Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Education

Education

  • Reimagine Alumni Support So It Works for All Students

    Students at school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    I was a kid from Harlem, a first generation immigrant, and the first in my family to graduate from college – the U.S. education system was not built for kids like me to succeed.

    Thankfully, along the way, I got the support I needed to excel and live out the dreams that my parents had for me as well as the aspirations I had for myself. Sadly, that is not the reality for countless kids from underserved communities just like me. But it

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  • Max Politics Podcast: How Principals are Navigating the New School Year, with Administrators Union President Mark Cannizzaro

    CSA President Mark Cannizzaro (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    September 13, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: How Principals are Navigating the New School Year, with Administrators Union President Mark Cannizzaro

    Mark Cannizzaro, president of the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators, joined the show to discuss how principals and other school leaders are navigating the new school year, budget cuts to many schools, and other challenges.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Max Politics Podcast: The Start of a New School Year in New York City

    Mayor Adams says hello to students (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    September 9, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The Start of a New School Year in New York City

    Alex Zimmerman, reporter at Chalkbeat New York, joined the show to discuss the start of the new school year, the controversy around school budget cuts, and more education news.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode

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  • Troubling Series of Uncertainties Mars Reopening of New York City Schools

    Mayor Adams visits a school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    After two-and-a-half years of a chaos and disruptions due to the covid pandemic and a change in mayoral administrations, many parents, teachers, and advocates were yearning for a steadier, supportive, and safe re-opening of a new school year, in which students would get the attention and the stability they need. Sadly, that  does not seem to be in store. 

    The pandemic is not over, no matter how much one may wish for it. The covid test

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  • The Latest Education Budget Fiasco Shows We Must Scrap New York’s School Funding Formula

    Mayor Adams, Chancellor Banks, and students (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The Trojan Horse called “Fair Student Funding” that allocates $10 billion of city funds to our 1,700 public schools needs to be scrapped. The attractively alliterative system inadequately funds the real needs of schools and, according to an unreleased 2021 Fair Student Funding Task Forcestudy

    I Started College at 16; Many Other Students Can Too

    DOE Chancellor Banks at Bard High School Early College (photo: @BHSEC)


    Although prom, soccer games, and spirit weeks are all memorable parts of my high school experience, my favorite time of the year takes place two weeks before the semester ends; course selection. Each semester, 300 students in the 11th and 12th grades refresh their mailboxes, eagerly awaiting the pamphlet filled with all the college courses that will be offered the following semester. 

    I attend Bard High School Early College Queens, so in addition to 17

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Comptroller Lander on the City's Economy and Finances, School Budget Cuts, & More

     

    Comptroller Brad Lander (photo: Office of New York City Comptroller)


    July 20, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Comptroller Lander on City Finances, School Budget Cuts, NYC Ferry, & More

    New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, the city's chief financial officer, joined the show to discuss the city's economic and fiscal outlook, the school budget cut controversy and what to do about it, and much more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through

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  • What’s Next for CUNY After Three Tumultuous Pandemic School Years

     

    CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (third from left) visits Guttman Community College (photo: CUNY)


    The City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban public university system in the country, is at something of a crossroads. Coming out of two especially challenging pandemic school years, the university just completed a mostly in-person year, with the usual sweep of celebratory in-person graduations, and graduates entering a strong economy.

    On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic is not gone, and neither are the

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  • New York Should Increase STEM Education Funding for All Schools

    Students doing STEM


    As we close the books on another challenging school year, it’s worth recognizing a little-known state program that’s reaping big benefits for our school children.

    This year, New York funded $30 million to reimburse non-public schools for the salaries of qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers for grades 3–12 as part of an innovative, first-of-its kind program first approved by the State Legislature in 2017.

    Although you might not have

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  • With the Stroke of a Pen, Governor Hochul Can Bring Smaller Classes to New York City Schools

    Gov. Hochul's signature (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    The families in my district need – and deserve – smaller classes for their children. The Legislature has overwhelmingly approved a measure that will set new class size limits in New York City public schools. It is now up to Governor Hochul to ensure that the city brings these benefits to our kids.

    For years New York City’s children have had to deal with class sizes among the largest in the state, and my district in Queens is no

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  • Max Politics Podcast: The State of CUNY, with Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez

    CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez (photo: CUNY)


    June 23, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez on the State of CUNY

    CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez joined the show to discuss the "state of CUNY," including his message to this year's graduates, how CUNY is working to better prepare graduates for jobs and careers, pandemic enrollment challenges, hiring additional full-time professors, and much more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • How ‘Gifted and Talented’ Shows the Failures of One Man Rule of Our Schools

     

    Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Last week, community school districts across New York City submitted their plans for the schools chancellor’s new, unimaginative Gifted and Talented program. Last month, the Department of Education announced that superintendents would work with local Community Education Councils to determine the sites for third grade G&T programs in their districts. While Chancellor David Banks, with support from Mayor Eric Adams, who appointed him, has claimed to value “authentic parent,

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  • We Need a Comprehensive Education Plan to Get Our Children Back on Track

    Helping students recover (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    “Have you been reading to your child and teaching them about letters daily? Ever since the pandemic, we have seen a delay in letter recognition and this is a very important skill for kindergarten children.”

    This is what was conveyed to each of us individually when we brought our children to tutors to assess whether they were on track to learn to read. As working mothers who engage with schools on a daily basis, it was very difficult for us to

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  • State Budget Includes Big Boost for CUNY

    City University of New York (photo: CUNY)


    The $220 billion state budget passed by Governor Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature over the weekend included a significant increase in operational and capital funding for CUNY, the City University of New York that educates roughly 275,000 students across 25 schools.

    The new funding will help cover student tuition assistance, faculty hiring, child care programs, fringe benefits for staffers and more. But while significant, the increase of roughly $240 million in CUNY

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  • Food for Thought: Healthy School Meals are a No-Brainer

    The Mayor & Chancellor at School (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    When Mayor Adams launched his campaign to improve school nutrition, he opened the door to solving a devastating and long-neglected issue that has left generations of New York City students without the fuel they need to get through the day.

    We’ve all seen photos of disappointing school lunches over the years — the same sloppy joe’s, wilted veggies, and lukewarm pizza that generations of New York City students have sadly grown up on for decades.

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  • To Boost the City's Recovery, Get ‘Learning Leaders’ Back in School

    Parents back to school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography)


    Two non-profit organizations I led later closed down, for very different reasons. One, the September 11th Fund, closed in 2004, having allocated all its funds and determining that many other organizations were in place to continue to provide funding and services to victims of 9/11. This was the right, though difficult thing to do, and it probably should happen more often. 

    But sometimes a

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  • ‘Go Visit Charter Schools’: NYC Charter School Center CEO James Merriman on Growth, Challenges, and Raising the Cap

    A past rally for charter schools with James Merriman, right (photo: @nyccharters)


    “We have a lot more friends in private than we do in public,” James Merriman, the CEO of the New York City Charter School Center, told host Ben Max in a recent conversation on Gotham Gazette’s Max Politics podcast. Half-joking about the political environment related to charter schools in New York, Merriman outlined the current duality for the controversial sector of privately-run public schools:

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  • As City Pilots New Weapons Scanner in Bronx Hospital, Adams Eyes Expansion Into Schools

    Scanners at work (photo: Evolv Technology)


    New York City is currently running a pilot program at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx using an advanced weapon detection system created by Evolv Technology, a Massachusetts-based security technology firm, and Mayor Eric Adams has indicated that the technology could eventually be rolled out in schools across the city.

    In the wake of several incidents of gun violence in the city this year, Mayor Adams has...

  • Max Politics Podcast: The Growth of Charter Schools in New York City

    NYC Charter School Center CEO James Merriman, left (photo: @nyccharters)


    February 22, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The Growth of Charter Schools in New York City

    Why We Welcome Vegan Fridays in New York City Schools

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Mayor Adams at a vegan cooking demo (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Adams administration recently announced that plant-based meals, free of animal products except for federally-required fluid milk, would be served across the New York City public school system on Fridays. Mayor Adams had been crystal clear throughout his campaign about the connection between food and health: “We must stop feeding the crisis.”

    Because city schools serve nearly 1 million meals each day, rolling out the program

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  • It’s Time for a Democratic School Governance System in New York City to Replace Mayoral Control

    Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office

    Students at school (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Our more than 1,600 schools have been under “mayoral control” since 2003 when the New York State legislature gave New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg full control of the school system. The City Board of Education (which former Mayor Bloomberg unofficially renamed the Panel for Educational Policy) has the power to approve contracts, budgets, regulations, “standards, policies and objectives” related to educational achievement and student performance, but is made up of a

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  • 4 Ways Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks Can Support Our Most Vulnerable Students

    course village elem

    Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks at a school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In an interview late last year, New York City’s new schools chancellor, David Banks, vowed to “transform the lives of…[New York City] children, but particularly Black and brown children who have struggled the most in this system.” While all students have struggled during the pandemic,...

  • The Sizable Downside of De Blasio’s Education Record

    de blasio visits school

    Mayor de Blasio at school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    When he first ran for Mayor, Bill de Blasio portrayed himself as a leader who would make a host  of progressive changes in our schools. He promised to be a far different leader than Michael Bloomberg, who had expanded high-stakes testing, proceeded to grade teachers and schools primarily via test scores, closed dozens of public schools displacing thousands of students, and helped charter schools expand in their place. 

    Bloomberg and his schools chancellors had done all

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  • How is New York City Assessing High School Students’ Social and Emotional Skills?

    schools students covid safety

    Students back at school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The pandemic has exacerbated the mental health risks faced by students in our public schools. Last spring, in an effort to monitor students' social-emotional health, the de Blasio administration awarded an $18 million contract to Aperture Education, a South Carolina-based “social enterprise” founded in 2017, to assess students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) at at all grade levels. As a public high school student, I am

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  • New York Needs Leaders Who Think School Safety is Important

    classroom covid

    Kids and teachers safe in school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we had a mayor who thought school safety was important. Bill de Blasio didn’t, or he wouldn’t have placed the ridiculous plan we’ve had since September into effect. Eric Adams doesn’t, or he wouldn’t have rubber-stamped the ‘doubling’ of the anemic de Blasio plan.

    Here’s the problem. You can say we’re testing 10%, 20%, or whatever percentage you choose for covid, but it’s not a real figure unless you’re talking about everyone. Right now, we are

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