An Open letter To the Albany School system

By Leila M. in 6th Grade

List of Demands

  1. Better education
  2. Proper food at school
  3. Lessons that prepare us for the real world
  4. Engaging curriculum

What I'm getting in school

  • Poor instruction
  • Lectures which take away from class time, yelling as a form of discipline
  • Peers misbehaving and fighting
  • What is causing the fights in our school?

Problems that seem to have low importance to staff

  • Personal problems that students have
  • Bullying happening everday
  • Disgusting food that isnt healthy {hair found daily}
  • Poor instruction

If I had $600k how would I spend it to benefit the school?

  1. Buy Chromebooks for each student $6k
  2. Upgrading technology in classrooms {smartboard etc} $ 5k
  3. Give teachers and counselors a 25% pay raise
  4. New Technology for Children $5K
  5. Edible food $414k

It costs $600,000 to educate a class of 30 in the NY state { $72 per day per kid} students. $620 billion is spent annually to educate grades K-12 in the US, and we rank an unimpressive 17 overall, 38th in Math and 24th in Science when compared to 71 countries.

In an ideal world, for that amount of money, students would be highly engaged, well fed and prepared for the real world. Our education system is broken.

Daily, I watch peers get bullied without faculty intervention. This is upsetting because they always say to go a teacher but they never help. Instead of teacher instruction that caters to different learning styles, our teachers spend most of the classroom time yelling at students. If my school put more effort into the curriculum, we could learn the lessons better. The food at school is barely edible, and even though the staff wear hairnets you still find hair in the food. Food is important because it affects our mood, and I cannot fully understand my lessons on an empty stomach.

I’m not asking for everthing on my list to be met, but something has to change. We students are over tested, undernourished, and frustrated with the student experience. I ask that teachers engage the students in how to design our learning experience. I want to be prepared for the real world. We are asking for at least 5 or 6 things on the list please and thank you.

For more information about funding disparities in New York public Schools and ways to get active, check out the Albany branch of the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE):