Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mayoral Academy Nitpicks

Among the many small points that didn't make the cut into my Achievement First Mayoral Academy story:

  • Is it really appropriate to write Mayor Fung personally into an application to start the school as if his authority in that context is personal and not simply a function of his role as Mayor of Cranston? Or is that the intention? Is it really just Fung's school?
  • Did the governance of Blackstone Valley Prep work according to plan? Was the ease with which the board(s) booted Democracy Prep a feature or a bug? Hard to tell since RIMA is suggesting a different board structure the second time around which will make booting the CMO much harder.
  • If you're going to make a system of urban/suburban school collaborations, you have to be crystal clear about the purpose, otherwise by the time you're proposing school number two the story has become "We'll put the poor kids from the suburbs with the poor kids from the city, brilliant!"

1 comment:

mchugh said...

So glad you are reporting this. Is anyone else? Does the Governor have anything to say about this? Would it matter? I find this so disturbing.The state application is troubling. And why do people think these schools are so great? They post these ridiculous clips on you tube with their students "rolling their numbers" ....basically, middle school kids reciting their times tables up to 12 and saying they are going to college...... while suburban and middle class kids are tackling complex, multi-step problems in algebra.
The chant below is embedded in the application --- as one example of the "fun" ways AF motivates kids --- is disgusting:

Achievement First Chant

Read, Baby, Read
(Stomps and Claps – 4X)
You’ve got to Read, Baby, Read
(Say What?)
You’ve got to Read, Baby, Read
The more I read, the more I know
The more I know, the more I grow
The more I talk, the less I know
Because knowledge is POWER and
And I want it ... Umph!
You’ve got to Read, Baby, Read
You’ve got to Read, Baby, Read
No need to HOPE for a good paying job
With your 3rd grade skills
You can’t do anything but rob
You’ve got to READ, Baby, Read
You’ll rob your mother, you’ll rob your friends
Don’t you know you can LEARN?
Don’t you know you can WIN?
You’ve got to READ, baby, read
You’ve got to READ, baby, read
You’ve got to READ, baby, read

How can we stop AF from coming to RI?