Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This



I’m all for good results, but not at the expense of teacher, student and parent satisfaction:


IT’S a school where children are reportedly praised for wetting themselves rather than taking a break and teachers work harder than Wall Street bankers.

This is the Success Academy, where failure is not an option.

The controversial New York school network has been criticised for its pressure-cooker environment. But its head says the intensive methods are giving poorer students the chance to compete with rich kids with expensive schools and private tutors.

The results-focused network is made up of charter schools, which are independent, but receive public funding. Success claims it encourages children to embrace the discipline and “joyful rigour” they’ll need to flourish.

Test scores are announced in class, displayed on coloured charts posted in hallways and published in a weekly newsletter, according to a New York Times profile.

Those who aren’t measuring up appear in the red zone. If their poor performance persists, they attend “effort academy” while their classmates get a treat. Suspension rates are far beyond those in most public schools.

One parent whose child attended Brooklyn’s Success Academy Cobble Hill wrote on a forum that the school was “strict, cold, and insensitive” to children’s needs.

“My son wet his pants for the first time since he was three years old because the school did not let him go to the bathroom when he asked,” wrote the parent. “The school was incapable of recognising that he had also developed anxiety around going down the hall to the bathroom.”

There is a high turnover of staff, with one former teacher telling the Times she used to cry herself to sleep at night because of the way she had to treat the children.

The newspaper also saw an internal email that said students who were falling behind should be made to feel “misery”. One teacher was told by a supervisor to respond more strongly to a child’s mistakes, by tearing up her work.

There are strict instructions on posture — backs straight, hands clasped and feet on the floor or legs crossed.



Click on the link to read It is None of Our Business What Video Games Our Students Play

Click on the link to read What the System Can Do to Great Teachers

Click on the link to read Teacher Bans the Word “Awesome” From His Class


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