An Australian teacher who recently worked in the Bronx said yesterday that she saw nothing in the New York City schools she wanted to bring back to the land down under.
Her comments came on the Australian television show “Insight,” which yesterday focused on the Australian government’s plan to adopt Schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s controversial school progress reports. The episode featured Klein, who swapped visits last year with Australia’s education minister, Julia Gillard, via live video feed. (Watch the episode, or read the transcript.)
“There is nothing about classrooms in New York that I would like to replicate in Australian schools,” teacher Mary-Ellen Betts said on the show. Betts worked as a literacy consultant (presumably an AUSSIE) at a Bronx elementary school several years ago. She continued:
The impact of high stakes testing which is what it becomes when you are threatening to close schools, means that the curriculum narrows. Children are forced into more and more repeats of the same thing. So that if your school is failing and if you’ve got a group of failing students, you bring them in for breakfast programs. You keep them after school for after school programs. So that children as young as 6 are at school from 7.30 till 4.30 — they are still failing.
A mockup of Australia’s school progress report is below. Compare it to city progress reports here.
Mockup obtained by “Insight”