Education News Roundup Issue #95

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Top Story

Fair Student Funding Changes
NYC proposes $90 million in new funding for homeless students and high-need schools
Chalkbeat, 1/14/2023

New York City plans to boost funding for homeless students and funnel more resources to schools that serve a disproportionate share of students with disabilities, English learners, and those living in poverty, according to a proposal unveiled Monday.

Advocates have long criticized the city for not accounting for homeless students in its school funding formula given the depth of their needs and staggering numbers: Nearly one in 10 New York City public school students live in shelters, are doubled up with relatives, or otherwise lack stable housing.

Starting next school year, the city plans to add homeless students to a list of groups that come with more dollars, including students with disabilities and those who have low test scores. The move would send about $45 million that schools may use to hire additional staff, add attendance outreach programs, and help serve an influx of migrant students, most of whom do not live in permanent housing.

Other Top Headlines

Success Scrapped
NYC scraps plan to place 3 Success Academy charters in city schools
NY Post, 1/23/2023

New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks said Monday that the city will scrap proposals that would have co-located three Success Academy schools in public school buildings.

Banks said the Department of Education nixed the idea to place two new charter schools in Queens and one new charter school in the Bronx after receiving backlash from the community.

The city’s top school official said the decision was made after community members complained that the proposals “would create significant challenges for the new schools and the existing co-located schools.”

New Parent PEP Members
NYC’s education panel grows with new mayoral appointees and elected members
Chalkbeat, 1/19/2023

Mayor Eric Adams unveiled on Thursday his newly appointed members to New York City’s Panel for Educational Policy, which has grown significantly in response to an updated state law. 

…Newly elected members from the city’s parent councils

  • Naveed Hasan, parent of a public school student, who served several years on District 3’s parent council
  • Jessamyn Lee, parent of two public school students and a former teacher who worked with students learning English as a new language
  • Thomas Sheppard, the panel’s first elected member, parent of three public school students and former member of several parent groups, including District 11’s parent council 
  • Ephraim Zakry, parent of two public school students and has served on the Citywide Council for High Schools 

Advocates Corner

Run for CEC and Help Improve Your Child’s Education

CEC applications have opened and runs through Feb 13.

PLACE NYC is holding information sessions for interested parents to learn more about CECs and ask questions.

  • February 9th, Thursday, at 7pm

Registration Link


Other Headlines

Study Finds School Vouchers Decrease Racial Segregation in Ohio Classrooms
The 74 Million, 1/24/2023

Anti-charter parent ‘pushback’ doomed plan to share school space
NY Post, 1/24/2023

Tensions high at a Brooklyn middle school as teachers spar with their principal
Chalkbeat, 1/23/2023

Teachers and staff at M.S. 51, a large middle school in Park Slope, filed into the gym during their lunch hour last March to drop their paper ballots into a box to declare “yes” or “no” in a vote of no confidence in their principal. 

A group of frustrated educators had compiled their complaints in a three-page, single-spaced document, charging Neal Singh with “gross mismanagement of our school” and describing extensive concerns about safety, lack of communication, “capricious and arbitrary decision-making,” and interference with union activities, according to a copy of the document obtained by Chalkbeat. 

When the votes were counted, two-thirds had voted in favor. The months that followed were acrimonious, culminating in June when the United Federation of Teachers filed a grievance that alleges a pattern of harassment and intimidation of union members. Forty-one staff members signed on, making it the largest so-called union animus grievance in UFT history, union officials confirmed. 

The Kids Are Not Alright
Juvenile Crime Surges, Reversing Long Decline. ‘It’s Just Kids Killing Kids.’
Wall Street Journal, 1/23/2023

A 13-year-old boy ran through the Bronx streets one May afternoon last year, chased by two teens on a scooter. Surveillance video showed him frantically trying to open the doors of an assisted-living facility. The scooter peeled onto the sidewalk and sped toward him. A 15-year-old boy riding on the back pointed a handgun and fired multiple times, police say.

Nearby, 11-year-old Kyhara Tay stood outside a beauty salon after school, eating chicken wings and waiting for her friends to finish getting their nails done. A stray bullet struck the pavement in front of her, authorities say. Another pierced her stomach. She was rushed in critical condition to Lincoln Hospital 2 miles away, where she died that night.

Seizing on Parents’ Frustration, GOP Govs Push for ‘Education Savings Accounts’
The 74 Million, 1/23/2023

Between a Rock and a Hard Place
When Students Change Gender Identity, and Parents Don’t Know
NY Times, 1/22/2023

Jessica Bradshaw found out that her 15-year-old identified as transgender at school after she glimpsed a homework assignment with an unfamiliar name scrawled at the top.

When she asked about the name, the teenager acknowledged that, at his request, teachers and administrators at his high school in Southern California had for six months been letting him use the boy’s bathroom and calling him by male pronouns.

Mrs. Bradshaw was confused: Didn’t the school need her permission, or at least need to tell her?

A Weighty Issue
Aggressive treatment guidelines for childhood obesity getting backlash
Washington Post, 1/20/2023

Within hours of the release of new treatment guidelines for childhood obesity last week, Mary Savoye’s inbox began to fill up with haranguing emails.

The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, based on decades of scientific research, including hers at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, call for early and aggressive treatment, instead of “watchful waiting.” They urge intensive therapy for children as young as 6, weight loss drugs for those as young as 12 and surgery for teens as young as 13.

Savoye had been hopeful the information would help drive home the reality of obesity as a chronic medical condition, rather than just a consequence of lifestyle choices. Instead, she found her work caught up in the latest culture-war front over fat.

13-year-old boy charged in shooting of two other teens outside NYC high school
NY Post, 1/19/2023

Expansion of preschool special education programs at risk as stimulus dollars dry up
NY Daily News, 1/19/2023

Columbia University names Nemat “Minouche” Shafik as first woman president
NY Daily News, 1/18/2023

Peas in a Pod
How Does Writing Fit Into the ‘Science of Reading’?
EdWeek, 1/17/2023

In one sense, the national conversation about what it will take to make sure all children become strong readers has been wildly successful: States are passing legislation supporting evidence-based teaching approaches, and school districts are rushing to supply training. Publishers are under pressure to drop older materials. And for the first time in years, an instructional issue—reading—is headlining education media coverage.

In the middle of all that, though, the focus on the “science of reading” has elided its twin component in literacy instruction: writing.

Student at top NYC high school sexually assaulted by classmate: suit
NY Post, 1/17/2023

Ex-PTA treasurer who stole $185K from NYC school agrees to pay it back as part of plea deal
NY Post, 1/17/2023

Biden Gives a Boost to Schoolyard Bullies
Wall Street Journal Opinion, 1/17/2023