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3 Comments by JenKelly

Eastport South Manor Middle School Parents Are Ticked Over Curriculum Changes

While I appreciate your concern for my aptitude, may I assure you that you've nothing to worry yourself over. First of all, this entire article is wrong on too many levels for me to convey here, but let's touch on just a few-
First of all, as prime example of the misreporting within this article; BOTH of my children *are* honors students. What I said was that one didn't enter the 7th grade in honors, rather he EARNED his way into 8th grade honors. The way it should be. Now both of my children in that school are honors. My only "non-honors" child is only "non-honors" because she's only in the 5th grade and they don't offer honors classes, but I assure you if they did, she'd qualify. I do appreciate your concern. Unfortunately if the district gets its way, she'll have to now wait until 9th grade to ever see an honors class. I find that unfortunate.
What ESM is doing is accelerating all of their classes. I have no problem with that whatsoever. I'm not for dumbing down ANYTHING- This is to stay in line with NYS adoption of Common Core Standards. However, the district built the curriculum to meet those standards and it's broken. They wish to create heterogeneous classrooms whereby intergrated students, general education students and honors students will be in one class, learning a broken math curriculum that more than 50% of the current honors students can pass. Does this sound smart to you? If my kid who has upper 90 averages in all other subjects can barely pass this accelerated math curriculum (that ESM designed) how are integrated students going to do it while the teacher is dividing his/her time in two other levels of direction? It's not just my daughter struggling, it's a very large % of the honors class. The "extra help" classes are so full (just with honors kids) the teacher can't offer one on one help so she just sticks math problems on the smart-board. Does that sound helpful to you?
What ESM is doing is making it sound like everyone will be accelerated- "honors for all"- When it'll actually be mediocrity for all. No longer will high achieving students have the achievement of earning honors status-and maintaining it. No longer will integrated students get the true attention they need and deserve. They need to be taught differently because they have learning differences! We are not cookie cutter people. These kids shouldn't be treated so. All of this so what...every kid can take and "pass" a regents exam? Do you know the curve on that regents exam? Why should everyone need a regents diploma? Are they truly all college bound? Ask yourself who really looks good in the end when everyone graduates with a regents diploma.... The kid who "passed" with a 60 and never really learned squat, or the superintendent who gets to hold up a Newsday article showing a room full of parents 'that X% of the graduating class of 2018 have regents diplomas-yay me.'
Whatever... Go on and tell me again how I just don't wish to spend time with my child. That was brilliant." Jan 3, 12 1:54 PM

Let me clarify a word I used- Allow me to replace "misreported" with "under-reported".. I feel this article failed to convey the true picture of what's really going on at ESM..And what many parents are truly upset with.

I don't believe a single parent is against raising the standards or bar. Even if they are against it, they're stuck as this "acceleration" is by state mandate in accordance with Common Core Curriculum. ESM has just packaged it in a nice box with a pretty bow and is essentially suggesting its honors-for-all. Well, it's not. Honors requires a student to work diligently to maintain high averages of 90 or better to qualify. These students are taught at a faster pace and more in depth, because their strength and interests are more often academics than sports and extra-curricular activities. They're often permitted a more independent learning environment. This will all be taken away in a heterogenous classroom. Accelerating a curriculum for an entire classroom of kids - with only some of whom having genuine interest in high achievement is going to leave someone behind- them, or the lower achieving children. How do the integrated kids fit in there? Where? How? Can this be done in an "all honors" environment without at least one of those groups miserably losing out!?
We sat there chastised at that meeting for not knowing more about this program, because of low BoE meeting attendance- however the Board of Ed never mentioned the word "heterogeneous" a single time in their last 75 meetings. Search that yourselves.
We are angry that they've been planning all of these changes without any parental notification. A former Board of Ed member mentioned that these plans have been in the works for 13 years. Well, it's news to us! Do we deserve any say? We're only the taxpayers, the parents and the constituents, right? Right.
The district is trying to lead people to believe that these accelerated plans and heterogeneous classrooms are the same and one can't be had without the other. I believe accelerating the curriculum is even more reason to keep the classes homogenous.
Our district does not fit the demographic that's benefited from detracting in most published studies. At all. There are several studies that show it's harmful to high achieving students.
We are not "misinformed" parents- we're simply not sheep.
" Jan 3, 12 3:26 PM

Eastport South Manor Parents Receive Lesson On Curriculum Changes

I bet Westhampton Beach HS doesn't have 28-32 kids per class. I bet Westhampton doesn't have so many "honors" kids showing up for extra-help after school that they can't be accommodated with actual "help". I bet Westhampton offers some enrichment classes after school for its high achieving students.I bet Westhampton is actually affording its students real academic support to go along with its plan.
After 2 painfully long drawn out hours of fluffy useless information about how our children are given tours of the school in the beginning of the year, and how they are taken on a lovely trip to Sunken Meadow Park- Administration only spent 5 minutes discussing "heterogenous" - and told us they'd "discuss support down the road"!!!! Really!!? Down the road? Was "support" not an important enough part of the PLAN? Ya know the PLAN that's secretly been in place for "5", "7", "9" or "13" years" depending on who you ask? Or was the 2+ hours not enough time for them to present their "SUPPORT" plan??? Because, I for one could have honestly done without the LOCKER PRESENTATION!! Or the teachers coming up one by one as though we were Kindergarten children, as they read us the slides behind them that we could have easily read ourselves- that were about NOTHING OF ANY CONSEQUENCE. Spare me. Don't compare ESM to Westhampton Beach. It's like comparing Apples to Kumquats.
" Jan 10, 12 4:13 PM