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No prom! That’s what the 543 students at Collegiate Institute for Math and Science in the Bronx saw on the flyer in the halls — unless there was a 100 percent graduation rate.
After the students pouted and shouted “No fair!” and poo-poos from the Department of Education, Principal Shadia Alvarez back-peddled and said she only used it as a motivation.
I say she should have stuck to her guns.
With only 543 students in the entire school— approximately 136 in the senior class, and boasting an impressive incoming student proficiency rate of 3.06, a 100 percent graduation rate is not only possible, it should damn well be mandatory. There should be no reason at all why its not.
After four years of learning, free tutoring, mentoring, and all the technology available, barring some catastrophic event, a 100 percent graduation rate should be a given.
We scratch our heads and want to know why after three terms of a nanny mayor, a slew of chancellors, more charter schools than you can swat a ruler at, and all these fancy teacher programs to make the system better — it still ain’t.
Hey, here’s a clue — maybe it is not the system! Wake up and smell the chalk dust! Maybe it is the parents and the students.
We the parents are not teaching our offspring the value of consequence, a very simple lesson to remember— once you have the terms down. And the students have learned to work together for the common good — the moral of the lesson — if you don’t work together and learn, you don’t graduate. More simply put: no work, no dance.
Yes, it is a bit harsh, but this is the real world.
No one said life was fair.
Don’t go off on a rant. There have been children that didn’t graduate and there are many reasons why, but in a specialty charter school of that size there is no reason why 100 percent graduation is not the reality.
With only 136 or so classmates, don’t tell me students can’t all work together to help each other succeed. Peer mentoring is great for both sides. The mentors achieve a great sense of accomplishment, the mentored pass the course, and everybody is happy.
Seniors dance their little tootsies off, parents have the pleasure of spending big bucks for fancy formal wear and take lots of pictures, and teachers have the satisfaction of knowing they did a good job. Everyone wins. That’s the consequence.
Most importantly, the biggest winners are the graduates themselves.
They get to go out into the world — after they have learned a very valuable lesson — life’s most important one. When you all work together, you get to dance.
Not for Nuthin™, but isn’t that what education is all about?
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues every Wednesday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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