Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Education

Education

  • 4 reopen quality

    The mayor and schools chancellor at a school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The next Mayor of New York City will need to ensure that communities hit hardest by COVID-19 can not only recover, but achieve greater economic security and prosperity in the future.

    Recovery after covid and the creation of green, healthy schools for all go together.

    As part of the full re-opening of the public school system, city government should prioritize installing HVAC systems and solar energy in every school. Doing so will enhance air

    ...
  • mhc middle school

    Mayor de Blasio at school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    I’m writing this on June 25—the last day of the 2020-2021 school year.

    And while we know next school year will start on September 13, there's so much we still don't know.

    There are some factors—vaccination rate, CDC guidelines—that are holding up some of the details, but the lack of a clear plan and clear communication from Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Department of Education now promises some amount of chaos two months from now. And for those of us

    ...
  • first lady parkside

    Kids in school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The full in-person public school re-opening won’t be a return to normal for the New York City school children who have suffered most from 16 months of covid turbulence, exacerbated by histories of systemic and structural racism. Their outlook on life has fundamentally changed. 

    As Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter has acknowledged, we need more social workers in schools, lifting students’ voices. But unless we as social workers and educators can also shift our approach to

    ...
  • maya wil edit

    Maya Wiley (photo: @mayawiley)


    Maya Wiley is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor as one of the leading progressives in the race, leaning heavily on her accolades as a civil rights attorney. Her education platform includes a number of the most aggressive and embattled proposals to integrate the city’s deeply segregated schools and she has said her position is forged by her own experience going to a segregated elementary school. But as she has sought the progressive mantle and pledged decisive action toward racial equality, Wiley has not emphasized school

    ...
  • big dreams federal

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


    In 1951, Langston Hughes famously asked, “what happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun, or fester like a sore and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?”  

    For years, the dreams of children in our community have been deferred. They have been deferred through an army of overcrowded classes, an assembly line of underfunded schools,

    ...
  • daily life imagery

    Kids in Brooklyn (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Just when you thought the world of New York City yeshiva education couldn’t get any more like “Alice in Wonderland,” along comes a new ruling by New York State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa that, in Lewis Carroll's words, just makes the years-long dispute over lack of secular education at Hasidic yeshivas "curiouser and curiouser." 

    Here’s the background: In September 2019,

    ...
  • delivers remarks send

    Nurses help (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Dear Mayor de Blasio and other city budget decision-makers,

    The federal government recently provided funds for our school system to recover from the pandemic as part of the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER). In addition, New York State has fully funded the Foundation Aid formula for the first time since 2007. A public health crisis brought our city to a grinding halt in early 2020, and the decade-old school nurse crisis has

    ...
  • moving toward a

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


    On Tuesday, April 27, my kids returned to full-time in-person school for the first time since Friday the 13th of March, 2020. But approximately 600,000 kids in New York City are still learning from home. We must do better.

    One surprising outcome of this pandemic: My three elementary school daughters -- Sadie, Juno and Ruby -- were thrilled at the promise of more time in the classroom. Their first morning back had the first-day-of-school energy as they giggled at reuniting friends

    ...
  • 5 community schools answer

    A community school celebration (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Dear Candidates for Mayor:

    Among the myriad issues you are discussing during public forums and interviews, none is more important than the education of New York City’s children and adolescents. You have responded to, and raised, several aspects of our educational landscape in these venues but we have heard precious little about whether you support expansion of the city’s community schools initiative, an effort that began in response to a de Blasio campaign

    ...
  • Post-Covid, Teachers Should Get the Support They Deserve

    A teacher at work (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    I had missed the call from my son’s school because I was on yet another Zoom. When I called back, my world turned on its head as I heard words like “suspicious package” “white powder,” and “lockdown.”

    When I reached my son’s school on the Upper West Side, I found the block cordoned off, flashing police cars and ambulances lining the block, people in stark white hazmat suits going in and out of the school and terrified parents like me waiting

    ...
  • robotics tech class

    Robotics and tech ed (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    With more than half-a-million New Yorkers out of work amid a painful economic downturn, the continued growth of tech positions stands out as a beacon of economic recovery. Connecting more residents with these jobs presents an important opportunity for the next mayor to get New Yorkers working again.

    Despite months of grim economic news, tech firms have continued to double down on New York City. Over the past year, companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix have signed new

    ...
  • dept health mental hygiene comm

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


    Here's the deal: This time last year, the New York City Department of Education closed schools for in-person learning because of the early devastation COVID-19 was causing in New York. While we all understood this was necessary, what happened next was a completely inappropriate and very unnecessary response to that closure by the State.

    The New York City public school system closed for in-person learning during the home stretch of

    ...
  • mayor cha sch

    Pandemic education (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Leading Democratic candidates for mayor have appeared at several recent forums to outline their priorities on education and the possibility of running the country’s largest school system, as well as their strategies for achieving those aims. Discussion at the various forums, hosted by a number of diverse groups, was often focused on how the mayoral hopefuls would shape equitable and inclusive educational policy for New York City students, especially amid the fallout of the coronavirus

    ...
  • chan visit ps

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


    Economic and racial inequities have been a plague in New York City’s education system for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation for our most vulnerable students. Faced with the reckoning of remote learning, we’ve been bombarded with stories of how our public schools lack the resources to adequately equip students with the technology they need to stay afloat, while something as simple as providing wi-fi to every child has only been met with excuses. Yet often

    ...
  • holds ava photo

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


    In July 2018, a few months after New York City welcomed a new schools chancellor, The Atlantic asked, “Can Richard Carranza Integrate the Most Segregated School System in the Country?”

    Now we have our answer. On Friday, Carranza announced his resignation, attributing it to the emotional toll the pandemic had taken on

    ...
  • students school steps

    Kids back to school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On Thursday morning, February 25, thousands of New York's middle school students scrambled for misplaced backpacks and student MetroCards, trundled out the door, and made their way to long-abandoned classrooms, ready at last to resume in-person instruction after months of remote learning. Thousands of teachers were there to greet them—many no doubt wearing nervous but enthusiastic grins behind their doubled-up facemasks.

    Sadly, my daughter Karina—a seventh-grader at Brooklyn's MS 88—wasn’t

    ...
  • attends rally parental

    "Parental Choice in Education" (photo: Governor Cuomo's Office/Kevin P. Coughlin)


    My career began with my yeshiva education; a rigorous study of the Talmud that sparked a relentless pursuit of reason.

    There is a common misconception that religious studies are not as academically rigorous as secular education, but that is far from the truth. Yeshiva education fosters logic and logic fosters innovative problem-solving. Yeshiva education is, quite frankly, more beneficial to the development of students’ analytical skills than secular

    ...
  • back 2 school

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


    In our latest video brief on key issues at play in the 2021 New York City elections, with a focus on the race for mayor, hosts Jarrett Murphy and Ben Max discuss education. Key topics within the larger issue include who the next mayor will appoint as a schools chancellor, how the next mayor and chancellor will manage the sprawling education bureaucracy, how candidates are talking about hot-button issues including school desegregation, charter schools, and much

    ...
  • second round comm

    Gov. Cuomo visits a school (photo: governor's office)


    Thanks to the election of the Biden-Harris ticket and a newly Democratic U.S. Congress, New York can expect much more favorable treatment in any new federal pandemic relief program than it would have received from the Trump administration or Republican Congress.

    But however much New York gets from the federal government in the coming months, it won’t be enough for our public school children if the state uses that federal aid to replace rather than add to the state’s own funding of our

    ...
  • 1 gifted talented

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office)


    The politics of New York City public schools reached a fever pitch last week, when the Panel for Education Policy (PEP) voted down a vendor contract to give the Gifted and Talented (G&T) test this Spring. Along with 22 other Community Education Council members from throughout the city and one state senator, I testified in opposition to the contract for several reasons.

    First, the mayor recently announced that starting in 2022, the test would no longer be administered for admissions.

    ...
  • first lady cm

    The Mayor, First Lady, & Chancellor at a school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Last week, Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza announced that they will administer the controversial and problematic test for admissions to “gifted and talented” classes this spring, for perhaps a final year. Then: 

    “We will spend the next year engaging communities around what kind of programming they would like to see that is more inclusive, enriching, and truly supports the needs of academically advanced and diversely talented students at a more appropriate

    ...
  • students with technology nyc schools hs

    Schools need computers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On November 20, a City Council hearing revealed that 60,000 students still lacked an internet-enabled device from the Department of Education (DOE) to participate in remote learning, which had begun more than eight months prior. That number of students lacking sufficient technology only grows when you include students who lack headphones, keyboards, or other critical pieces of technology that allow students

    ...
  • schools communites dec

    The men making schools decisions (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    School reopening has been a particular challenge for women in New York City. From lack of communication between the Department of Education, staff, and caregivers, constantly changing schedules, failure to invest in a care economy that values domestic labor and childcare, lack of tech support, and lack of funding to the daily demands of remote learning and the material conditions in schools, women have been hit hardest by the struggles our schools face. 

    As we think about how

    ...
  • schools jhs bk

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


    When I was younger, my grandfather - an asylum seeker - used to tell me that hard work and persistence will always be rewarded. After all, he became successful in the United States after years of injustice in Egypt. And so, I believed him.

    But during my time in high school, I have learned that this idea of hard work amounting to success is not the case in the New York City public school system.

    Right before I was born, my family moved into a tiny downtown apartment

    ...
  • mayor school crowd

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


    Mayor de Blasio's mishandling of the public school pandemic response has led to calls to reform or replace mayoral control of New York City schools.

    Almost six years ago, I wrote in these pages advocating the case for mayoral control based on the still-valid theory that quality education depends on maximum funding based on the Mayor's control of the city budget and the need for political

    ...