Education News Roundup #48: HS Applications Extended, Take Action to Save Merit, Asian Parents in SF Recall, NYC’s Middle Class Flight

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Top Story
Parents press on key school policies: High school admissions and other issues top concerns across boro
Queens Chronicle, 2/17/2022

High school admissions criteria, specialized high schools and gifted and talented programs remain top concerns for Queens parents.

Those issues, and several others, came up this week and last in a visit from Schools Chancellor David Banks to the Queens Borough President’s Parent Advisory Board meeting, the Citywide Council on High Schools meeting and among community education councils.

…Last Wednesday, the CCHS passed a resolution 8-4 asking for a more accurate screening process for the upcoming school year.

…CEC 24 on Tuesday night also passed a resolution asking for the policy to be changed.

Other Top Stories
HS Application Extended 
High school admissions deadline extended
Queens Chronicle, 2/17/2022

The high school application is open and the deadline to apply has been extended 10 days to March 11, the DOE announced on Wednesday.

State Sen. John Liu (D-Bayside), chairperson of the Senate’s Committee on New York City Education, noted that the extension makes sense given the previously tight deadline but also took the opportunity to criticize DOE’s new admissions criteria, which critics say is like a lottery system.

…“Many parents have articulated concern and some outrage at the new criteria more resembling a random lottery process rather than admissions based on merit and achievement,” the statement continued. 

Dropping the Bar Over Low Expectations 
NYC admissions changes will boost black, Hispanic enrollment at top schools by 13 percent
NY Post, 2/16/2022

Kleinhandler said the DOE modeled admissions by race before adopting a final plan.

“When we modeled this, we saw that black and brown children had … the percentage of their access to these screened high schools went up 13 percent,” Kleinhandler said.

Some parents have objected to the changes, arguing that they penalize top academic performers and lessen incentives for city kids to pursue top marks.

Take Action
 Sign A Petition on HS Admissions
Demand Fair and Transparent High School Admissions from Chancellor Banks and NYC
Queens Parents United

…it is readily apparent that the DOE constructed a fancy lottery masquerading as a screen designed to mislead parents into thinking merit remains the guiding standard .

…Dropping the academic bar in a heavily majority minority city signals a deeper issue – the DOE is concealing lapses in educating students consistently rather than correcting the real issue which is that ALL students need better schools and curriculum to begin with

Send an Email
Send an email to Chancellor Banks

If parents don’t push back (even if your child is not applying to High School this year), it will send a signal to Chancellor Banks that this will acceptable in future years. Safeguard your child’s education by emailing the Chancellor today.

Candidates Corner

Congressional District 12 – Maud Maron
‘Hell hath no fury like an angry mom’ — Meet the nation’s new political power
NY Post, 2/8/2022

Maron is running in New York’s 12th Congressional District against Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat who has served for nearly 30 years representing both the 12th and 14th districts. Maloney, 75, turned heads at last year’s Met Gala dressed in a suffragette-themed purple, white and green gown while mask-clad attendants stood by drearily in the wings. She’s warded off challengers from the left wing of the party for the past few terms; 28-year-old Democratic socialist Rana Abdelhamid is her latest progressive challenger. 

Senate District 22 – Vito LaBella
Vito LaBella Considers a Run for the District 22 Senate Seat
Queen of the Click, 2/10/2022

Vito LaBella is going to have a lot of support because he has been a man, who has worked to improve education in Brooklyn for many years.

Senate District 26 – Danyela Souza Egorov
New York mom runs for office over COVID frustrations
MSN News (replay from FoxNews), 2/8/2022

New York Senate Candidate Danyela Souza Egorov says New York politicians have not prioritized children with their COVID-19-related restrictions

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Other Headlines
What Happens When Angry Asian American Parents Get Organized
NY Times Op-ed by Jay C. Kang, 2/17/2022

The first: School closures irreparably harmed the Democratic Party.
The second: There is a backlash against diversity and equity measures, many of which were established after the nationwide George Floyd protests.

The Revolt of the Parents Is Spreading
Wall Street Journal Opinion, 2/17/2022

San Francisco overwhelmingly votes to recall three members of the city school board, which had pushed to rename schools while classrooms were still closed for Covid-19. Meantime, Virginia Democrats break ranks to ratify Governor Glenn Youngkin’s mask-optional policy for their state’s schools. Plus, Republicans and Democrats try to figure out how to avoid a government shutdown on Friday.

Woke-up call: Parents put virtue-signaling school board members on notice
NY Post Opinion by Maud Maron, 2/17/2022

Teacher Attack
Video shows NYC teacher attacking teen
NY Post, 2/18/2022

Colin McNally, 58, a physical education teacher and boys’ varsity tennis coach at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, got into a confrontation with the teen at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, police said. 

The teen had been playing basketball in the school’s gym when McNally grabbed his ball for an unspecified reason, prosecutors said. 

Home schooling nearly doubled in NYC since pandemic’s start
Chalkbeat, 2/17/2022

Flight of the Middle Class
NYC families leaving some of city’s top school districts at alarming rate
NY Post, 2/17/2022

Elementary school enrollment in Manhattan’s District 2, which encompasses affluent areas like Greenwich Village and Soho, is down 10 percent this year and 17 percent over the last two.

According to state figures, the district went from roughly 16,040 kids in 2020 to over 13,333 this year — a loss of more than 2,500 students over that span.

…A concerned district source noted that that would equate to the closure of up to seven district elementary schools.

Call for CEC [24] prez to resign
Queens Chronicle, 2/17/2022

Respecting Asians
‘You Have to Give Us Respect’: How Asian Americans Fueled the San Francisco Recall
NY Times, 2/17/2022

The debate over admission to elite public high schools has galvanized Asian parents in other cities, notably New York. In both San Francisco and New York, the issue cleaves liberal voters who are torn between a desire to maintain a system that has traditionally benefited high-achieving students from poorer, often immigrant, backgrounds but at the same time left behind Black and Latino students.

In New York, where Black and Latino students are disproportionately underrepresented in the elite public high schools, the issue of school segregation rose to the fore during New York’s mayoral election last year. Left-leaning candidates called for a fundamental overhaul of the admissions standards while centrist candidates called for its retention. Among those who promised to keep the test was Eric Adams, the current mayor.

Mayor Adams slashes 560 School Safety Agent positions in budget proposal
NY Daily News, 2/16/2022

Graduation Relaxed
NYC graduation rates rise again, critics cite eased requirements
NY Post, 2/16/2022

City high school graduation rates continued to climb last year, rising to almost 82 percent — but critics have highlighted the role of shifting standards in aiding the hike.

The New York State Education Department has modified graduation requirements more than a dozen times in recent years and canceled most previously required Regents exams due to the pandemic.

Total Recall
In Landslide, San Francisco Forces Out 3 Board of Education Members
NY Times, 2/16/2022

The recall was a victory for parents who were angered that the district spent time deciding whether to rename a third of its schools last year instead of focusing on reopening them. It also appeared to be a demonstration of Asian American electoral power, a galvanizing moment for Chinese American voters in particular who turned out in unusually large numbers for the election.

In echoes of debates in other cities, many Chinese American voters were incensed when the school board introduced a lottery admission system for Lowell High School, the district’s most prestigious institution, abolishing requirements primarily based on grades and test scores. A judge last year ruled that the board had violated procedures in making the change.

Kids Have No Place in a Liberal Democracy
The Atlantic, 2/15/2022

Charter-friendly Appointment
Eric Adams expected to tap charter school backer for citywide education panel
NY Post, 2/15/2022

Mayor Eric Adams is expected to tap the head of the State University of New York’s charter school committee to serve on the city’s Panel for Education policy, The Post has learned.

Attorney Joe Belluck, who chairs the SUNY board that authorizes charter schools, will make his debut on the Department of Education oversight panel on Wednesday, sources said.