You know things are really bad when the kids are showing up to school more than the teachers—especially when it's a relatively new school. According to the Post, the 15 teachers at Rockaway Park HS for Environmental Sustainability had collectively posted an 80 percent daily attendance rate as of March, while the students were 3 percent better. At least none of those teachers were faking their own daughter's death.
The school was created two years ago, and is one of five schools located inside the Rockaway Park building. According to the state reviewer's report, “interventions by school administrators regarding the improvement of teacher attendance was [sic] not provided at the time of the [state] site visit." The DOE defended the teachers, saying the stats were brought down because three of the 15 teachers were out on medical leave.
The report was harsh to the teachers who were there as well, finding “limited evidence of enthusiasm in teacher instruction” and “sporadic evidence of student engagement.” Students defended their teachers to the Post: “If we’re passing tests, they must be teaching and are here to support us,” said 16-year-old Joseph Kindred. But another student, who didn't give his name, explained how things were tougher with substitutes: “Most of the teachers have good intentions, but when they’re absent all hell breaks loose because no one listens. We sit there and throw papers all day.”