Here in New York, a recent Times piece details the "worst-case" scenario for teacher layoffs in city schools. In reality, the plan to cut 6 percent - or 4,675 - teachers from the city payroll is a dramatic overstatement. As these things usually go, the city will fire much less educators than predicted, and everyone comes out looking like a hero.
But it's sad still, that some people will lose their jobs - these very stressful, poorly paid jobs.
According to the Times at least two NYC schools are immune from the impending budget bludgeon. One happens to be Public School 57, right across from the parking lot of Home Depot, off Targee Street, in the Park Hill section of Staten Island.
From the Times:
About 320 schools would see no layoffs, because they have not hired new teachers recently. Some schools, like Public School 130 in Bayside, Queens, and P.S. 57 in the Park Hill neighborhood of Staten Island, have employed the same teachers for many years.Who works in this neglected school, in a desperately neglected neighborhood, with mostly impoverished children? And, in addition, who works in this school for "many years"? (A school that has a rating of 2 out of 10 on GreatSchools.org?) Who works there?
Here's what one parent said about the school a few years back on the web:
From what I've witnessed so far, the new principal has been doing a great job. However, the school's test scores speak for themselves. Also, I was quite disappointed to see my daughter come home yesterday with a book from 1964(!)...Whoever works at this place is doing God's work. Congratulations on keeping your job. We're glad your not getting fired. And we're sorry. Sorry that we have not given you the attention, funding, and support you need/desire/deserve/have earned.
Sorry your school is crumbling. Sorry the guy on Forest Avenue gets all the attention. Sorry we haven't helped. (We don't live that far away. We have a few free hours in the afternoon, I'm sure we could come over, maybe after school, sweep up the lunchroom, play basketball with the kids... something.) The children needs us. The children need you. This is unacceptable. You've been shouldering the burden - a burden no one person should be expected to shoulder - with the lack of resources, and the budget cuts, and the threats of termination.
This doesn't help, though. These words. Just empty promises. Words on a screen. One day, maybe, we hope that we can really do something to make a difference. Until then, we wish you luck and strength.