Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Allentown's Educational Failure
Allentown's schools have some real problems. They expel an average of three students per day. Only 62% of its students ever graduate. About 50% of its 8th grade students are illiterate. Less than 40% are proficient in basic math. Some of its students score in the single digits on proficiency tests. It only spends $5,800 per student, the lowest of any school district in the Lehigh Valley. Yet, according to Rev. Gregory Edwards, an educational specialist who also serves as the Senior Pastor in downtown Allentown's Resurrected Life Church,it has a top-heavy administration,one of the largest in the state. Between 15-20 scattered throughout 23 buildings make over $100,000 per year. "Where else can you do that?" he asks. "Sign me up."
Noting Allentown's abysmal return on investment, Edwards likens the abuse of resources at Allentown to "giving the captain of the Titanic a tugboat." It's an insular environment, not intent on educating, but on protecting their own. That's how Rosado got in trouble.
Allentown, like many other school districts, has a very strong teachers' union. Their President, Debbie Tretter, helps teachers to get rid of kids they don't like. The answer is to send them to the problem school, the school for troublemakers, the place I'd be in if I were an Allentown student. The disruptive student.
Technically, it's called the "Alternative Education Program," at two different buildings. Rosado was the Principal. He began noticing some strange things. nearly all of the students sent over, by mostly white teachers, happened to be black or Hispanic. He objected to their automatic placement at his school because it violated state regulations that required these students be provided with due process.
Superintendent Russel Mayo, with his Virginia drawl, ordered Rosado to take all transfers, regardless whether these students had been afforded their right. Rosado did so, but also blew the whistle with the state department of Education. They conducted an audit, and from that alone, determined there were eight violations.
Rosado's school for problem students also has a detention room ,and gets a lot of business there from children who need a day or two to think about things. It's great for teachers who don't like their job, too. Some would report all of their students to him for a day in his "Refocus Room." That way they got a day off with pay.
Rosado complained about these teachers to whom he thought ws a person who could take action. She turned out to be a mole for the King, Spry firm, which represents Allentown schools.
Then Mayo and another Administrator, David Wildonger, in an effort to save costs, told Rosado to wink his eye when they classified students with emotional disabilities as "disruptive students".Rosado refused because there is a separate program for those children. He was suspended
Today, Rosado will be railroaded at a hearing before a lawyer who already is paid by the school district to perform other matters. He will undoubtedly recommend that Rosado be fired.
And the performance scores will continue to drop.