I wish they would really stop it….. (with the half story telling)


Perhaps there were some “management missteps”; but a system that creates and encourages a crazy and destructive school culture, should share some of the sword.


“Stuyvesant Principal, Now Retired, Mishandled Cheating Case, Report Says” 



               The truth is that Stuyvesant (and Bronx Science) parents exert a great deal of unnecessary pressure, power and intimidation on the NYC Board (and now dept.) of Education. Parents of majority Black and Latino schools don’t enjoy the same level of attention, concern and commitment to their children’s success. A teacher from one of those schools once told me that a teacher better be prepared to vigorously “defend” any grade lower than an “A”. I remember when the knowledge of  a Science Skills Center H.S.  advance robotics lab became known, (our robotics team became legendary and was recognized by Dean Kamen Founder of the FIRST Robotics Competition (http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/founder)  both Stuyvesant and Bronx Science parents (and staff) insisted that they also get  a state of the art robotics labs. There is a great deal of “unnatural” pressure on these students to gain entrance to Ivy League and “top tier” universities. This pressure bleeds over,  and distorts the cultures of these two schools. Our primary objective as educators should be to grow ethical human beings, with strong academic skills that will allow them to put that ethical outlook into practice. I like academic intensity, and I admired their Science competition prep program. I also definitely like strong “parent push”(unlike great Black and Latino high schools); these two schools will never be “downgraded”; they were strong academically when I was going to high school in the 60’s and they remain academically strong to this day; but these two schools can benefit from an educational philosophy/cultural makeover; that would push the meaning of school beyond, only scoring high on standardized exams.