Buried in the Times today is an article about how a lot of children of the Somalian refugees who emigrated within the past 10 years or so aren't being educated. It's pretty fucking outrageous and the reporter catches the superintendent in a bunch of lies.
The long and short of the situation seems to be this:
1) The kids don't speak English. A lot of the time a ninth-grade teacher or whoever can't go back and reteach some kids from square one, which is completely understandable.
2) The school system can't afford to pay a bunch of translators. Also understandable. But they have hired two people on a part-time basis, which is a start.
3) The school system, instead of doing the sensible thing and putting all the kids or most of the kids in one place so they can get as much help as possible from the translators, has chosen to stick them all over the city, sending two kids from the same family in different high schools. The reason they're doing this is because having a bunch of kids who don't speak English in one place will lead to the school being designated as "failing" under the No Child Left Behind act, which will do who knows what to property taxes etc.
Obviously the right thing to do is to say "fuck the No Child Left Behind Act, these kids need to be educated." Then they could get their state legislature to tweak the act for NYC. There are 26,000 of these kids, and that isn't unreasonable.
Hopefully, that will lead to a review of the No Child Left Behind Act, which as any child knows is designed to cut funding for public schools so that the federal government has more money to spend on things that will lead to the economic enrichment of President Bush, his family, and their asshole friends.