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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Dear Chancellor Carranza: How is the Implementation of Your "Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education" Policy Coming Along?

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, center, defends the policy of “culturally responsive-sustaining education” during a meeting Wednesday in lower Manhattan. PHOTO: CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
What "Culturally Responsive Education" means is anyone's guess, but truthfully I am skeptical. I am mindful of the fact that any rule, policy or law is only as good as its' implementation.
 
We need to know who will implement the "culturally responsive-sustaining education", and what the consequences are for those who don't, won't, can't and didn't go along with it.
 
The UFT is on board, with workshops:

Culture Matters: Developing Strategies and Practices For The Culturally Responsive Classroom

Dates: November 21, 2019
Meets: Th from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Location: UFT Manhattan
There are 3 openings remaining at this time.
 
If anyone gets information, email us at betsy@advocatz.com. Thanks!
We never went along with Mayoral control of the school system. We spoke at many meetings of the Panel For Educational Policy, the NYC school board "PEP", and told the appointed (not elected!) members exactly that. The PEP members routinely break the laws of NY State by voting on closing schools for no valid reason, not voting on the charges for tenured teachers brought to 3020-a, and other rules, laws and regulations. The PEP are appointed, and must follow the directives of their appointing individual and agency.

We all should be mindful of the foundation of mayoral control, which is a non-voting, non-powerful public (from Parentadvocates.org, 2007):

 Michael Cardozo's introduction to his submission which removes the constitutional rights of NYC citizens
Pages index -11
Pages 12-25
Pages 26-41
Pages 42-58
Pages 59-80

I guess we just gotta be watchful and hold people accountable for their actions.
 
You're welcome.
 
Betsy Combier, betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ.com
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, Parentadvocates.org
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials
 
Panel votes on chancellor’s plan to create more diverse learning environment
Wall Street Journal,  

For some parents, Chancellor Richard Carranza’s push for more curriculum honoring diverse students’ experiences is a welcome step toward inclusion.
For others, his policy marks another example of how his intense focus on race, class and equity can distract from the urgent need to teach basic math, reading and science.
The city’s Panel for Educational Policy, a group of mostly mayoral appointees, voted unanimously to approve the chancellor’s call for schools to embrace his formal definition of “culturally responsive” education. Ten members voted yes, two weren’t present and one seat is vacant.
Mr. Carranza has argued forcefully for desegregating schools and fighting bias. The vote comes after months of conflict about admissions to eight specialized public high schools. The chancellor is lobbying Albany lawmakers to scrap the entrance test to better integrate them. Defenders of the test say the chancellor’s rhetoric has pitted parents from different backgrounds against each other.
Opponents of the New York City Department of Education's policy of “culturally responsive-sustaining education” at the Wednesday meeting. PHOTO: CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
About 100 parents showed up at a meeting that was at times raucous on Wednesday in Chinatown, with supporters waving signs saying “My culture matters” and “CRSE 4 NYC.” Critics of the chancellor, including many Asian parents, held signs saying “Fire Carranza.” At one point, the crowd burst into competing chants.
Chinese parents were upset and insulted to find there was a Spanish translator but no Chinese translator, which they said showed the department didn’t care about their voices. The department scrambled to find one, delaying the meeting by two hours. A spokeswoman said the agency was investigating what happened and will ensure it doesn’t happen again.
The one-page definition of “culturally responsive” education says students’ varied perspectives—whether tied to nationality, religion, race or other backgrounds—should be seen as essential assets. It also requires schools to “foster critical consciousness about historical and contemporary forms of bias and oppression.”
Schools should “identify and interrupt policies and practices that center historically advantaged social/cultural groups and lead to predictable outcomes of success or failure for historically marginalized students,” it says.
Some parents and teachers applaud this effort, saying students learn critical thinking by exploring biases and reading diverse authors who may not be traditional, mainstream choices. But others express concern about the chancellor’s priorities for a sprawling system for 1.1 million students, where most children can’t read or do math on grade level.
“The ideas that undergird this proposal are sometimes offered in lieu of academic solutions and helping kids do better in core subjects,” said Maud Maron, president of the Community Education Council for District 2 in Manhattan, who is running for City Council. “Of course you should see books that reflect your family of origin, race and gender, but that doesn’t help you learn to read if nobody is helping you learn to read.”
A report from the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, which advocates for culturally responsive education, found that while 67% of the city’s public-school students are black or Latino, about 84% of authors of commonly used books in elementary schools are white.
Robert Osborne, parent from Manhattan at the meeting, said his son is mixed-race and it was “important for him to read books about people who look and sound like him. To not hear that means he only hears from the dominant culture.”
Some parents said the department had allowed them too little time to scrutinize a proposal that seemed vague and they needed to see more research on the impact of this approach.
“There must be solid scientific evidence of positive outcomes,” said Yiatin Chu, a parent. “We should not make our 1.1 million children into lab rats.”
For decades, schools nationwide have sought to get students excited about learning through lessons that reflect their own lives. Even so, families and teachers have long been unclear on exactly what culturally responsive education means.
Department of Education officials say it means high expectations for all, and making schoolwork relatable, such as explaining velocity to city children through examples of subways rather than sailboats. They note the new definition reflects guidance released by the state last year.
“Research shows that when students see themselves and their peers reflected in the books they read and the lessons they learn, academic outcomes improve,” said Linda Chen, the city’s chief academic officer, by email.
Comments filed with the city expressed a range of concerns, according to a Department of Education summary. One commenter said the policy “should name the role of ‘whiteness’ in the system of inequities.” Another said defining students by race is “divisive and inappropriately political.” Another said that practices likely to flow from the policy would be biased against white and Asian students.
Some teachers say they have long sought to provide culturally responsive education, and Wednesday’s step validates their efforts.
To Ife Damon, a high-school teacher in Staten Island, the strategy means letting students’ interests drive their work so they become more engaged. Her students have chosen research projects on police brutality, the opioid crisis and LGBTQ rights. When they studied literary devices, they analyzed lyrics in their favorite rap songs. Ms. Damon said she would be comfortable if students left high school without exposure to Shakespeare.
“Is it that we want students to analyze information or is it that we want them to know a particular piece of writing?” she asked. “I’m not married to content, I’m married to students.”
Christopher Emdin, an associate professor of science at Teachers College, Columbia University, started a competition for low-income students to write and perform rap songs about science. “Once they’re motivated and excited, magical things happen,” he said. “They want to study more.”
Write to Leslie Brody at leslie.brody@wsj.com
Corrections & Amplifications
An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Yiatin Chu, a New York City parent. (Aug. 1, 2019)

Mabel Muñiz-Sarduy (left) will begin her new role as Queens North Executive Superintendent on Nov. 4, while Seiw Kong (right) will take on the role of Acting district superintendent.
Exclusive: Department of Education selects new Queens North superintendent
Larry Pendergast
    By Max Parrott, mparrott@schnepsmedia.com, Friday, November 1, 2019 

    After Queens North Superintendent Larry Pendergast transitioned into a new role overseeing teaching and learning for the city’s entire school system, a southeastern Queens educator will move north to take over his former position.

    Current Superintendent of New York City School District 28 Mabel Muñiz-Sarduy will begin her new role as Queens North Executive Superintendent beginning Monday, Nov. 4.

    “We thank Executive Superintendent Muñiz-Sarduy for her leadership in District 28 and look forward to the experience she will bring and the work she will do for the Queens North community in her new role as Executive Superintendent,” said First Deputy Chancellor Cheryl Watson Harris.

    Since becoming district superintendent in 2014, Muñiz-Sarduy has served schools across South Jamaica, Rego Park and Forest Hills with a student population of approximately 42,000 students.

    In this role, she increased student performance in ELA and Math, according to the DOE. She began her career as a teacher at P.S. 86 in Jamaica 30 years ago before working her way up to assistant principal and then principal.

    “I thank the District 28 students, teachers, principals, parents, and parent leaders for their partnership and look forward to hitting the ground running in my new role supporting all of our Queens North districts and schools,” said Muñiz-Sarduy.

    In her new role,she will use her experience to bridge the gap between district superintendents and the Queens North Borough Office, which perform tasks ranging from hiring and training staff to counseling and providing support for students with disabilities or those learning English.

    In Muñiz-Sarduy’s absence, Seiw Kong will take on the role of Acting district superintendent starting Monday. She has served as deputy superintendent for the last five years and has 22 years of experience, serving as a teacher, bilingual coordinator, assistant principal and principal within the DOE.

    The process to select a new, permanent superintendent will begin in the coming weeks, which will involve taking community input as Kong and Executive Superintendent Muñiz-Sarduy will begin meeting with district leaders and community stakeholders.
Former Chancellor Carmen Farina
by Aaron Short, NYPOST, October 23, 2014
Seven of the 15 new superintendents appointed by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña led schools that were rated below average.
Superintendents Maria Lopez, Mabel Muñiz-Sarduy, Leticia Rodriguez-Rosario, Danielle Giunta and Rafaela Espinal were principals at primary schools that received poor ratings on school progress report cards or whose students scored below city averages on state exams this year.
Muñiz-Sarduy, Lopez and Rodriguez-Rosario all led schools where students struggled on the state’s tough Common Core tests.
Ten percent of students passed math and only 7 percent passed reading at the Lopez-led IS 318 in The Bronx.
Only 24 percent of the kids at PS 86 in Brooklyn passed the math test and 21 percent passed the reading exam when Muñiz-Sarduy was in charge. And only 24 percent passed math and 19 percent reading at PS/IS 218 in The Bronx, which Rodriguez-Rosario ran until the summer of 2013.
Citywide, 38 percent of students passed the math test, and 29 percent reading, in 2014.
At the high school level, former School for International Studies principal Fred Walsh claimed he had no idea his assistant principal dismissed eighth-graders on the last day of school in June 2011 while marking them present.
Three months later, he explored hiring a public relations consultant to improve the Brooklyn school’s image.
His new job? Superintendent of high schools for five school districts.
Joining him is Michael Prayor, whose Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology prepared only 12 percent of its students for college and had a graduation rate of merely 49 percent in 2013.
Department of Education officials said the new superintendents led schools that achieved significantly better results than schools with similar populations in their districts.
The officials singled out Walsh as a star performer, saying his school’s graduation rate jumped from 48 percent to 70 percent under his leadership, while attendance soared to 90 percent.
The officials noted that Walsh’s school was in danger of closing before he took over.
Records show its graduation rate dropped to 45 percent in 2013.
Education reformers said the promotions would do little to improve struggling schools.
“Promoting principals, some of whom have overseen persistently failing schools themselves, does not come close to addressing the problem,” said Jenny Sedlis of StudentsFirstNY.
Fariña insisted the new hires would get the job done.
“Each superintendent has a proven track record and is committed to working tirelessly to improve the schools they support … I will hold them accountable,” she said.