Regents Exams: Are They Beneficial?
By Eugene Barnes
For the last couple of years, the topic of keeping Regents has been discussed by many people from students and teachers all the way to New York state officials. Many students believe the state should get rid of the Regents exam altogether and make it so your class grade is the only thing that determines if you pass the class or not. On the other hand, NYS officials think the Regents should stay and they are important in determining if a kid has the right skills for life beyond high school.
Many people believe that Regents exams are a waste of time and are not a good way of measuring how much a kid has learned in a year. Data obtained by Chalkbeat suggests, “that the temporary policy change — first canceling the English Regents and then not requiring a passing score on it to graduate in 2020-21 — removed a hurdle for English language learners trying to earn their diplomas. More English learners graduated during that time period, far fewer of whom passed the English Regents exam.” This sounds like a good thing but in all reality, it is actually bad. Making it so the Regents are not needed to pass means that those kids might not have the same reading and writing skills as kids who did pass the Regents.
I think Regents need to be reworked. Regents should not be the only factor in deciding if kids are ready to graduate from high school. A way to stop this from happening is to make the curriculum more focused on the skills of the Regents so that even if a kid fails the regents they are still prepared for life out of school or for when they go to college.
By Jeovanne Finch-Negron
Is there another way to include scholars' interests into our education system? There is a group of students that want to take on a leadership role at East High School to start classes that are student-led and about topics that the students feel are important. These classes can give the students an opportunity to use their voice that they have to start not just a club but a class that can benefit the creative minds of the students. The students being able to come together as a group to talk, learn and teach a topic they feel passionate about will teach the groups how to problem solve, think critically and learn to be their own individual. This program can actually tie into the TLI program for the people that want to take a step forward to make a class that is more structured and to get the feel of how it is like to become a leading teacher of a class based on the topic they choose.
The student-led classes are a great way to let the minds of the students show through their personal interest in a class that they have created. The classes can be offered during the half days so that students learn skills that can help them in their everyday life. For the students to have the ability to create a class for the half days there will be a straight line of contact to Mr. Hart the main leader and organizer of the half day. There is a high creative demand for this to happen while also there being massive potential for this concept to thrive within the walls of East Upper High School for the many years to come for the students.
By Mo’Asia Ferrell
Are the health and safety precautions of football players prioritized? Many questions are on the minds of people around the world considering the different reactions the Damar Hamlin incident encountered. Skip Bayless wrote on Twitter, “No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game- but how? This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular season outcome… which suddenly seems so irrelevant.” That set off many negative reactions from athletes and fans across Twitter. I mean how could you be so heartless? A player’s heart stopped in the middle of a game and he went into cardiac arrest! This is a big deal.
Are people really questioning if the game is more important than these players' well-being? This makes me wonder here at East High School what are the actions, steps and protocols to ensure our football players are kept safe? Yes they have the shoulder pads… the thigh pads… the knee pads… mouth guards... pants…socks… and cleats (for each skill group). I mean the list goes on - and - on but Damar had all of that and the incident still took place. A former East player said “We tackled with our heads up to avoid head to head contact and in practice we didn’t hit each other below the hips because many players get injured like that, we stretched for a while also to avoid injuries such as ACL tears… especially on turf because that's when its most common”. Even though pads and helmets and other protective gear has always been seen as enough, the new situation with Damar Hamlin may end up changing things for high school athletes around the country. We’ll have to see what happens next year.
Safety and Security Concerns
By Quentin Gordon-Smith
Last week the East High basketball team played a game at Franklin, and we were very skeptical about it. Sometime last week there was an incident about a shooting at Franklin. It was the talk of the town. Then it became an outbreak when people started to see the video of the shooting at the school. One kid hid behind two girls in fear for his life while the other person was at gunpoint range and fired shots. Thank god the person missed and nobody was harmed. We didn’t know if the game was still on because of that incident, people were talking about canceling the game. Then we got the news that the game was still on and we were going to Franklin.
Overall the basketball game was a success; East won the game and no harm was caused to anybody but, it made players concerned. What changes are schools making to prevent things like that from happening? Are they increasing security? What are schools doing to make a change to keep students and staff?
East High Athletic Director Eric Robinson states, “police are present at schools and they have radios to communicate with them if they need any help and they are here from the start of the school day to the end of the school day. Also increased neighborhood patrol at dismissal to prevent any violence.” This should help. But is it really enough?
La adaptación al cambio
By Luz Castro
El número estimado de jóvenes inmigrantes (de 15 a 24 años) también aumentó de 22,1 millones en 1990 a 31,7 millones en 2020. (www. migrationtaportal.com)
Esto quiere decir que más de un 31,7 millones de jóvenes están expuestos a un cambio muy grande dígase cultural,idiomático,climático o escolar.
Para muchos jóvenes ha sido un poco difícil el cambio o la adaptación no por el clima o por la cultura, ¡digo! No es que no influya pero lo que lo hace un poco más complicado es la escuela ¿por qué? Porque están expuestos a un nuevo idioma y nuevos métodos de estudio ETC.
También hay que tener claro que no todo es malo, la mayoría de estudiantes hispanos se terminan acostumbrando unos más rápido que otros, adquieren mejores oportunidades y poco a poco van progresando.
En resumen creo que los cambios en la vida son muy importantes, y necesarios la vida se trata de avanzar e ir creciendo no de quedarse estancado creo que lo correcto no es tenerle miedo si no enfrentarlo.
Adaptation to change
By Luz Castro
The estimated number of immigrant youth (ages 15-24) also increased from 22.1 million in 1990 to 31.7 million in 2020. (www.migrationtaportal.com)
This means that more than 31.7 million young people are exposed to a very large change, be it cultural, language, climate or school.
For many young people, change or adaptation has been a bit difficult, not because of the climate or the culture, I mean! It is not that it does not influence but what makes it a little more complicated is the school, why? Because they are exposed to a new language and new study methods ETC.
It must also be clear that not everything is bad, the majority of Hispanic students end up getting used to some faster than others, they acquire better opportunities and little by little they progress.
In short, I believe that changes in life are very important, and necessary, life is about moving forward and growing, not staying stagnant. I believe that the right thing to do is not to be afraid of it, but to face it.
The College Push
By Terreil Colon
As of right now, all college deadlines are around the first of February, so you need to complete them as quickly as you can, as instructed by your counselors, who push you to finish early and support you in getting there no matter what. Now since there are deadlines, students might become really stressed out if they don't complete everything before the deadline or if they believe their work isn't “good enough.” Stress is a result of all of these factors, which isn’t bad for you and your applications but it can cause you to not think things through. And failing to consider things leads to sloppy work (for example, how I tend to turn in most of my work later than expected). Putting off your work will result in it being poor, and colleges won't be interested in you as a result of the laziness of your application. Before submitting your applications anyplace, you should always feel good about yourself and the quality of your writing since the more confident you are, the more likely you are to get accepted into the college of your choice.
Your counselors at East can be a great help. Mrs. Burnell has said that when kids don’t turn applications in before the deadline, it aggravates them or makes them disappointed in students’ work ethic because they failed to do what they had the opportunity to do earlier. Meeting college deadlines is a critical matter that must be done right away by everyone interested in attending college. College deadlines are not a joke and should be taken seriously no matter the cause.
Being prepared for college and taking the right steps will help you adapt to the changes. If you have questions about college or college readiness you can always go to the Upward Bound/ College Prep Center (F108) or speak to your counselor.
By Ayden Hodge
Rocky had Mickey Goldmill (Rocky: The Series), and Master Shifu had Master Oogway (Kung Fu Panda: The Series). Mentors, leaders, role models- whatever you call them, we all have them. There are many role models in the East High community. For over 20 years The Teaching & Learning institute has been molding students into leaders, and possibly future teachers. One way they achieve this is student mentorships. What are mentors? The dictionary says "an experienced and trusted advisor.”
To Mrs. Delehanty of the TLI program (Teaching & learning institute), “reciprocity” means a relationship that is mutually beneficial to the mentee and the mentor. She states, “Older students serve as role models that give younger students someone to look up to. It also gives our older students leadership experience.” For the seniors in the program this is a streamlined experience, because every year students graduate and new ones come in. You never know who you might have an effect on.
While the confusion from the pandemic has held the program back a little bit, and another struggle being the difference in bell schedule between upper and lower school, it's been hard to find opportunities for the program to get its practice. But in the near future TLI students have several opportunities. Some TLI students will go and assist at local elementary schools. Two scholars will help right here at East. While assisting, students will only gain more experience. Another opportunity is some TLI students will assist on the Washington DC trip for the 8th grade class of 2027. The trip is a chance for these students to learn skills such as managing, organizational and any improvisational skills.
Consider joining the TLI program here at East High. For those on the track to college the course is designed to give you the most support. Teachers need a bachelors to teach and a masters to continue. This course can put you on the right trajectory.
The Debate About SROs
By Olivia Marcano
A School Resource Officer is a sworn law enforcement officer who works in a school setting with the power to arrest, investigate and document people and events in an effort to create a safer school environment for students and administrators. Beginning in the 1950’s, the SRO programs purpose was to revitalize the police departments image in the eyes of the youth and has shifted from a mentorship/education program to crime prevention and law enforcement one. The idea was to prevent drug/gun violence from impacting schools and was driven by the notion that our urban youth is more incorrigible, criminal, and more violent.
While I've heard students claim to feel safer and more secure with a policed campus, a study by Texas State University and the FBI found that none of the school shootings were ended by armed officers returning fire. Rather, these shootings typically ended when the shooter was restrained by unarmed staff or when the shooter simply decided to stop. Since school shootings are a driving force behind SRO presence in schools, then this data certainly calls into question the effectiveness of this approach. And according to the ACLU of Washington, “The youth crime is on the decline — and has been, since the mid-nineties — and graduation rates are up, the myth that our children are criminal and violent persists.” The data shows that the increase in arrests is directly correlated to the presence of SROs in schools. Additionally, “The arrest rates for schools with SROs were 3.5 times the rate of those without SRO’s, and in some states the arrest rates are as much as eight times the rate of schools without.” Moreover, these arrests are a major contributor to the school-to-prison pipeline, which is a systemic process that pushes juveniles out of school and into the juvenile justice system. Once in this system, it is more likely that youth will be pushed out of school permanently, fail to graduate, be re-arrested, and end up in juvenile or adult prisons. The traumatic impact these interactions have on youth can lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental and physical health issues.
I feel SROs have the potential to keep students and staff safe, but they are also steered by a false belief that our urban youth needs to be patrolled constantly to contain violence and crime. SROs focal point seems to be maintaining order between students which is an SSOs role, as opposed to defending from outer threats. This is concerning.
According to my Principal Blocker, “Family Group was created by the U of R when it took over at East. The purpose of family group is to ‘create small groups of people to learn to interact with each other. Also, to inform close relationships with teachers so that if students needed support, they would have someone they can go to and be comfortable with.” The importance of family group is to learn to respect all people, to interact with people you might not normally connect with, and to create a small family of support within the school setting. People could make family group better by giving it a chance instead of always wanting to be around the same people. Also, to make family group better express your unique self and ways with others. People are often reluctant to be with others they do not know. And as a result, they are missing out on something that could be wonderful. Blocker says, “I have found the kids that have been in my family group over the years are the ones I have been closest with.” I agree. Family group is preparing us for the real world. In life you have to be social and it’s good to meet new people and learn from them. Now I have a clear vision on family group and the impact it has. My advice for scholars at East is to give it a try. Don’t look down on it, actually take it seriously and socialize because all it’s going to do is make you a better person.
Student Athlete Life Balance
By Graftoneishe Bowers
As a student athlete it can be hard to balance both. Like everything there are pros and cons. Here are some of the hardships I face every day being a Student-Athlete who also works.
I play sports because they teach me discipline. If not for sports I don't think I would know to be on time for things or to communicate with people. Another thing sports has taught me is that you have to be 100% committed in all you do. It taught me to have passion and to never give up.
Although I love being a part of a team, it can get hard to balance on top of school and everything else. Playing sports can be hard. Not only am I pushing my body physically, I'm also doing it mentally. Having to wake up early to go to school for 8 hours, then going to a long, late, and tiring practice just to have to go home and do homework. I sometimes don't get done with all my work until 12am.
I do all this by working long hours at my job. I am not trying to complain because I know that I chose this, but I thought it was a good Idea to write about because I think many students can relate.
Financial Literacy Needs
By Mossimo Perry
East offers many Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes such as Culinary, Optical Manufacturing, Vision care, and Home Maintenance and Repair. These are great courses that can lead to a future career. But East High also needs a business and financial literacy pathway. These two subjects to me are absolutely vital, especially financial literacy. Many suburban schools offer a plethora of business and financial literacy classes but why not East High? If anything, it should be pushed a lot more in city schools than suburban ones.
Financial literacy in the black community needs to be taught and emphasized a lot more than it is now. Currently, at East High, we have 2 business and financial literacy classes such as Career and Financial Management, and Entrepreneurship. In my opinion, CFM needs more depth in the course. Other scholars that I have interviewed have said the course is quite informative on the college aspect and the finances that it comes with such as how to apply for scholarships and the amount of money it would cost to attend a University.
Scholars and I have both agreed that there needs to be more depth to the class. The class teaches personality and careers that align with that personality. Why not have someone from a few of the most picked careers come in and speak about the experience they have had with that career? A financial course can include but not be limited to further explaining how to obtain an LLC, the differences between corporations, the benefits of separating your name from a business, and so on. To conclude my thinking, we need to teach and find a way to implement financial literacy into our courses here at East High.