We are very happy with Shuang Wen. The "new" principal has a wonderful and focused vision for ensuring success from all of her students. We have found teachers to be wonderful, warm, and encouraging leaders with whom we have a very active dialogue. Though people tend to focus on the Mandarin education and the workload required of students, I would also poitn out the large art studio (much loved by our children!), as well as the excellent library, dance studio, and science lab. Also, our children take both piano and karate classes as part of the after-school program. It's true that there have been changes, and it's true that there is a fair amount of homework and some focus on preparing for exams. But on the flip side, there is also an excellent balance-of-life there and our kids have a lot of fun. We highly recommend this school, which we are finding an excellent path to a great education, bilingual children, and preparations for the tests that will be part of their lives to get into great high schools and colleges. This school has it all.
I recently posted a review about P.S. 184 Shuang Wen and it was removed. I find this disturbing as I neither named anyone nor attacked anyone by name. My information was accurate and if it can be proven wrong please let the complainant supply the evidence. As to my comments The Blue Ribbon Application was riddled with inaccuracies, the former administrator used her position to single out and attack students; and students were removed for entering the school out of district. As far as my comments about the D.O.E. I maintain that any success achieved by students is due to outstanding parents, outstanding teachers outstanding students and some outstanding principals; and not due in the majority of cases to the D.O.E. We have a problem with truth in this country as up until recently we had more myth than history taught in the schools. I would hope that if this blog is seeking honesty then it would check the veracity of my statements rather than remove them because of a small groups hysterical responses.
Since former principal and founder has been removed 3 years ago the school suffered a sudden change. One beautiful thing left is the after school SWAN, an outstanding Mandarin Chinese 501-C3 nonprofit organization that operated in conjunction with PS 184 since 1996, and with PS 184 earned a Federal Blue Ribbon Award, for program excellence. It should be common sense to envision this system as a model. In 2011 the system switched from full time English daytime program with Chinese SWAN afterschool, to a 50/50 English/Chinese daytime and SWAN afterschool, cutting 50% of the English taught during regular school hours, with a drop in ELA tests performance. PS 184 used to be among the first 10 performing schools in NY State ranking for combined 3rd and 4th grade Math and English, In 2010-2011 it was on 23rd place, 2011-2012 fell to 80th, in 2012-2013 to 83rd place, 2013-2014 53rd. Some people may love the new system and new principal, some may like a 50/50 dual language at daytime with new afterschool with alternative activities. Many teachers left and parents pulled their kids. It's just sad to see that the priority of the school is not our kids education.
The school is facing a revolution in schedule, approach and teaching system that not necessarily is worse than before, certainly still needs to prove the academic level reached in the past. Below comments show a real fight between supporter of the 2 systems and leadership, the nostalgic miss the structure, strictness and discipline of a selective high performing environment, as in most G&Ts, the others welcome a more encouraging, fun environment. Let's move on, enhancing and improving without destroying a great heritage, i.e. keep and sponsor the awarded after school SWAN, introduce more physical activities, art, theatre but please something more challenging and professional than shadow box!
P.S. 184 is a school in transition. Although there are a few parents left from the old administration the school is moving into new areas of growth. It is using the Shadow Box Theatre and other unique programs that bring children into a learning fun environment. The D.O.E. needs to reach out to this Principal and give her the support she deserves and needs. There will be some leaving but those who truly want a Dual language education will help to make it grow and be strong. The parents who don't want a Dual Language school should leave instead of trying to sabotage the school and it's program. I for one have suggested certain programs like the Jump Program and The Algebra Project to help children learn mathematics from early fractions to Algebra and beyond. I hope that the school grows but this can only happen when those who seek to sabotage and destroy are removed.
Finally a permanent principal has been appointed to this school--that is helping to stabilize things after a hard couple of years. I appreciate Iris Chiu and all she has done to follow DOE's orders to transform this school into a bilingual program within the DOE hours. It's been a tough ride, but we're there now!
Shuang Wen under the current leadership is A BREATHE of FRESH INNOVATIVE AIR. I appreciate Prinicpal Iris Chiu and I empathize with her due to the constant harrassment and ill treatment from previous parents who were unhappy with change. She is doing a wondeful time with our children, it is a shame that some parents need more work than the children in the realm of self restraint and intellectual discourse. Principal Chiu during this uncomfortable transition has maintain her professionlism and our children were able to achieve the same rating on Standardized Testing which kept Shuang Wen under good standing. Every School community there is room for improvement.