Monday, May 16, 2011

School System Controversy...

The Paterson community, though has a lot of strong attributes, does not have a strong or thriving school system. The school system has over 30,000 students who speak 25 different languages. Currently, the Paterson school system has fifty-two schools with over six thousand employees, with a per pupil expenditure of nearly $16,000, of which $8,148 goes towards classroom instruction. As of now, Paterson Public schools are still controlled by the State of New Jersey Department of Education. As such, Paterson public schools are managed by a state-appointed Superintendent and a School Advisory Board that serves in an advisory capacity only. Sadly enough, the Paterson school system is ranked very low on the education totem pole. Because the Paterson school district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "A", the lowest of eight groupings. The high schools are the schools that are at the most risk, because the students attending the following schools, need to get into college.
High schools:
·         Eastside High School
·         Great Falls Academy
·         HARP Academy
·         International High School
·         John F. Kennedy High School
·         Garrett Morgan Academy
·         MPACT Academy
·         PANTHER Academy
·         Paterson Pre-Collegiate Teaching Academy
·         Public Safety Academy
·         Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts
·         Silk City 2000 Academy/Adult School [1]
·         Sports/Business Academy
      Though these are only the high schools, the middle and elementary schools need to start early too. If they start to care about the students early there is a chance at success.
With this issue, it seems that people are forgetting that words can sometimes hurt. If the teachers in communities like Paterson kept a little faith in their students then issues like this wouldn’t be a problem. The school system being under par should be a main social issue in Paterson. In order to stop people from making generalizations about the community something needs to be done. When the school system is such a mess, it makes it ok for people who are working for the system to blame the students, and make them feel like it’s their fault. Also, if fewer comments like this were to be made students wouldn’t feel like that is what is expected of them. If your own teacher feels they are teaching future criminals, it marks in a student’s mind, that even if they are there to better themselves they still are going to reach a peek and fall into criminal behavior. By Paterson having a weak school system, they need to hire people who have a strong desire to want to change that. By allowing people who do not believe in future success for their students, the school system will not get any better.
On April 1, 2011, a teacher in Paterson said some pretty disturbing things about the students she taught. The woman, who has not been identified to the public, made a statement that seemed to generalize the whole adolescent community. “[I] felt like a warden overseeing future criminals” she said on her facebook wall. Because of the comments she made she was suspended from 21 School, but it is with pay. Students had parents who complained about the comments and they seemed to want to have her fired. Because the matter is personal, she was able to still have a paycheck while the investigation is being handled. Though the teacher will no comment, her lawyer seems to think her personal life should be kept separate from her professional life.

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