NY-GPS To Host Mayoral Debate!
New Yorkers for Great Public Schools invites you to the FIRST DEBATE on education between leading Democratic candidates for Mayor: Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn, Bill DeBlasio and John Liu! May 28th, 3:30pm at the NYU Kimmel Center, RSVP here!
Even Chancellor Walcott Admits Next Mayor May "Dismantle" Bloomberg Reforms The Bloomberg administration is losing the debate on the future of school reform in NYC. Democratic candidates for Mayor have made it a habit to directly challenge Bloomberg's failed school reform agenda. This past week Chancellor Dennis Walcott took the extraordinary step of stepping front and center into the Mayoral debate. Why? Because it looks increasingly likely that the next mayor will reverse course and reject Bloomberg's floundering education legacy. It started last Monday when Walcott and Bloomberg both lashed out in the New York Times at the fact that mayoral candidates, like most New Yorkers, are increasingly fed up with the Bloomberg agenda. Bloomberg went so far as to say "this city does not have a future" if the next mayor rejects his agenda.
Quote of the Week: “New York’s public schools have served as a stepping stone to the middle class, but that stepping stone is crumbling away. The City should be fighting against inequality, not reinforcing it with inadequate and unequal facilities.”
NY-GPS To Host Mayoral Debate! New Yorkers for Great Public Schools invites you to the FIRST DEBATE on education between leading Democratic candidates for Mayor: Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn, Bill DeBlasio and John Liu! May 28th, 3:30pm at the NYU Kimmel Center, RSVP here!
Quote of the Week: “They presented it to families as an alternative to protect their children, but when the package actually hit people’s mailboxes, we realized it’s not a meaningful alternative” - Emma Hulse, Community Organizer, on the “Bloomberg Transfer Packages” (see below)
Students to Protest Anthony Weiner for 'Discriminatory' Position on Discipline, TODAY, 4:15pm outside his home 254 Park Ave S. in Manhattan (More information)
Separate, Unequal and Hazardous Standards In Our Schools Remember how Eva Moskowitz removed PCB’s from her charter school in Cobble Hill, without DOE approval, putting the rest of the public school building (three other schools) at risk of toxic exposure? Things got worse. Last week, a light fixture in one of the public schools in the building began to smoke, leading to an evacuation. A press conference was held the following day, to draw attention to this incident, as parents denounced the DOE for giving special treatment to Eva Moskowitz while students in the public schools are put in the back of the line and remain at risk. Celia Green, a parent who witnessed the smoking light said, "I think that all children, whether they are charter children, whether they are public school children, parochial school children, all children need to be in a safe environment."
As exploding, spilling, or smoking “catastrophic events” with toxic PCB lights becomes a more common occurrence in NYC schools, parents are outraged at the DOE’s inadequate plan to remove PCB lights from more than 700 schools with a timeline of 10 years, unless your name is Eva Moskowitz. Will all of the candidates for Mayor step up to the plate to end ‘separate and unequal’ standards in our schools?
Quote of the week: “Sorry, “Waiting for Superman”: charter schools are not a panacea and have not performed, on average, better than regular public schools. Successful schools — whether charter or traditional — have features in common: a clear mission, talented teachers, time for teachers to work together, longer school days or after-school programs, feedback cycles that lead to continuing improvements. It’s not either-or.”
- Jal Mehta, in Saturday’s NYTimes Op-ed, “Teachers: Will We Ever Learn?”
1) Mayoral Candidates John Liu, Bill Thompson, Electeds Join Students’ Call to End Racial Disparities in School Suspensions & Arrests
Today! Monday, April 15th, 11am, Steps of City Hall, Lower Manhattan
Next Mayor: End Racial Disparities In School Suspensions & Arrests!
Under Mayor Bloomberg, heavy-handed policing and "zero-tolerance" discipline policies in city schools have pushed children out the classrooms and into the criminal justice system. During the 2011-2012 school year alone, 95.2% of the arrests and 89% of the suspensions were issued to black and Latino students. Today, prior to a major hearing on School Climate and Safety, Democratic mayoral candidates John Liu, Bill Thompson, and elected officials will stand with students and call for an end to racial disparities in school suspensions and arrests. Advocates from the Dignity in Schools Campaign-NY, along with the citywide coalition New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, will call on the next Mayor to end racial disparities in school suspensions and arrests, by fully funding and implement positive school-wide approaches to discipline, like restorative justice programs, that improve safety, reduce conflict and increase learning.
Quote of the week: “This is not just a story about the Atlanta school district, this is a story about the grand national experiment we are undertaking and its little discussed dark side.” - Chris Hayes, MSNBC commentator, on the Atlanta cheating scandal
Bloomberg’s Bridge to Nowhere The Village Voice took Mayor Bloomberg to task on the college-readiness crisis; as a shocking 80% of NYC public school students enrolled in CUNY need remediation courses in reading, writing and especially math-- up from 71% a few years ago. Mayor Bloomberg’s failed education policies have deeply strained CUNY’s community colleges—doubling their annual spending on remediation over the last decade. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform’s report “Is Demography Still Destiny?” released last fall highlights how the Mayor’s focus on school choice has done very little to reverse the fact that the neighborhood students live in overwhelmingly determines their chances of being college-ready. We need the next Mayor to make college readiness a top priority and turn around Mayor Bloomberg’s “bridge to nowhere!”
Deny Eva Moskowitz’ Special Access to Our Schools!
The next Mayor must put an end to the era of “what Eva wants, Eva gets,” where parents, students and teachers are left out the decision-making process in co-locations, resorting to lawsuits as the only method of being heard. A few months ago, with the help of Arthur Schwartz, a lawyer with Advocates for Justice, students and parents in Brownsville were able to beat back Eva with a lawsuit in Federal court against a co-location that would have endangered its learning environment. Now, more lawsuits are being planned in schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn based on how these practices will hurt special ed and English Language Learner students. This is exactly why NYC schools need a moratorium on school closings & co-locations until there’s a real plan for students to succeed—co-locations only create more inequity and harm students! Mayoral candidates Bill Thompson, Bill DeBlasio and John Liu all support the moratorium, Christine Quinn opposes a moratorium on closings and co-locations. On this issue Speaker Quinn needs to listen to parents.
Quote of the week:
"Union City is the anti-Bloomberg model for transforming public education: It hasn’t closed a single school, fired teachers en masse, introduced perform-or-perish accountability or encouraged charter schools. And yet it has seen its schools thrive.”
- David Kirp, in Daily News, “How Union City Saved its Schools”
An Anti-Bloomberg Success Model for Public Education
Education expert, David Kirp, wrote an op-ed for the Daily News titled, “How Union City Saved its Schools,” and as being “the anti-Bloomberg model for transforming public education.” He describes how Mayor Bloomberg’s failed education policies have resulted in huge racial disparities in graduation rates, with ‘minimal’ and ‘stagnant’ improvements in student outcomes. Instead, Union City public schools engage parents, enroll almost all students in early education, focus on teaching and learning, a rigorous curriculum, develop the skills of teachers and create critical-thinkers, not test-takers. The next Mayor must take a page, or a book, from Union City!
Quote of the week:
“The PS 2013 bus comprehensively covered the issues that parents care about. We all want smaller class sizes, less testing, more afterschool, a mayor who brings parents to the table, wrap-around services. Laying these issues out in one place made it clear how unsatisfied parents are with the support being given to our public schools.” - Brooke Dunn Parker,parent with WAGPOPS (Williamsburg and Greenpoint Parents for Our Public Schools) quoted in the Greenpoint Gazette
NYTimes: “A Different School Bus” Builds Powerful Parent Voter Bloc
Read the NYTimes article on the PS 2013 Bus Tour led by the A+ NYC coalition! Titled “A Different School Bus: Public School Supporters Seek to Shape NYC Education Policy,”
on the five-borough, seven-day bus tour that reached over 1,800 participants, starting a citywide effort to move away from failed policies and into a new era of successful education reform under the next Mayor.