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Education

Education

  • 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

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    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

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    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?

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    (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

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    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'

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    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

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    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

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    (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

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    (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

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    (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

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    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

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    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

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    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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  • In the Face of Bigotry, Teachable Moments

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    (photo via @NYCSchools)


    This school year is very different from previous years. This September, students began their classes in the midst of a heated presidential race and a hostile political climate where nearly every young New Yorker -- black, Latino, immigrant, LGBTQ, female, and Muslim -- has been maligned by politicized messages of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and bigotry.

    This year, however, could also be different in other ways. If parents, teachers, and community leaders step up to the plate, this could be a year

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  • 'Excellence & Equity' Must Include Smart Approach to Top High Schools

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett, Mayor's Office)


    As this school year began last week for over one million students, Mayor Bill de Blasio took advantage of the first day of classes to publicly highlight his efforts to improve the educational offerings of New York City schools. The mayor is now doing so under his banner “Equity and Excellence” agenda.

    There is a long way to go. Currently, only about 38 percent of the students in our elementary schools are reading at grade level. About 70 percent of students graduate

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  • Taking the Wheel at Automotive High School

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    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

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

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    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

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  • Success Academy Schools Largely Responsible for Charter Gains on State Tests

    Success Academy Binghamton

    photo: @SuccessCharters


    Release of the most recent student test scores on state English and math exams for third- through eighth-graders set off widespread celebration in public education circles. Supporters and leaders of charter schools and traditional public schools alike have been promoting the results, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has cited test score jumps as proof that his education agenda is working.

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  • In Extended Session, Lawmakers Vote Through Variety of Bills with Little Public Review

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    The Capitol Building (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin, Governor's Office)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders finished protracted and messy end-of-session negotiations on Friday night -- one day after the scheduled end of legislative session -- not with the traditional celebratory press conference, but with a series of press releases. Sent to reporters as bills were still being negotiated, printed, and voted upon Friday night, Cuomo’s public schedule for Saturday put him in the New York City area with no events.

    A press release

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  • Advanced Placement Expansion Means Opportunity for All

    de blasio school visit AP

    photo: Rob Bennett, Mayor's Office


    Education is a democratizing force. As we work to build a more equitable and even stronger public school system and city, it is our responsibility to ensure all our students – regardless of where they attend high school – are prepared to enter and graduate college.

    As a lifelong Hunter student, I have been the beneficiary of tremendous good fortune through access to high quality education, and I feel compelled to pay it forward. I am grateful that my parents knew the benefits of a Hunter education

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  • De Blasio School Discipline Policy Shift Causes A Stir

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    De Blasio at Brooklyn Generation School (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    In April 2015, the New York City Department of Education modified its discipline code and added an extra step to the process for suspending students from school. Principals are now required to receive authorization from the DOE before suspending students in grades K through 2 for any behavior or any student of any age for incidents involving insubordination, such as cursing at a teacher or refusing to leave a classroom. The change was made in an effort to

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  • Players in 2009 Mayoral Control Fight Take Different Positions in 2016

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    De Blasio testifies in Albany, May 4 (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    In 2009, then rank-and-file Assembly Member Carl Heastie was the lead sponsor of a bill designed to weaken then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ability to determine education policy in New York City. Seven years later, Assembly Speaker Heastie is thought to be Mayor Bill de Blasio’s greatest ally in the fight to renew the system of mayoral control of city schools as is.

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  • Concerns Over Proceedings as De Blasio Administration Faces Second Mayoral Control Hearing

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    De Blasio testifying in Albany (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    It was supposed to be the grilling to end all grillings: Mayor Bill de Blasio seated at a small table, staring up at glowering Republican state Senators carrying major grudges for his work to oust them from power in the 2014 elections, all carrying the fate of his ability to enact education policy in the palm of their hands. That wasn’t what took place.

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  • An Office of Civil Rights for New York Education

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    U.S. Education Secretary John King (photo via USDOE on flickr)


    Educational civil rights in New York are once again front and center.

    The Civil Rights Project at UCLA calls New York City the most segregated

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