It's safe to say that this was not a very good week for the Department of Education (or, better known by its old name, Board of Education, which we sometimes call it). Let's list the problems:
- Revelations that two female high school teachers had affairs with male students.
- News that some students aren't allowed to play outside during recess or lunch, not because of cold weather, but because there may not be enough teachers to monitor kids. Instead, students watch TV.
- A school safety guard lit a high school student's hair on fire. It was meant to be a joke, but when does putting an open cigarette lighter thisclose to someone's hair count as a joke?
- And, finally, the horrible allegations that a teacher forced Haitian students to eat their food on the floor with their hands at P.S. 34 in Queens. The teacher was trying to discipline the students and there are varying reports about what she said, but it was something like that since they were acting like animals, they would have to eat like animals or that they act like animals where they come from...either way, having thirteen kids eating off the floor with their hands sounds like bad news. There's an active investigation into the actions, but the NAACP is planning a protest.
Plus, there were tons of nauseated third and fifth graders because they were taking the reading and math exams that are being adminstered this week and next; these are the tests that determine whether or not kids get promoted to the next grade. Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chanceller Joel Klein will be under the magnifying glass even more as the Mayor continues to trumpet his so-called education reforms during his campaign.