Non presidential year elections tend to result in low voter turn-out in New York City. Which is a shame, because, as I wrote exactly one year ago:
I have been offering open-to-the-public Getting Into NYC Kindergarten and Getting Into NYC High School workshops for about 15 years now.
But it was only four years ago that I started hearing the question: How will Betsy DeVos being Secretary of Education affect my child’s school?
My reply is to ask parents to name the previous Secretary of Education, and what he (there — I’ve eliminated 50% of the US population from contention) did that affected their child’s school?
I have yet to receive an answer to either question.
With all due respect to Arne Duncan (whose book, How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success From One of the Nation’s Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education, I reviewed here) and his successor, John King Jr. (the answer to Question #1), until the media decided to make Betsy DeVos a celebrity, the majority of parents didn’t know who the Secretary of Education was. Because what he or she did had very little effect on their child’s school (the answer to Question #2).
(For details on the current Secretary of Education and what he might be able to do, click here.)
This past year has been a momentous one for NYC schools. Even setting aside the pandemic and all the changes that came with it (vaccine mandates, quarantining, masking, etc…), we also saw:
- The end of Gifted & Talented programming beginning with Kindergarten 2022
- The presumed second year of unscreened middle school admissions (though this has not been officially announced at press time, a parent reported that School Chancellor Meisha Porter said as much at Community Education Council 14’s Town Hall meeting)
- The revelation that only 1 in 5 NYC students sat for the state tests in 2021, making it seem less and less likely that scores from those exams will be factored into Screened High School admissions for 2022
Whether you approve or decry these developments, whether or not they stand has nothing to do with who is in the White House. And everything to do with who will be the next Mayor, who will be his new Schools Chancellor, as well as the make-up of the incoming City Council (though, as so often happens, what these politicians choose for their own children doesn’t track with what they wish to enforce for yours. Click here for details on that hypocrisy.)
We are not telling you whom to vote for. But we are telling you which issues you are voting for. Voting locally will have a greater influence on the education your child will receive for the next four years, then any presidential contest ever has. #VoteLocal on November 2!