Monday, September 21, 2009

Educational Malpractice

We have already snidely commented on another example of the managerial incompetence by those educrats down at Tweed-their inability, in this case, to plan properly to accommodate all of the students who actually need to have a classroom-and possibly even a desk and chair. More proof is now offered.

One ESL teacher's observations in the NY Daily News, underscores the bureaucratic follies on this topic: "The half-rooms were designed to alleviate overcrowding. After we created them, the Education Department sent us hundreds of extra kids. I've since been exiled to the trailers. Technically they're "transportables," but ours haven't gone anywhere since they arrived years ago. Our first trailers gave us four additional classrooms, designed to alleviate overcrowding. After we got the trailers, the department sent us hundreds of extra kids. Our second bunch gave us four more classrooms, and the department sent us hundreds more extra kids. Our last principal declined further trailers. In fact, he had an athletic field built around them, precluding further construction in the trailer park. The department sent us hundreds of extra kids anyway."

Now, we might understand just why the DOE had some difficulties in getting the kids to actually learn-after all, the agency's run by an anti-trust lawyer and not an educator. But given the number of MBAs that the DOE parachuted in over the years you'd think that it would at least be able to get the trains running on time-in the case of schools this would be having enough classroom space for all of the kiddies.

Not so, we're afraid-and the push back that the Bloomberg campaign is giving to Bill Thompson on educational issues can come right back to bite them on the butt. It's almost as if they have crafted a refrain that, through choral repetition during the debate over mayoral control, has become an unreflective mantra: "Four legs good, two legs bad."

In our view, though, the overcrowding issue is emblematic of the fact that this mayoral regime is less halcyonic than it has been portrayed. Teacher Goldstein nails this sentiment: "To us, the experts at Tweed are like doctors who diagnose a disease, then inject the patient with more toxins just to make certain they're right. No one can criticize their diagnostic skills. But if any one's due a malpractice suit, it's the Department of Education."