Misplaced Priorities in Bronx Schools
I am not an expert on pedagogy. I am not an expert on curriculum. I am not conversant with standards, testing, or graduation requirements.
However, as product of the New York City public schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade, and as someone who has interviewed more than 100 people about their experience in Bronx schools from the 1940's through the 1960's I know this- school teams, school bands and orchestras, school newspapers, theater programs and arts programs change lives, especially for young people coming from poor and working class families.
Programs like this not only inspire young people in and of themselves, and create strong relationships among students, and between students and teachers, they build confidence and make everything else that goes on in school more tolerable.
Given this observation, why is it that so many schools in the Bronx today look upon teams and arts programs as extraneous to the "real business" of school, which is getting students to acquire basic skills and pass tests? Don't they realize that eliminating creative outlets for students will ultimately undermine their quest to improve test results? That it will drive up drop out rates? Make students disillusioned with formal education?
There is something really destructive taking place right now, especially when it comes to sports. During the past five years, I With A Brooklyn Accent: Misplaced Priorities in Bronx Schools: