Schools That Don't Work

From Laurie Kelleher
to Hedrick Smith Productions
March 25, 2005

To Whom it may concern:

I am disturbed that someone is actually considering making a film about education and citing NYC district 2 as an example of schools that work. My daughter has been exposed to the fuzzy math and whole language, excuse me, 'balanced literacy', since she entered the school system here and I can tell you, they DON'T work. When the fuzzy programs entered our schools, there were only 50 tutoring centers in all of NYC, as of 2001 there were over 800 and as of 2004, tutoring centers became one of the top selling franchises in the US. My daughter is very smart, scores very high in science, but can't pass a simple math test. After years of the fuzzy math, I received two notices from her school, the first stated she scored so low on the standardized math test, the wanted her to attend summer school. The second stated that based on her 'in house math grades', they deemed her "gifted" and was having her by-pass the next grades math, actually having her skip! a grade in math. I was holding two notices, one in each hand, each stating something drastically different in regards to my daughters math skills. She reads with great comprehension, (I taught her myself), but can't write an essay properly or in an acceptable amount of time, because she was never taught spelling, grammar or proper writing skills in school. I fought with schools for years and kept hearing the same thing: Oh, this works eventually, what they don't get this year, they'll get the next.

The schools in NYC District 2 don't work. The fuzzy programs were put in place in a wealthy district where parents can afford tutoring and thus giving you false stats. If you continue with this promotional scam, you are guilty of perpetrating a public fraud.

By the way, when my daughter looks at colleges next year, she will have to attend a city college and take remedial classes in math and English. Universities are out of the question for now, thanks to D2.

If you really want to take a good look at "schools that work", go the the Catholic schools, they work for all students. Unfortunately, I failed my child miserably by leaving her to the District 2 wolves.

Laurie Kelleher
NYC, District 2 Parent

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