Education News Roundup Issue #91

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Top Story

Cloudy Outlook
As enrollment drops and chronic absences plague NYC schools, Chancellor Banks outlines plans
NY Daily News, 12/18/2022

The disappearance of students from NYC public schools has been one of the most devastating consequences of the pandemic, putting thousands of students at risk while creating financial chaos in the system.

Exclusive data obtained by The News shows the latest depths of those losses.

So far, more than 30 percent of students in a school district of roughly 900,000 children have been chronically absent this school year, while early figures show 121,000 fewer kids in kindergarten through 12th grade enrolled this fall than before the pandemic.

The ramifications have been felt across the public schools.

Other Top Headlines

One small fix for NYC’s cruel lottery for kindergarten assignments
NY Post, op-ed by Maud Maron, 12/16/2022

New York City parents of pre-K students will apply for kindergarten seats in less than a month — and that means crossing your fingers that your kid gets assigned a good lottery number. Making it even worse, the Department of Education doesn’t even tell you what your number is.

The lottery is part of a ridiculous system designed to appease social-justice warriors instead of helping parents with hopes and dreams for their children’s futures. We’re stuck with it this year, but the DOE can still make it a little less cruel.

Follow the Formula
To rethink NY’s 15-year-old school funding formula, state officials ask for $1 million study
Chalkbeat, 12/12/2022 

For many educators, parents, and advocates who follow the money behind school budgets, last year was a milestone: For the first time, New York began to fully fund Foundation Aid, the formula created 15 years ago to send state money to its roughly 700 school districts.

With that battle settled, New York’s Board of Regents now has its eyes on the next challenge: updating the formula itself. As part of Monday’s annual state budget proposal, New York’s Board of Regents requested $1 million to hire researchers, who would get feedback from the schools, advocates, and funding experts on how officials should change Foundation Aid for the 2024-25 school year. Those researchers would then design potential models for an updated formula.

Advocates Corner

Run for CEC and Help Improve Your Child’s Education
CEC elections will be held in mid-Spring (exact dates to be announced).

We are encouraging common sense parents who are committed to advocating for all students across the entire learning and socioeconomic spectrum a high-quality, rigorous education starting in elementary school to run. This includes improving elementary school curriculum, setting higher expectations, expanding access and opportunity to G&T and other accelerated educational opportunities, improving our schools and academic outcomes, and holding the DOE accountable. 

Come learn how the CEC elections work, and how you can join this movement:

  • January 18th, Wednesday, at 7pm
  • February 9th, Thursday, at 7pm

Learn what is required from you as a CEC member, how you will be part of a city-wide coalition of parent representatives, and how you can hold the DOE accountable to provide a great education to all of our kids.

Registration Link

*PLEASE SIGN* Petition to Reject Cuts to Defund SHS
Chancellor Banks and PEP Members: Please REJECT the Working Group Recommendation to Defund Specialized High Schools
PLACE NYC, 11/14/2022

A Department of Education Working Group recommended permanently cutting funding for 13 high schools that serve some of New York City’s highest achieving students. The Working Group targeted these 13 schools out of the 1,800+ public schools in the system. These 13 are known as the portfolio academic high schools and include the eight SHSAT Schools and five other academically selective schools: 

 Other Headlines

Ex-NYU admin siphoned $3.5M in grants and blew cash on herself — including an $80K pool: prosecutors
NY Post, 12/19/2022

Watching Every Penny
Schools on track to meet COVID relief deadlines as spending surges, experts say
Chalkbeat, 12/19/2022

Earlier this year, when $122 billion in pandemic aid remained largely untapped, analysts warned that public schools could forfeit some of the windfall unless spending sped up.

But by this fall, spending had kicked into overdrive. In September, schools were using just over $5 billion in pandemic aid per month — more than $1 billion above the monthly amount this spring, according to a recent analysis by Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University.

School officials say they expected spending to accelerate this school year as planned projects got underway. Now, in sharp contrast to earlier predictions, observers say most schools are on track to meet the deadlines and avoid losing any of the coveted federal funds.

NYC parents want to oust ‘Grinch-like’ principal who bans treats and sweets
NY Post, 12/17/2022

‘You Don’t Get That Time Back’: Parents Seek Special Ed Services Lost to COVID
The 74 Million, 12/16/2022

School Boards With New Conservative Majorities Make Changes, Including Firing Superintendents
Wall Street Journal, 12/16/2022

National Honors for HS Students
State Education Department Announces Nominees for 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
NYSED, 12/15/2022

The State Education Department nominated 25 New York State high school seniors for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people.

  • Sampson Moyik, The Clinton…

‘Into the Wild’
‘Luddite’ Teens Don’t Want Your Likes
New York Times, 12/15/2022

On a brisk recent Sunday, a band of teenagers met on the steps of Central Library on Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn to start the weekly meeting of the Luddite Club, a high school group that promotes a lifestyle of self-liberation from social media and technology. As the dozen teens headed into Prospect Park, they hid away their iPhones — or, in the case of the most devout members, their flip phones, which some had decorated with stickers and nail polish.

They marched up a hill toward their usual spot, a dirt mound located far from the park’s crowds. Among them was Odille Zexter-Kaiser, a senior at Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood, who trudged through leaves in Doc Martens and mismatched wool socks.

Antisemitism Is Rising at Colleges, and Jewish Students Are Facing Growing Hostility
Wall Street Journal, 12/14/2022

Schools cite space jam in charter talks
Queens Chronicle, 12/14/2022

14 Charts This Year That Helped Explain COVID’s Impact on America’s Schools
The 74 Million, 12/14/2022

A Sign That Tuition Is Too High: Some Colleges Are Slashing It in Half
NY Times, 12/14/2022

Many private colleges are feeling pressure to fill their classes. They are competing for a dwindling number of college-age students, and face a growing skepticism about whether the degree — and its debt — is worth it.

Nearly a third of parents and students believe that a college education is overpriced compared with its value, according to a recent Sallie Mae and Ipsos study. The same study found that 81 percent of families had crossed a school off their list at some point because of its high cost.

“The conversation nationally has really become, why is the price of college so high?” Dr. Stuebner said. “How many families are we not in conversation with because they see the sticker price and say, ‘Not for me’?”

Are Most Apps Schools Use Really ‘Unsafe’ for Children? Product Safety Group Says Yes
EdWeek, 12/13/2022

Charter Schools’ Success Makes Them a Political Target
Wall Street Journal, op-ed by Jason Riley, 12/13/2022

More than 1,200 families suing social media companies over kids’ mental health
CBS News, 12/11/2022

No Standard Reset
Pandemic learning loss has affected students. Should we push to lower standards?
Chalkbeat, 12/8/2022

I read your column on motivating students, but I think the issue is deeper. There is a mismatch between what the state standards require of students and what the average 2022-23 student looks like as a result of the pandemic.

Do you think there’s any appetite at the state or federal level to update standards and reflect these changes in our students? Do you have any advice for teachers like me whose classes are limited by out-of-date standards?

Her Move Next – Girls Breaking the Chess Glass Ceiling
Little Africa News, 11/28/2022