Urgent! Please call your Council Member today about need to address school overcrowding!

June 4, 2015

Dear Friends,

As you know, NYC public schools are badly overcrowded and becoming more so every day. The city’s capital plan for schools is underfunded by DOE’s own admission, and if not expanded will likely lead to even worse overcrowding. The need for more schools is especially true as the Mayor is rapidly expanding preK and has a plan to encourage the building of 160,000 market rate housing units and 200,000 affordable units, which will further accelerate enrollment growth.

To address this crisis, Public Advocate Letitia James has written a letter to the Chancellor and the Mayor, urging them to double the school seats in the capital plan and to appoint a Commission to improve the efficiency of school planning and siting. Class Size Matters and many CEC leaders have signed onto this letter, as well as Daniel Dromm, Chair of the NYC Council Education Committee and Michael Mulgrew, UFT President. The letter is posted here. Here is a fact sheet about this issue. Since that letter was sent yesterday, four more Council Members have signed on: CMs Barron, Gentile, Johnson and King.

If your Council Members are not listed above, please call them TODAY, and ask them if they will sign onto the letter from the Public Advocate and Class Size Matters, urging the Mayor and Chancellor to alleviate the school overcrowding crisis by expanding the capital plan. You can easily find their phone numbers by entering your address here. If the city fails to expand the plan, your children and thousands of others are likely to suffer even worse overcrowding and larger class sizes in the future.

And please, whatever message you hear back, whether positive or negative, let me know by responding to this message. The Council will vote on the capital plan by the end of this month, so this is an urgent issue.

Thanks as ever for your support,

Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011

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Read the rest at Urgent! Please call your Council Member today about need to address school overcrowding!
Source: Class Size Matters

Desegregating Baltimore Schools, 1950s

Here’s a reminder why public education cannot be fully discussed in terms of standards, data, testing, and accountability.  Education is woven into the social fabric of the country, for better and for worse.

Read the rest at Desegregating Baltimore Schools, 1950s
Source: Tom Liam Lynch

5 Satirists Who Educated the Public about Education

Bring in the Shakespearean fools.  Social media has been abuzz in response to John Oliver’s critique of the current education reforms.  I’m struck by how artists and comedians inform the public about important issues like education.  They’ve been doing so for longer than it sometimes seems.  Here’s a list of some of my favorites: 1. …

Read the rest at 5 Satirists Who Educated the Public about Education
Source: Tom Liam Lynch

Really Thank a Teacher

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, a celebration to acknowledge our noble professionals working in increasingly ignoble conditions.  The President himself wrote a touching tribute to his elementary school teacher. Leadership in New York City schools created a heartfelt video that combined student and executive voices in honor of educators.  I myself celebrate my high …

Read the rest at Really Thank a Teacher
Source: Tom Liam Lynch

Support the First NYC High School Teachers to Refuse to Give Test

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On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the teachers and school staff at the International High School at Prospect Heights are refusing to give the NYC English Language Arts Performance Assessment Exam. They take this bold action as a way to protect their English Language Learners (ELLs). They write,

We are not willing to sacrifice the trust of our students, their feelings of self worth, and our professional duty to do what is best for them. In good conscience, as educators dedicated to the learning of our students and the welfare of our school communities, we are not administering this test.

Read the teachers’ statement to NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, learn about the school, and express your solidarity with this movement.

Read more at the Stand Up Opt Out site →