Sunday, February 23, 2014

Quod erat demonstrandum

The NY Post criticized a Manhattan high school and then.....
Red-faced administrators encouraged a student letter-writing campaign to attack The Post and defend its “blended learning” program. Eighteen kids e-mailed to argue that their alma mater got a bad rap.
Almost every letter was filled with spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
One student defended the school's "blended learning" program since you can learn at your own "paste."


Bad situation said...

Bergtraum High School has taken a sharp nosedive since Mayor Bloomberg imposed new policies on the NYC school system. Before that, the high school had been considered so desirable that it ran double sessions to accomodate the demand.

Bergtraum used to be a unique business preparation school, but it's been folded back into the test result-oriented system and its signature business program has been slashed to pieces. Meanwhile, with NYC's new emphasis on more and smaller schools, the oversized Bergtraum has become a warehouse for the runoff from other big, poorly-performing schools that have been closed.

This means that all of the top students who were once attracted by the business program no longer apply to Bergtraum on the one hand - and their now empty seats get filled with the worst students who've been dumped from other problem schools on the other hand. That includes hundreds and hundreds of so-called "super seniors" (AKA the students who don't graduate until ages 19, 20 or 21). La crème de la crap. The "blended learning" garbage is designed to cycle out these not-so-young scholars.

The best independent source for NYC high school information is a website called They say of high schools like Bergtraum, "If you can’t fill your seats with kids who want to go there, either your enrollment shrinks or the DOE fills the seats with kids who didn’t want to be there."

Worse students with no options doing lesser work under slashed funding. Maybe if we changed that to "stoodents," the NY Post could get another funny article out of it.

Anonymous said...

It would amuse if it turned out a bunch of students decided to embarrass their school for forcing them to write the letter.

But it probably didn't happen that way.

Eric said...

I'm a fair-minded guy, Bad Situation, and checked out Almost universally, the news is bad in both the reviews and comment section.

No word on Bloomberg or slashed funding but I don't see how any of that helps students today.

Bad situation said...

It doesn't help them a bit. But when the problem is presented as a bunch of dumb brats who dared challenge a newspaper in misspelled English, that doesn't help anybody. Except for giving some editor his jollies.

The comments and links on that insideschools page report an average class size of 41. The highest number of overcrowded classes in the entire NY school system. And Bergtraum students being hung out to dry, when their programs and disciplines were dropped halfway through their curriculums. That's all slashed funding. Along with many comments about how bad the school has gotten (ergo, it was recently better).

While taunting teenagers, the New York Post must have forgotten that it had covered the accelerated deterioration of Bergtraum High School in some detail, just 15 months ago:

"Murry Bergtraum HS was once a gem of the city school system"

"Once the pride of downtown, Bergtraum is now the shame of the city education system — a school and a student body all but abandoned by City Hall, which sits just two blocks away."

“We think they’re consciously destroying it, so Bloomberg can close it down,” one (teacher) said.

“Bergtraum used to stand for high-quality education, a sought-after name on a young person’s résumé,” said John Elfrank-Dana, a teacher for 23 years. “No more. Now the Bergtraum name conjures up riots.”

In 2002, the year Bloomberg took office, Bergtraum was still going strong. A review by watchdog group Inside Schools found that the school was so popular, it ran double sessions to accommodate an overflow of 700 students.

The school offered seven special programs, all in high demand. In 2004, 2,046 students vied for 133 spots in computer science and 2,982 sought 171 seats in finance.

“I don’t think the Bloomberg administration set out to destroy the big schools, but their policies were designed to nurture the small school,” she (a founder of said. “The big schools were neglected at best and undermined at worst.”

“Walls and desks, that’s it,” a substitute said. “No books, no maps, no Smart Board. I could not believe the poverty of that room.”

DOE officials refused to answer questions about Bergtraum.