The Fluff of the Village Idiot.

Stop – If you have time read this

Normally I agree with the writers and articles published by the Village Voice.  A particular stunning article that comes to mind is the expose that they had on the slumlords of New York; the subject matter definitely was something I could feel.  However, their recent article about one of the Harlem Success Academy Charter School(s) really grinds my gears.  Seriously, if I had a bag of smores made out of rainbows and Disney animated movie dvds, then I still wouldn’t be competition for the saccharine drivel I finished read.

On a student who didn’t mess well in terms of classroom candor and expected norms, the writer says

During our visit in January, he was pulled out of the school by his family, who enrolled him in P.S.30 in the same building. It’s precisely this type of thing—families who can’t cut the routine and leave—that gives charters a huge advantage over traditional public schools, which have to serve everyone.

But it’s precisely this kind of discipline that a lot of Bronx Success families desire.

Seriously?  What actual parent doesn’t desire and what teacher wouldn’t kill (their childhood pet) for the ability to banish a disruptive child.  Much can be said also about the whole inclusion movement and how it affects classroom management even to a microcosmic extent.  Take for example, Anthony Scarlett Stephenson, who likes to fart, talk during independent reading, talk during class reading, and whom I’m certain is considering burning something during or after school.  If A.S.S. eventually pulls his normal hijinks, it’s frowned down upon to send him out of the room.  Oh no, we wouldn’t want him to be isolated.  Even the deans have taken to A.S.S’s behavior.  Calls home?  He probably checks his moms voicemail.  In a decent world, ass would be banished to the SAVE room after he says “Here, yo” as a response during attendance, but in a magical charter school world, he could be banished somewhere else!

I also find it silly when the writer talks about drills and standard procedures.

“Hands on top,” adults ring out, and children instinctively know to respond, “That means stop!” as they put their hands on their heads. Sitting with their hands in their laps is “magic five.” Spend just a few hours there, and soon you’ll be responding like a trained poodle: Months later, there hasn’t been any let-up from the day of the school’s opening, and the rhyming and gesturing is as hard-wired in the children as a soldier’s salute.

Those same things happen in public school.  With early childhood, elementary kids the handclaps exist.  I feel silly doing it sometimes, but it does work.  You know what else works too?  Turning off the lights.  Little kids are still fascinated by it.  Hands on top only works when there’s an assignment that involved working with pen and paper, amongst other things.  Has this writer observed any public schools.

Maybe I kind of like the way that the Principal and President have assembled their school.  However, something about that trite stereotype – You know the one where the white broad comes into a tough and dangerous hood, and inspires to turn those minds into writers, who appreciate their ability to write freely.  Isn’t it enough that this article casually contrasts he difference in the majorly minority (black and hispanic) children against gifted and talented and mostly majority (white) and asian children.  Not into it.

If they offered me a position…hell yes, I’d take it.  However, the whole article is as ridiculously ludicrous as the schools name – considering it’s in the Bronx.


Again check out the article for yourself here

and let me know how you felt.


[Chester Kent]