Archives for category: Bill de Blasio

It was a curious fact that when billionaire Michael Bloomberg was mayor of New York City for 12 years, he had complete control of the public schools yet did not have any fresh ideas about how to improve them.

This should not be surprising, because he was never an educator. He hired another non-educator–Joel Klein–to be his chancellor. The two of them relied heavily on McKinsey and other consultants to guide them. They hired lots of MBAs to staff top  positions. They hoped to adopt a corporate style of organization, which made sense because they had low regard for actual educators.

He adopted every aspect of No Child Left Behind: high-stakes testing, closing schools, firing teachers and principals. He loved opening small schools, and when they failed, he reopened them with a new name so they could start over.

New York City was a faithful replication of NCLB, with punishments and rewards leading the way.

His main idea was to hand schools over to private charter operators, assuming that they would have better ideas about how to run schools than he did.

Some of the charter operators made a point of excluding low-performing students, which artificially boosted their test scores.

Some closed their enrollments in the fourth grade, so they would not have to take in new students after that point.

Some kicked out kids who were in need of special services.

Bloomberg’s favorite charter chain was Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy, which used all of these tricks to get astonishingly high test scores.

Bloomberg was obsessed with data and test scores. He even adopted Jeb Bush’s policy of letter grades for schools (which his successor Bill DeBlasio abolished).

The New York City charter industry practiced all the tricks of raising test scores by manipulating the student population.

In addition, the charter sector mastered the ability to organize mass rallies, flooding legislative halls with students and parents, pleading for more funding for new charters (which they could not attend since they were already enrolled in charters).

So pleased was Bloomberg with his charter policy that it is now the centerpiece of his national education agenda.

He doesn’t care about the nearly 90% of kids who are enrolled in public schools.

He believes in privatization.

If elected, he could retain Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education and maintain continuity with Trump’s education agenda.

New York City investigators began examining the city’s yeshivas in 2015 in response to complaints from graduates of the Yeshivas that they had not received an education that met state requirements. It is 2019 and there is still no report. Leonie Haimson writes about the growing suspicion that the de Blasio administration sat on the investigation in order to win key votes from Orthodox Jews and their allies in the Legislature on the renewal of mayoral control.

The report was finally released on December 19, four years after it was initiated.

Only two of the 28 ultra-orthodox yeshivas visited by the city Education Department over the past three years are providing an education that meets state legal standards, according to a long-awaited report released Thursday.

Schools examined by the city ran the gamut from teaching a full range of subjects in English, to offering no math or English courses, and providing students with no access to textbooks written in English. Of almost 140 elementary and middle school classes officials attended, about a third were taught exclusively in Yiddish, with the remainder taught in a mix of English and Yiddish.

The DOE classified 8 of the 28 schools as well on their way to meeting the state standard of providing an education “substantially equivalent” to the one offered in public schools. Another 12 met parts of the criteria, and five schools had almost no overlap with the requirements.

Naftuli Moster, the executive director of YAFFED, a group dedicated to reforming ultra-orthodox yeshiva education, said the report “reaffirms what we already know: That tens of thousands of children in New York City, including those in nearly 40 Yeshivas the city investigated and those which the city failed to monitor for decades, are being denied a basic education as required by law.”

Here is another report, this one in The Forward, a Jewish-oriented newspaper. 

The mixture of religion and the state is always volatile.

The Yeshiva graduates who demanded the investigation said they had not learned secular subjects, they had learned most of the curriculum in Hebrew, and they were ill-equipped to function in contemporary society.

Why did it take four years to investigate 28 schools?

The NYC publication Gothamist reported:

Probe Finds De Blasio Administration Stalled Report on Academic Standards at Yeshivas

The de Blasio administration engaged in political maneuvering to stall the release of a report on education standards in Hasidic yeshivas, according to city investigators. A joint report from the Department of Investigations and the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools released Wednesday found representatives of the mayor and state legislators took part in “political horse trading” in 2017 as part of a ploy to delay an interim Department of Education report on whether the yeshivas were proving education on par with the city’s public schools.

The effort was part of a plan to secure support for extending mayoral control for city schools, investigators found, which was approved by the legislature in 2017. But investigators determined the agreement “had no substantial effect on the inquiry’s conclusion or the progress of the inquiry,” which was delayed by several other factors, according to a statement from the Department of Investigations, including a generally accommodative stance by the DOE to the yeshivas it was attempting to investigate.

Investigators did not determine whether the mayor personally approved the delay of the DOE report, but the statement noted, “the totality of evidence did indicate the Mayor was aware that the offer to delay had been made.” The report concluded that no laws were violated. The final report from the DOE has still not been released, though de Blasio administration officials indicated it would be coming soon, years after it was promised.

In a statement following the revelations Wednesday, Naftuli Moster, executive director of YAFFED, an educational advocacy group operating in Orthodox Jewish communities, said, “What a disgrace. The DOI/SCI investigation shows the City is willing to trade away the education of tens of thousands of students for power and political influence. These findings also raise concerns as to whether the City will provide an accurate assessment of what is happening inside Yeshiva schools when it finally releases its report.”
*****

Haimson writes:

It is hard to know which is more toxic – the system of autocratic mayoral control which I and others critiqued at Assembly hearings this week;  or the damaging political deals the Mayor has made to keep it – which include not just a delay in issuing a report on the Yeshivas in 2017,  but also that same year, his agreement to an increase in the number of NYC charter schools. 

Before that, as part of the deal to extend mayoral control in 2014 , de Blasio agreed to either co-locate charter schools in public school buildings or help pay for rent in private buildings – a legal obligation which no other district in the state or the nation has been saddled with, and that the DOE is now spending more than $100M per year on.

A question which the DOE/SCI statement does not answer is why the DOE inquiry into the Yeshivas was still in its early stages in June 2017 – given that the initial complaint was made in the July 2015.  See Yaffed’s timeline here.

Another question is what is now holding up the release of the DOE’s final report, given that that the DOE visits to Yeshivas concluded last spring and that  “Although the DOE has now visited all 28 yeshivas [originally named in the complaint that are still open], more than four years after the initial complaints, the DOE’s Inquirycontinues.”

If the visits ended last spring, why does the DOE Inquiry continue and why has no report has yet been issued?  No explanation is provided.

All this makes one suspect that the political influence of the ultra-Orthodox community with the Mayor and City Hall continues to hamper DOE’s actions and reporting on this issue.

If the United States Supreme Court rules against state prohibitions on vouchers for religious schools in the coming term, the public will fund many such schools, including those governed by all religious groups that will step forward to claim their share of the public purse.

If the Supreme Court decides that the state must pay for religious schools, will the state also have the power to regulate those schools and require that they teach subjects in English and meet the same academic standards as other publicly-funded schools?

 

Chalkbeat reports that New York City will require the MAP test for 76 low-performing schools three times a year, in addition to the mandated state tests and interim assessments. This is the beginning of the city’s new plan to add a new barrage of tests. A spokesman for the department said the new test is not a test, it’s actually instruction.

This reminds me of the historic Garfield High School boycott of 2013, when the entire school staff refused to give the MAP, a computer-based test, because it was not aligned with their curriculum and they considered it a waste of time. The teachers won.

This decision suggests that the New York City Department of Education has no new ideas, and the Mayor and Chancellor Carranza are adding new tests because they can’t think of anything else to do.

 

Mayor Bill DeBlasio joined in partnership with Laurene Powell Jobs’ XQ Institute and the hedge-funders’ Robin Hood Foundation to create new schools and transform existing schools. The corporate reformers are not offering much money—only $15 million (crumbs from the billionaires’ table)—but they are getting the Mayor to admit that amateur “reformers” know more than the city’s professional educators. You might say that this deal is a vote of no-confidence in Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Leonie Haimson, the executive director of Class Size Matters, has been consistently critical of the DeBlasio administration for ignoring the importance of Class size reduction. She is also critical of this alliance. On the NYC Parents blog, she wrote:

Robin Hood is spending “up to $5M” to create up to “10 New Imagine schools” – and will be involved in the selection process — which means the DOE is giving up authority over the design of these schools to the assorted #corpreformers there for as little as $500K each. #XQ is funding $10M for “up to 10 HS” either new or redesigned schools.

Thus the DOE must be putting in $17M more – to create or “transform” 35 additional schools, as the application specifies that “20 of the 40 schools selected will be existing schools to redesign, and 20 will be new schools.”

In other words, she says, NYC is “a cheap date.”

De Blasio Administration Announces Community-Centered Public-Private Challenge to Open 20 New Schools and Transform 20 Existing Schools Across 5 Boroughs

October 3, 2019

$32 million public-private partnership with initial support from XQ Institute and Robin Hood will transform learning at 40 schools

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced the Imagine Schools NYC Challenge, a public-private partnership to create 20 new schools and transform 20 existing schools across New York City into schools of the future. The XQ Institute will support plans for both new and existing high schools, while Robin Hood will support new schools across all grade levels. Launching with an initial investment of $32 million in public and private funds, Imagine Schools NYC will be a model for community-driven school innovation within the City’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda.

“This is a big endorsement of public education in New York City. With this support, we’re going to help educators, students and communities come together to design new schools and re-design existing ones that will challenge our kids and increase academic rigor. I want to see great schools in every neighborhood,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“We are successful when we do things with communities, not to communities or for communities. We are changing the paradigm with Imagine Schools NYC – coming together with educators, students, families, and community partners to design radically different schools from the ground up, and to redesign existing schools to meet the demands of the future. Additionally, this first-of-its-kind public-private partnership will impact not only the 40 “Imagine” and “Reimagine” Schools, but also inform our work to innovate and advance equity and academic excellence across all 1,800 of New York City’s public schools. We’re ready to go, and we know New Yorkers are ready to answer the call,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

“Community-driven design teams will build upon the strengths New York City is known for—best-in-class leaders, teachers, and programs,” said Russlynn Ali, Co-Founder and CEO of XQ. “The City’s deep commitment to community agency gives school teams the tools, permission, and flexibility to think and act boldly so all students get what they need—and ensure those visions are sustained. That is why we are so excited to partner in this effort to harness the power of community to transform City high schools into engines of excellence and equity.”

“We are eager to work with the City and Department of Education to launch new schools with new visionary leaders at the helm who are well-poised to serve the children in our most under-resourced communities, and to expand the sharing of effective practices between charter and district schools,” said Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood. “We know how critical this work is to increasing economic mobility in New York City.”

This initiative will produce at least 20 new (“Imagine”) or transformed (“Reimagine”) high schools, with at least one new high school in each of the five boroughs. The remaining 20 schools will be a mix of elementary and middle schools. All 40 Imagine NYC Schools will serve as models for the system. They will be innovative, academically rigorous, community-driven, inclusive, and intentional in their commitment to serve all students. The 20 new schools will not have selective admissions. The City is committed to developing all 40 Imagine NYC schools and funding their implementation and is actively seeking additional funders to join this exciting initiative. Private funds for this initiative will go through the Fund for Public Schools.

Through the Imagine Schools NYC Challenge, educators, students, families, and community partners will be empowered to co-construct unique proposals for schools of the future. Across the City, design teams will come together to develop proposals for new or existing schools with a focus on Equity and Excellence for All.

Imagine Schools NYC will focus on the transformation of the student learning experience. Examples of the kinds of actions school design teams could propose include: authentic, real world learning (internships, apprenticeships, college courses and visits, projects in the community); innovative themes; college, community and industry partnerships; changes to curriculum to align with interesting, high-skill, high-demand sectors; focus on arts, civic engagement, technology or a STEM subject.

“We know our schools are more successful when parents, educators, students and community are at the table, deciding what their school needs to engage, support and enhance education. We need buy-in from the children and adults in the building as well as the community at large,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

“We have seen it time and again – whether expanding the largest computer science education program in the country, or providing a record number of students with internships and early work experiences – when the private sector partners with our public education system the big winners are students, families and communities,” said Darren Bloch, Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “This partnership with the Fund for Public Schools, the Department of Education and these prolific education funders, will help advance a powerful new model for designing public schools around educational best practices through a community driven approach. We are deeply appreciative to have the XQ Institute and Robin Hood working with us to achieve this ambitious goal.”

“New Yorkers have been clear: they want academically challenging schools, with real world learning opportunities like internships, high tech training, and serious, fun pathways to college, strong careers, and amazing futures. Students and educators have also been clear: they want schools that are diverse, inclusive, and supportive of all students. Today Chancellor Carranza, listening to educators, students and parents, is issuing a call to action to all of New York City: Let’s develop great schools together,” said Karin Goldmark, Deputy Chancellor for School Planning and Development.

XQ Institute

The Department of Education will partner with XQ Institute, a national leader in transformational high school design, on XQ+NYC, the initiative’s work in grades 9-12.

XQ’s school-design process empowers educators, students, and community members to create high schools where all students realize their full potential—schools that are academically challenging, authentically diverse, and aligned to the skills and knowledge young people need to be successful in an ever-changing world.

Based on research and expert practice, the process helps teams engage thoughtfully and creatively with big priorities for high school design and redesign—like listening to the voices of students, getting a diverse cross-section of the community involved, activating teachers and other educators, and looking beyond the day-to-day constraints that often stifle innovative thinking. These schools will manifest key design principles of excellent, equitable high schools: a strong mission and culture; meaningful, engaged learning; caring, trusting relationships; youth voice and choice; community partnerships; and smart use of time, space, and technology.

Dynamic plans for new high schools as well as transformational models for existing schools will emerge from this effort. XQ Institute has committed $10 million to support the implementation of up to 10 high school plans, with the goal of joining XQ’s national cohort of community-developed schools – models for driving equity, excellence, and innovation.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty fighting nonprofit, is partnering with the Department of Education in two ways: First, Robin Hood will commit up to $5 million to support the creation of up to10 new Imagine Schools dedicated to serving the most historically under-resourced students in New York City. Robin Hood will partner with the Department of Education on a rigorous selection process resulting in school designs with the greatest promise of eliminating opportunity gaps for underserved students.

Second, Robin Hood will support both current and new district school leaders in driving transformational change through a $1 million expansion of the DOE’s District-Charter Partnership work centered on proven, effective professional development.

Student and Community Centered Design Process

Starting immediately, and continuing over the next three years, design teams have the opportunity to apply to become Imagine Schools.

Design teams, some of which have already begun forming across the City, will work together to submit initial concept proposals starting in October 2019. Selected teams will advance to additional application rounds in Winter and Spring 2020, with the first round of Imagine and Reimagine school designs announced in May 2020.

The application is available online, and the DOE has a robust outreach strategy to ensure all communities are aware of and apply to participate in this opportunity. So far, through the spring and summer, the DOE has invited principals to attend design day sessions. Department representatives have attended community events and distributed flyers in neighborhoods across the City to raise awareness. The DOE will use its social media, website, parent and family email lists, and parent leadership bodies to encourage teams to participate in the coming weeks.

“It is always a good day when there’s investments made in public schools. Imagine Schools NYC is a community driven initiative addressing many, many needs and is a game changer for students. Educators, students, parents and community stakeholders will be able to develop innovative school models that will provide real-world educational experiences for our students,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. “It’s time to build curricula around the diverse strengths of students and in alignment with 21st century opportunities and needs. I look forward to touring an Imagine School in the near future.”

“This is a bold and forward-thinking initiative where students and communities are called to interact and design their own schools and educational futures. Excellence will emerge when all voices are at the table. As dedicated agents of design learning, design thinking, and implementing, we anticipate the powerful school environments that will come from partnering with designers and creative educators.  Thank you for bringing design practice to its best purpose and position—to this invitation to all New Yorkers to participate in building the platform for creating extraordinary schools.” saidFrances Bronet, President, Pratt Institute.

“Simply stated, re-imagining schools that lift student voice, promote intellectual curiosity, embrace community partnerships, and position students to succeed in the 21st century marketplace, are all key ingredients for success.” said NeQuan C. McLean, President CEC 16.

“We are excited by the limitless possibilities of the Imagine Schools NYC initiative. Highlighting voices of students, families and the community alongside educators to expand our understanding of schools outside of a physical building. This opportunity to envision schools that challenge and radically change what education can be – prioritizing knowledge and embedding schools as the heart of the community. We are all in!” said Sheree Gibson, Co-Chair, Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council (CPAC).

“We believe that Imagine Schools has the power to create meaningful learning experiences that extend beyond the traditional classroom walls whereby students own and direct their own learning,” said Fiorella Cabrejos, principal of Fordham Leadership Academy.

“What our system needs isn’t just new schools—it’s schools that listen to all the voices that are part of the system – the students, parents, teachers, and surrounding communities – and create radical change in response. The Imagine Schools NYC initiative has created a path for this kind of innovation in school design, encouraging opportunities for school design teams to engage with their communities. It’s amazing to see how excited people get to share their ideas about school design. The Imagine Schools NYC initiative is what our city- and our school system overall – needs,” said Meredith Hill, Assistant Principal of Columbia Secondary School.

“The Imagine Schools initiative brought students like me to the table, empowering us to own our education and create a better one for future generations. Student voice is critical to changing the way we learn, and I’m honored to have been a part of this much needed, innovative partnership,” said Makai Bryan, a 12th-grade student in Manhattan.

More information on the process is available at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/initiatives/imagine-schools-nyc.

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov(212) 788-2958

 

The New York City Council Committee on Education held a hearing to discuss overtesting in the schools, and the Department of Education’s chief academic officer announced a plan to increase testing to be sure students are ready for the state test.

The Department will add four off-the-shelf standardized tests to replace the school-selected interim assessments.

New testing requirements are in the offing for city schools—even as teachers, students and advocates blasted a culture of excessive exams at a City Council hearing Tuesday.

City Education Department officials said schools may soon be required to test students several times a year to see how they’re doing before the high-stakes, state-mandated exams arrive at the end of the year.

The irony wasn’t lost on City Council Member Mark Treyger (D – Brooklyn), who convened the hearing.

“We just had a whole discussion on the impact test have on our schools,” Treyger said, “and we’re saying we’re going to implement another one.”

Mayor Bill DeBlasio controls the Department of Education.

it seems as though most of the school year will focus on standardized tests.

 

When Mayor Bill DeBlasio was on the Democratic debate stage, he lashed out at the charter industry and vowed to fight the privatizers.

But as mayor, he is protecting them.

As Leonie Haimson explains, DeBlasio’s Department of Education routinely hands over the lists of public school students to the charters, despite the protests of parents.

No other city, she says, voluntarily gives charters the names and addresses of public school students.

Now he says parents may ask to remove their names, but that is not good enough.

This is the official statement from DeBlasio’s Department of Education. If you want to take your child’s name off the charter mailing list, it is your responsibility to ask to remove his or her name. If you do nothing, your child’s name and address will be handed over to vendors working for the charter industry.

What happened to the charter school wait lists? Do they exist?

Haimson writes:

After vehement parent protests and a FERPA privacy complaint submitted to the US Department of Education, the DOE announced they will allow parents to opt out of charter mailings in the future, as the Daily News reported today. This is NOT good enough, either from a policy or privacy standpoint.

Best practice to ensure student privacy would require parental consent, as the US Department of Education notes – especially as many parents will not notice the opt out forms in backpack mail or their children may forget to share it with them.

Best practice from the standpoint of good policy would be for the DOE not to allow charter schools to buy access to this information at all – which only helps them market their schools and expand their enrollment.

NYC is the ONLY district in the entire country that voluntarily helps charter schools expand in this manner; even ostensibly pro-charter districts like Chicago don’t make this information available to charter schools.

At the recent NEA forum for presidential candidates, Mayor de Blasio aggressively postured about how he opposed charter schools:

“I’m going to be blunt with you, I am angry about the state of public education in America…“I am angry about the privatizers. I am sick and tired of these efforts to privatize a precious thing we need — public education. I know we’re not supposed to be saying ‘hate’ — our teachers taught us not to — I hate the privatizers and I want to stop them,” he said.

Charter schools already drain more than $2.1 billion from the DOE budget as well as take up valuable space in our overcrowded public school buildings. Too bad that the Mayor continues to favor the privatizers in his actions, if not his words.

 

DeBlasio recently boasted at the NEA candidates’ panel about his courageous resistance to the charter industry. It is true that he started his first term in office in 2014 determined to stop the charter zillionaires’ efforts to grab money and the students they wanted from the public schools.

When he did not grant Eva Moskowitz all the new charters she wanted, her backers launched a PR blitz against DeBlasio, spending $6 million on emotional appeals on TV.

Eva bused parents and students to Albany, where Governor Cuomo pledged his loyalty to the charter cause. The legislature passed a bill requiring NYC to let the charters expand at will, to give charters any public space they wanted at no cost, and to pay their rent if they couldn’t find suitable public space.

At that point, DeBlasio stopped fighting the charter industry.

Currently, the New York City Department of Education gives the charter industry its lists of students’ names and addresses for recruitment purposes.

Parents have protested this misuse of their children’s private information. This practice of releasing personally identifiable student information is illegal under state law.

Recently Chancellor Carranza pledged to end the practice. But as Leonie Haimson reported, DeBlasio reversed the decision and promised to reach his own decision. He has not made any decision and the charter industry continues to bombard public school parents with recruitment letters.

So much for those mythical long waiting lists!

Speaking of mythical waiting lists, Leonie Haimson also reported on an exciting new development at Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter chain:

More recently, Moskowitz created what is described as a “full service, brand strategy, marketing, and creative division within Success Academy” called the “The Success Academy Creative Agency” according to the LinkedIn profile of its Managing Director, Meredith Levin. 

In an earlier version of her profile, Levin described this internal marketing division of Success as a  “group of over 30 creative directors, designers, copywriters, strategists, e-learning architects & project managers to develop, execute and optimize campaigns to recruit 1,000+ teachers, enroll families, donors, influencers, and cultivate community engagement.

 

Betsy DeVos was honored by the rightwing Manhattan Institute. In her by now well-rehearsed speech, she ridiculed the idea of spending more money on public schools, and extolled school choice. She singled out Mayor deBlasio’s Renewal program for criticism.

Matt Barnum has a good summary in Chalkbeat of her boilerplate remarks and appropriately notes how she cherrypicked data and ignored recent studies about the poor results of vouchers, one of her favorite causes. He noted that the Manhattan Institute had praised the Mayor’s efforts.

The charter industry in New York City hopes to persuade the State Legislature to raise the charter cap in the city. The state has unused slots but the city does not. They claim there’s a wait list for their charters but at the same time they demand access to the names and addresses of public school students whom they bombard with recruitment letters. If they have a long wait list, why are they recruiting?

He wrote:

Other recent studies have shown that more money for schools benefits students in a number of ways. DeVos also did not mention research, including a recent study in Louisiana, showing that private school voucher programs hurt students’ math test scores.

But she was on firmer empirical ground criticizing de Blasio’s Renewal program and praising New York City’s charter schools, which tend to outperform district schools on state exams. A recent study found that the Renewal turnaround approach didn’t lead to clear improvements in test scores or high school graduation rates, but did seem to boost attendance.

Ironically, the Manhattan Institute analysis has offered the most optimistic view of the Renewal program. DeVos didn’t bring up this study.

Of course, New York City’s charters are free to push out the students they don’t want, which raises test scores.

Having DeVos as their ally won’t be helpful to their cause now that both Houses of the Legislature are controlled by Democrats.

This is a link to an article on Leonie Haimson’s blog that describes the public school parents’ rally on the steps of City Hall.

You will see a photo of a parent holding up a handmade sign: “MY CHILD IS NOT YOUR CUSTOMER.”

There is a post and a video. The post begins:

This afternoon, in front of the NYC Department of Education headquarters, NYC public school parents told Mayor de Blasio to stop bowing to the charter school lobby and halt the practice of giving charters access to student personal information to market their schools.  Instead, they said, he should listen to parents’ concerns, stop violating their children’s privacy, and cease this practice, which by helping charters expand, causes the loss of funding and space from our public schools.

In recent weeks, Chancellor Carranza has repeatedly promised parent leaders, both publicly and privately, that this practice would be discontinued, but the Mayor has yet to make a commitment to do so, and in the last few days he has said that he has not yet made a decision.  

Said Johanna Garcia, public school parent and President of Community Education Council in District 6 in Upper Manhattan:  “It is unconscionable that this practice continues. For more than a decade, parents and advocates have complained to DOE about the privacy violations incurred by allowing charters to access our children’s personal information without our consent.  I filed a FERPA complaint to the US Department of Education about this practice in November 2017.  Moreover, I am not aware of another school district in the country that voluntarily makes this information available to charter schools and undermines our public schools in the process.”

NeQuan McLean, co- chair of the Education Council Consortium and the President of Community Education Council in District 16 Brooklyn said: “My mailbox is continually flooded with deceptive promotional materials from charter schools.  As a result of expensive marketing campaigns and the damaging co-location policies of the DOE, my district has been overrun by charters.  The Mayor repeatedly says he listens to parents; we are saying loudly and clearly that he should end this practice now.”

“Not only is personal student information unnecessary for appropriate marketing, providing access to it is an unacceptable violation of student privacy,” said Mark Cannizzaro, president of the Counselor of School Supervisors and Administrators.

Shino Tanikawa, the co-chair of the ECC and a member of NYC Kids PAC, agreed: “For years, DOE has ignored parents’ complaints about this practice, which started in 2006 when Joel Klein agreed to help Success Academy charter schools expand their “market share” as Eva Moskowitz put it in an email.  The result is that this year, more than two billion dollars has been diverted from our public schools. Why should our supposedly progressive Mayor continue this practice, when he promised parents he would defend our public schools in the face of charter encroachment? “

Please note that the parents were not wearing matching T-shirts. Their children were not let out of school for the rally. They paid their own way to the rally.

 

 

For years, the charter industry in New York has boasted about its superiority compared to public schools and claimed that there were long waiting lists of students clamoring for admission to charter schools. We now know that there never was a waiting list. The charters were given access to the names and addresses of public school students so they could bombard them with marketing materials in search of new students. Even Success Academy,  the biggest boaster of all the charters, relied on the harvesting of public school lists to recruit new students.

Tomorrow, parents in New York City will Rally to urge Mayor DeBlasio to stop the practice of sharing their children’s data with the charters.

 

Dear Diane,

We need YOU tomorrow at a very important press conference in New York City. Below is an important message from NYC Kids Pac.

___________________________________________________

Please come to a press conference this Monday at 1 PM at Tweed to demand that the Mayor stop providing charter schools access to student personal information to help them market their schools. This not only violates our children’s privacy, but by assisting charters to recruit students, this cannibalizes public schools by encouraging charters to absorb an ever-increasing amount of funding, students and space.

Please come and show your support! Don’t let the Mayor fail to act because of threats from the charter lobby – while he continues to brush aside parent voices, violate student privacy and undermine our public schools.

See press advisory with more details below; please share this message with other parents, friends and colleagues.

Hope to see you there,

Naila, Isaac, Fatima, Celia, Leonie, Eduardo, Margaret, Andy, Brooke, Karen, Shino and Tesa

What: Press conference to oppose the Mayor’s practice of sharing personal student information with charter schools

Who: NYC public school parents and parent leaders

When: Monday April 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Where: The steps of the Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers Street, downtown Manhattan

Why:   NYC public school parents and parent leaders demand that the Mayor cease the practice of allowing charter schools access to student personal information. In response to long-standing parent complaints, Chancellor Carranza has repeatedly promised parents in recent weeks, both publicly and privately, that this practice will be discontinued, but the Mayor has yet to make a commitment to do so and in the last few days has said no decision has yet been made.  

NYC is the only district in the country which voluntarily shares this information to help them charters expand their market share. Parents have long complained that this violates their children’s privacy, and this was the subject of a FERPA student privacy complaint to the US Department of Education in November 2017. Moreover, by allowing access to this information, the DOE has encouraged the rapid expansion of charter schools, which are now costing our public schools more than $2.1 billion per year. As a result, our public schools have less space and fewer resources to educate our neediest students.

While in the past, the DOE has suggested that public schools improve their “marketing”  to compete, they do not have the necessary funds to do so and in any case, most parents do not believe that the public schools  should be forced to divert what precious resources they have for this purpose.

Co-sponsored by NYC Kids PAC and the Education Council Consortium (ECC), made up of elected and appointed Community Education and Citywide Council members, established to address issues that affect schools and communities throughout all five boroughs.  

Thanks for all you do,

Carol Burris

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