Monday, November 6, 2017

Report: The AltSchool's East Village location is closing



AltSchool, a start-up whose investors include Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel, will close its East Village location at the end of the academic year, BusinessInsider first reported.

The Wall Street Journal noted that AltSchool is closing three of their seven private schools "so they can concentrate on developing their software platform for districts to purchase." The East Village location opened last year at 1 Avenue B at East Houston.

Here's more about AltSchool, which charges $27,000 annual tuition for students in kindergarden through fifth grade (these paragraphs are via the Journal):

The small schools serve as laboratories for AltSchool to refine a platform that organizes students’ work and tailors assignments to their individual needs...

And...

AltSchool is part of a “personalized learning” movement that has fans and skeptics. Supporters say it helps children become self-directed and resilient, which will help them in a modern workplace. Critics say hype about the approach has run ahead of any extensive research showing it works.

AltSchool officials sent emails about the East Village closure to parents this past Thursday evening.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Public schools. If parents became involved they could be held to a high standard. There is no need, except for ego, to send children to expensive private schools. Work to make public schools better--don't destroy them. And as we are learning, steer clear of anything connected with the grey tee-shirt Mark Z. (he did wear a suit and tie when he went to Russia to meet the Prime Minister--a prime phony even if he is mega wealthy).

Anonymous said...

"no need, except for ego, to send children to expensive private schools." Except that they'd get a better education, have better resources, get into better colleges and have a better experience. So, yeah, no reason at all.

"If parents became involved..." Not true at all. First, if you'd bet your child's future on whether people are all of a sudden going to "get involved" when for years they hadn't, you're crazy.

And secondly, so long as tenure is around, getting "involved" (what does that mean, anyway?) isn't going to do anything at all. Once a teacher works a handful of years and gets tenure, they have zero responsibility or accountability. It's complete madness that you can allow such an important job to have absolutely no need to answer for their performance. No other job in the world operates like that.

If you really wanted to help public schools, you'd kill the teacher's union, get rid of the jaded teachers going through the motions, pay the good teachers a better salary and link their pay to performance.

Anonymous said...

So the school was using students to test commercial software and charging parents $27,000 for the privilege? The school should have been named the P.T. Barnum Academy.

Anonymous said...

Linking pay to performance isn’t exactly straightforward when it comes to teachers. It is difficult to define a reasonable metric much less control for the myriad of underlying variables that influence the outcome.

marjorie said...

I will say mildly and politely that as an NYC public school parent, I will stack my kids' education up against any private school in this city. I now have a high schooler and a middle schooler and can honestly say that between them they've had MAYBE 3 shitty teachers in their entire academic lives. I'm constantly blown away by the work they're assigned and the quality of debate in their classes. My 11th grader will be taking a college course at NYU next semester.

Great education isn't just about academics, either. There's a reason cheating scandals keep sweeping through super-competitive private, public, and parochial schools, OVER and OVER again: These schools teach kids that all they are is a test score, that the world is a Trumpian candy-hoarding hellscape in which they must win at all costs. We here in District 1 are blessed to have FOUR truly diverse progressive public elementary schools in which different races, ethnicities and income levels converge (sadly, a rarity in NYC). They teach cooperation and collaboration in addition to the three Rs. We have at least two very strong middle schools that teach kids to value ethics and morals as well as book larnin'.

I will also note that I've been a parent in this city for 16 years; I have teacher friends and friends with little kids, friends with kids in private and parochial schools...and this post is the first time I've EVER heard of AltSchool.

AmberNYCMom said...

There are an alarming number of schools closing in the city, two or even one parent house holds often involve parents who work ALL the time. Parents are not as involved in their child's education as they once were. I say, put them in public school and stay in contact with teachers and be as involved as you can....hey even if it's remotely. In addition, private lessons. I cannot stress this enough. It keeps the child occupied, makes the child well rounded and helps sharpen their skills to help them get college scholarships. We use Joe Symon for voice lessons. He is amazing and how would you even know? We need community boards. I prefer word of mouth. His website is joesymon.com

Anonymous said...

Peter Thiel look him up on Wikipedia and then be thankful you never sent your kid to this school.

Anonymous said...

$27,000, that's how I make in a year, and I have a Master's degree and a good portion that salary goes to paying off my student loans..

Again, this is another example of pay-to-play, in which only the riches can afford to get the best of anything in NYC including the right to have a good and affordable education. But in NYC, it's a privilege to the privileged, not a right.

Amsterdam, and other Scandinavian countries, has a good public education. NYC can edumacate (ain't no typo) itself and learn from those countries.

Anonymous said...

AltSchool doesn't give typical grsdes to students thru out their academic years and do not emphasize testing at all. They harness creativity thru amazing level of personalized learning and project based learning. Teachers are in best quality and it's so obvious when you see children enjoying school life.

Anonymous said...

Anon @2:09 AM's rant against teachers and the teachers' union is to be expected--as if teachers teaching in private schools or the charter schools are at a level of perfection that cannot be met in the public school system. What nonsense. I suspect that the education at PS 41, and PS 3, and at Stuyvesant HS--and at High School for the Humanities when my children attended it (now Bayard Rustin HS) to name just a few schools that West Village and some East Village students attend--rivals anything to be found in for profit schools or charter schools. And yes, tenure, in the public school system and in Universities across this country is an essential bulwark against attempts by administrators, and yes some "activists" to control what is taught and how it is taught. I wonder if Anon 2:09's virulent hatred of teachers comes from the hard won benefits that teachers have (like defined pensions and health care).

Anonymous said...

Peter Theil the guy who sued Gawker out of business. Zuckerberg keeps some great company (little scumbag.)

Can someone PLEASE offer an alternative to Facebook and Twitter I would literally pay at least a dollar a month for if it was ad-and-bot-free and didn't track my history?

Or does progress stop (end) with those two? Why hasn't anyone come up with something better?