Monday, June 23, 2008

Hard Times At Douglass High

Hard Times At Douglass High is a program on HBO which details the difficulties a urban Baltimore high school experiences in complying with the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001". Some observations:
  • On any given day Frederick Douglass High School manages a 83% attendance rate.
  • Many, if not most students skip their first class.
  • FDHS has 500+ freshmen and 180 seniors. Half to two thirds of the freshmen will drop out by their senior year.
  • One student passed the state Algebra exam.
  • In 2004 only ten percent of FDHS students passed the state reading test, one percent passed the math test.
  • Two thirds of the teachers are non certified, many are substitutes who are not qualified in the subject they are teaching.
  • They have an audio and video recording center, Johny can neither read, write nor divide but he has been well equipped at your expense to make rap videos.
  • FDHS were state champs in basketball.
  • The teachers and staff seem well intentioned, but are hopelessly inadequate to the task.
  • Some teachers were upset over their less than glowing evaluations even though only 3 of their 25 students were passing.
  • One teacher laments that the few parents who attended the parent - teacher meeting were the parents of students who were doing so well he didn't really need to speak with them. Go figure.
  • Another teacher laments that there is no funding behind NCLB, opining that the whole thing is a scheme to keep the uneducated poor in their place.
  • The rant after the basketball loss is all you need know about the psychology of victimhood.
  • The basketball coach should be shit canned for failing to instruct his student athletes about the importance of taking responsibility, win, lose or draw.
  • No amount of money will improve this school.

NCLB is not the problem here, no more than the X-Ray that shows a spot on your lung is responsible for killing you. These children come from broken homes, fractured neighborhoods and have been screwed by a useless educational system their entire lives. If nothing else, NLCB mandated testing prevents these kids from get passed on no better than they came in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AND that school vouchers are the way to go...period. Ax anyone.