Quantcast

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
Loading

Department of Education

Department of Education

  • Support, Not Trouble, for a School Successfully Teaching Students with Disabilities

    lenny cci opening

    Opportunity Charter School leader Leonard Goldberg, middle, the author


    A new report from the city's Comptroller showed once again that the City is unable to fulfill its responsibility to provide the necessary services to students with disabilities, failing to track $84 million allocated for disabled student services. Worse still, these findings come on the heels of the Public Advocate's report that revealed a troubling trend whereby the city offers parents vouchers instead of the necessary, required services for children with special needs. Troubling, but not surprising.

    It’s

    ...
  • ‘Zombie’ Charter School Agreement Rests on Interpretation of Ambiguous Law

    de blasio law interpretation

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    A much talked-about provision of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 13th-hour deal to have his control over city schools extended was the agreement that 22 revoked or surrendered charter school charters could be reissued without counting towards the predetermined state cap on the number of charter schools.

    In exchange for a two-year extension of mayoral control of city

    ...
  • Balanced Approach Awaits Lapse of Mayoral Control

    Bloomberg Walcott school visit

    Mayor Bloomberg at a school (photo: Spencer T. Tucker)


    Mark Twain’s reproach against “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” could easily be reformulated against Lies, Damn Lies, and Statutes.  Such are the many inflammatory statements against reversion to the old Board of Education made by Mayor de Blasio and his allies as they seek renewal of mayoral control of New York City’s public schools. This fear-mongering against a return to the old system, so-called school decentralization or community control, employs caricature rather than truth

    ...
  • Mayoral Control or Not, Calls Continue for Contracting Reform at City Department of Education

    34245950295 dc5da482b5 z

    Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City elected officials and independent watchdogs continue to voice concerns about the Department of Education’s transparency and contract procurement process. The issue became a flashpoint in the debate over mayoral control of New York City schools, which Albany lawmakers have yet to extend despite a June 30 expiration date. Like other powers over the schools, education-related contracting -- totaling billions of dollars per year -- has been

    ...
  • Taking the Wheel at Automotive High School

    KevinBryant1 800x658 

    Kevin Bryant, the author


    The challenges I’ve faced as both a teacher and a principal have not only shaped my approach to education, but they’ve defined my career and my accomplishments.

    During my four years as the Principal of Frances Perkins Academy I always sought new ways to challenge myself, colleagues and staff, students, and their families. By setting high standards and pushing ourselves to meet them, our school realized our boundless potential to exceed our own expectations, and those laid out by others. This idea guided my tenure at

    ...
  • In the Age of De Blasio, A Bloomberg Era Small School Reunion

    reunion photo Andrea story1

    reunion photo by Chrystina Russell, former principal of Global Tech


    In July, I found myself back in the East Harlem cafeteria shared by Global Technology Preparatory and P.S. 7. The occasion for my visit was a reunion of Global Tech’s first class of eighth-graders, who were now, four years after their middle-school commencement, graduating from high school.

    I was eager to return and see how the students had fared. I knew from my ongoing contacts with the school and its students that several had endured more

    ...
  • DOE School Survey Shows High Marks, Contrasts with Public Polling

    de Blasio Farina student test scores

    Mayor, Chancellor & Student (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    In 2007, New York City administered its first comprehensive survey on school satisfaction levels among students, parents, and teachers in the city’s vast public school system. That year, the Department of Education received just under 600,000 responses. In 2016, with the survey in its tenth year, the number of responses

    ...
  • Pre-K Offers Parents Opportunity at Economic Gain

    families queens library mayor's visit

    Scene at the Queens Library (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Three years after Bill de Blasio promised universal pre-kindergarten in his mayoral campaign, New York City alone has more enrolled preschoolers than any other state except for Georgia. The city’s free Pre-K For All program received interest from 6,500 families on its first day of accepting applications in 2014. Now more than 68,000

    ...
  • Push for a Better Mayor's Management Report Continues

    311-cust-serv 


    The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held an oversight hearing on Wednesday to evaluate the structure and content of two annual city reports that measure everything from the wait times on 311 calls and the conditions of city parks to the number of unsheltered homeless people and traffic crashes in the city each year. These key performance indicators help the City Council and the public keep city agencies and offices accountable. Those agencies, in turn, rely on these reports to improve their policies and functioning.

    The administration

    ...
  • Bill Mandates Board of Elections Emergency Plan

    treyger william alatriste

    City Council Member Mark Treyger, left (photo: William Alatriste) 


    New York City is no stranger to calamity, be it natural or man-made, and many city agencies have emergency response plans for varying levels of crisis. On Wednesday, City Council Member Mark Treyger will introduce a bill to ensure that the Board of Elections, which administers voting in the city, joins these agencies in formulating its own disaster-preparedness procedures for conducting the polls.

    "We have to make sure that democracy perseveres through a crisis," Treyger told

    ...
  • City Council Raises Provoke Questions About Staff Pay

    city council members budget announcement

    Members of the City Council (photo: William Alatriste) 


    As New York City Council members voted on a package of legislation that increased their salaries from $112,500 to $148,500, aides to two Council members stood silently in the balcony of the Council chambers, wearing white t-shirts that read, “Paycheck to Paycheck, Pay Raises for All.”

    The $36,000 salary bump for Council members is about the same amount of money that many of their staff members make in a year. These are aides filling roles such as

    ...
  • Addressing NYC's School Overcrowding Crisis

    img2424

    Protesting school overcrowding in Queens


    All parents in New York City deserve the peace of mind that their children will be able to attend a school where they can thrive and grow. Unfortunately, following years of neglect from the Bloomberg administration, our city's school system is plagued by school overcrowding and excessive class sizes, where hundreds of thousands of our children simply don't have adequate space to learn.

    With education a top priority for the city, it's critical that our leaders take strong action to address the chronic underfunding of our city's school

    ...
  • Calls for More Transparency, Oversight in Department of Education Contracting

    de blasio school visit

    The Mayor & education leaders (Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As mayoral control of city schools comes up for Albany renewal again this year, one concern being raised by a variety of analysts is how and where the New York City Department of Education spends its money. Namely, the opacity of DOE procurement and contracting continues to be of concern to those worried about waste and a lack of oversight for the department with an annual expense budget of more than $20

    ...
  • City Council Members Move to Improve Tampon Access

    ferreras alastriste hearing applause

    City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (photo: William Alatriste) 


    Members of the New York City Council are poised to introduce a package of legislation to make tampons and other feminine hygiene products more accessible. The legislation, being spearheaded by Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, includes a resolution calling on the state to eliminate the tax on feminine hygiene products, and three bills to make such products readily available

    ...
  • New York's Education Policy in Historic Disarray

    cuomo parental choice BK May 2015

    Gov. Cuomo in May, 2015 (photo: Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    The past several months have been one of the most tumultuous periods in New York State's educational history, culminating several years of false starts and disarray in education policy. It's not without precedent, though, and history has valuable lessons for New York today.

    Disillusionment and disavowal of recent educational practices
    In December, President

    ...
  • Overdue DOE Capital Plan To Be Released

    bdb school visit

    De Blasio at a school visit (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Once Mayor Bill de Blasio unveils his preliminary budget for 2017 on Thursday, Jan. 21, the City Council will begin to hold hearings and formulate its response. In conversations with Gotham Gazette, City Council members Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, chair of the finance committee, and Daniel Dromm, education committee chair, said that one of their top priorities during budget season will be addressing school overcrowding

    ...
  • DOE Language Access Expansion Builds Bridges to City Families

    choi DOE

    Steven Choi, the author 


    For years, advocates and community based organizations have urged the New York City Department of Education to increase translation and interpretation services to public school parents and guardians with limited English proficiency. Last week, I was honored to join schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, a true champion for the immigrant community to announce a series of initiatives aimed at easing language access for parents in schools.

    Immigrant families face tremendous obstacles – speaking to their child's teacher or principal should not

    ...
  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 23

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Thanksgiving week will see just a few days of political activity, but the beginning of the week is looking busy. Highlights include closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's corruption trial; the continuation of Dean Skelos' corruption trial; the release of the Public Advocate's "worst landlord list"; several City Council hearings and a full-body "Stated Meeting"; two public meetings of the city's ...

  • Brooklyn Neighborhoods Look to Address School Overcrowding, Avoid Rezoning Issues Seen Elsewhere

    bk overcrowding forum

    The community school forum (photo: @JoAnneSimonBK52) 


    As rezoning problems plague some city school districts, leaders in one area of Brooklyn are looking to avoid similar pitfalls while reducing overcrowding.

    In Carroll Gardens last week, local officials and parents gathered in the PS 58 auditorium to discuss overcrowding issues facing three elementary schools. Like others across the city, District 15 - which includes the schools at

    ...
  • In Effort to Ensure Sound Education, City Battles Student Homelessness

    de blasio taylor homelessness

    De Blasio speaks, with DHS' Taylor foreground (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    This summer saw the city’s street homeless population become a tabloid sensation, with Mayor de Blasio seemingly forced into addressing the increase in homeless people on New York sidewalks. With shelters overflowing despite the city opening dozens of new ones, and a typical warm-weather increase in those who prefer the street to the often dangerous conditions of those shelters, the mayor announced several

    ...
  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Sept. 28-Oct. 2

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 2

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio does some road repaving on Staten Island, via the Mayor's Office; Gov. Cuomo checks out the beer at the Anheuser

    ...
  • What is Flanagan Looking for From De Blasio on Mayoral Control?

    Flanagan Cuomo

    Sen. Flanagan, right, celebrates with the governor (Governor's Office via flickr)


    Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has made it no secret that he lacks confidence in Mayor Bill de Blasio's handling of the New York City schools. Made clear when the state recently extended de Blasio's control of city schools for just one year, on Monday in a New York Post op-ed Flanagan

    ...
  • School Meals in the Budget: Applause for Breakfast, Groans for Lunch

    Lunch 4 Learning

    Lunch 4 Learning at City Hall (photo: Zehra Rehman)


    Supporters of expanding free school meals in New York City are expressing mixed reactions to the city budget agreement announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Monday night.

    The fiscal year 2016 budget, at $78.5 billion of spending soon to be officially approved,

    ...
  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 1

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Welcome to June! A city budget is due by the end of the month. The state legislative session is due to end mid-month. And, it's both Gun Violence Awareness Month in New York City (legislation in 2013 declared it the first city in the United States to have a month dedicated to the cause) and LGBT Pride Month. Look for events and legislation related to each this week and as the month continues.

  • Education Upheaval in Albany is Backdrop to DOE Budget Hearing

    farina via levine

    Chancellor Carmen Farina testifying Thursday (photo: @MarkLevineNYC)


    With an eye on Albany, it was time Thursday morning for New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to again testify in front of the City Council about her agency's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget and key education issues facing the city. The heightened level of concern with events in the capital comes amid shakeups in state leadership, important legislation on the negotiating table with deadlines looming, and recently passed controversial state teacher evaluation laws.