Tuesday, March 21, 2017

IBO REPORT: NYC Charter School Costs To Grow More Than Budgeted!

New York City Charter School Costs To Grow More Than Budgeted!
Although the preliminary budget forecast of charter school enrollment is lower than projected by IBO, the Department of Education's (DOE) budget for charter school tuition in 2018 represents a $138 million increase over the current year's figure.

This increase reflects not only enrollment growth, but an anticipated increase in the state-approved per-pupil tuition rate for charter schools. It is likely that the per-pupil tuition rate for charter school students will continue to rise in coming years as the formula driven amount catches up to recent increases in per-pupil spending at the DOE. IBO estimates that once the state updates the formula for determining charter school funding for next school year, the additional cost to the city may range from $159 million to $220 million.

The city may also lose an expected state reimbursement of $52 million for 2016-2017 costs.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

REPORT: States With the Best and Worst Schools

States With the Best (and Worst)Schools

Few concerns facing the United States — or any nation — are more important than ensuring children receive a first-rate education. At her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, U.S. education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos answered questions about school proficiency. Policymakers and observers disagree as to how to spend public education funds and how exactly schools should be improved. At the very least, however, most agree that school proficiency must be measured.

The nation’s education system has remained steady through poor economic times as well as policy changes. But steady is not enough and there remains considerable room for improvement.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed education data for each state from the 2017 edition of the Quality Counts report, released annually by Education Week. The report assessed metrics in three broad categories that can determine the strength of a school system: school finances, student achievement, and environmental factors. Massachusetts schools are rated best of all states, while Nevada’s school system has the lowest score.

According to Sterling Lloyd, assistant director at the Education Week Research Center and coauthor of the Quality Counts report, the grading framework rewards states with a “well-rounded approach to education.” Broadly speaking, in states at the top end of the ranking, parents have the resources to support their children’s learning in well-funded schools; students report high academic achievement in the classroom; and graduates are able to pursue careers in an economy where opportunities are available to them.

Family income levels can play a major role in the quality of a child’s education. As Lloyd explained, “it certainly helps for parents to be able to provide stability and resources.” A child from a high-income family may enjoy greater access to books and a personal computer, as well as access to extracurricular activities that require some monetary investment. These educational tools and learning experiences are generally less available to poorer children.

In the United States, 57.2% of children are raised in households with incomes at least double the poverty level. In all but two of the states in the top half of the rankings, a larger share of children live in such households. Conversely, in only six of the 25 lower ranked states the share is greater.
Because school budgets are funded largely by property taxes as well as extensive private fundraising, a child from a high-income family is also more likely to attend school in a well-funded school district. Children attending such schools benefit from a range of additional advantages, including teachers with higher pay and greater qualifications.
By contrast, “children living in low-income areas [may not] have the resources to help them get off to a good start,” Lloyd said. Citing research indicating the benefits to all children of pre-K programs, Lloyd went on to say that “preschool can help to counteract certain disadvantages and is especially important for children in poverty.” Despite the higher stakes for low-income families, the likelihood of a child attending preschool is lower across states in which more families face financial instability.

Other socioeconomic measures, such as parental educational attainment and having fluent English speaking parents, can also have a significant bearing on a student’s chances for academic success.

To identify the states with the best and worst schools, 24/7 Wall St. used Education Week’s Quality Counts 2017 report. The report is based on three major categories: chance for success, finances, and K-12 achievement. The chance for success category includes data on family income, parent education and employment, child schooling, and employment opportunities after college. Graduation rates are defined as the percent of public high school students who graduated on time with a standard diploma for the 2014-2015 school year. All other data are for the most recent available year and are based on Education Week’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, among other sources. The finance category incorporates metrics on cost-adjusted per-pupil spending and how equitably spending was distributed across school districts in the state in 2013. The K-12 achievement category uses 2015 test score data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Each category was weighted equally in determining the final ranking.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Still Separate/Still Unequal: 62 Years After Brown vs. Board, U.S. Schools Are Resegregating

Why GAO Did This Study

Recent literature shows that poor and minority students may not have full access t o educational opportunities . GAO was asked to examine poverty and race in schools and efforts by the Departm ents of Education and Justice, which are responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws prohibit ing racial discrimination against students.

This report examined:
(1) how the percentage of schools with high percentages of poor and Black or Hispanic student s has changed over time and the characteristics of these schools ,
( 2) why and how selected school districts have implemented actions to increase student diversity, and
(3) the extent to which the Departments of Education and Justice have taken actions to identify and address issues related to racial discrimination i n schools.

GAO analyzed Education data f or school years 2000- 01 to 2013- 14 (most recent available) ; reviewed applicable federal laws, regulations, and agency documents; and interviewed federal officials, civil rights and academic subject matter specialists, and school district officials in three state s, selected to provide geographic diversity and examples of actions to diversify .

What GAO Recommends

GAO recommends that Education more routinely analyz e its civil rights data to identify disparities among types and groups of schools and that Justice systematically track key information on open federal school desegregation cases to which it is a party to better inform its monitoring. In response, both agencies are considering actions in line with GAO's recommendations.


Better Use of Information Could Help Agencies Identify Disparities and Address Racial Discrimination 

What GAO Found

The percentage of K-12 public schools in the United States with students who are poor and are mostly Black or Hispanic is growing and these schools share a number of challenging characteristics. From school years 2000-01 to 2013-14 (the most recent data available), the percentage of all K-12 public schools that had high percentages of poor and Black or Hispanic students grew from 9 to 16 percent, according to GAO's analysis of data from the Department of Education (Education). These schools were the most racially and economically concentrated: 75 to 100 percent of the students were Black or Hispanic and eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—a commonly used indicator of poverty. GAO's analysis of Education data also found that compared with other schools, these schools offered disproportionately fewer math, science, and college preparatory courses and had disproportionately higher rates of students who were held back in 9th grade, suspended, or expelled.

In the three districts GAO reviewed as case studies, officials reported implementing various actions to increase economic and racial diversity to address racial or other demographic shifts in school composition. For example, in one predominantly low-income, Black and Hispanic school district, the state and district created state-of-the-art magnet schools to attract students from more economically and racially diverse groups. However, these three districts faced challenges. For example, one state devoted funding to magnet schools while the district's traditional schools declined in quality, according to local officials. Further, according to officials, some magnets with openings could not accept minority students because doing so would interfere with the ratio of minority to non-minority students that the district was trying to achieve.

The Departments of Education and Justice have taken a range of actions to identify and address racial discrimination against students. Education has investigated schools, analyzed its data by student groups protected under federal civil rights laws, and found discrimination and disparities in some cases. GAO analyzed Education's data among types of schools (charters, magnets, and traditional public schools) by percentage of racial minorities and a proxy for poverty level and found multiple disparities, including in access to academic courses. Education does not routinely analyze its data in this way. Conducting this type of analysis would enhance Education's ability to target technical assistance and identify other disparities by school types and groups. The Department of Justice (Justice) has also investigated discrimination claims, and it monitors and enforces 178 open federal desegregation court cases to which it is a party, many of which originated 30 or 40 years ago to remedy segregation. However, GAO found that Justice does not track key summary case information, such as the last action taken in a case. As a result, some may unintentionally remain dormant for long periods. For example, in one case the court noted there had been a lack of activity and that if Justice had "been keeping an eye" on relevant information, such as test score disparities, the issue could have been addressed in a more timely way. Federal internal control standards state that agencies should use information to help identify specific actions that need to be taken to allow for effective monitoring. Without tracking key information about open cases, Justice's ability toward effectively monitor such cases is hampered 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Parent Advocates Coming Together Workshop Series At The Center for Law & Social Jusrtice

Medgar Evers College's Center for Law and Social Justice: Parent Advocates Coming Together Workshop Series

I hope you're all well. I wanted to let you know about a free Parent Advocates Coming Together (PACT) series sponsored by the Center for Law and Social Justice. The initial event is tomorrow evening (Wednesday March8, 2017) and this week’s topic will focus on the Impact of Race, Racism and Culture in education. 
Next week we will examine how to navigate the NYC DOE middle school application process. 
The following four sessions are dedicated to a particular aspect of navigating DOE reality. I’m attaching a flyer for your reference to this email. Please share the information with your members and let them know that this series also includes refreshments and free childcare, so long as attendees pre-register for child care by calling 718-804-8893. 
This link http://conta.cc/2miPxSV will also provide additional information about the series (which continues until April 22, 2017).
Thank you and please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Law and Social Justice at 718-804-8893 should you need any additional information.

Be well,

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Meet The Radical Monarchs: Girls with Social Justice In Their Hearts & On Their Minds

Radical Brownies
Berets, badges, Black Lives Matter and social justice: the youth group for activist girls of color

Monday, January 16, 2017

UFT Chapter Forum: "Why are Black and Latino Teachers Disappearing?"

CPE Member Sean Ahern Speaks on the Disappearing Black & Latino Educators
Published on Sep 25, 2016 in New York City

Saturday, January 14, 2017

200 Education Deans Stand Up for Public Education & Democracy

Education Deans Issue a Statement in Support of Public Education and Democracy

Nearly 200 education deans from across the nation released a "Declaration of Principles," (see PDF below) calling on Congress and the Trump Administration to advance democratic values in America’s public schools.
Press Release:
Dean Kevin Kumashiro: (415) 422-2108kkumashiro@usfca.edu
Dean Kathy Schultz: (303) 492-6937katherine.schultz@colorado.edu
William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058wmathis@sover.net

BOULDER, CO (January 13, 2017) – As the nation watches this month’s transition to a new administration and a new Congress, a growing alliance of deans of colleges and schools of education across the country is urging a fundamental reconsideration of the problems and possibilities that surround America’s public schools.
In a Declaration of Principles released today, 175 deans sounded the alarm: “Our children suffer when we deny that educational inequities exist and when we refuse to invest sufficient time, resources, and effort toward holistic and systemic solutions. The U.S. educational system is plagued with oversimplified policies and reform initiatives that were developed and imposed without support of a compelling body of rigorous research, or even with a track record of failure.” The deans called upon federal leaders to forge a new path forward by:
Upholding the role of public schools as a central institution in the strengthening of our democracy;
Protecting the human and civil rights of all children and youth, especially those from historically marginalized communities;
•  Developing and implementing policies, laws, and reform initiatives by building on a democratic vision for public education and on sound educational research;
•  Supporting and partnering with colleges and schools of education to advance these goals. 
•  Signing the statement are current and former deans of colleges and schools of education from across the United States, as well as chairs of education departments in institutions with no separate school of education.
The statement was authored by Education Deans for Justice and Equity (EDJE) and prepared in partnership with the National Education Policy Center. EDJE was formed in 2016 as an alliance of deans to address inequities and injustices in education while promoting its democratic premises through policy, research, and practice.