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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Education

Education

  • mayor firstday

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We know now, more than ever, just how malleable the mind of a young child is, and we understand that the earlier we begin engaging a child’s mind, the better off that child will be. Early childhood education can positively impact the academic, social, and emotional development of children, while providing much-needed financial relief for our city’s low-income families with children, for whom child care is a major expense.

    Our city recognizes the significance early childhood education has, both for

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  • mayordeblasio pay equity

    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Recently, many news outlets have sensationalized the declining use of suspensions in New York City, framing young people negatively and attempting to discredit the progress that has been made. These stories discount the needs of students most impacted by punitive discipline, who have been very clear about the urgency around redefining what school safety really means.

    And while suspensions are down across the city, too many schools still use ineffective tactics, choosing to exclude students

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  • maybdbchancellorencarra

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For decades, school and district leaders across the country have struggled to answer a fundamental question: how to turn the tide for our nation’s lowest-achieving schools. Some have resorted to school closures, choosing to start anew and relocate those students to better-performing options. Others have tried to “turn around” underperforming schools, in the hopes that an influx of resources, a greater emphasis on data, and strong leadership could spur improvements in student achievement.

    Mayor

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  • mayorofficefirstdayfive

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    In 2007, I was honored to chair the Commission on School Governance, a body appointed by then Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum to make recommendations on the future of New York City’s mayoral control law, which was about to come up for renewal.

    I brought a unique perspective to the deliberations. I had served two terms as president of the New York City Board of Education during the 1970s, and had fought hard to preserve the board’s role in hiring and monitoring the performance of NYC school

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  • student tutor reading

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Last week, 27,000 eighth-graders and their parents opened exam results, hoping they had won a coveted seat at one of New York City’s eight specialized high schools. Unsurprisingly, this year’s offers followed trends of past years, with only 10.5 percent of offers going to black and Hispanic students, who comprise 68 percent of the overall public school system. At Stuyvesant High School, a mere seven black students and 33 Hispanic students were offered one of the 895 seats.

    These disparities have

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  • gov cuomo edu

    (photo: governor's office)


    It is budget season in New York State and the annual game of determining the amount of state aid each of the 674 school districts will receive is in full swing. Every district and its legislators will fervently argue that more school aid is needed, that its schools are underfunded, and that its students will suffer serious harm if more money isn’t devoted to them as soon as possible. But in fact, the vast majority of New York’s schools are generously funded, while our results in terms of achievement are only mediocre. Instead of targeting

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  • may bdb com

    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    At his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio pointed to the expansion of universal prekindergarten for New York City four-year-olds and the expansion of 3-K as an integral part of his administration’s commitment to making New York City “the fairest big city in the country.”

    While listening to the mayor’s speech – and the attention he paid to the success of universal pre-K and the new 3-K expansion – child advocates and educators in the audience found ourselves wanting to shout out ‘Salary parity now!’

    To date, the

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  • rob cher mbdb

    (Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Latino Americans now number close to 60 million and a significant share of the 18 million children therein have persistent achievement shortcomings. Unfortunately, Latinos are seen primarily through the lens of competing immigration narratives.

    Conservatives claim that they threaten American society: criminal activities, overuse of social services, and adverse effects on native-born workers, particularly less-educated black men. By contrast, pro–immigration activists point to positive examples, particularly

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  • albany charter gov

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Throughout his tenure, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a strong advocate for charter schools as part of his broader education policy, even as many of his fellow Democrats are far less friendly toward, if not opposed to, the privately-run, publicly-funded schools. Cuomo has repeatedly supported and helped orchestrate a raising of the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in New York, both across the state, and the sub-cap for New York City, where the vast majority of charters exist.

    Now, as that sub-cap on charter

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  • council mem just brannan irish

    Council Member Justin Brannan (photo: John McCarten\City Council)


    Sally Kabel was diagnosed with infant leukemia at ten months old, the treatment for which led to seizures, three broken bones, and a weak immune system. She developed epilepsy, and after her third bout of pneumonia she required continuous oxygen support. None of this stopped her from going to school more than complications with her school bus, according to her mother, Nicole Kabel.

    After missing the first day at Manhattan Star Academy on the Upper West SIde

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  • Cuomo education aid

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The annual Albany showdown over school aid started early this year. Even before Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech, new State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called for a permanent cap on local property tax increases to fund schools, signaling agreement with the governor’s long-held position.

    So where’s the dispute?

    Other legislators, particularly the Assembly’s powerful New York City delegation led by Speaker Carl Heastie, will likely oppose the measure. Taking their cue

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  • mayorchancellor eng

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For decades, decisions about education policy in New York have been filtered through state and local conflicts. Indeed, politics often dominates, divides, and obscures the conversation, causing many to lose sight of the most fundamental question for anyone who cares about education reform: how do students learn?

    In looking for an answer, we found a school improvement framework that has the potential to unite all sides of the debate.

    Our research team from Teachers College at Columbia University

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  • building school girl

    Brittany Brathwaite, the author (photo: Girls for Gender Equity)


    What does the school girls deserve look like? At Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), we know cis and trans girls - and gender non-conforming youth - should go to schools that are safe places to learn, grow, and thrive. Yet, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) continues to let us down, and doing so at a time where the current presidential administration is diligently working against what needs to be done to create those institutions.

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  • govcuomo andrew elementary

    (photo via the Governor's Office)


    Could New York be the next state to catch the civics bug and modernize its civics education standards? Hopefully, state legislators and policymakers are watching Massachusetts, which just took a big step forward by creating a national model for effective civics education.

    Two short days after the November 6 election, Massachusetts adopted cutting-edge legislation (S-2631) that, when implemented, will ensure that every Massachusetts student receives a project-based civics education, equipping them with the skills,

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  • mayordeblasio mccray chancellor

    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The plan to provide Amazon up to $3 billion in city and state tax cuts and other subsidies to site one of their new headquarters in Long Island City leaves the children who are living there in the lurch. The booming community is already severely short on school seats, a problem that Amazon’s move to the area will only exacerbate given recent trends, Department of Education projections, and the details of the Amazon deal that have been released.

    The only zoned elementary school in Long

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  • nycmayorsoffice 1st dayschool

    (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When the New York State Board of Regents met last month, the mood was despondent. “The needle hasn’t moved for minority children in decades,” said Regent Kathy Cashin, decrying the racial achievement gap on the newly-released 2018 state exam scores for students in grades 3-8. The reaction of the Regents ran the usual gamut of hand-wringing, blaming the tests, and calling for more dilatory “analysis.”

    And then came ...

  • marc molinaro on twitter

    Marc Molinaro (photo: @marcmolinaro)


    Republican gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro intends to declare a “state of emergency” for struggling school districts to address a plethora of issues and provide districts with more control over their destiny.

    Speaking to Gotham Gazette after his Tuesday speech at the Association for a Better New York, Molinaro said that the dismal status of some school districts, especially in upstate cities, requires extraordinary action and significant facets of educational policy-making devolved to local

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    Larry Sharpe on the trail (photo: @Sharpe4Gov)


    Larry Sharpe has a radical plan to reshape New York’s education system. The Libertarian candidate for governor, Sharpe has been campaigning vigorously around the state, making lively and entertaining media appearances, and putting forth substantive policy proposals far different from those typically discussed in mainstream state politics by the two major political parties.

    Among those is Sharpe’s education plan. A former marine and University of

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  • students

    students (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The public education system in New York City remains one of the most segregated and unequally resourced school systems in the country, reflective of segregation and inequality in other areas of our civic life.

    That segregation is starkly obvious in our specialized high schools. In a city where two out of three public high school students are black or Latino, it is unacceptable that they comprise only 10% of the student body across all eight of our elite high schools.

    Much has been made recently of

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  • cmreynoso34 cynthia 2

    Antonio Reynoso, the author, endorses Cynthia Nixon (photo: @CMReynoso34)


    Last week, I endorsed Cynthia Nixon for Governor because her campaign is focused on making sure young people of color across New York thrive in school, rather than wither away in jail. As a City Council member from a predominantly black and brown community in Brooklyn, I constantly hear from young people who know what they need to succeed in school and what stands in their way.

    Right now, there are more police in New York City schools than there are guidance counselors

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  • Mayor de Blasio education

    Mayor de Blasio's announcement (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    On June 2, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in Chalkbeat that he was urging the State Legislature to change the admissions system at the city’s eight specialized high schools, which relies on a single high-stakes exam called the SHSAT. Only 10 percent of students admitted to these

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  • Stuyvesant HS

    Stuyvesant High School (photo: Jim Henderson via Wikipedia)


    When I graduated from Stuyvesant High School in June of 2001, I remember feeling sad to be moving on from my friends and excited to be moving on to college. But I also remember an overwhelming sense of relief that I would no longer have to deal with the tests that formed the backbone of the Stuyvesant High School experience.

    The tests didn’t start at the end of the first semester or even during midterms freshman year. They did not even start on the day that I made the trip down to Battery Park to

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  • Shael Suransky DOE

    Shael Polakow-Suransky, right, with Carmen Farina (photo: Bank Street College)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan earlier this week to diversify the city’s elite specialized high schools through changes in admissions policies. The schools currently enroll very few black and Latino students, while, relative to their numbers in the larger school system, white and Asian students

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  • city council brooklyn studio school

    Schools Chancellor Carranza (photo: New York City Council)


    I read a lot of stories about the perfidy of teachers. We aren’t perfect. Like in every line of work, some among us do bad things. Often we’re stereotyped for the actions of a few. Despite the frequent and excellent reporting of Sue Edelman in The New York Post, most people don’t know much about administrative malfeasance, however, which exists from school level right up to Tweed Courthouse, home of the Department of Education’s top staff.

    Let’s say my

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  • de Blasio Carranza

    Mayor de Blasio & Chancellor Carranza visit a school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement last week that the City is investing $23 million in culturally responsive education and anti-bias training in schools -- likely the largest investment of its type nationally -- is welcome news for New York City parents, educators, and researchers.

    Education researchers have long-known that culturally responsive education (CRE) -- the practice of aligning curriculum and instruction with students’ backgrounds, life

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