Education News Roundup Issue #50: New Regents Member, AP Math Bungle, Most Masks Off in Schools, Low Vax Efficacy, SSA Stays with NYPD, Banks’ Vision

Top Story

Newest NY Board of Regents member is leftist who gripes about ‘toxic whiteness’
NY Post, 3/5/2022

Shino Tanikawa, the newest member of the state Board of Regents, is a leftist who believes “toxic whiteness” is everywhere — and has a history of griping about it on social media

The state Legislature made the controversial appointment of Tanikawa, 59, to represent Manhattan and the Bronx in the state’s top educational bureaucracy on Tuesday.

…Tanikawa’s children, now adults, all attended public schools with selective admissions, which she now opposes.

Other Top Stories

Failing AP
Parents furious over AP math course bungle at top NYC high school
NY Post, 3/3/2022

LaGuardia — which counts Robert DeNiro and Liza Minnelli as graduates — told families that “colleges acknowledge that standardized test scores reflect systemic racism rather than student achievement,” according to the document.

School sources said that some AP teachers have been told to discourage kids from taking the exams, which confer college credits if students pass a corresponding test.

Masks off – Except for ages 2-4
School mask mandate will continue for youngest NYC students, City Hall says as end of policy looms
Gothamist, 3/3/2022

New York City students who are under the age of five will need to continue wearing masks in class, even if the school mask mandate is lifted by Mayor Eric Adams next week, as those kids are not currently eligible for COVID vaccines, a City Hall official said Thursday.

“Virtually No Protection”
Pfizer Shot Is Far Less Effective in 5- to 11-Year-Olds Than in Older Kids, New Data Show
NY Times, 2/28/2022

The Pfizer vaccine is the only Covid shot authorized for that age group in the United States. It still prevents severe illness in the children, but offers virtually no protection against infection, even within a month after full immunization, the data, which were collected during the Omicron surge, suggest.

Campaign Watch

VIDEO – NY Governor Candidates One-on-One
PLACE NYC and Queens Parents United Presents, 3/2/2022

On March 2, gubernatorial candidates Rob Astorino, Tom Suozzi and Lee Zeldin shared their positions on NYC education with the PLACE NYC parent community. Watch the archived recording.

Other Headlines

VIDEO – Joint Public Hearing: To discuss school governance reform and mayoral accountability
NY Joint Legislation, 3/4/2022

Watch Chancellor Banks and parents testify on mayoral control.

Vax to School?
Top NYC officials call for student COVID-19 vaccine mandate by next school year
NY Post, 3/4/2022

A powerful pair of elected city officials — Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and City Comptroller Brad Lander — are calling on Mayor Eric Adams to require coronavirus vaccines for city school kids next year.

David Banks’ brutal honesty on why families are fleeing NYC public schools
NY Post, 3/4/2022

Parents and teachers union sue SUNY over alleged charter cap-busting
amNY, 3/4/2022

Mayor Adams lifts school mask mandate, but students younger than 5 must continue wearing them
CBS New York, 3/4/2022

City ends school mask mandate and vaccine proof for indoor activities
Crain’s NY, 3/4/2022

Staying Put
NYC school safety agents will stay with the NYPD
NY Daily News, 3/3/2022

The new budget proposal from Mayor Adams may have put the final nail in the coffin of a long-stalled plan to transfer control of the city’s school safety agents from the NYPD to the Education Department.

Budget documents show that 5,290 school safety positions that were slated to move from the NYPD to the DOE by next year are now scheduled to remain under the NYPD through at least 2026.

As New York Students Shed Masks, Elation Mixes With Trepidation
NY Times, 3/2/2022

Speech Therapy Shows the Difficult Tradeoffs of Wearing Masks
The Atlantic, 3/2/2022

Breaking the Dysfunction
Schools Chancellor David Banks outlines vision for NYC schools
Gothamist, 3/2/2022

“This is our $38 billion bureaucracy,” Banks said. “We spend $38 billion every single year to get the outcomes that 65% of Black and brown children never achieve proficiency.” 

Banks added that there are 120,000 fewer students in the public schools than there were five years ago, saying families “are voting with their feet.” (School enrollment is now at 938,000, 6.4% lower than the mostly pre-pandemic 2019-2020 school year.)

“That is an indictment of the work we have done,” he said. 

Schools Chancellor Pledges to End New York City’s ‘Betrayal’ of Students
NY Times, 3/2/2022

Another study links tics to social media as researchers find more time scrolling on apps could make them worse
Insider, 3/2/2022

Closing the Doors
SUNY campuses quietly close Chinese government-backed programs
Times Union, 2/27/2022

[A]ll Confucius Institutes housed at State University of New York campuses statewide are now closed. 

“In recent years, however, it became increasingly clear that continuing this relationship could jeopardize UAlbany’s access to critical federal research funding,” said Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, a university spokesman. “For a major research institution like UAlbany, that risk is untenable – no matter how valued the programming.”

New York City says it will end the school mask mandate and indoor vaccination requirements.
NY Times, 2/27/2022

The CDC Updated Their Developmental Milestones for Kids—Here’s What Parents Need to Know
Parents, 2/23/2022

Social and emotional learning is the latest flashpoint in the education wars
Hechinger Report, 2/21/2022

When a middle school teacher resigned over their district’s social and emotional learning curriculum, Lisa Logan and Stacie Clayton wanted to understand why. So, the two moms from Sandy, Utah, spent 30 hours combing through the district’s eighth grade curriculum. What they found alarmed them.