kitchen table math, the sequel: up, up, and away part 2

Thursday, April 9, 2009

up, up, and away part 2

I have been attending budget forums.

Another revelation:

In 2000-2001 Irvington had 46 teams & 58 coaches. (district size: roughly 1900)

In 2008-2009, with declining enrollments, we have 64 teams & 77 coaches.

64 teams, 77 coaches, and no intramural sports to speak of.*

I wonder how Catholic schools manage to provide intramural athletics for all their kids on those shoestring budgets they've got?

Someone should look into it.

* I'm pretty sure we have no intramural sports at the high school at all. The PTSA is funding a new intramural program at the middle school. I love our PTSA. I've rejoined.


Paul B said...

Wow! That's one coach for every 25 kids.

I have about 60 kids this year; 30% SPED, 20% ELL, 80% free and reduced meals, 20% transient. 8 are on grade level.

My support team is 0 SPED teachers, 0 ELL teachers, 0 Title I support, and 1 para for the 5 kids who need a full time para (she doubles as office backup so she's in my room about 30 minutes each day on average).

My floors were last cleaned in August and I have 7 different styles of desk/tables. Half my (grade 7)furniture is sized for elementary school.

Not that I'm jealous or anything, but I would love to get some of your best teachers to come by for a visit sometime.

77 coaches, 6 million $
Intramural sports, 3 million $
Pampered teachers running out of my classroom, screaming, PRICELESS!

concernedCTparent said...

For the most part, teachers in my district have it easy. While we don't have quite the budget Catherine's described, compared to Paul, they're on vacation most of the time.

They have the job of teaching children who:

* have the benefit of regular meals, bed-times, and help with homework.

* have safe & clean schools, safe & clean neighborhoods, and most have at least one parent who stays at home.

* they are regularly read to, taken to museums, and have the opportunity to participate in sports, music, and other enriching activities.

* they do their homework and want to please their teachers.

* they show up to school ready to learn.

It's difficult to gauge whether students in our district are doing well because we have such great teachers or because they have students who are easier to teach. I often imagine these teachers in a classroom like Paul's (actually Paul's is more extreme than I've ever imagined), and I don't see the majority of them being very effective at all.

Paul, just showing up to work every day despite the challenges you face makes you a great teacher. The fact that you employ every resource at your disposal to help these children learn in the face of these conditions, makes you more than a great teacher-- it makes you and those teachers like you heroes.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see the schools get out of ALL extracurriculars, including varsity sports, band, theater, music etc. Turn them over to local parks and rec departments and to private clubs. Schools are trying to do too many things and academics have suffered.If the distractions are removed, maybe academics will make progress. Just because something is a good idea doesn't mean that the schools should do it. Those Japanese, Finnish, European schools that so many people want us to emulate DON'T have sports. BTW, all my kids were full-time elite athletes and they all agree with me on this issue.

VickyS said...

I'm not sure that the benefits of pulling ECs would necessarily trickle down to the elementary schools or middle schools to solve problems like the ones Paul is dealing with. ECs are more of a "distraction" (if you view them that way) in high schools.

Speaking of ECs though, I think many of the historic goals of EC activities (pursuit of individual interests, learning ot work with a group, planning and carrying out a project) have been imported into the classroom through fuzzy programming. In the past kids had these opportunities for self-development, but in the form of sports teams, student councils, musical productions, etc. If we put them *back* into the after-school EC realm, we'd free up a heck of a lot of institutional space during the school day for academics!