Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Education

Education

  • The City Must Restore Mayor's Misguided Cuts to Essential Community Schools Program

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    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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  • For Our Most Vulnerable Families, The City Must Delay In-Person School and Improve Remote Learning

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    The Mayor and Chancellor visit a school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Deciding if and how we reopen schools this fall has been incredibly difficult and complex for city leaders. Keeping students, teachers, and support staff safe is of paramount importance in any reopening plan — but access to the resources and support that in-person instruction provides is a lifeline for many students.

    Only a few weeks out from the first day of classes, it is clear our city is not equipped to safely bring 1.1 million students back to school. For

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  • The Schools Chancellor Must Step Up or Step Aside

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


    Unless there's an unexpected, immediate turnaround, New York City's public schools need new leadership.

    Poorly planned March closures, Spring and Summer distance learning failures, and overwhelmingly confused reopening plans for Fall are evidence of a system in near collapse and the cause of widespread parent and teacher despondency.

    This is not all Chancellor Richard Carranza's fault. He works for a Mayor who has been slow and stubborn throughout the city's pandemic response,

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  • Should New York City Cut School Bus Service?

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    A school bus in the city (Wikimedia Commons)


    Challenged by reduced bus capacity due to social distancing and strained budgets, school districts face difficult decisions about school busing this fall. How can districts allocate scarce busing resources to best support students? Some districts, like Dayton, Ohio, are considering eliminating bus service for charter schools. Others would go farther, ...

  • Giving New York City’s 114,000 Homeless Children a Better Shot in School

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    New York City school children (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As thousands of demonstrators march through the streets of New York City calling for an end to police brutality and equality of opportunity for people of color, and we are on the verge of sending our children back to school of some kind, it is time that we focus on the most vulnerable people of color, and that is homeless children.

    The organization Advocates For Children estimates that there are 114,000 homeless students in the New York City school system and that

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  • Two Keys to Solving the City’s School Crisis

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    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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  • What Those Targeting the SHSAT Don’t Really Understand About the Specialized High School Picture

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    Mayor de Blasio announces specialized high school plans (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    One of the most controversial topics in the New York City public education system is the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and its use as the sole tool for admission to the city’s eight premier STEM-oriented specialized high schools. There has always been a robust debate about the admissions process, because while the New York City public schools are predominantly African-American and Latino (about 68% of students), these populations represent only 10.4% of

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  • Neither Quality Nor Quantity: Mayor De Blasio’s Unworkable School Reopening Plan

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    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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  • The Covid Crisis Has Made It Additionally Clear: It’s Time to End School Admissions Screens in New York City

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    Brandon St. Luce, the author (photo: Dulce Michelle)


    Sunday, May 17 of this year, marked 66 years since the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that “separate is inherently unequal.” Yet today, many of our nation’s public school systems remain both separate and unequal. Nowhere is this clearer than in New York City, where I attend high school. 

    For five years, Mayor Bill de Blasio has touted an “Equity and Excellence” agenda while maintaining discriminatory admissions requirements at hundreds of middle and high

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  • Prioritize Schools - New Yorkers Demand a Real Plan for Our Students and Our City

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    students and schools in focus (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    It can't be easy to be in charge of New York City schools right now, facing a triple threat of crises: health, financial, and educational. However, our city as a whole can't function without our schools open—until that happens, parents, guardians, and caregivers can't get back to work; businesses across our city can't rely on their employees; and many children can't get the educational, social-emotional, and nutritional support they need.

    We know there are increasing numbers of unknown

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Teachers Union President Michael Mulgrew on Reopening New York City Schools

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    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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  • As Unemployment and Crime Spike, City Plan for Disconnected Young Adults Remains Years Behind Schedule

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    The mayor is behind on a plan for disconnected youth (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    A city task force meant to address the needs of out-of-school, out-of-work youth in the city, who pre-pandemic numbered at over 118,000 in New York City, has not yet released its report, over two years after it was due. Now, with over 35% of young adults in the city unemployed and gun violence increasing, advocates like Marjorie Parker of JobsFirstNYC, an advocacy group that was a ...

  • Make My School and All Others Police-Free

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    Students rally for police-free schools (photo: Urban Youth Collaborative)


    Every morning, I walk through a metal detector to start my day. I’m one of thousands of students who attend heavily policed schools, where there are more school safety agents than nurses, guidance counselors, and therapists combined. Students of color like me deserve to feel safe and supported, not policed, in our classrooms — but a new proposal to simply transfer school safety agents

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  • How We Must Reinvent New York City Education After Coronavirus

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    (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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  • Reimagine Education in New York – Without Segregation

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo has called rightly on New Yorkers, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, to reimagine education. We should reimagine it without racial segregation. 

    The novel coronavirus’ path of destruction has starkly illuminated the structural racism that underpins so much inequality in America. That inequality includes educational segregation in New York. 

    Structural racism, which is the historical and ongoing racial discrimination and segregation of Black people in particular, is typically

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  • The Mayor’s Short-Sighted Professional Development Design

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


    It was 2014 when Mayor de Blasio declared that “under Carmen Fariña’s leadership, principals and teachers alike have been training and training and training – it’s like they’re all going to the Olympics – they’ve been training all summer to be the best they could be.”

    But six years later, the mayor has changed his tune. He’s proposing to slash funding for professional development for the city’s 75,000 educators at a time when children need us most and teachers most need it

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  • Encouraging Trends to Embrace for Path Forward at City’s Specialized High Schools

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    Mayor and Chancellor have major decisions to make (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    While our schools are shut down because of the coronavirus, recent good news points to successful efforts to improve the ethnic diversity of the city’s specialized high schools -- Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and five others.

    At the end of May, the New York City Department of Education issued its report on the Discovery Program. Created over 50 years ago to improve admissions for black and Latino students, it had fallen into complete disuse, except at Brooklyn Tech. To

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  • New Yorkers Can Weigh In On Recommendations for New Student 'Civic Readiness' Standards

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    A task force is examining student 'civic readiness' (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New Yorkers can now weigh in on developing state standards for “civic readiness” among students in K-12 schools. The New York Board of Regents’ Civics Readiness Task Force put forth three major recommendations in January, after a yearlong process, and a public comment period is now open as the Board is set to further consider what steps to take to mandate new civics standards in schools across the state.

    The process is part of a

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  • Pandemic Reinforces De Blasio's Inaction on School Desegregation Recommendations

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    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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  • To Reopen Schools, The Mayor Needs Smaller Classes - Here’s $570 Million in Potential Department of Education Savings to Get Him Started

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    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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  • Solving the School Nurse Crisis Before Schools Reopen

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    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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  • How is New York City Going to Safely Open Its Many Overcrowded Schools, Like Mine?

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    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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  • Coronavirus Tests New York City Schools

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    (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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  • Coronavirus Threatens to Perpetuate Generational Inequality, Leaving Young People Behind Yet Again

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    Young people are again in highly precarious positions as the economy crumbles (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    If we have learned anything from the Great Recession just a decade ago, it’s that young adult generations that enter the labor market in an economic downturn are at a serious disadvantage, impacting their ability to successfully launch a career and reach financial security and self-sufficiency like the generations before

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on the City's Shift to Remote Learning

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    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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