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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Education

Education

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • school visit nycschools

    (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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  • de blasio edu speech bennett

    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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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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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  • capitol building rally

    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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  • 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 student discipline

    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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  • de blasio albany testimony state senate

    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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  • de blasio farina state senate

    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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  • king school visit table

    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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  • de blasio testimony senate

    De Blasio testifies in Albany (photo via @KellyCummings)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio received a generally friendly welcome from Senate Republicans throughout several hours of testimony in Albany on Wednesday during a hearing on mayoral control of city schools. De Blasio was peppered with questions regarding issues such as special education, charter school co-locations, mental health services, and school space, but the issue of mayoral control as a governance structure was addressed head on only in limited doses.

    For his part, de Blasio touted gains in

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  • cuomo suny 2020

    Cuomo & SUNY 2020 (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)


    In the height of political chaos across the country, New Yorkers have much to be proud of: our state recently increased the minimum wage and signed paid family leave into law in this year's budget, major contributions toward shared prosperity for all. This is certainly in large part because of Governor Cuomo’s strong leadership.

    However, this year’s higher education budget is a mixed bag for New Yorkers, leaving many unfinished items on the table and a trail of uncertainty for years to

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  • bdb school visit

    De Blasio makes a school appearance (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The New York State Senate announced on Thursday afternoon that it has scheduled two hearings on mayoral control of New York City schools. Republicans who control the chamber have questioned Mayor Bill de Blasio's education policies, which are far different from his predecessor's, and only agreed to a one-year extension last year.

    Mayoral control is set to expire June 30, and the two hearings - one in Albany and one in New York City - will occur in May. In his Executive Budget, Governor

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  • debaters nyc schools

    Student debaters (photo: @NYCschools)

     


     

    Last week, 5,000 eighth graders got the exciting news that they were offered admission to one of the city's eight test-in Specialized High Schools, which offer a quality public school education unmatched in the country. But while the vast majority come from poor, working class and immigrant families, as has always been the case, once again far too few come from the black and Latino communities.

    Black and Latino students comprise a large majority in the city's public school system and should

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  • cuomo suny 2020 podium

    Gov. Cuomo and SUNY 2020 (photo via The Governor's Office)


    If New York wants to put students first, it must align financial aid statute
    with the updated federal FAFSA.

    FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the form that has been used to determine how much federal financial

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  • dromm idnyc visit

    Council Member Dromm (middle), the author, at the Queens Library


    Governor Andrew Cuomo's recently proposed budget plan for education is a mixed bag, but represents a major shift from his attacks on public education in years past. Ultimately, however, his plan falls short by allocating less than $1 billion in new education money this year at a time when public schools are still owed more than $4.4 billion in Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) funding.

    The CFE was a lawsuit brought by parents against the State of New York over a decade ago. These

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • de blasio parents school brooklyn

    De Blasio at a parents' night (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office via flickr)


    There are three main data points by which New York City mayors are usually judged on their management of city schools: state standardized test scores; and rates of student graduation and college-readiness. As Mayor Bill de Blasio is now in his second year at the helm of the city’s 1,800 schools and 1.1 million

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