I am writing in regard to your interview with Mr. Weitzenfeld and Glenn Swimmer.
I have been a student at Niles West for a little more than two years whereas Mr. Weitzenfeld and Glenn have only been here 6 months.
I was a student at Roosevelt for about 3 months and when I first came to Niles West it was a big change from Roosevelt. First impressions were good but the novelty wore off.
Much of what Mr. Weitzenfeld said was true and perhaps Roosevelt can benefit from the criticism, but some things were not true.
For one thing, there is vandalism at Niles West. Recently the auditorium was off-limits because of student vandalism.
Also the hall-problem is not non-existent. There is a hall-problem mainly on the first floor. However, students rarely make it up to the third floor, where the math department is located.
I disagree with Mr. Weitzenfeld on the statement that learning is emphasized in the home. For many, it is the grades that are emphasized so that the students can enter a “name” college.
There are many pseudo-intellectuals as well as real intellectuals here. Class ranks are considered important to the students and your “acceptance” into their group depends on your “intelligence.”
The teachers and the school system are good but the student society leaves much to much to be desired.
In a sense, Mr. Weitzenfeld is lucky that he got into a school of upper middle class white students who are essentially interested in education and do study whether they are working for a grade or not.
He has solved his own personal problem but has probably escaped the challenge of teaching where teaching is most needed.
Dear Mr. Weitzenfeld:
I must disagree with you on one of the points you have made in your interview.
I resent your implication that my staff is not professional in terms of curriculum innovation. All curriculum innovation had indeed come from within the department since I have been at Roosevelt. This includes essential biology and PSSC Physics.
In the works for the future is an introductory physical science lab course. We are presently engaged in an articulation program with our feeder schools.
None of these innovations came as suggestions from Downtown.
Science Department Chair
I am writing this letter concerning your interview with Mr. Weitzenfeld and Glenn Swimmer. I don’t think it’s fair of them to compare Roosevelt to Niles West.
Niles West is a suburban high school, so right away one knows that their classes are smaller. Naturally, the teacher will have more time to spend with each student. Here at Roosevelt the classes are much larger, so the teacher will have less time to spend with the student.
Mr. Weitzenfeld said that the students at Niles West respond more than the ones here in Roosevelt. I think this is because here, the students have so many teachers that don’t care about them. In the teacher’s case since the student doesn’t respond he gradually cares less about his students.
Another thing which I want to comment on is classrooms and facilities. It isn’t fair of Mr Weitzenfeld to compare our light bulbs with Niles West’s. They get more money than Roosevelt so they of course have better facilities.
Although your article is a good one, like I said before, it isn’t fair to compare Roosevelt with a suburban high school.