What are the most important issues facing NYC schools for 2022 according to parents? We count down our most popular posts of 2021 as an indicator:
Excerpt: None of the experts mentioned math education. None of their examples, models, discussions were related to math. Only one principal (NEST+M) talked about math education and gave some examples. This sounded pretty scary. Some of my children’s elementary school teachers were not ashamed to say that they are not comfortable teaching math or that they don’t know math beyond the required curriculum. How are we going to implement this Brilliant NYC with “acceleration for all” in every classroom if many teachers are just not willing to teach math beyond grade level and “experts in gifted education” can talk about education without mentioning math for an hour and a half?
Excerpt: Those who might need extra help will suffer in the push to prove that anyone can manage the new curriculum, there’s no reason to track students, and those whom teachers have a tendency to overlook – especially, as it has been repeatedly determined, minority students, English language learners, and low-income kids — will continue to be overlooked in a classroom whose stated goal has already been proven impossible even before the first day of school 2022.
Excerpt: Despite last week’s City Council hearing on the September 13, 2021 return to school plans, where Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger and a cohort of parents advocated for a remote education option, Mayor Bill de Blasio and School Chancellor Meisha Porter insisted that, save for listed medical exceptions*, all students, vaccinated or not, would be required to return to school in person. Soon after, I began hearing the idea of a parents’ strike, where public school families would keep their children home as a way to demonstrate just how many of them didn’t feel reassured by the safety protocols — and platitudes — they were being offered.
Excerpt: The Mayor and School Chancellor have made it clear they believe it’s best for students to be back in the classroom, no matter how their parents might feel on the subject. This is in line with general education policy. You are required to go to school by law. You are, a majority of the time, required to go to the school the city assigns you. Once again, those with resources can find a way to maximize their options. Private schools, charter schools, homeschooling, learning pods, moving to the suburbs, testing into Gifted & Talented programs, and working the waitlist to get into unzoned schools and dual language programs. Those without, remain stuck….
Did we learn nothing last year that might improve instruction this year? No? We’re just throwing our hands in the air and giving up? We expect students to learn from their mistakes and boost their performance but not teachers and administrators? Got it. (Though such a defeatist attitude would explain why half our high school seniors graduate not-college ready. Upgrading takes effort, lamenting the status quo is easier.)
It is also true that remote learning didn’t work for many kids. Just like it’s true that it worked for some.
I’m not sure what gives one parent the right to decide what worked or didn’t work for another parent’s child and advocate in their name. Or, rather, not in their name, but in the name of their best interests — even if the second parent doesn’t know it. Especially if you believe the other parent doesn’t know it.
Excerpt: So, to summarize: This year, G&T nominations will be based on teacher recommendations and parent interviews. Except when they’re not. The only entry point will be Kindergarten, except when it’s not. Upper grade entry will be based on previous year’s waitlists. Except when it’s not.
What else should the new Mayor and Chancellor be focusing on when it comes to NYC Schools 2022? Tell us in the Comments!