Thursday, August 16, 2018

Are Schools Safe? Yeah Right - Part 4.

The New York Post has an article that shows that rape and sexual assault has skyrocketed the last school year in the New York City public schools.  This is just another example how Mayor Bill de Blasio's lax student discipline code has resulted in the public schools being increasingly unsafe.

According to the New York Post, using NYPD school safety data found the following:

  • Sex crimes skyrocketed by 138% last school year.
  • There were 31 felony sexual misconduct arrests last year compared to 16 the year before. That is almost double from the 2016-17 school year.
  • Overall sex crimes increased by 76% from 51 in the 2016-17 school year to 83 in the 2017-18 school year.
  • Rape charges increased by 240% last school year, from 5 in the 2016-17 school year to 12 last school year.
Are our schools safe?  Yeah right!  If you believe in the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, and Santa Claus Just read my previous posts about school safety.  Here, Here, and Here. Also read this article  Here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Why is Chancellor Carranza Flying All Over The Country Rather Than Tackling The Problems At The DOE?

Let's get one thing straight.  I understand that as head of the largest public school system in the country, the Chancellor's presence is much in demand and under normal circumstances, I would not have a problem with the Chancellor traveling to these conferences and discussion groups.   However, since Chancellor Richard Carranza is new to the job, he has much "housecleaning" to do and has not done it.

The first thing he should have done by now is to eliminate the Central Bureaucracy bloat at the DOE. Instead, he actually added to the bloat by installing an additional layer of upper management. Presently, many of the Bloomberg era policymakers are still in their jobs as they continue to implement policies that hurts both students and teachers alike.

He has also failed to resolve the ATR situation and eliminate school-based fair student funding that forces principals to hire "the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school.

Finally, schools are still suffering from recession era budgets and are underfunded by 10% of their fair funding.

Before our Chancellor should be gallivanting around the country, he first needs to to solve the issues at home.  A more detailed post can be found Here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mayor Bill de Blasio's Warped School Safety Program.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has weakened both school discipline codes and school safety rules since he took control of the New York City Public Schools.  Under the Mayor, he has made schools increasingly unsafe.

First, he allowed students to carry cellphones in school and this has proven a distraction to classroom learning.  Especially, in low achieving schools.

Second, he reduced suspensions by schools by requiring principals to get DOE permission before a school can suspend a student.

Third, he drastically reduced students carrying weapons from being arrested or suspended.

Finally, he has now imposed useless 'warning cards" for arrestable actions, like drug possession or disorderly conduct.

I feel sorry for parents who have academically proficient students and must suffer the distractions, chaos, and safety issues that Mayor Bill de Blasio has brought to the New York City Public Schools.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Why Does Bill de Blasio Want School Speed Cameras Rather Than Speed Bumps?

The Republican controlled State Senate refused to renew the  school speed cameras for New York City schools due to political considerations and their hostility for the Mayor are the  reasons that the city had their school speed cameras shut off.  Bill de Blasio demands that the school speed cameras be turned back on and wants it expanded to all s schools to protect students.

The existing speed cameras only operate between 7am and 4pm during school days.  However, Mayor Bill de Blasio wants them to operate during daylight hours and add another 150 school speed cameras to the existing 120.  He claims it's a school staff issue but I suspect its about the money for fines that end up in the city coffers.

Instead of speed cameras, every school street should have a speed bump.  This way all cars, not just law-abiding ones will slow down   Why didn't Mayor Bill de Blasio propose school speed bumps?

First, school speed bumps cost the City money to install. Second, the speed bumps don't generate funding for the City.  So, instead of making money on the school speed cameras, they would pay to install school speed bumps.  For the Mayor it's not school safety but revenue.

That's why Mayor Bill de Blasio wants school speed cameras and not school speed bumps.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Fighting And Bullying Are A Common Occourrence In New York City Public Schools.

Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio's claim that New York City public schools are safer, the truth is far different.  In today's New York Post, the article claims that District 29, which includes Cambria Heights,  Hollis, Springfield Gardens, Saint Albans, and parts of Jamaica has the highest rates of bullying and fighting in the City.

According to the article, middle school IS 59 in Springfield Gardens had the highest reported occurrences of bullying and fighting.  At IS 59 in Springfield Gardens, 86 percent of students reported skirmishes — with 49 percent saying those occurred “most of the time.”  Also,  At Queens United Middle School in Springfield Gardens, 72 percent of survey takers reported regular fighting, with 42 percent saying it was a constant feature of their environment.

While District 29 in Queens has the highest incidents of bullying and fighting,the other school districts have similar issues with 43% of the city students reported fights in their school and 14%  see fights "most of the time".  Thanks to the lax school discipline policy by Mayor Bill de Blasio, students are not safe from bullying and fighting in the New York City public schools.
Safe schools?  Yeah Right.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Why Did The DOE Hide The SHSAT Report?

After an over five year wait, the DOE finally released the Metis Associates report on whether the SHSAT is an indicator of student academic achievement in high schools.  The report's conclusion was that there was a strong correlation between passing the SHSAT and academic achievement in high school.  The question is why did the DOE refuse to release the report to the public for five years?

The report was commissioned by the DOE after the NAACP filed a civil rights complaint that the SHSAT was not a valid indicator of student academic achievement.  In the New York Times article the report found that the mean G.P.A. for students who scored high enough on the test to be accepted to one of the specialized high schools was 3.036 in their first year compared with 2.387 for students who were not accepted to the specialized schools. Similarly, the mean scores for accepted students on Regents examinations ranged between 82.59 and 93.41 across various subjects. The mean scores for students not admitted ranged from 68.69 and 79.16.

Obviously, the Metis Associates report did not support the NAACP's claim that the SHSAT was not a valid indicator of student academic achievement in high school and the City administration decided not to release the report.  Why?

The answer to that question needs to be made public.  Was it a racial issue?  How about poverty?   Maybe it was due to political considerations?  Could it be all three?  The public has a right to know why the DOE refused to release the report to the public?  What were they afraid of?

Sunday, August 05, 2018

The Disconnect Between Weapons In Schools And Student Suspensions.

The Bill de Blasio administration has made a big deal about the lower student suspension rate but is quiet when it comes to the uptick in student weapon confiscations. This disconnect is one of the reasons that Mayor Bill de Blasio's claim that the city schools are safer than ever is snickered at by most education experts.

In today's New York Post, Susan Edelman has published an article showing that weapon confiscations have risen significantly since Bill de Blasio became Mayor.  Despite the skyrocketing student weapon confiscations in school, the suspension and arrest rates have dropped since many of the weapons confiscated were considered legal such as kitchen knives and box cutters,  Moreover, principals are reluctant to suspend students caught with weapons because it hurts their statistics when being evaluated in their "quality review" and all suspensions must be approved by the DOE who can and do overrule the Principal's recommendation.

According to the Post's article weapon confiscations rose an astounding 28% last school year, rising from 2,119 in he 2016-17 school year to 2,718 in the 2017-18 school year,

No wonder students don't feel safe outside their classroom.   You can read my posts on weapons in the schools Here, Here, Here, and Here.