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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Public School Education Will Change. How and To What is Up In The Air


The information about public school education and in particular, the NYC Department of Education, is bad for the children who are entering or in the system already. This is a fact, and all the attempted coverups by the Chancellor, Mayor, Diana Ravich, and parent leaders who get public money or have a vested interest in supporting the NYC DOE cannot hide from parents that the NYC DOE does not provide what their children need and indeed, may even lead to their harm.

See here:

DOE assigns top Manhattan students to troubled schools — and now parents want out

NYC Department of Education Crashes and Burns With the Case of a Student Given Fake Report Cards But Never Registered

We have been speaking out from the inside as parent and teacher advocates for many years about this. My four children attended the NYC public schools from 1996 to 2010 as I uncovered the bad stuff at the NYC DOE and there were several terrible retaliatory actions taken against them that I had to fight.

We have written on this blog about the lack of transparency, environmental hazards, wrongful terminations, and missing resources many times, so any reader will recognize where we stand. But no matter what anyone in New York City or the world believes, there is a certain fact that is universal: change is happening.

The post below about parents withdrawing their children from the NYC DOE is a beginning of a New Way, whatever that may end up to be. What happens when there are fewer seats filled in classrooms (called "seat time")? ...the funding to the school dries up. Teachers have to be let go. How are tenured teachers removed from payroll? A buy-out or disciplinary charges (3020-a arbitration). Most often, a principal chooses the latter and finds a child who will complain that a teacher touched him/her, verbally abused him/her, or did something terrible and affected his/her emotional state. Getting a teacher reassigned is actually very easy.

The hard part is building a system that has billions of dollars AND adequate safeguards and accountability to make sure that all dollars are spent on the "right people, places, and resources."

We are far from that goal.

Betsy Combier
Editor, ADVOCATZ Blog

Chancellor Richard Carranza

City Says 43,000 Students Have Left NYC Public School System This Year

Gothamist, January 27, 2021

Enrollment in New York City’s public schools this year has dropped 4% with the exodus of about 43,000 students from the system, including a 9% decrease in kindergarten enrollment alone, according to the city’s Department of Education.

In a pattern seen in many major school districts across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the ongoing decline in public school enrollment in New York City, which also reflected falling birth rates, the DOE said in a press release Wednesday.

While New York City still has the largest school district in the country, enrollment now stands at 960,000 students compared to the reported 1.1 million students in the 2018-2019 school year. Other school districts have seen similar declines in enrollment -- Dallas public schools were down 4% in December, according to the New York Times. In October, Washington state reported a 2.82% decrease in enrollment statewide, with a 14% drop in kindergarten, NPR reported.

Enrollment is a crucial factor in determining funding for the city's schools, particularly when it comes to state aid. But education department officials said, with federal funding and the state budget still in flux, it's too soon to tell how it will affect how much money goes to the city's public schools next year. Still, the declining enrollment numbers will mean many schools will have to return part of their budgets this year if enrollment is less than they expect, though some school leaders are now asking to maintain funding because of additional pandemic costs such as hiring more substitute teachers.

The biggest decline has been in the early childhood education sectors, with 3K enrollment down 8% and pre-K enrollment down 13%. While Mayor Bill de Blasio has made universal Pre-K for every family in the city a major part of his legacy, in New York City school is only mandatory starting in first grade, and earlier programs are optional.

“Similar to other large school districts, non-mandatory early childhood grades are mostly responsible for the enrollment shifts this year. The drop in this grade band represents ~10,000 students, or one percentage point, out of the citywide decline. Last year, DOE enrolled ~14,400 new pre-K students over the summer and early fall, compared this year to ~10,800 students enrolled after the application period. This could be COVID-19 related enrollment loss as these grades are not mandatory and families may be trying to limit travel and socially distance,” the DOE said.

The city was also rolling out more 3K programs though the expansion was paused last year because of budget issues from the pandemic. Interested parents still have time to enroll in 3K and pre-K programs for this year, the DOE said.

Elementary grades also all registered declining enrollment this year: Kindergarten enrollment declined by 9%, 1st grade declined by 6%, 2d grade declined by 8%, 3nrd grade declined by 4%, 4th-grade enrollment declined by 6%, and 5th-grade enrollment declined by 5%.

Middle school enrollment varied by grade level: 6th-grade enrollment declined by 3% and 7th-grade enrollment declined by 5% while 8th-grade enrollment remained the same.

High school enrollments showed slight fluctuations: 9th-grade enrollment declined by 4%, while 10th grade and 11th-grade enrollment both increased by 2%, and 12th-grade enrollment declined by 1%.

"Given the current circumstances of pandemic it is no surprise that we are seeing greater fluctuations in enrollment this year. However, no school district has stabilized its school system the way we have, which means that we can and will continue to offer the gold standard in health, safety, and learning in a completely transformed educational environment to our students," said DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon in the release.