No Math or English? Bronx Students Fight for Basic Classes

A lack of teachers means a lack of math and English courses.

Bronx high school students are not pleased with the lack of basic courses at their school. (Photo: Jack Hollingsworth)
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

Students attending the Bronx High School for Medical Science aren't complaining about their course load. Instead, they are making a case for more English and math.

Two juniors, Eddie Duarte and Kavoy Mayne, met with a guidance counselor, who also insisted that the school was short on teachers, the students said.

Duarte even asked his wrestling coach, who teaches math and science at another school in the Taft Educational Campus where Medical Science is located, if the coach could teach him trigonometry.

“Our SATs are coming up,” Eddie said. “I don’t understand how we’re supposed to be ready for those without math or English.”

Kavoy added, “I feel like this school is just setting you up for a two-year college."

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121121/claremont/bronx-high-school-students-go-entire-semester-without-math-or-english#ixzz2DM2uevxH

While junior honors students at the school are able to take these classes and graduate early, non-honors juniors will have to wait a semester or two and make up the classes later.

A shortage of teachers is causing the delay.

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Junior Eddie Duarte and a few of his classmates are voicing their concerns. Duarte said, according to DNAinfo, “Our SATs are coming up. I don’t understand how we’re supposed to be ready for those without math or English.”

Another student, Kavoy Mayne, said, “I feel like this school is just setting you up for a two-year college.”

According to The Huffington Post, "school officials insist that students who are not taking regular semester English and math courses will be allowed opportunities to meet graduation requirements."

At the Bronx school, students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. Ninety-nine percent of the students are minorities and according to U.S. News and World Report, students at the school are ranked slightly higher than other students in the district in math and English.

Despite the ranking, students feel they have a greater chance of falling behind without these courses.

Megan Hester, the collaborative coordinator at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, said, “It speaks to how budget constrains can limit a school’s ability to prepare kids for college. Schools should be concerned about getting students to that level, not just getting them sufficient credits.”

With a fiscal cliff pending, budget cuts will further affect students in New York City and the rest of the country.

If Washington doesn’t pass a federal budget by January, about $4.8 billion will automatically be reduced in education spending.

The NEA estimates that sequestration (across-the-board cuts) could affect more than nine million students and cut 78,400 education jobs in its first year.

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“It speaks to how budget constrains can limit a school’s ability to prepare kids for college,” said Hester. "Schools should be concerned about getting students to that level, not just getting them sufficient credits.”

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121121/claremont/bronx-high-school-students-go-entire-semester-without-math-or-english#ixzz2DM9B8pgu

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Last year, nearly 1,400 students applied for just 81 freshman seats at Medical Science, a selective-admission middle and high school where students sport green medical scrubs and the graduation rate hovers well above the city average.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121121/claremont/bronx-high-school-students-go-entire-semester-without-math-or-english#ixzz2DM0EqJ57
Last year, nearly 1,400 students applied for just 81 freshman seats at Medical Science, a selective-admission middle and high school where students sport green medical scrubs and the graduation rate hovers well above the city average.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121121/claremont/bronx-high-school-students-go-entire-semester-without-math-or-english#ixzz2DM0EqJ57

Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee | TakePart.com

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