May 24, 2016
It’s been a very busy week! Before I go into the details, please remember to buy tickets to our June 9 Skinny annual dinner, honoring Juan Gonzalez and Robert Powell, coming up soon. It is always one of the most fun and joyful events of the year— and along with a four course dinner and wine, you’ll be able to support our work going forward.
1- A story in today’s NY Times reports on how Laura Slover, the CEO in charge of the Common Core exams given in seven states called the PARCC, is trying to censor an anonymous teacher’s scathing critique of its 4th grade ELA exam, by ordering that excerpts from the exam be deleted. Here’s some of what the NYT story leaves out; here’s the link to my blog in which I reposted the original critique along with the questions which were taken down at PARCC’s request. If you want to see the questions, you should check it out soon as it’s likely to be deleted now that it’s been linked to from the NYT.
2- Last week I testified at the State Senate hearings on Mayoral control. I argued that Mayoral control is an inherently undemocratic and inherently flawed governance system, explained why, and proposed improvements. Here is an articlewhich shows that rather than looking at the elements of the system itself, legislators are deciding their positions based upon whether they like this particular Mayor. I suggest that you contact your legislators and let them know how you feel about this critical issue that will likely be decided upon in the next week or so. You can find your State Senator here; your Assemblymember here. Feel free to include a link to my testimony if you like.
3- Last week, NYC Kids PAC, of which I’m a member along with several current and former CEC presidents, released its 2016 education report card for Mayor de Blasio, based primarily on whether he’s fulfilled his campaign promises. We gave him grades ranging from A- in Arts Education, to an F in class size and transparency and accountability. Take a look and leave a comment on our blog post as to whether you agree or disagree with these grades.
4- The Panel for Educational Policy unanimously approved the $14.9 billion five-year capital plan and millions of dollars in contracts Wednesday night, without a single question or comment from any of the members. Check out the concerns we submitted on the proposed contracts and the capital plan before the vote. Here’s astory from DNA Info on the many problems with way the DOE plans and builds schools. Does the PEP provide sufficient checks and balances to Mayoral control? You be the judge.
Hope to see you at the Skinny award dinner! Again, please buy tickets or if you can’t come, contribute to our organization here to support our efforts on class size, school overcrowding, parent empowerment, contract oversight or any of the other issues that we work to improve.
Thanks for your support,
Class Size Matters
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New York, NY 10011
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