New York City Students: Not As Good As They Used to Be


New York City public school students aren’t performing like they usually do. Not only have suspensions doubled in the last six years, now there are no New York City students in the Intel Science Talent Search competition finals? C’mon Cathie Black, you’ve been on the job for nearly a month. Straighten out these damn kids already!

The New York Times gives us the stats when it comes to rough and tough NYC kids:

Of roughly 74,000 suspensions given out in the 2008-9 school year, about 11,000 lasted one to five days, while 5,500 ran anywhere from 30 days to one year, the analysis shows. There were roughly 32,000 suspensions in 2002, and the vast majority of them lasted five days or less.

But thankfully some education heads are now trying to lower suspension rates. The article quotes Natalie Ravitz, an Education Department spokeswoman, as saying, “Altercations that used to call for automatic suspension no longer do; principals can choose to address offenses by calling a meeting with the student’s parents or suggesting another punishment before removing a student from school.”

This is a great thing because, simply, if kids aren’t in the classroom, there’s no way that they can learn. It’s a school’s role to make sure every child gets educated, and it’s the role of the parent to punish their kids for bad behavior. Far too much time and planning in New York City schools is allocated to the discipline of the children, with not enough given to helping teachers teach.

This could be the reason that no New York City students have been accepted to the finals of the Intel Science Talent Search competition this year. According to the New York Post, “the competition awards $1.25 million in scholarships each year.” If we want to “win the future” and get these kids some much needed money along the way, we better stop suspending and start helping them work on their science fair projects!


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 28, 2011


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