focused on content-rich material, and that students should read and write about information outside of their own personal lives. Broadening one’s knowledge base strengthens reading comprehension, builds vocabulary, and deepens knowledge of the world, all of which help students understand the text, but also, as E. D. Hirsch writes, “what the text implies but doesn’t say.”
What has not been openly questioned is the assumption that Calkins has retained her ordinal stance, that it is the teacher’s job to midwife a child’s own, often richly imaginative voice, rather than impose her own. Calkins’s program originally gained its popularity, at least in part, because of its mission to help children make their distinct voices heard. She was known as a champion for flexible, creative teaching, uniquely attuned to children. “If we adults listen and watch closely,” she wrote in 1986, “our children will invite us to share their worlds and their ways of living in the world.” And while this impulse continues to inform aspects of her approach, she has tended over time to become increasingly focused on enforcing her own methodology; many of her techniques limit children’s genuine engagement with reading and writing. This insistence on only one way to do things, not surprisingly, has translated into a demand that teachers quiet their own impulses, gifts, and experiences, and speak in one, mandated voice.
Recently, Common Good, a bipartisan organization committed to “restoring common sense to American law” asked New York City public school teachers to keep a diary for 10 days and consider specifically “how bureaucracy impacts everyday teaching.” The results were presented in a town hall–style meeting attended by more than a hundred educators and union representatives. One of the topics was “mandated teaching,” which referred specifically to the required presence of Calkins and Teachers College in city schools. The responses were almost universally negative.
This entry from a teacher’s diary is typical: “Administrators expect all our reading and writing workshops to adhere to an unvarying and strict script.…For example: ‘Writers, today and everyday you should remember to revise your writing by adding personal comments about the facts.’ Sometimes I feel like I’m a robot regurgitating the scripted dialogue that’s expected of us day in and day out.”
A kindergarten teacher reported how she was instructed to ask her students, on the third day of class, “to reflect on how they’d grown as writers.” She explained that the children were still preoccupied with missing their mothers and felt the assignment was “ridiculous.”
The truth is there isn’t one way to teach writing, or a limited number of ways to have conversations with children about their imaginative work and their lives. Calkins would have done well to heed the counsel of Donald Murray, whose prescient caution she quotes in The Art of Teaching Reading: “Watch out lest we suffer hardening of the ideologies. Watch out lest we lose the pioneer spirit which has made this field a great one.”

Barbara Feinberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times and the Boston Globe. She is the author of Welcome to Lizard Motel: Protecting the Imaginative Lives of Children, Beacon Press, 2005.

So, citizens, inform yourselves. Stop voting for a board of education that has no clue about education. Hold your superintendents responsible for implementing mandatory crap and calling it a best practice. Talk to a teacher about this stuff. Find out how we really feel (promise to keep conversations private, because we all fear for our jobs).

UPDATE: There are some folks who really like Lucy Calkins, and they feel as if those of us who rail against it are being unfair, or trying to hurt feelings, or something. This is a pretty silly way to get your point across. If you think Lucy Calkins--a whole language advocate--is the best way to go, then state why, don't whine and say it works for you, therefore it should work for all.
Also, let's make it clear that the program has different assets and liabilities depending on what age students are using the program, the competence of the teacher, the background knowledge of the teacher regarding the teaching of reading and writing (besides LC) and myriad other considerations.

My state scores for my 2nd graders the last 2 years in a row have far exceeded the state, district, and grade-level average in my own school--by and average of 10 points! I shun Lucy Calkins, I shun Everyday Math and Scott Forseman Math. Why am I successful? Honestly, it doesn't take much more than being smart yourself, learning a little theory, finding out what standards need to be met, and then teaching the kids! If you can't do it, well, then, you just can't do it. I believe teachers are born, not molded!

More railing against Lucy Calkins here. Some of the problems folks are having with these reviews are that they emanate from right-wing machines. Just because someone is Right, doesn't make them always wrong. People are simply more complicated than that (yes, simply complicated. it works)!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

William F Higgins South Bronx Classical Charter School Trustee Mocks Reality, Football, and the FBI

As readers of this blog are aware of we broke the news that South Bronx Classical Charter School II was to be co-located in the friendly confines of PS 154. The last sentence of Monday's blog was;
What is more disturbing is what will be gracing these pages concerning Bronx Classical in the days to come. 
Little did we know here at SBSB just how much more disturbing information was to be found.

You know the old saying, "Stop the presses!"? The presses were just stopped. In researching, editing, and writing an introduction, well wishes, and hidey ho to the trustees of South Bronx Classical, The Crack Team came across some disturbing truths and untruths about South Bronx Classical Board Member William F Higgins.

Not only does Mr, or should we say, Captain Higgins biographies differ here on the South Bronx Classical page and the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs page (is there really such an organization in NYS? I mean officially?), but apparently Citizen Higgins played a game of not telling the whole truth.

On the South Bronx Classical bio for Higgins it lists him as a former FBI special agent, while the DMNA page has no mention of him as an FBI  agent. This raised the eyebrows of The Crack Team. Surely, we thought to ourselves, being an FBI special agent one would want to share it with everyone/

The reason Citizen Higgins did not wish to share it on the DMNA website is because in 1973 Citizen Higgins was terminated as an FBI agent. No wonder he did not share this on a "quasi-government" website.

Of course putting down that he is a former FBI agent lends him some much needed "panache." But it makes one wonder if he wished he were part of a union when he was with the FBI.

Another curious tall tale that Citizen Higgins shared only on his DMNA page, and not on the South Bronx Classical page nor even here,  is.... Oh, let's use the words from DMNA, OK?
...played on the 1963 NAVY football team that was ranked the #2 team in the nation, and went to the Cotton Bowl with Roger Staubach.
Wow! That was one hell of a football team back then. The 1964 Cotton Bowl was the de facto national title game. Texas trounced the Middies 28-6.

Thinking what I am thinking? Yeah, liar, liar pants on fire Citizen Higgins. Extensive research has yet to show any record of Citizen Higgins being on the 1963 Navy team that was led to the Cotton Bowl by future Cowboys great quarterback and Hall of Famer Roger Staubach.

One more thing. After Roger Staubach graduated the Naval Academy, he could have done his tour in the States, yet he volunteered to go to Viet Nam for a year. Citizen Higgins on the other hand...
....first tour of active duty was at the U. S. Naval Academy, 1966-67
We hear at SBSB smell a fish and it is really stinky. Even though all of us here at SBSB are Football Giants fans, we respect and like Roger Staubach we don't like Citizen Higgins.

We also question Lester Long's (This is such a great porno name!!!) judgement. How is it possible that Citizen Higgins fell through the vetting process at South Bronx Classical? What does this say about Lester Long's priorities? What about Citizen Higgins? Does he care about his image or the student's educations? How has he been able to bogart his way into so many prominent positions?

We here at SBSB demand answers from Lester Long and Citizen Higgins immediately. If Lester can be this careless about a trustee he can be this careless about the children of the South Bronx.

We are not done here at SBSB with Citizen Higgins inconsistencies. Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lester Long and South Bronx Classical Charter School To Invade PS 154

We here at SBSB pride ourselves in having integrity and honor. We hope and pray that those of the upper echelon of the NYC DOE will look to SBSB and see what we stand for and hope those people say, "Hey, let's be like SBSB." But we know it will never happen.

With that being said, we would like to correct ourselves for erroneously reporting on February 2, 2013 that Bronx Community Charter will be co-locating at PS 154 come next September. We are vetting our source as of this posting to see if the information was just a mistake or was deliberate misinformation. While we do not wish to see a school be co-located in 154, we were somewhat glad that BxC was somewhat benign and not evil.

The school community, excluding the staff of PS 154 a few weeks ago that the charter school coming in to PS 154 is South Bronx Classical Charter led by uber educator and former Lehman Brothers and Dartmouth graduate executive Lester Long (Gosh is it me or does his name seem like a porn actor's name?). Hey, wait a minute. Lester Long is a graduate of Dartmouth?? Hmmmmm. Can be some conflict of hidden interest occurring that we do not know about?? But not now, better to keep cards close at hand.

This according to what we have found out has been planned for some time. The scare, the sword being held over the heads of the 154 community that had everyone worried about the closure is still there, but this time it is real. Yeah, we got off the closure list, but as stated before on these pages a charter moving in is just a back door closure.

But the information is pretty much as stated as before. Three classes in both K and 1 to begin in 2013-2014 and each year thereafter one grade at a time until the cancer that is South Bronx Classical completely envelops and eradicates PS 154, or whatever public school is left in that building.

Curiously, we are told that 154 can accommodate up to 800 students. But according to the DOE, 154 has enough space for 634 students. With the projection of South Bronx Classical to have up to 390 students in grades K-5, that does not leave much for PS 154. What does that mean?

The students, the families, the community and the staff of PS 154 are just shit out of luck. Just as foretelling is this from the DOE; "Beginning in September 2013, P.S. 154 will admit a smaller incoming kindergarten class of 45 - 55 students, as opposed to the 70 - 80 students it has served in recent years." Can you spell excessing? ATR? What must be known is if that 45-55 student projection is under normal enrollment circumstances or does it take into account the new open enrollment  across District 7 for incoming Kindergarten students? The reduced enrollment will send reverberations throughout the school in teachers losing their positions and of course the school receiving less money.

Just as importantly is the question of what kind of students will be left for PS 154? After Bronx Classical and the  Kindergartens at the highly rated schools get first dibs on the best and the brightest what is 154 left with? That's why we here at SBSB think that 154 is doomed as a school and will soon either be shut down or just totally engulfed by South Bronx Classical.

Please do not think for one minute that South Bronx Classical is the salve that will save the education of the students in the South Bronx.

According to Gotham Schools of October 2, 2012; 
"At South Bronx Classical Charter School, for example, between 20 and 40 percent of students that originally enrolled left before they were tested, and no new students replaced them, the union pointed out." 
What does this tell the parents? We say the cream rises and stays, right?

But even more disturbing is this from the Daily News of April 30, 2012;
 .....the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating the suspension last fall of Christian Charriez, 6, a special-needs student at South Bronx Classical Charter School.

The school suspended Christian four times — and told him the last time that he had to stay out until he received a psychiatric analysis and diagnosis, which is still under way.
Principal Lester Long said the school invited Christian back to school and contacted his mother multiple times, but a letter from the family’s lawyer shows the school was contacted multiple times without response.

After a month out of class, the boy transferred to a public school, his mom said, where he was assigned a teacher’s aide to help him, and he now loves going to school instead of dreading it.
Disturbing.  What is more disturbing is what will be gracing these pages concerning South Bronx Classical in the days to come.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Commander Data, The Borg, and the NYC DOE

Isn't it amazing how art sometimes imitates life?

I swear, I have watched Star Trek: First Contact a thousand times. Never before have I been able to put two and two together and see the striking similarities between the movie and the DOE. Most striking though is the scene in which Commander Data first encounters the Borg Queen.

In the scene Data is in the engineering section when the Borg Queen comes upon him. Like the Blue Angel promises to make Pinocchio a real boy, the Borg Queen promises to make Data a real human.

She turns on his emotion chip, she gives him real skin with feel feeling and sensation. But for Data resistance is not futile. Even though he is an android he resists, he fights back against the Borg Queen, he is a real man, a real human being. He won't back down from the wily intrigues offered by that Borg Queen. Yes, he is tempted for about .00005567 of a second, but in the end, he does the right thing, he is on the side of right, the side of goodness. He will not be assimilated and become some inane Borg drone just wondering mindless through the Collective.

On the opposite side of the story we have the Borg Queen who probably represents most principals in the NYC DOE. The principal that reminds us of the Borg Queen is nothing more than some amalgamation of used mechanical and biological parts barely held together by a thin teetering thread. This type of principal and the Borg Queen share attributes as in wishing to assimilate the weak and mindless, the unknown and faceless. And while the Borg Queen believes that its thoughts are independent as does a principal, both have brains and thoughts that are totally inane, bereft or originality, weak.

Like a Borg Queen it is possible that there is a principal out there, probably many, that are soulless both inside and out. Skanky and waif like, pasty white like the Borg Queen due to not having lack of nourishment of the soul, this type always fizzles out, over reaching thinking that no matter what their way, their method will prevail. It never does.

For in the long run, we, the Commander Datas of the NYC DOE will bend, twist, and turn, but will never break and never give in. We all will misfire on the Enterprise (dear God I hope someone gets this reference!) when it matters.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Joan Crawford Comes to PS 154 in the Bronx

In the words of Frank Barrone, "Holy Crap!"

Joan Crawford, she of the big Bozo eyebrows, passed away a lonely, bitter, drunk, old woman. This is what happens when one decides to be a manipulative, cold, micro managing control freak. That is unless that you are such a manipulative, cold micro managing control freak that somehow one does not cheat death but more importantly, cheats the after life.

It was reported at first that that Bozo the clown was alive and well. However, Bozo never wore dresses with padded shoulders. Who then could it have been seen walking around PS 154 in the Bronx and scrubbing down the bathrooms with abrasive cleanser?

After much mulling over and desperation to the point that the Mystery Team of Velma, Daphne, Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby and their Mystery Machine were brought in, the apparition floating around the school was finally identified.

Sadly upon identification, Shaggy and Scooby crapped themselves and hid under the bed. But they had nothing to be scared of. The apparition floating around the school was the long dead, and badly decomposed, Joan Crawford.

We at 154 welcome the "Mildred Pierce" to our halls and wish her well. For those who are doubtful that it is indeed Joan Crawford, the Crack Team offers the readers of SBSB this video of Ms Crawford not only attempting to make a positive impact on the community as a whole, but more importantly, interacting with a staff member.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Phil Hartman Alive and Well at PS 154 in the Bronx

Yeah, life imitates art. Though PS 154 is not a cooking school, this video succinctly characterizes the shit we go through day in and day out, hour upon hour, seconds forever taking their time turning into minutes. While mayhem is going about, having those tape dispenser cozies are invaluable.

As Stu Schmelz once said, "You won't believe the shit that I have seen."

Cooking is an allegory for education.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Teacher X Supports The Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE Caucus) In Upcoming UFT Elections

Like Popeye eating a can of spinach, or A-Rod shooting up some HGH, I felt reinvigorated driving home from yesterday's Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) meeting.

I admit I was skeptical about the movement, in fact any movements, and sadly I said as much on these pages. I was wrong, I was mistaken.

As I am heading up the West Side Highway on my way home yesterday afternoon I place a call to a friend of mine who has been an ATR for the last 3 years. I figure that as an ATR he can help distribute MORE flyers to a different school each week. He is a valuable cog.

For the purposes of his anonymity he shall hencforth be known on these pages as Teacher X. The small talk at the beginning of the conversation relating to the new configuration of Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers, and Ron Greschner are omitted.

Me: So the reason I am calling you is to ask what you think of the UFT and Mike Mulgrew

Teacher X: The UFT and Mulgrew can go &*!@# $%$ )*  #$**###!!

Me: Really? Why do you say that?

Teacher X: Because Mulgrew is a #@$(!@@ ###&@ !@!$. The %*&$@^$^$ sold us out and does not care for us. Let's see Bloomberg do what he is doing to teachers with the cops. You would see Lynch on TV so fast blowing a gasket against Bloomberg it would make your head spin. The day after there would be at least 30,000 cops protesting in a rather loud manner at City Hall.

Me: (And I got this idea from Accountable Talk and the MORE blogs) Are you better off now than you were three years ago?

Teacher X: %^&# no!

Me: If you could vote out the current UFT leadership would you?

Teacher X: YES!

Me: Did you know there is a union wide election coming up?

Teacher X: No.

Me: I'm with MORE and we have a great slate of candidates running against the current leadership. Would you consider voting for them?

Teacher X: YES!

Me: If I supply you with flyers can you put the flyers in the teacher's mailboxes at the schools you go to? This is legal but please be sure you only do it before or after school and during your lunch.

Teacher X: YES!

So there we have it. One vote of many more to come. But what is disconcerting, and it is just not with Teacher X, is there is a lack of knowledge amongst the rank and file of not only of an upcoming union wide election, but just any information about the union at all. It's as if the current UFT leadership only wants the rank and file to know what the union decides to let it know.

It won't be like that if the MORE caucus wins. The vibe I have gotten from the meetings of MORE is that not one single person involved is there for their own glory. Each person involved with MORE joined because they all see and understand the sickness that has permeated education in the last ten years and all not only want to take a stand against it but to eradicate the sickness not only from New York City but from all over the United States of America.

MORE wants to give a voice and expects to hear the voice from each and every member of the UFT.  With MORE, decisions that effect the membership won't be agreed upon in a back room and rammed through a compliant DA. Like the New England Town Meetings, all voices will be heard and all voices will be able to vote.

Below is the current flyer that is being distributed by MORE. Print it out. Share it with your colleagues. Talk it up with your colleagues. Post the flyer in every social media site you can think of.

The time is now for change.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dennis Walcott Proves He Is A Puppet

Amazing that I and The Crack Team are still able to get these super duper secret emails that Sock Puppet Chancellor Walcott send out to his centurions, er, I meant principals. The emails are now harder to get, yet through quite nefarious mean, still quite obtainable. Attached to the email is a letter to hand to parents for them to prepare for low scores as well.

So to summarize, Dennis' email he appears to be greasing the skids for the abject total complete shitty scores the NYC DOE is expecting because the tests are "harder." Well, what else can one expect when there is bullshit curriculum being used and implemented across the city. Do you think the parents of Roslyn, Scarsdale, Upper Saddle River, or Rye or being told to expect low scores? Noooooooooo!!!!!

Funny thing I notice, in Dennis' email he suggests that parents be directed to EngageNY or Common Core Library to learn more. Yeah, sure, right, of course, that is really going to happen. /sarcasm

Sorry about the quality.
   Testing by   Popeye2112

Lou Brown Says........

For those who are written up for every nit picky little bullshit thing under the sun, take a cue from Lou Brown. Live life like Lou.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ruben Brosbe Exposes His Incompetency at MS 331

Back in July we here at SBSB shared how Ruben Brosbe, famed former E4E fool had gotten a gig using his Harvard Graduate School of Education skills with Citizens Schools NY as the leader of whatever at MS 331 in the Bronx.

Recently a someone who had worked closely with Ruben at MS 331 contacted The Crack Team here at SBSB and we commissioned this person to to guest blog for us. Please sit back and enjoy.

First off was his relationship with the senior member of the team who had been working at citizen schools for over 5 years and at our school specifically for over 2 years. That relationship quickly deteriorated when Ruben was unable to take her ideas and experiences from the past 2 years and incorporate them into his ideas for the program. She is now also leaving mid year to escape the misery that is working for Ruben Brosbe. That makes 3 out of 8 that have quit based on Brosbe's antics.

A lot of our work really depends on purposeful planning, team camaraderie, and organization. Ruben did not have any of these. Even on the first days of school, when a teacher had just joined the team, there was no printer in the office, except for the one that he and one other person could use because of their computers. Yet, it took 2 weeks to purchase a new one after Ruben one day said "why cant you just do it". It is sad to say that for the sake of the team, others tried very hard to work with Ruben and help him through a transition into a new job. However, his comments about staff to us in a meeting in which he suggested one member who quit in October could not handle the position and was destined for failure from the start made us start to doubt his leadership seriously. 

Our meetings were also ridiculous. Staff began losing respect for Ruben from the first days of training in August, where he referred to himself as someone who comes from a privileged background to work with the poor disadvantaged "communities of color". Just hearing this from staff made it seem to us that he viewed himself in a completely different way than he acts.

There was also a clear difference in the realities that we as a staff experienced compared to him as a leader. Not one day did he stay extra late to make sure things were alright. Instead, he was often the first one out of the office because he lives in Williamsburg and has to get back to his cushy living and because he knew how much he was despised by everyone in the office. The only day I can remember him staying later than everyone else was the last day December 21st.

He also remarked  "I'm having a tough time with this idea that I've had all these great ideas thrown at me and that they've been rebuffed..." This was the main issue with Ruben. He had his own conceived notion of how important his ideas were and clearly had a lack of trust or understanding in ours.

Then there was how the kids reacted to him. Too many times, he would just appear in the classroom and randomly call out a student for misbehaving. Often times, this led to more chaos than there was already in the classroom. His relationships with students suffered because of these actions. Students in a certain teachers room treated Ruben worse than they treated him. In fact, when he was in the classroom I experienced heightened authority because students recognized the lack of respect they had for him. Even a couple of days when a teacher took classes on field trips, a teacher instructed Ruben (that's how most things went this semester.People instructing him instead of him leading anything) to take the class. Before leaving, there was 1 student crying and two other girls  pleading  not to leave them with Mr. Brosbe. It's sad when the leader of your program is viewed by the students as someone who doesn't care. What is worst, is that  to share an office with Ruben and witnessed so many moments where he truly did not care about students or staff. He claims it's all about the students, but puts in no extra effort to make sure that the students have the best experiences possible. Many meetings held 1 hour before program time involved him explaining a random inclusion into program (student surveys, team time..etc) for the first time, leaving on us to plan and execute with ZERO support.

So in essence, Ruben is making the Ivy League wince a bit.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Destruction and Doom Await PS 154 in the Bronx

Sorry that those fans of SBSB have not been feted to any new blog post for the last several weeks. There have been several distractions happening in my life and quite busy at home as well. There is a lot I want to catch up on, but this bit of news is quite ironic.

As has been reported here in the past, my school, PS 154x had been was put on the closure list and then just about a month or so ago was pulled off of it thanks to the "good" quality review we received.

Yesterday, we got news that there was to be an emergency faculty meeting during the two lunch periods. The last time two times we had emergency faculty meetings meant a change in leadership. Sadly, to those who are free thinkers, non-sychophants, and independent minded this was not to be. But the news was just as predictable as well.

We were informed that a charter school, Bronx Community Charter, will be (of course pending all the necessary approvals) joining us, rather, squeezing out, in September 2013. This is not surprising considering that our classrooms are under utilized and enrollment (including pre-K, about 525 students) is down.

BxC as it is known will be starting in grades K and 1 and have three classes in each grade. Eventually, within 4 years, the school will be K-5 and with a total enrollment of between 700-800 students.

So in essence this is just a back door closing of PS 154. Those with their heads buried in the sand need to realize the forces at play.

District 7 elementary schools are now no longer neighborhood schools. Starting this coming September all Kindergartners will be going to a school of choice, much like middle school students in the district. With PS 154 being F rated and the new state exams to be harder than last year's, things do not bode well for us. Also, PS 154x was ripe for a charter not only because of the space available, but we have a state of the art Robin Hood library and a new state of the art Mac lab which I put together.

So figure on an incoming class of K and 1st at BxC of about 75 students each, plus any downward enrollment that PS 154 suffers, there is a good chance that the current size of K and 1 at PS 154 (3 K classes including 1 ICT and 3 1st grade classes plus 1 K/1 special ed class) will shrink and there will be reverberations throughout the school. What these reverberations will be remain to be seen but in all likelihood result in some excessing.

But this needs to be thought of as well. While yes, we can picture 6 physical classrooms being used for BxC next September, they will need more than just that space. BxC will need an office, a room(s) for it's own student support services, and perhaps a room or two for it's own cluster teachers. Yes, there are many details to be ironed out, but reality needs to be faced.

Down the road if 154x still exists, or is renamed, or whatever, we can expect to see a smaller public school in that building. Until then as school choice in District 7 stays in place and BxC continues to grow and cream the best students, 154 will almost assuredly get the leftovers just spinning the vicious cycle of failure of a once great and proud school.

PS 154 is not where it is by accident, but rather by plan.