It's teacher hunting season!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feds: NYS must investigate DOE's job of serving homeless children

NY1 reported Friday, October 21, 2011 that federal authorities want New York State authorities to investigate how good a job the New York City Department of Education is doing in educating New York City's over 50,000 homeless students.
Look at the numbers: there are notable gaps between the performance of the homeless students and that of the rest of the city's students.
Could it be that the attendant stresses of poverty, not only teacher performance, are major factors behind the performance of New York City's schoolchildren? The major and the policy deformers talk a lot of hot air about allowing all children the opportunity to excel. This is indeed a laudable goal, however, should not actions count more than words?

This is the city that is seeing dizzying rent and property increases, outpacing inflation in the rest of the economy, and certainly outpacing incomes. Could not the sickening housing costs and poor blue collar job opportunities be something that the mayor be held to account for, not just education (the Education Mayor)?

The key opening excerpt from NY1's website:
The federal government is ordering the state to monitor how the city is educating its more than 50,000 homeless public school students, and on Tuesday the City Council learned from the Department of Education just how bad things are for these vulnerable children. NY1's Education reporter Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Of all the groups in the city’s public schools, homeless students are likely the most disadvantaged, with the worst chance of getting a good education. Last year, 53,500 city public school students were homeless.

On Tuesday, the Department of Education revealed just how badly those students are doing. The graduation rate is 41 percent, compared to a citywide rate of 61 percent.

In elementary and middle school, an average of only 38 percent of homeless students passed the math exam, compared to the citywide average of 57 percent.

Only 27 percent of homeless students passed the English exam, versus 44 percent citywide.

Several city agencies serve homeless children, but there has been little coordination. That became clear last January, when a student had to miss a Regents exam required for graduation so she could be with her family for a hearing to get into a shelter.

Click for full NY1 story.
A side note, it is often the case that homeless students are concentrated in certain schools. Of course, these students face challenges that we can only imagine a fraction of, and when their grades suffer, these schools are threatened with shut-down, and the excessed teachers enter the absent teacher reserve (ATR).

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