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Education

Education

  • Our Youngest Students Deserve Great Teachers Too

    classroom nycgob

    (photo via @nycgob)


    When your child starts his or her very first day of school, you do everything you can to prepare them for the beginning of their educational journey. But you might be surprised to find out that a new study shows there’s a good chance your school assigns one of their lower-performing teachers to kindergarten or other earliest grades. Although research shows

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  • The Most Important Step to Reinvigorating Our Democracy

    mmv yr

    Council Speaker Mark-Viverito (in green) visits a school (photo: William Alatriste)


    As we reflect on the recent September primary election in New York City -- where only 14% of active registered Democrats actually cast a ballot, a 53 percent drop in turnout compared to the 2016 Democratic presidential primary -- we are concerned that the city citizenry is not adequately prepared for responsible voting. But, how can we expect young people, or adults for that matter, to participate in our democracy if we have not educated them to do so?

    Many have blamed turnout woes on a

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  • Positive School Culture, Not Metal Detectors, Keeps Kids Safe

    Gotham Gazette

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Two boys’ lives are obliterated after Abel Cedeno, age 18, used a switchblade to stab Matthew McCree, 15, and another boy who had reportedly been bullying Cedeno during their history class, as classmates looked on. McCree was pronounced dead shortly after. Cedeno was arrested on charges of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. After a brief court appearance Cedeno was held without bail and his lawyer

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  • My Crowded School, Like Many Others, Needs a Plan

    de blasio graduation crowding

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Well-regarded New York City schools are super, and they can do anything. At least that's what they seem to think over at Tweed, home of the Department of Education (DOE). That's why my school, Francis Lewis High School, has 4,683 students at my last count, more than ever, in a building designed for 2,400. We're seen as successful, so a lot of families want their kids to go there. Generally I've agreed, but it's getting to a point where I'm not sure.

    I’ll admit outright that I’m partial to

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  • 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

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  • Children Lose in Faulty Charter School Accounting

    success academy rally crop

    A charter school rally (photo: @SuccessAcademy)


    Questions: How do you turn a 25 percent graduation rate into a misleading claim of 100 percent success? When does a school’s 30 percent proficiency rate on an 8th grade reading test translate into the assertion that nearly half of the students passed?

    Answer: when charter schools do their own accounting, and authorizers allow them to paper over the fact that huge percentages of the children who start in charter schools get driven or eased out.

    Charters claim that they serve the same children

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  • What’s The [DATA] Point? $66 billion

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 11 - $66 billion - a Back to School episode with CBC's Dave Friedfel & Riley Edwards  [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    This week we're back to school and the data point is $66 billion: the amount New York's school districts received in revenue during the 2015-2016 school year. Gotham Gazette's Ben Max and CBC's Director of State Studies Dave Friedfel discuss school funding: how much districts receive and whether

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  • A Victory for School Based Health Centers, But More To Do

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    Assemblymembers Carroll & Simon, the authors (photo via @Bobby4Brooklyn)


    School based health centers (SBHCs) are a critical safety net for immigrants and the uninsured. There are 145 SBHCs serving students in more than 345 schools across the city, regardless of their ability to pay. SBHCs provide primary and preventive care, reproductive and mental health care, and first aid; manage chronic illnesses; and more. From asthma and diabetes to food allergies and anxiety, these clinics can make the difference between life and death for many of our schoolchildren.

    The

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  • ‘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

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  • 5 Reasons Mayoral Control is on the Verge of Lapsing

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    Mayor de Blasio in Albany (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of the New York City school system is only good for the rest of this week. The state Legislature ended its scheduled legislative session last Wednesday without a deal on an extension, something Governor Andrew Cuomo called “dereliction of duty,” and de Blasio has said puts the futures of 1.1 million schoolchildren at risk.

    The New York Times ...

  • 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

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  • The Mayoral Control Debate We Should Be Having

    bdblasio control debate

    (Credit: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office)


    The annual Rite of Bashage on mayoral control of city schools is upon us. This month, Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan will beat up on Mayor Bill de Blasio for all manner of supposed educational sins before caving to an inevitable extension of mayoral control. Having been soundly whipped by the senatorial wet noodle, de Blasio will walk away a winner.

    But there is a real education issue this re-election year that the mayor should be pushed on: the matter of a Chancellor search. The public has a

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  • We Must Pair Raise the Age with Restorative Justice

    mayor de Blasio restorative justice

    Mayor de Blasio in a restorative circle (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor’s Office)


    There has been a great deal of celebration following passage of “Raise the Age,” legislation in New York that will end the practice of trying 16- and 17-year-old criminal defendants as adults. And rightfully so -- this will go a long way to dam the school-to-prison pipeline; we should be cheering. But rarely does a key strategy that helps students make better decisions and avoid arrest make headlines: restorative justice.

    Like our justice system, our

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  • Passing New York’s Next School Discipline Test

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    A charter school rally at the Capitol (photo: The Governor's Office)


    UFT President Michael Mulgrew raises important points about the negative impact of suspensions in his recent op-ed, “Charter Schools Can’t Suspend Their Way to Success.

    There is no disputing Mr. Mulgrew’s argument that the excessive use of suspensions and other exclusionary disciplinary practices means that students (and especially

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  • Charter Schools Can't Suspend Their Way to Success

    mulgrew classroom

    Michael Mulgrew, the author (photo: UFT)


    Children who miss 20 or more days of school in New York City have lost so much instruction time that they are classified as chronically absent, which studies have linked to lower test scores and higher dropout rates.

    So it is hard to see the educational purpose behind Success Academy's suspending a special-needs 7-year-old for 45 days, even if some form of alternative instruction was provided. This one recent example is part of a much larger pattern, both for Success Academy and the larger charter school sector

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  • A Constitutional Right to Healthy Schools?

    museum school 25

    (Photo: @NYSEDNEWS)


    When voting Nov. 7, 2017 on whether to call a state constitutional convention, New Yorkers should consider enhancing social welfare rights

    New York’s Constitution mandates that every 20 years New Yorkers be asked via a statewide ballot referendum whether they want to call a state constitutional convention. The next such referendum is on the ballot on November 7. If passed, the

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  • Requiem For A School That Works

    global tech

    David Baiz, right, with students


    Eight years ago, I had a front-row seat at the birth of a new small school in East Harlem. Global Technology Preparatory was crafted by its founding teachers over Sunday brunches at the home of Jacqueline Pryce-Harvey, who would go on to become the school’s assistant principal.

    Featuring, among other things, a one-to-one laptop program for its poor students and an after-school program—the result of a partnership with Citizens Schools, a Boston-based nonprofit—Global Tech, as it is known, came to be heralded as one of a slew of

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  • Students Need More than 'Abstinence, Abstinence, Abstinence'

    seanyc


    On Tuesday, I’ll be testifying at a New York City Council preliminary budget hearing to ask for funding for comprehensive, K-12 sex education in city public schools. For teens like me, curiosity and questions surrounding sex are common, and have been throughout the ages. But a reason so many of us still have questions is due to the lack of good, clear, thorough sexual education, specifically in city public schools.

    For me sex ed began outside of the classroom. Friends would tell me bits and pieces of information that they

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  • To Secure Our Children’s Foundation, Honor Foundation Aid for Schools

    tish james and kids 1

    Public Advocate Letitia James, the author, with two children (photo: @TishJames)


    With so much uncertainty in our country, there’s never been a more critical time to invest in our future and safeguard opportunities for our children. That’s why we must ensure that education funding is protected and our schools have the resources to prepare students for college and the job market.

    Our children cannot perform at their best in overcrowded classrooms with outdated technology and slow internet access -- or, for that matter, with an obsession with

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  • Teacher Certification and Recruitment: Boats Against the Current

    teacher students pink pencil cases

    (photo: NYC DOE)


    First, do no harm. Ha!

    On Tuesday, the New York City Council will hold an oversight hearing on teacher recruitment and retention. The Council announcement states that a hearing is necessary because “there’s a growing teacher shortage across the United States, although it is impacting some states

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  • Report Shows Barriers, Offers Solutions for Non-Traditional Higher-Ed Students

    adult learners table brochures

    (photo: Kevin Caraballo for NYC Schools)


    As the job market has evolved over the past several decades, job requirements have become more and more specialized, requiring degrees and certifications that were not previously necessary. This has forced many who would not previously have considered higher education to pursue postsecondary programming.

    In 1973, 28 percent of jobs nationwide required some level of postsecondary education. By 2018, that number is expected to hit 63 percent. This shift has led to a shift in what the postsecondary

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  • The Specialized High School Exam: A Flawed Test in a Flawed System

    classroom teacher board students desks

    (photo: Kevin Caraballo for the DOE)


    Every October, roughly one-third of the eligible eighth-graders in New York City -- between 25,000 and 30,000 students -- take the Standardized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) for a chance to attend one of the city’s eight specialized high schools. Admission to these schools is highly competitive, and spots are coveted. While less than 20% of students who take the test receive an offer, 72% of those who are accepted choose to attend. Yet, despite being in New York City, where the overall student body

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  • Push for Healthy Student Eating Extends Beyond School Meals

    students teacher brooklyn school yard

    The first day of school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In New York City, nearly half of elementary school children are overweight. The city’s Department of Education is in charge of the largest school food service program in the country, serving over 177 million meals per year. But despite the city’s efforts, such as providing free breakfast for students and placing restrictions on snacks sold in school vending machines, childhood obesity continues to pose a major challenge. In recent decades there have been significant

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  • Mayor Goes Quiet on Key Education Challenges

    BdB ABNY education

    Mayor de Blasio at ABNY (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    If Bill de Blasio wants to be the Education Mayor, he needs to do better than this.

    In Friday’s “Equity and Excellence” address sponsored by the Association for a Better New York before a generally well-heeled, overwhelmingly white audience, de Blasio discussed a list of programs that he’s largely been repeating for over a year.

    We’ve heard it before and surely he can claim credit for planting seeds: Pre-K for All, Literacy for All,

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  • Paying New York’s Debt to Our Children and Their Schools

    CFE march

    Marching to Albany (photo: Alliance for Quality Education)


    As a mother of two children, I worry every day about how they’re progressing in school. Are they doing their work? Are their teachers providing them with the special attention they need? Is their school giving them all the opportunities to succeed that they deserve?

    This is what it means to be a mother. We love our children dearly, and we worry.

    And, in New York, we have particular reason to be worried. For families living in high-needs school districts, the simple fact is this: our schools

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