Tuesday, April 21, 2015
What The NYC KidsPAC Report Omitted.
With much fanfare and great hopes, the De Blasio Administration would make real change to the NYC public schools. Even our UFT President, Michael Mulgrew, said so and he never lies! Right? However, very little has actually changed since Bloomberg left office. The NYC KidsPAC report gave the Bill de Blasio Administration failing grades on many of the education issues facing New York City that the Bloomberg Administration created.
According to the organization Bill de Blasio and his disappointing Chancellor, Carmen Farina, gets an "F" for failing to reduce class sizes, despite promises to do so. Moreover, they received a "F" for the lack of transparency on funding and contracts that was the hallmark of the Bloomberg years. Finally, they get another "F" for their failure to allow for the segregation of too many schools in the City without a diversity plan to correct this.
The De Blasio Administration does little better when it comes to parent engagement, receiving a "D" for not providing enough parent outreach. Further, the De Blasio Administration was given a "D" on how it handled busing and Special Education services. Finally, their failure to adequately handle the co-location issue deserves another "D" rating.
What was left out of the report was the continuation of other Bloomberg policies that has not been corrected by the De Blasio Administration or his disappointing Chancellor, they are:
Fair Student Funding: The continuation of fair student funding has resulted in principals selecting "the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their schools, while allowing teaching talent to waste away as glorified babysitters in the ATR pool at a cost of $150 million dollars annually.
Frozen School Budgets: Despite the increase in the overall DOE budget, Chancellor Carmen Farina froze the school budgets at last year's levels which was 14% below the 2008 level for the schools.
Teachers Teaching A Sixth Class: Too many schools, trying to meet their unrealistically tight budgets are requiring teachers to pick up a sixth class to save on teachers, This is especially true in shortage areas where the DOE picks up the tab for the sixth class not the school.
There are other "education on the cheap" issues like Science and AP classes being shortened, teachers not certified to teach in their content specialty, resources like paper and school supplies not being sent to the classroom, and special education students not being given their mandated services. All of these issues were omitted by the KidsPAC report but are still going on despite the demise of the Bloomberg Administration as the Mayor and his disappointing Chancellor has failed to make the changes necessary for our public schools to succeed.