Rochester’s East High School has been officially declared a failed school. So, just like flies are drawn to shit, or Republican Congressmen are drawn to rent boys, the educational consulting charlatans are swarming around East’s fetid carcass:
School Turnaround, an affiliate of Rennselaerville Institute, specializes in improving failing schools. East’s four-year graduation rate was 33.7 percent for the 2011-2012 school year, according to the State Education Department’s website. Less than 2 percent of East’s students graduated with an advanced Regents diploma that year.
[Former interim city superintendent and successful suburban superintendent] Cala says any plan to rehabilitate East needs to take into account the school’s current reality. Many of East’s students enter ninth grade with low proficiency in math and English, he says, yet they’ll have to pass five Regents exams to graduate.
But Turnaround has promised that, if hired, 100 percent of East’s students will graduate and they will be ready for college. The changes would take place, the organization says, over a couple of years.
And how are these masters of the universe going to accomplish that feat?
Under Turnaround’s proposal, East’s student population would be reduced from about 1,800 students to 1,000. East’s current principal, Anibal Soler, would be replaced with a principal trained in Turnaround’s methods. East’s teachers would have to reapply for their jobs.
Translation: Throw away the kids who aren’t going to graduate, fire any teacher who won’t teach exactly to the test, and where’s my fucking money. It still won’t get them a 100% graduation rate but these grifters will be counting their fat stacks long before that reckoning happens.
The only way a business consulting firm peddling this kind of happy horseshit would get near a corporate boardroom would be if they got lost on the way to the restroom. But in the world of educational reform, these scam artists get a full and serious hearing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re hired.