Principal Kim Swanson and assistant principal Derek Premo at the Life Sciences Secondary School in New York City, New York, have thrown out textbooks they considered antiquated before adequate replacements arrived. Today on "Pure Opelka," Mike Opelka examined how this is affecting students.
The idea behind the book dump was that students ought to be learning via computer now. Each classroom has at most two computers. One of the discarded biology books sells for $150 brand new, which is expensive, but not as expensive as new computers.
Science books aren't the only texts being given the boot. Works of literature and SAT study guides are also to be learned via computer. Over the 2016 Thanksgiving break, 616 students lost all their books. Teachers are photocopying assignments and giving students less homework to compensate.
Five percent of Life Science Secondary School's students in grades 6-8 passed the state math exams last year, and only nine percent passed the English. Only 26 percent of their graduates were considered college ready even though 82 percent graduated.
Calls for comment were not returned, with the exception of NYC Department of Education Press Secretary Michael Aciman. He stated that the books were “outdated and no longer aligned to the school’s current curriculum or New York State Learning Standards."
Mike suspected the real standards not being aligned with are Common Core standards, adding, "I hope somebody kept a copy of '1984' and maybe 'Animal Farm'."