I have reached the halfway point in teaching summer school in my non-air conditioned building and have come up with the following observations after talking to my students.
First, I have eight students who have been thrown out (explled) of Private/Religious/Charter schools in June. Four of them due to behaviour issues, the rest for poor grades. All are waiting to be placed in the public school system. The rest of my students come from four public high schools and despite their obvious behaviour and academic problems, are forced to go back to their public schools. Let's see under the Chancellor's regulations you can't leave the school if you want to and the public school can't transfer you to another school if you are found to be a disruptive influence. How does this help the child? It doesn't of course.
Second, how can the DOE allow children to learn in non-air conditioned schools? I do notice all the administrators have air conditioners. Maybe the DOE should be using the money they claim their saving on central administration to air condition the summer schools. Oops, I forgot that money has already been allocated to the empowerment school principals not the classroom or it's students.
Third, class size in my classes are reasonable, 26, 28, 32. However, the Living Environment and Math A teachers have class sizes of 40+ each. What a wonderful learning environment for students who have academic problems as is.
Fourth, under the Chancellor's regulations in summer school the teacher cannot automatically expell a disruptive student. Instead an Administrator removes the student and sends the student back to the class the very next day. the student wins and the class loses.
Finally, the summer school program is the stepchild of the DOE funding activities. In particular, the high school students. Therefore, the high school students lack classroom supplies, up-to-date books, and a proper learning environment necessary for the majority of the students to succeed. The DOE would rather give money to Charter schools than use the funds to help prepare high school students who are in danger of not graduating by adequately funding the summer school program.
In conclusion, when it comes to the summer school program it's children last not first!
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