Gotham Gazette

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Department of Education

Department of Education

  • remote learning NYC schools

    Remote learning in action (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Confidence in the New York City Department of Education and other local leaders is low for Yalena Figueroa, a Hispanic mother of two public school students learning remotely this school year from Astoria, Queens.

    Figueroa wanted to send her fifth-grader and ninth-grader back to school, especially her teenager starting at a new high school. However, due to the concerns raised by teachers and news outlets, she said remote learning was a no-brainer for her. Both Figueroa

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  • village academy queens 600

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


    September 2, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Even After Delay, Will City Schools Be Ready to Reopen?

    Asamia Diaby, an organizer with the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), joined the show to discuss concerns about the city's school reopening plans, remote and blended learning, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMax

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  • first day school

    School will be either blended or all-remote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office )


    The City prudently delayed the reopening of schools this week, meaning all students will learn from home until at least September 21. Meanwhile, nearly 400,000 public school families had already opted for their children to learn fully remotely indefinitely — continuing a dramatic shift in the way we educate our kids. All of our 1.1 million public school students will rely on remote learning this school year, either entirely or significantly.  

    But the learn-from-home

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  • 2 comm school

    Mayor de Blasio at a community schools celebration (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As New York City prepares for a return to school, city leaders are once again turning to community-based organizations (CBOs) to play a central role in supporting the reopening of schools. This is understandable. CBO partnership has always been a pivotal cornerstone of success for our young people and families and it is again critical to the success of all of these reopening plans. But recent, deep financial cuts to the sector – and the potential for further cuts – makes this

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  • farina tour school

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The question of how to resume our children’s education safely has understandably preoccupied parents, educators, and elected officials. And because the difference between the various models being proposed (‘blended’ vs fully remote) may well be the difference between life and death for a fellow human being, we need to rely on the best available science. 

    Yet the question of ‘how’ to restart school for the city’s 1.1 million public school students is not the only one we need to be asking. Two others that

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  • 1 meal hub ps1

    Mayor de Blasio at a school food hub (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The uncertainty around how New York City public schools will be reopened come September extends to the emergency food initiative greatly expanded by city government during the devastating coronavirus outbreak that led to mass unemployment and food insecurity, as a large portion of the program was using public schools to distribute millions of free meals.

    A part of the massive program that has distributed over 100 million free meals since March will likely shift as students and

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  • rate highest record

    Students at work (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The way our children are being educated has changed dramatically by this COVID-19 pandemic. As a working mom, it feels like I’ve been running a marathon and someone keeps moving the finish line. Mayor Bill de Blasio and schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have thus far been unable to give working families a clear plan for how our children can safely return to school in the fall. 

    The options offered by the de Blasio administration are to either continue with full-time remote learning or a hybrid

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  • schools chancellor public

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


    Many of my colleagues are discussing whether or not it’s safe to go back to school buildings in New York City. Will buildings that were never clean before become clean now? Will buildings that were never properly ventilated suddenly become state of the art? Will children and teenagers observe social distancing in and out of school? I’ll leave all that to your imagination and focus mostly on the pedagogical. 

    It’s not hard to explain the best possible way to administer

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  • uft 600

    UFT President Michael Mulgrew with Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    July 8, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Teachers Union President Michael Mulgrew on Reopening New York City Schools

    Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), joined the show to discuss the planning for reopening New York City schools in September and the various educational, health, and other measures that will need to be in place. He reacted to how Mayor Bill de Blasio has handled schools amid the coronavirus pandemic and the

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  • edu reg high

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    It’s 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. My youngest, now 13, needs help setting up for the Zoom meeting I wrangled with his math teacher so they can address how his dyscalculia is making fractions difficult. My middle child has just roused, a mark of my hard-earned success in resetting her circadian rhythm disrupted by these strange times. My eldest wants to discuss whether she should take “no-grade” on one of her courses during her second semester in college—the transition to remote learning at home has been too rocky for her to maintain focus on

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  • NYPD in schools

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


    As the City Council is pushing to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget for next fiscal year, City Council Members Mark Treyger and Donovan Richards have proposed revoking the police’s role in school safety and restoring it to the Department of Education. The proposal has been a top priority for some police reform and education activists for years and has taken on renewed urgency in the wake of the countrywide protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    Though Mayor

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  • deblasio chance carmen

    Mayor de Blasio during a school visit (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    As the coronavirus pandemic further exposes deep fissures in the city's education landscape for low-income students and students of color, it has also further stalled Mayor Bill de Blasio's already-halting efforts to integrate New York City's deeply segregated schools.

    In the nine months since a de Blasio-appointed advisory group released its final recommendations on ways to desegregate and in other ways improve city schools, virtually nothing has been said on the

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  • stu vote reg

    Mayor de Blasio needs a plan to reopen city schools (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Department of Education has lost 74 employees to the novel coronavirus, including 30 teachers and 28 paraprofessionals who have died as of May 8. Evidence has also emerged that children can develop serious illnesses after being infected with the virus, and even those who are asymptomatic are often effective transmitters. 

    Now

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  • maydb comm isr

    Mayor de Blasio talks with nurses (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Long before COVID-19, New York City schools were dealing with a public health crisis: a lack of full-time nurses. Despite operating more than 2,000 schools, the city only employs around 1,400 nurses. It outsources others through private companies, wasting precious tax dollars, more than $100 million per year, on profiteering vendors rather than investing in the nursing staff that our schools need. And that they will need even more once schools open back up.

    On Thursday

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  • may adv placement

    Mayor de Blasio has major school decisions to make (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    We’re looking at a possible school re-opening this September. I can’t wait to go back. Remote learning is better than nothing, but it’s no substitute for a live classroom. In a live classroom, I can see what students are doing. I can check their work in real time and quickly offer tips for improvement. I can urge students away from sleeping or fiddling with electronic devices.

    Now I’m reduced to looking at a bunch of avatars. Who knows what the kids are doing behind them?

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  • city registers 30

     Students participating in Civics Week (Mayor's Office)


    In March, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, New York City held its second annual “Civics Week,” which sought to pre-register and register high school and college students to vote.

    Given the law passed last year by the State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, 16- and 17-year-olds are now allowed to pre-register to vote, with their registration kicking in as soon as they turn the voting age of 18 and making high schools more ripe for registration efforts.

    Gotham

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  • mabdb covid

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor de Blasio faced a short-answer, timed test: whether and when to close New York City's public schools. It was not an easy question. But his delay in answering and failure to adequately prepare has been costly in lives and learning. We continue to pay the price.

    Even where the coronavirus outbreak was less severe and despite ambiguous advice from the CDC, district after district, state after state, had already decided to close their schools. But de Blasio hung on, ignoring dire warnings of community spread from his own

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  • 2 mxm mdbcovid600

    Chancellor Carranza and Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    April 1, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on the City's Shift to Remote Learning

    wbai robert carranzaNew York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza joined the show to discuss the city's shift to remote learning amid the coronavirus crisis.

    Listen to the

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  • voter reg day

    The city focused on student voter registration (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) mounted, but before Mayor Bill de Blasio made the monumental decision to close the city’s schools for at least five weeks, New York City government held its second annual Civics Week to encourage civic participation and voter registration among students.

    After a new law passed last year to allow it, the city focused this year’s Civics Week on pre-registering 16- and 17-year-olds to vote, beginning with such a voter registration

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  • cm alicka as joins ps

    DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza visits a classroom (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, the state’s Court of Appeals concluded in 2003 that class sizes were too large in New York City schools to provide our students with their constitutional right to a sound basic education, writing that “[T]ens of thousands of students are placed in overcrowded classrooms… The number of children in these straits is large enough to represent a systemic failure.”

    And yet despite this decision, and the fact that

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  • announcement scores

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The students in the New York City public schools are doing better -- so much so that the improvements offer Mayor Bill de Blasio a real opportunity for a legacy. The mayor still has two more years to go and two more budgets to invest in kids.

    Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced in November

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  • bdb chancellor comm

    Mayor and Chancellor testify in May (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Just six months after the state Legislature approved a three-year extension of mayoral control of the New York City school system, stretching well past the end of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term, the state Assembly is holding a hearing later this month on whether the mayor’s stewardship has been effective.  

    The hearing will be held in New York City on December 16 by the Assembly’s education committee and will be, according to a ...

  • voter student reg

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In a process likely to last years, the New York Board of Regents is considering changing high school graduation requirements, which may include revising or creating a substitute for the Regents exams. To graduate, most students must currently pass five Regents exams. But while the education policy-setting board recently announced its exploratory plans, another path to a New York high school diploma already exists: a set of performance-based tasks that test students on an array of skills meant to be more in line with college- and

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  • may bdb ps 600 wbai 
    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Setember 4, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Recommendations from the Mayor's School Diversity Task Force & What Comes Next

    gonzales treyger wbaiMayor de Blasio's School Diversity Advisory Group recently released its second and final set of recommendations for how to desegregate and improve the city's schools. The panel made

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  • district 15 div plan announce

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Following the city’s adoption of 62 recommendations targeting diversity and desegregation in public schools, a new report expected this month from the same advisory group will aim to tackle the tough topics of screened admissions and gifted and talented programs.

    The two reports come from the Department of Education’s School Diversity Advisory Group, which Mayor Bill de Blasio formed in 2017 amid increasing demands that he take significant steps toward desegregating the city’s highly

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