Tuesday, October 25, 2016
In The DOE, Its Children Last...Always.
Every time I used to go on the DOE website I would see their recently discontinued slogan of "Children First....Always." However, the DOE's actions when it comes to the students of the classroom is far different then their slogan claimed. . Let's look at the DOE action that support my position that its really "Children Last".
First, the DOE has failed to fully fund the schools since 2008 in their "education on the cheap" policy. Presently, the schools get 89% of their Fair Student Funding (fsf) and that is a measly 3% increase since Bill de Blasio took office in 2014. At present, the schools can expect no better than an additional 3% increase in their budgets going forward, 92% of the fsf.. This despite the City having a 6 billion dollar surplus.
Second, Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio's promise to lower class sizes, the DOE has failed to do so. In fact, class sizes have actually risen since he took office and selected the disappointing Carmen Farina as Chancellor. More disturbingly, the biggest increase in class size is in the early years K-2 and New York City has the highest K-12 class sizes in New York State.
Third, The DOE continues to wast over $100 million dollars by refusing to put the 1,300 ATRs back into the classroom for ideological reasons. Add that to the cost of field supervisors, many of them "F" status, and the administrative cost at DOE Central to run the ATR program and the number is closer to $110 million dollars. Think about how that money could be better spent in the classroom with veteran teachers?
Fourth, The rise of the "Leadership Academy Principal". About 25% of all principals in the system, correlates with a decrease in Principal quality and incompetent instructional leadership. Unfortunately, these principals were trained to be the CEO of their school rather than be an instructional role model as the more experienced principals were. The result is that these principals hide vacancies, reduce Regents Science instruction, and fail to provide mandated services for Special Education and English Language Learners. Some even use uncertified teachers as the DOE looks the other way. These principals practice "penny wise, dollar foolish" polices that only hurt student academic achievement.
Finally, despite promises to reduce the Bureaucratic Bloat at the DOE, nothing has changed. DOE Central has way to many lawyers, managers, consultants,and accountability experts that suck up scarce resources. While school budgets remain underfunded and essential frozen, the DOE will be getting $29.6 billion dollars in FY 2017. This is a 28% increase since Bill de Blasio became Mayor and is 54% higher than the $19.2 million dollar DOE budget in 2008.
Next time you go on the DOE website and their long used slogan remember, just look at the checklist above and realize their real action plan is "Children Last....Always."