Education News Roundup Issue #97

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Top Story

On Their Own
NYC schools are once again cleared to grade their own students’ Regents exams. Will score manipulation surge?
Chalkbeat, 1/31/2023

New York City schools will once again grade their own students’ Regents exams, a policy that officials scrapped a decade ago amid concerns that educators were systematically nudging scores over the passing cutoff.

The city’s education department informed schools last month that starting this school year, “most Regents exams” that students take will be scored by teachers in their own schools, according to a memo obtained by Chalkbeat. 

…The move represents a significant shift, and comes as state officials are reconsidering the role of Regents exams. For more than 10 years, New York City schools have largely sent their Regents exams to centralized sites where educators from other campuses graded the exams.

Other Top Headlines

COVID vaccine mandate dropped for city employees, visitors to NYC public schools
Chalkbeat, 2/6/2023

Visitors to New York City’s public schools will no longer have to be vaccinated, ending a year-and-a-half-old rule that had kept some parents out of school functions, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday. 

Adams also announced that COVID vaccines will no longer be required of city workers. That means that more than 1,700 employees who were fired for not complying with vaccine mandates can apply for open positions. As of last March, about 900 education department employees had been fired; a spokesperson did not provide a more recent figure. 

The Parent Trap
UFT holds boot camps to sway local parent advisory board elections
NY Post, 2/2/2023

The Big Apple’s powerful teachers union is putting its thumb on the scale to get its own candidates onto local parent advisory boards – holding boot camps and workshops as part of a recruitment push, The Post has learned.

All 357 two-year term seats are up for grabs on the boards, known as Community Education Councils, which advocate for each of the city’s 32 school districts.

And the United Federation of Teachers is looking to get in on the action.

Hochul’s Proposed School Spending
6 things to watch for in Hochul’s budget plan
Spectrum News, 2/1/2023

At noon on Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul will formally start a two-month process that will decide how New York will spend more than $200 billion in taxpayer money over the next year.

How this process shakes out will determine how schools, health care, child care, support for the most vulnerable people and law enforcement is paid for and how much.

…New York schools have benefited from an infusion of aid over the last several years, with Hochul reaching an agreement to hit a targeted spending goal that supercharged direct aid to education. The first batch of money was approved last year; a second jolt in spending of billions of dollars in additional aid to schools is expected to be proposed this year.

On the Calendar

A Town Hall Event with Chancellor David C. Banks
Tuesday, February 7, 6:30-7:30pm

Organized by City Council on High School (CCHS)

Location: Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers 411 Pearl Street Manhattan, NY 10038

Register here:

PLACE NYC, CEC Information Session
Thursday, February 9, 7pm

PLACE NYC is holding a virtual information session for interested parents to learn more about CECs and ask questions. CEC applications have opened and runs through Feb 13.

Registration Link

Youth and School Safety Summit and Family Resource Fair
Saturday, February 11, 1-4pm

NYC School Safety Coalition and Community Partners holding a 1st Annual Youth and School Safety Summit. Ongoing youth violence and solutions to help our youth and keep them safe in our communities and in school will be main topic. This is a free event.

Speakers (selected): Jackie Rowe Adams, Wai Wah Chin, Maud Maron, Ben Morden, Mona Davids

Location: P.S. 154, Harriet Tubman Learning Center, 250 W 127th Street, New York, NY 10027


Other Headlines

A wave of violence is hitting teenagers in NYC. Is there a way to stop it?
NY Daily News, 2/4/2023

紐約特許學校教學優 就讀華生漸增
World Journal, 2/4/2023

School Vouchers Gain Momentum as States Look at Learning Options
Wall Street Journal, 2/3/2023

Mind Your P’s and Q’s
USDA announces rigorous new school nutrition standards
Washington Post, 2/3/2023

The Biden administration on Friday announced more stringent nutrition standards for school meals, reviving efforts to improve the health of millions of public school students in the face of a staggering rise in childhood obesity and other diet-related diseases.

The new rules, which will be rolled out gradually over the next few years, will limit added sugars, including in flavored milks. Previously, there was no federal standard for how much sugar could be included in school meals. The rules will also further reduce the allowable amounts of sodium, and emphasize whole grains.

Children Lost One-Third of a Year of Learning During the Pandemic, Analysis Finds
Reason, 2/3/2023

Lawmakers weigh 30 percent tuition hike for UAlbany, SUNY research campuses
Times Union, 2/3/2023

CA no longer pursuing COVID vaccine mandate for K-12 schools, public health department says
ABC 7, 2/3/2023

NYC public schools see uptick in felonies in 2022: mayor’s report
NY Post, 2/1/2023

Big Apple schools saw nearly 350 felony incidents last year — with 95 recorded in the last four months alone, according to new City Hall data.

The disturbing statistic from fiscal year 2022 inches closer to pre-pandemic 2019, when 444 felony incidents were recorded, said the Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report released this week.

…Last year’s startling statistic was also well above 288 incidents in 2020, for which the COVID-19 pandemic overlapped three months.

College Board Shrinks Advanced-Placement Curriculum for African-American Studies
Wall Street Journal, 2/1/2023

Expanding Charters
Kathy Hochul proposing more charter schools in state budget
NY Post, 2/1/2023

Gov. Kathy Hochul will propose changes that would potentially let dozens of new charter schools open in New York City as part of the state budget she will unveil on Wednesday, The Post has learned.

“I believe every student deserves a quality education, and we are proposing to give New York families more options and opportunities to succeed,” Hochul said in a statement.

Her proposal will keep a statewide cap of 460 charters in place but eliminate regional caps to make 85 more slots available for new charter schools anywhere in the state — including New York City.

Why some young people are taking a digital detox: ‘TikTok was like a drug to me’
Spectrum News, 2/1/2023

Dems allied with teachers union vow to block Kathy Hochul’s NYC charter school plan
NY Post, 2/1/2023 

Ex-Hunter College party professor forced to repay $375k in stolen funds
NY Post, 1/31/2023 

Mandatory Racial Equity Class at SUNY
SUNY makes new racial equity class mandatory for graduation at all schools
NY Post, 1/31/2023 

…incoming freshman at all of its colleges they will have to pass a new “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice”-themed class to earn a diploma.

…While the primary focus is on equity and social justice in the US, courses can also look at what has happened or is currently happening in other countries for comparison, the mandate reads.

New York Regents exam blasted for ‘loaded’ questions about Israel
NY Post, 1/31/2023 

NYC public schools poised to reverse ban on controversial AI tool ChatGPT
NY Daily News, 1/31/2023

Schools’ New Normal: Teacher Shortages, Repeat Meals, Late Buses, Canceled Classes
The 74 Million, 1/31/2023

Don’t Blame G&T
Gifted and Talented Programs Don’t Cause School Segregation
EducationNext, 1/31/2023

For decades, gifted and talented programs have offered small, selected groups of students enrichment and faster-paced lessons. They also have stoked controversy and allegations of contributing to racial segregation and academic inequality. New York City’s program, for example, was planned for virtual elimination in 2021 based on longstanding concerns about relatively low enrollment rates for Black and Latino students, who account for about 70 percent of all city students but 25 percent of gifted and talented students. After public outcry, the program was preserved, but with major changes: more classes, including in less-advantaged neighborhoods, and more pathways for students to qualify.

Racial segregation and racial gaps in student achievement in U.S. public schools are well-documented trends. So too are race-based differences in student enrollment in general-education versus gifted and talented programs. But are gifted and talented programs drivers of racial segregation? If so, to what extent?

…Overall, gifted and talented programs do disproportionately enroll more white and Asian students and fewer Black and Hispanic students. However, they have only a minor impact on racial segregation, in part because they enroll relatively small numbers of American schoolchildren.

Schools’ New Normal: Teacher Shortages, Repeat Meals, Late Buses, Canceled Classes
The 74 Million, 1/31/2023

Charter supporters wonder if Hochul has ‘cojones’ to buck left by lifting NY’s statewide cap
NY Post, 1/31/2023 

These New York medical schools are ditching the U.S. News rankings
CrainsNY, 1/31/2023

Leaving NYC
Why Black Families Are Leaving New York, and What It Means for the City
NY Times, 1/31/2023

The Rodneys are part of an exodus of Black residents from New York City. From 2010 to 2020, a decade during which the city’s population showed a surprising increase led by a surge in Asian and Hispanic residents, the number of Black residents decreased. The decline mirrored a national trend of younger Black professionals, middle-class families and retirees leaving cities in the Northeast and Midwest for the South.

…The decline is starkest among the youngest New Yorkers: The number of Black children and teenagers living in the city fell more than 19 percent from 2010 to 2020. And the decline is continuing, school enrollment data suggests. Schools have lost children in all demographic groups, but the loss of Black children has been much steeper as families have left and as the birthrate among Black women has decreased.

High School Alcohol Use Can Quickly Escalate
MedPage Today, 1/30/2023

United Federation of Teachers wants changes to authorization of New York charter schools
Spectrum News, 1/30/2023

4 Ways Reading and Writing Interlock: What the Research Says
Edweek, 1/17/2023