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Links of the Day:

– Why did the Rochester City School District, when approached by a benefactor, choose an already-successful high school for more help? A Wegmans executive wants to assemble a community advisory board for Northeast College Prep. The students there will have a longer school day and year and exposure to new activities, such as yoga.

But NE has one of the highest graduation rates in the city – 74 percent. Of those who graduate, many go to college. At 500 students, it’s a very small school. What’s more, NE gets a lot of help already from the College Board. (I imagine the successful students will balk at the proposed mandatory 11-hour school day, even if that time includes extra-curricular stuff.)

It’s also odd that Northwest College Prep, housed in the same building, with the same program and a similar student body and similar academic results, is left out.

Board member Cynthia Elliot smelled a rat, according to the Democrat and Chronicle:

“It seems to me that the people who have the money are going for the superficial,” Elliott said.

Still, (Wegmans executive Paul) Speranza and Superintendent Appointee Bolgen Vargas said they need to start somewhere. The hope is that ultimately they will be able to replicate the model at other schools in the city.

“What we’re trying to show is that this can be done in one school,” Speranza said. “You have to start with one school and have really good results. It’s something we do in business all of the time.”

Update: I visited the school today and the feeling is this intensive program would not work in a school that did not already have buy-in from parents, students and staff.

– Why did the Rochester school board and/or the superintendent want to oust Vanguard principal Carol Jones? In the face of opposition from students and staff, the district backed down. What prompted this. Misconduct? Internal politics? The school has only been around a couple years; it was one of Jean-Claude Brizard’s experiments.

– Bolgen Vargas laid out his cabinet reforms in a great slideshow presentation. After years of controversy and some abuses, he is asking board approval to reduce the size and benefits of the group.

– A local man’s fight with Huntington’s Disease is very sad. He’s only 22.

Is Nik Wallenda drawing more suicide jumpers to Niagara Falls?

– Would journalists publish a seriously flawed poll with a huge margin of error? Perhaps they shouldn’t publish deeply problematic teacher ratings, either.

6 Responses to Weird Choice

  1. May 23, 2012 at 8:52 am Daniel Kingsley responds:

    Part of the education process requires experimenting, it is how things are learned. However it appears that there is a lot of experimenting with little learning amongst adults and it is the children who are the lab rats left with cancer. A push for a long school year could be a benefit but a longer school day? Unless this plan includes a dramatic increase in outside time (sports, exploring parks or interaction with life outside of the walls) the students will burnout and never know what else is available to them.

  2. May 23, 2012 at 11:32 am theodore kumlander responds:

    74% grad rate at NE prep. if I am not mistaken that is housed at Edison Tech where the grad never went higher than 5% ? sounds like the best students in every RCSD high school have been placed at NE Prep to make it look good. This is the corprate way of public education. check out the Daily Howler

  3. May 24, 2012 at 3:49 am lynn e responds:

    Plenty of reasearch saying longer school days don’t help. Was there any citations from educational reasearch in the discussion? Or doesn’t anyone read it? So is this a way to to to deep city kids off the street? So much of the reform movement seems to be about keeping students under control and not about individuality and learning. Bet they wear uniforms too.

  4. Why not bring in a whole bunch of double-wides, go 24/7 and call it a public boarding school?

    • May 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm Lynn E responds:

      When I mentioned this proposed school situation to a girl I know who is Sudanese and Black, she stated the same thing, “What’s next boarding schools?” I thought but didn’t say that it would be impossible as there would be a risk of student having sex with each other, too much liability for the school. How did education become so draconian and unpleasant? When people aren’t having fun or interested or feeling empowered, they don’t learn. What they might learn is to hate the authority figures who put them in this situation. The reason the kids in this school were chosen is because they are more likely to comply than other student groups.

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