New York City Schools Are Adrift in a Raging Storm [UPDATED]

The bagels were piled high, a steaming urn of hot coffee, a welcoming “gift” from the Parents Association. For some back to school after a few weeks break after teaching summer school, for others back from trekking across Europe, a few squeals of joy, an engagement ring, a baby on the way, everyone anxious, no matter how long we taught the first day back to school evoked anxiety.

We’d all trickled into the auditorium; the principal’s welcoming back speech, all the administrators rattling off the changes and expectations, the principal and the administrators leave and the school union leader makes announcements: class size grievance timelines, end of term reorganization grievances and welcoming the new teachers.

This year: COVID protocols, what happens if (when?) a student or staff member tests positive, the length of quarantines, in-school testing, and on and on.

And more questions for the school union leader:

Can the mayor refuse medical or religious exemptions for vaccinations? Who determines the frequency of in-school testing of students, Btw, Is class size too high?

If masking is required, who enforces? Can non-masking students be barred from schools? Are these questions resolved by the governor, the state commissioner of education, the board of regents? or, are these decisions made at the school district level…? UPDATE: an arbitrator rules on mandatory vaccinations for school staffs, medical and other exemptions, see decision here.

9/13/21 UPDATED FAQ – Vaccination Regulations fo ALL staff members read here

Notice the absence of debate over the instructional program.  A scandal bubbling beneath the surface surrounds the former chancellor, Richard Carranza who slid away mumbling about differences with the mayor.

The NY Post reported Carranza hired a principal from Houston (clearly no one in NYC was qualified) and rapidly promoted her, and somehow failed to note their relationship  – see NY Post reporting here and here.

Was de Blaso aware of Carranza’s relationship, and, when was he aware and why didn’t he take any action?

Carranza was committed to testing, he called his program Edustats; a diagnostic/proscriptive test, Instructional Leadership Teams in every school, tailoring classroom instruction to address to student shortcomings; we’ve been seeking the testing magic bullet for decades, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Common Core, the educational landscape is littered with the detritus of failed education reforms.

Tyack and Cuban in Tinkering Towards Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform (1995),

Wherever you are on the political spectrum one lesson should be clear, without teachers and parents, no educational innovation or policy will gain traction. Cuban and Tyack in “Tinkering Towards Utopia” parsed one hundred years of education reforms, one after another they faded into the dustbin of education policy initiatives without the support of parents and teachers.

The NYC School District is adrift in a raging storm.

Two years of billions of American Funds dollars are flowing into the city, are the funds targeting specific issues, will the funding be used to redesign the system to address the post American Rescue Fund era?

The Research Alliance for NYC Schools asks the right questions,

The Research Alliance conducts rigorous studies on topics that matter to the City’s public schools. We strive to advance equity and excellence in education by providing nonpartisan evidence about policies and practices that promote students’ development and academic success.

  • The Research Alliance Blueprint proposes developing a system of education equity indicators, including not just outcomes, but also opportunities and resources. What opportunities and resources should be tracked to better understand and address the root causes of educational inequality? 
  • How can schools best use new state and federal dollars to meet students’ needs? Which staffing and partnership models hold promise for delivering effective individualized support and instruction?
  • How can service coordination and partnerships between schools and communities be strengthened? 
  • How could budgets be reallocated to invest more in schools, communities, and families with the highest levels of need?
  • What innovations from the last year are most promising for improving educational quality and equity?

The NYU Metro Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools also has a thoughtful blog with pragmatic policy recommendations.

Norm Fruchter and Christina Mokhtar, in “Vulnerable Schools and COVID 19” write,

Ten years ago, we published Is Demography Still Destiny? Neighborhood Demographics and Public High School Students’ Readiness for College in New York City. In that study, we linked the college-readiness rates of graduating NYC students to the racial/ethnic composition of their home neighborhoods. We found that the higher the percentage of Black and Latinx residents in city neighborhoods, the lower their students’ college readiness scores. We concluded that, against the claims by the then mayor and Schools Chancellor, unfortunately, demography was still destiny for the city’s Black and Latinx students. 

Though the city made significant efforts to distribute laptops and iPads to students without such devices, overarching connectivity issues and limited broadband access locked many city students out of remote learning. Worse, because so many Black and Latinx family members in high COVID-impacted neighborhoods are employed as essential front-line workers, they could not work remotely and were often unable to effectively support their children’s online educational experience. Finally, because many families of essential workers were consistently exposed to COVID-19 at work, their children witnessed the ravages the pandemic wreaked on their families, friends, and neighborhoods. Far too many Black and Latinx students suffered the emotional and mental health tolls of these experiences.

The new stimulus funds must be distributed equitably, with a particular focus on the city’s most vulnerable schools. Of the city school system’s 650 elementary schools with early grades in 2020-21, almost 400, or more than 60%, are predominantly Black and Latinx, low-income and perform poorly on standardized tests. No single approach to improvement will fit the diverse needs of these challenged schools, whose vulnerabilities were heightened by the effects of COVID-19. For example, the subset of schools that serve significant populations of homeless students (who had lower rates of online participation during remote schooling), need enhanced transportation resources and consistent outreach, so that student learning capacity is not disrupted by the bureaucratic demands, continual transfers, and other limits of the shelter system. This subset of schools must also provide full-time after-school programming, including homework help and Internet access not available in shelters. Finally, homeless students (as well as many other vulnerable groups of students who have experienced different types of trauma during this pandemic) need the full range of social/emotional supports that effective school-based counseling and nurturing can provide. 

Another subset of vulnerable schools, made even more vulnerable by the effects of COVID-19, has high percentages of students with chronic absenteeism. (NYC public schools with the lowest attendance rates were predominately in the same neighborhoods with the highest COVID-19 rates). A Better Picture of Poverty (Read full report here) estimates that nearly 130 city elementary schools struggle with persistent chronic absenteeism–some 30% to 40% of the schools’ students are absent more than 10% of the school year. (This figure was likely much higher in 2020-21 due to the pandemic.) Effective teaching is severely challenged in schools whose attendance varies so significantly. Curriculum continuity is threatened; teacher-student connections and relationships are attenuated; and student academic achievement suffers enormously. (The New School’s maps of the city school districts most deeply affected by persistent chronic absenteeism correlate very strongly with the neighborhoods we identified as having the lowest levels of college readiness in our Demography/Destiny study.) 

To advance the city’s capacity to respond to student and family need in those vulnerable elementary schools, and to intervene to improve them, the DOE should build on the analyses begun by A Better Picture of Poverty. The DOE should use its extensive data library to precisely characterize the conditions of student and family need in as many subsets of vulnerable elementary schools as possible. Then the DOE, in collaboration with community schools and advocacy and school reform groups, should define the interventions that will make a difference in those subsets of vulnerable schools.

. The DOE needs to similarly incentivize and support the principals and teachers of those 400 vulnerable elementary schools to design and develop a menu of specific programs that meet the needs of each school and their students, needs that the pandemic has cruelly exacerbated. 

Why hasn’t the Department used the Research Alliance and the NYU Metro Center blueprints to both redesign the use of the Biden Rescue Fund dollars and the functioning of the Department itself?

Meisha Porter, the acting chancellor is doing a yeoman job under trying circumstances, tiptoeing along a tightrope waiting for Eric Adams, the presumptive mayor to select a new chancellor while a lame duck mayor tries to burnish a tarnished reputation in his waning days following a crumpled Carranza plan.

We all know children can’t wait; they only get one shot at schooling.

Governor Hochul, the UnCuomo Governor: A Supporter of Public Schools or a Machiavellian with a Velvet Glove?

Governor Hochul, a fresh voice, a new pathway and checking many of the boxes; rent relief, emphasis on ethics, on culture of openness, a “kinder and gentler” voice in the Mansion. 

The NY Times called the new governor the “UnCuomo,” collaboration across geographic and party lines instead of cracking a whip. (Read here)

On his last day former governor Cuomo whined about being forced from office on his way out the door (Read here)

Hochul selected two key staffers, secretary to the governor and counsel to the governor – both highly respected across party lines. (Hochul top aides here)

Schools do not fall under the direct purview of the governor; in New York State the members of the Board of Regents are “elected” by a joint meeting of both houses of the state legislature – in reality by the Speaker of the Assembly chooses; however, the members of the Board of Regents act independently, the Commissioner of Education is chosen by the 17-members of the Board of Regents, the governor has no role.

Within a week or so Hochul will choose a Lieutenant Governor, probably an Afro-American elected official from New York City. (UPDATE: Hochul selected Brian Benjamin, a 44 year old State Senator representing upper Manhattan, he was a 4th place finisher in the June primary for NYC Comptroller) and have to determine whether to replace the Commissioner of Health and the Budget Director, both close to Cuomo and maybe involved in questionable decisions.

What can we expect from Governor Hochul?

  • Ask the Department of Health to require everyone entering schools to wear a mask and leave enforcement up to school districts?
  • Will she require that all school personnel must be vaccinated with religious and medical exemptions with frequent testing for non-compliers? Who pays for testing and additional staffing to enforce compliance?  Is there an accurate data-bank of vaccinated school employees?
  • Will remote options be left to the discretion of the school districts?
  • Does the governor have a position on charter schools?  Buffalo has been overwhelmed with charter schools with more in the pipeline. Will she support legislation to increase oversight responsibility and transparency of charter schools and explore the impact of charter schools on district public schools? 
  • Does the governor support, oppose, or have no position on parents opting  children out of federally required standardized testing?
  • Will the governor take a position on mayoral control of New York City schools? Eric Adams, the presumptive mayor favors extending mayoral control.
  • Will the governor seek to revise the state school funding formulas?

Any items we missed?

The Governor will have a 4-month Grace Period, a New York City mayor beginning to exit and a new mayor preparing to come on board, the legislature not in session, a time to travel across the state, campaign without actually campaigning, preparing for her first legislative session.

In whatever is the equivalence of a “smoke-filled” room, gubernatorial wannabes will be plotting out their runs in the June primary. No rank choice voting, no matching funds, a  Cynthia Nixon from the left, a candidate of color, a Social Democrat, Scott Stringer, who knows, and, the Republican candidate, Lee Zeldin, a Congressman from Suffolk County, an avid Trumper and pro-Netanyahu waiting for the primary winner in November

In the summer of 2014 a few teacher union locals on Long Island endorsed Zephyr Teachout, a law professor at Fordham, in the Democratic primary. After Cuomo won the primary and the general election he used the broken budgeting process to add a year to teacher probation (from three to four years) and a few pro-charter bills.

Cuomo was the most Machiavellian of recent governors.

“it is much safer to be feared than loved because …love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.”
― Niccolo  Machiavelli,The Prince

Will Hochul balance openness, collaboration, teamwork and bipartisanship with the toughness needed to pass legislation?

Hochul originally opposed approving driving licenses for the undocumented, and later recanted: who is the real Hochul?  Is she the conservative upstate democrat or the “flexible” democrat who moves across and within the fragmented Democratic Party? A Machiavellian with a velvet glove?

The Supreme Court (hopefully) Learns from the Wisdom of the American People

The framers of the Constitution never envisioned a Supreme Court that essentially makes policy. Article 1, the Legislative branch, is lengthy and detailed, the framers saw both houses of Congress as the democratic “playing field,” the powers of the Executive branch is briefer, and, Article 3, the Judiciary is far briefer, the section says judges will hold positions during “good behavior,” translates in as long as they choose to serve, and, outlines a long list of areas of possible disputes and a single line that today is the source of almost all cases that rise to the Supreme Court,  “In all the other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Could Congress limit the scope of the powers of the Supreme Court? For another day …

Our legal system is based on “precedent,” applying previous decisions to current circumstances, while not mentioned in the Constitution it is the bedrock of the law, the term stare decisis, which is legal shorthand for respect for precedent and Latin for “to stand by things decided.”

The Court frequently reflected the body politic, the views of the masses, or, the political biases of the justices, Dred Scott v Sanford (1857) ruled slaves are property and neither the Congress nor states can treat them otherwise.

The Constitution of the United States recognises slaves as property, and pledges the Federal Government to protect it. And Congress cannot exercise any more authority over property of that description than it may constitutionally exercise over property of any other kind.

The decision made the war inevitable.

The Union victory in the war resulted in passage of three constitutional amendments,

The 13th Amendment ended slavery,

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. And Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The 14th Amendment granted and defined citizenship,

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

And the 15th Amendment the right to vote to all,

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude and The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 enforced the amendments,

  • All persons born in the United States were entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.
  • As citizens they have the right to enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.
  • Persons who denied these rights to former slaves were guilty of misdemeanour and faced a fine not exceeding $1000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.
  • Authority to prosecute cases was given to the United States district attorneys, marshals and deputy marshals and the Supreme Court.

With the end of Reconstruction (1877) the Supreme Court began to erode the 13/14/15 Amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (Read Lawrence Goldstone, Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Civil Right by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903 (2011))

… the justices twisted the law to their own purposes …. But that’s what the Supreme Court justices do, grabbing hold of whatever precedent they need, “cherry-picking from a vast array of potential paths to fashion and re-fashion the law to suit.” So constitutional law has no principles, no meaning beyond whatever politics or prejudices the justices want to impose. And the courageous struggles that men and women waged more than a century ago to make a more perfect union were nothing more than shadow plays, flickering faintly in the darkness.

The erosion of the rights of the formerly enslaved, referred to as Jim Crow laws,  culminated in Plessy v Ferguson (1896), a Louisiana law that segregated railroad cars within the state. Plessy, who was 7/8 white and 1/8 Black was ordered to the leave the White car on the train and when he refused was ejected, the Court refused to address Plessy’s race, ”a matter for the state,” and accepted the “reasonableness” of the Louisiana regulation,

“… the state legislature is at liberty, to reference to established usages, customs and traditions of the people and with a view to their comfort and preservation of public peace and good order. Gauged by this standard, we cannot say that a law that authorizes or even requires the separation of the two races in public conveyances is unreasonable.”

Whether it was the concept of stare decisis or the  “…with reference to established usages, customs and traditions of the people and with a view to their comfort and preservation of public peace and good order it took sixty years before Brown v the Board of Education (1954) to unanimously rule that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional.

Recently the Court has become a more activist Court; not bound by precedent and expressly seeking issues it could address.

Citizens United (2010)reversed century-old campaign finance restrictions and enabled corporations and other outside groups to spend unlimited funds on elections. Restrictions on political contributions, the Court ruled, violated freedom of speech guarantees of the First Amendment; our democracy is being turned into an oligarchy by an activist Supreme Court, actions benefiting the wealthiest classes.

Are there any clear cut standards to guide the concept of stare decisis? A legal scholar writes,

… courts should defer to the views of elected officials when deciding whether a prior decision has generated significant reliance or rests on outdated facts, but only where those views are based on the superior fact-finding capabilities of the other branches. Courts should also give serious weight to the thoughtful and considered judgment of elected officials that a prior decision was egregiously wrong. But courts should not defer to the views of elected officials when deciding whether a prior decision is practically unworkable or a remnant of abandoned doctrine because these are quintessentially legal questions that judges are best equipped to answer.

In the fall of 2020 COVID was spreading across nation, a pandemic we had not seen since the Flu Epidemic of 1919 and we knew that COVID was extremely contagious.  Governor Cuomo, under emergency powers approved by the state legislature, placed in-person limits on attendance at public gatherings, including churches and synagogues. The action of the governor was challenged and under the “irreparable harm” doctrine, the Supreme Court intervened immediately, in an unsigned decision (probably Justice Barrett) the Court wrote,

… it has not been shown that granting the applications [overturning the governor’s restrictions] will harm the public. As noted, the State has not claimed that attendance at the applicants’ services has resulted in the spread of the disease. And the State has not shown that public health would be imperiled if less restrictive measures were imposed. Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.  Before allowing this to occur, we have a duty to conduct a serious examination of the need for such a drastic measure.

Justice Sotomayor, joined by Breyer and Kagan, dissents.

Unlike religious services, which “have every one of th[ose] risk factors,” bike repair shops and liquor stores generally do not feature customers gathering inside to sing and speak together for an hour or more at a time. (“Epidemiologists and physicians generally agree that religious services are among the riskiest activities”). Justices of this Court play a deadly game in second guessing the expert judgment of health officials about the environments in which a contagious virus, now infecting a million Americans each week, spreads most easily.

In the Jacobson v Massachusetts (1905), a precedent quoted more than sixty times, the Court ruled that the City of Cambridge could require a small pox vaccination during an outbreak, the penalty was a fine, a decision the majority of the current Court choose to ignore.  (Read “The Supreme Court is a COVID Super Spreader,” blog here) “Rescuing” the freedom of religion was more important than saving lives.

A year later the Delta Variant is claiming victims, yes, there is a vaccine; however, too many Americans are choosing not to be vaccinated and a group of students at Indiana University, once again using the “irreparable harm” claim, raced to the federal courts.

The 7th Circuit of the Court of Appeals wasted no time, they didn’t close the door, the Court slammed the door. (Read full decision here)

The First Amendment means that a state cannot tell anyone what to read or write, but state university may demand that students read things they prefer not to read or write things the prefer not to write. A student must read what a professor assigns even if the student deems the books heretical, and must write exams or essays as required … A student told to analyze the role of nihilism in Dostoevsky’s The Possessed but who submits the essay about Iago’s motivations in Othello will flunk.

If conditions of higher education [ requires] following instructions about what to read and write, it hard to see a greater problem with medical conditions that help all students remain safe when learning. A university will have trouble operating when each student fears that everyone else may be spreading disease.

People who do not want to be vaccinated can go elsewhere.

The litigants raced to the Supreme Court, this time, a year later, Justice Barrett, without comment, rejected the appeal.(Read Scotus Blog discussion here)

Perhaps they were embarrassed, perhaps they fear a public backlash, the current Court stands at a precipice, in the upcoming session a number of toxic cases are on the agenda: challenges to Roe v Wade, NY’s restrictive gun control law among them, see docket here

The Court hears oral argument beginning the first Monday in October.

The Infrastructure Bills and Career Technical Education (CTE): Changing the Future for a Generation of Students

The bipartisan $1T Infrastructure (19 Republicans voted for the bill) and the $3.5T Democrats-only bills both passed the Senate (through a  process called reconciliation –  read a description of the reconciliation process here and here)

Senator Sanders called the bills the significant legislation since FDR’s New Deal.

How big is the infrastructure bill?   Read NY Times here and Brookings Institute here.

The Brooking Institute says “…the infrastructure bill puts America closer to another New Deal.”

 The arcane rules of the Congress will drag final passage into September, if the bills get that far.

The reconciliation process with take weeks and the Democrats have to hold together a razor thin majority in the House.

The bipartisan bill and $3.5 trillion budget plan, which would unlock an expansive legislative package that includes spending on health care, child care and education, has cleared the Senate. Liberal Democrats in the House have said they will not support the bipartisan infrastructure bill without passage of that far larger package.

I’m not going to get into the weeds; the progressives (“the Squad”) in the House could attempt to hold the infrastructure bill hostage until they are satisfied with the much larger budget proposal.

The $3.5T reconciliation bill is popular with voters (Read analysis here).

The bills will create many millions of jobs over the next decade and the vast majority of jobs will not require a college degree, these are traditional blue collar jobs.

Currently our high schools do not prepare students for blue collar jobs, high schools prepare student for college. While college graduates earn more money over a career than high school graduates the numbers are unclear for high school graduates with high skilled jobs. How much does your plumber or electrician charge per hour?

Over the years we have encouraged students to move from high school to college and have allowed vocational educations programs to fade away.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and student apprenticeships are commonplace in Europe and sorely missing in our education system,

In contrast to the U.S., Germany has a highly effective work-based vocational training system that has won praise around the world. While university graduates in Germany also earn much higher salaries than workers who have attained less education, vocational education and training (VET) in Germany is a very common pathway to gain skills and embark on successful careers: 47.2 percent—nearly half—of the German population held a formal vocational qualification in 2016. Fully 1.3 million students in Germany enrolled in VET programs in 2017, compared with only 190,000 individuals who registered for apprenticeship programs in the U.S. in the same year. Less than 5 percent of young Americans currently train as apprentices, and most of them are in the construction sector.

Although New York State has hundreds CTE areas on paper the number of students who graduate with CTE endorsements is low and actual CTE diploma endorsements are left to the local school districts.  The state does not even list the number of high schools graduates with CTE endorsements on their website.

The actual approval process for CTE programs at the state level is onerous.

Changes in state regulations take months, frequently years; the state has a unique opportunity.

New York State is in the forefront creating P-TECH (Pathways in Technology), high schools that work with a community college and a major corporation – the goal is for students to graduate with a high school diploma, a community college degree and a job offer. The model has grown across the country.

New York State needs a Career and Technical Education model that replicates the European model; secondary schools can move to convert to CTE schools or CTE cohorts within existing schools.

Industries, unions, schools and State Departments of Education can collaborate and offer internships for students as they move through schools leading to work/study apprenticeships in a fifth year and a job.

For years I have encouraged the creation of Habitat for Humanity High Schools, a half day of academic, job-related academics, let’s call it career-related sustaining education, for example, using math in construction projects, “materials” embedded in science classes, and, the other half of the day working on a job site.

I’m not saying high school graduates should avoid college; I’m saying CTE secondary schools, community colleges and blue collar jobs lead to valuable and enriching careers.

Can We Create Student Assessments That Are Helpful to Teachers?

Every spring students in Grades 3-8 take statewide assessments in English and Mathematics. States employ testing companies to create tests that meet federal standards and rank schools and students by test performance; hundreds of millions of dollars expended, you could also have ranked schools by parent income and level of education in lieu of the testing; the results would be parallel.

For teachers the results are not useful; the results don’t appear in schools until late summer or early in the school year and are heralded or despaired; the test results have no impact on classroom instruction.  Schools with high rates of poverty, high rates of family unemployment, crime and homelessness, with high percentages of English language learners and Students with Disabilities are at the bottom of the lists. In spite of program after program, intervention after intervention little has changed.

The interventions are usually changes in programs purchased by the school, instruction is unchanged.

A couple of years ago I was invited by school leader in a highly collaborative school to sit in on a teacher meeting. The math teachers had finished grading the first Common Core Algebra 1 Regents and created an error matrix, the most common incorrect answers. The Algebra 1 teachers invited teachers from the seventh and sixth grades classes, the teachers reviewed the incorrect answers and their lesson plans: how could they change their lesson plans to address the incorrect answers? In other words, you can’t change output without changing input.

Unfortunately most schools are part of paramilitary organizations, the “generals” issue ukases and expect that everyone down the chain of command will salute and execute the order; in reality it’s more like a game of telephone, whispering messages in ears as the messages change from whisper to ear.

There are no magic bullets.

The Gates Foundation is, once again, expending millions to find the Algebra 1 “magic bullet.’ A new program, “Balance the Equation: A Grand Challenge for Algebra 1,” reminds me of the rollout of the Common Core,

Today, Algebra 1 serves as a gatekeeper, rather than a gateway, to future success. In the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first ever U.S. education Grand Challenge, we sought to identify partners to design solutions to make Algebra 1 more accessible, relevant, and collaborative for students who are Black, Latino, English Learners, and/or experiencing poverty.

Most of the “partners” will “design solutions,” the solutions will be monetized and school districts will purchase, after a few years discard.

Why didn’t Gates make Bob Moses, the iconic civil rights leader’s, “The Algebra Project” widely available? For thirty years the project has successfully taught algebra to poor students of color?

It’s never about the program, it’s about the teachers.

Teachers must take ownership of their instruction in collaboration with schools and district leaders.

I was consulting in a school district and one school leader was unhappy with teacher assessment tool, the district leader said, “design your own with your staff and when you finish have the union leader conduct an election, if the staff approves, use it, call it the ‘essentials of effective teaching.’” The school took a few months, it was detailed, and, for me, unwieldy. I asked the district leader, “Are you going to make it available to other schools?” He shrugged, “It’s not about the product, it’s about the process, an entire school spent months totally engaged in discussing effective teaching.”

The teachers gained ownership of their practice.

The current assessment tools are counterproductive; instruction is geared to the test; the curriculum is the test. The Gates and the Chan Zuckerberg are funding a major research initiative,

  With a total of $200 million, the fund will support project proposals from teachers, researchers, parents or product developers on how assessment could be done better. Between now and 2023, the program will select about five research ideas to span three to five years with budgets of $20 million to $40 million.

Assessment for Good … announced it is seeking proposals for available funding for projects aimed at creative ways to assess students’ learning and “how learning environments support specific aspects of students’ emotional and identity development.” It is also calling on educators and other experts for information and ideas on how assessment could be done differently overall.

The California Consortium for Educational Excellence is taking a deep dive into student assessments, and emphasizes the “critical role of curriculum” and “learning progressions,” let’s measure what we’re actually teaching and also lets measure growth, not proficiency.

A panel of leading experts in an excellent U-Tube  

  (about an hour) discussing the role of curriculum and learning progressions in a balanced assessment system.

Scott Marion, the leader of the Center for Assessment writes,,

Educators understand that large-scale summative tests are far too distant from instruction, at the wrong grain size, and administered at the wrong time of year to make a difference in their daily practice.

No surprise here; and changing is a major hurtle. 

Ensuring all students have legitimate access to a high-quality curriculum would be a major step in advancing equitable learning opportunities, but curricula must be implemented with fidelity by novice as well as expert teachers.

State and district leaders should not stop at simply purchasing new curriculum materials. They must allocate considerable funding to support professional development associated with effectively instructing the curriculum. Perhaps not as eye-catching as some slick new tech tools, high-quality curriculum and associated professional development can provide the necessary foundation to advance learning.

The role of teachers in student assessment is crucial.

Teachers will gain insights into the curriculum’s learning expectations by designing and/or selecting end-of-unit assessment, formative probes, and other means of collecting evidence to support and document student learning.

Assessment efforts in Fall 2021 should prioritize collecting evidence related to students’ readiness to engage in the first few units of instruction rather than trying to document all the knowledge and skills students might need to know for the coming grade.

Marion suggests highly pragmatic state and district based approaches.

[There is a ] a research-based case for high-impact tutoring as one of the few proven ways to accelerate learning for all students. No matter which interventions are used, my interest is in helping school and district leaders think about assessment approaches to monitor the degree to which those interventions are working as intended, and to support continuous improvement efforts.

Most interventions should be tied closely to the intended curriculum, so students’ progress should be assessed using curriculum-embedded assessments. Information from curriculum-embedded assessments is especially important for school leaders responsible for supporting the day-to-day intervention work of teachers and students. However, district and state leaders also will need to aggregate results on the effectiveness of the interventions across student groups, schools, and districts. Interim assessments tied to specific clusters of state standards (rather than a broad sample of the content) should provide these leaders with data to evaluate the relative effectiveness of targeted interventions throughout the year, allowing them to highlight successful entities, as well as those needing additional support. 

New York City is moving in the right direction, the creation of a city-wide curriculum supported with substantial dollars.

I know I’ve gotten into the weeds, and change takes time; with a new mayor and maybe a new chancellor the future of education is hazy, at best. 

Scott Marion, at the Center for Assessment, is one of the most thoughtful researchers and writers (see his blog posts here) and there are piles of dollars to support creating changes in student assessments.

The current end-of-year assessments are not only a waste of time they impede effective instruction. Teaching a rich curriculum and assessing as we teach instead of teaching to an end-of-year test makes too much sense.

Should the NYS Department of Health Require COVID Vaccinations for Students 12 and Older?

Yes.  Children are already vaccinated for all other vaccine preventable diseases prior to entry into school.  SARS-CoV2 is just another vaccine preventable disease.  All children should be vaccinated when a vaccine is approved.

My last blog asked whether teachers and students should be vaccinated and the response was overwhelming, the response above characterizes the responses.

Mayor de Blasio skillfully stepped around the question for all city employees including teachers. Employees must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. The NY Times article estimates 60% of school employees are vaccinated, I think the percent is higher for teachers and lower for other school workers, i. e., lunch room, school aides, etc.

The city is setting up in school vaccination for student twelve years of age or older in the Summer Rising program sites.

The question of mandatory vaccinations for students is far more complicated.

The vaccination requirements in New York State are established by the state Department of Health and have been place for decades; most states have similar requirements. The requirements are specific, see here

The Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are being used under Emergency Use Approval (EUA) pending full approval by the Federal Drug Administration, the vaccine manufacturers applied for approval several months ago and the expectation is full use approval in the fall.

Aside from urging parents to have their twelve and older children vaccinated the state DOH has to wait for full approval. A key player, so far under the radar is Howard Zucker, the NYS Commissioner of Health; the doctor and lawyer has a glowing resume and has been silent on the question of adding COVID vaccinations to the list.

The vaccine companies are working on vaccines for children from two to eleven years of age and an Emergency Use Authorization may be only a few months away (See here)

I suspect the city along with random testing will vaccinate at school sites.

The Delta variant has sharply increased COVID + in the city.

Without a citywide remote option how do schools respond to positive testing? Probably remote for the teacher and/or student; the mechanics will be complicated depending on the subjects the teacher teaches; the Department and the Union are working on the various scenarios.

Principals are mulling over their budgets and Central is attempting to put the special initiatives in place, trying to avoid the mistakes of Renewal .

The Single Shepard program, guidance counselors and social workers targeting families in the neediest school received glowing comments from teachers and school leaders; hopefully expanded.

Where are we?

Less than two months away from the first day of school, lots of work ahead, a chancellor and a union leader on the same page, an unexpected Delta variant surge one and huge unanswered question: will New York State move towards requiring student vaccinations?

Should Teachers and Students Be Required to be Vaccinated?

The COVID Delta variant is creating a Fourth Wave as infection rates begin to grow. The CDC July 6th guidelines,

  • Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained

 The New York State Department of Health is currently

reviewing the amended [CDC] guidelines and their decision on whether to relax mask wearing requirements in schools could impact whether the Department of Education adopts the new CDC recommendations. But for now New York City public school families should expect that teachers, staff and students regardless of vaccination status will need to face coverings in classrooms this fall, according to de Blasio. 

Once upon a time the governor, under his emergency powers would have made all of these decisions; recently he has had other issues to deal with ….

De Blasio has taken a major step toward requiring vaccinations for health care workers,

Mayor Bill de Blasio said this week that more than 40,000 workers in city-run hospitals and health clinics will soon be required to either be vaccinated or be tested on a weekly basis.

Can a city (or a state) require vaccinations for all employees or a subset of employees?

If the Delta variant continues to spread and the infection data shows growing infection rates would the city be within legal discretion to require vaccinations for all school employees?

The Supreme Court has actually ruled on this issue (1905

. During a smallpox epidemic the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts required vaccinations of all residents, the penalty was a fine. The case, Jacobson v Massachusetts (1905) was decided by the Supreme Court,

“Justice Harlan stated the question before the Court: ‘Is this statute . . . inconsistent with the liberty which the Constitution of the United States secures to every person against deprivation by the State?’ Harlan confirmed that the Constitution protects individual liberty and that liberty is not ‘an absolute right in each person to be, in all times and in all circumstances, wholly free from restraint’”:

There is, of course, a sphere within which the individual may assert the supremacy of his own will and rightfully dispute the authority of any human government, especially of any free government existing under a written constitution. But it is equally true that in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.

Whether the current Supreme Court would make the same ruling today depends upon the conflict between individual liberty and protecting public health,

An excellent article concludes,

 Public health programs that are based on force are a relic of the 19th century; 21st-century public health depends on good science, good communication, and trust in public health officials to tell the truth. In each of these spheres, constitutional rights are the ally rather than the enemy of public health. Preserving the public’s health in the 21st century requires preserving respect for personal liberty.

New York City facilitated vaccinations for school employees; I do not know the percentage of school employees that are vaccinated. Neither the governor nor the mayor has suggested requiring vaccinations; however, increasing infection rates and the conflict over school re-opening could raise the issue. As of now the city is planning for a full school re-opening without any remote option.

The question of whether employers can force unionized employees to be vaccinated is questionable,

As employers with union-represented employees, wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment are mandatory subjects of collective bargaining, meaning that changes can be made only if:  (1) permitted by the applicable collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”); or (2) bargained with the union representing the employees. Although the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has not yet explicitly addressed whether a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program is a compulsory subject of bargaining, NLRB precedent strongly suggests that it is.  For example, in Virginia Mason Hospital, 356 NLRB 564 (2011), the NLRB held that an employer had a duty to bargain with its union-represented employees regarding a policy stating that employees must either get a flu shot or wear a mask while working.

It would appear that management, the city or the school district, would have to negotiate a vaccination policy with the collective bargaining entity, the union.  It also would appear that school employees represented by unions cannot unilaterally be forced to be vaccinated without a policy negotiated with the union.

The city can require vaccinations for new hires.

The current Supreme Court has seemed anxious to reverse prior decisions, the decision to allow states to restrict voting rights, to gut Congressional legislation is a recent example.

Governor Cuomo, citing his emergency powers granted by the state legislature limited attendance at religious services, the religious organizations filed suit arguing the limitations violated their First Amendment rights.

 In an unsigned opinion five of the conservative justices overturned COVID limitations on attendance at religious services imposed by the Governor Cuomo, writing,

Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. Before allowing this to occur, we have a duty to conduct a serious examination of the need for such a drastic measure.

Justice Sotomayor in a dissenting decision wrote,

Justices of this Court play a deadly game in second guessing the expert judgment of health officials about the environments in which a contagious virus, now infecting a million Americans each week, spreads most easily.

Would the Court rule that vaccination requirements violate a person’s right to privacy? Would not surprise me. 

Vaccinations for students have been in place for decades and are the domain of the state Department of Health; the state requires a number of vaccinations for an entry into school (See regulations here) with exemptions for religious or medical reasons.

The CDC recommends vaccinations for children twelve years of age or older; there has been no discussion about requiring vaccinations for age twelve children, of course, the Delta variant can change everything.

Hundreds of colleges are requiring all students to be vaccinated and so far the courts have sustained the required the requirement..

Six weeks until school re-opening.

Stay tuned.

The New York State Regents Agenda for 21-22: High School Graduation Requirements, Standardized Testing and CRT (lite)

The fifty states have fifty different school governance structures. In most states the governor appoints a board and the board selects a commissioner; New York State has  unique process, the 17-member of Regents are “elected” for five year terms by a joint meeting of the both houses of the state legislature, effectively by the Speaker of the Assembly, who involves the local elected members. The selections are non-political and the members are all high qualified. The two newest members are a retired principal and a school social worker. The governor has no role in the process. The members of the board elect a chancellor and choose a commissioner. I have been attending board meetings for a decade; none of the discussions has had a “political” taint.

Around the country, especially in Red states, legislatures and state boards reflect the politics of the moment, banning trans-gender students from participating in interscholastic sports, banning teaching material that makes student “uncomfortable, banning teaching the sordid side of our history and banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory (that is not taught in K-12 schools))

Samuel Goldman, a professor at George Washington University writes

The swift success of the anti-CRT movement probably won’t save it from the fate of its predecessors, though. From laws requiring favorable presentation of free enterprise to protection for critiques of evolution, statute books are where conservative curriculum reforms go to die …

This level of decentralization is an obstacle to any coherent education policy. A challenge to CRT bans in particular is that they’re unpopular among the people responsible for enforcing them.

As Tyack and Cuban wrote in Tinkering Towards Utopia, unless parents and teachers are on board the reform of the moment is doomed to the trash bin of education detritus.

At the May Board of Regent meeting the members clarified their role as a policy maker, the role of local school districts and the adoption of a sweeping policy document, a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” policy statement.

The Regents exercise their authority in various ways, including by promulgating rules and regulations, adopting student learning standards, establishing academic and graduation requirements, and providing guidance and best practices to the field to ensure academic excellence for all students. The Board may also exercise its authority by adopting policy positions on significant educational and social issues. It is important for the Board of Regents to establish and communicate to all New Yorkers its beliefs and expectations for all schools and students – especially at those pivotal moments in history that we are currently experiencing.

We recognize that the decision to adopt a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, as well as the contents of such a policy, are ultimately matters of local discretion  … districts should consider:  Specifically acknowledging the role that racism and bigotry have played, and continue to play, in the American story.

While the Regents do not mention Critical Race Theory, understandable, they ask educators to “acknowledge the role that racism and bigotry have played and continue to play in the American story.”

Kudos to the chancellor, the commissioner and the board members; in a world in which states are erasing history the education leaders in New York State are underlining the importance of teaching our history, our glorious moments and the dark underside of our history. Hopefully they will add to EngageNY, the state curriculum modules, to reflect the emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in lessons across the state.

Mayor de Blasio, as part of his education plan announced a new curriculum,

The plan’s most long-term vision is the creation of a new universal curriculum, which the city aims to finish developing by fall 2023.

Named the Universal Mosaic Curriculum, its goal is to provide culturally diverse lessons to help more students be engaged in school. The new curriculum will kick off this fall with nine million books being added to classroom libraries.

“I’m excited to ensure that every student is welcomed into an affirming, supportive and rigorous learning environment where they see themselves in the curriculum,” [acting chancellor] Porter said. “I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in my two decades in education for our most important first day of school.”

Pre-pandemic the Regents began a thorough review of New York State graduation requirements (See current requirements here). In the mid-nineties the Regents began to phase out the dual diploma, many students, especially students of color were tracked into the lower Regents Competency (RCT) Test diploma track. Slowly, very slowly, the state phased in the single Regents diploma. Today over 85% of students in the state graduate with a Regents/local diploma (See detailed graduation data here),  State Education has created a Multiple Pathways track, Safety Nets for children with disabilities http://www.nysed.gov/curriculum-instruction/cdos-pathway-regents-or-local-diploma, changed the English Regents exam to one day instead if two,  the Global Regents Studies to cover only the 10th grade (instead of 9th and 10th grade).

The state acknowledges,

While steady progress is being made to narrow the achievement gaps between the graduation rates of Black and Hispanic/Latino students compared to their White peers, the achievement gaps between these groups of students remain significant.

Significant progress has been made; we have to target ELLs,

                             Cohorts                       2015    2016

Current ELLs38.946.0+7.1

A core question is whether the state should primarily address graduation requirements or address the cohorts who fail to graduate?

Should we continue to require five Regents examination as a graduation requirement?  Should the Regents continue as end-of-course requirements, not a graduation requirement?  Should schools/school districts be allowed to replace Regents with projects?  How would a project system pass a “reliability and validity” test?  In other words, “inter-rater reliability?

Will lowering the graduation bar increase graduation rates and at the same time reduce the value of a diploma?   

The state should examine why students are dropping out.

To go to work?  Lack of appropriate schools?  Parenting responsibilities? Should the state create more transfer high schools?

And another role:  will the Regents take the leading advocating for alernatives to standardized testing? here

A busy year awaits.

Listen to Rhiannon Giddens discuss Afro-American contributions to Country Music  here

Getting into Adams Head: How Can I Get Off to a Successful Start As Mayor of NYC?

Why was the primary scheduled for June?  Why do I have to wait around for six months?

For decades primary elections were held the second Tuesday in September, in citywide races if no candidate received 40% a runoff election three weeks later and the general election the first Tuesday in November.

A federal judge ruled the September/November dates violated a law regarding overseas military ballots

Before 2012, the congressional and state primaries both took place in September. Separate votes happened after a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the primary date violated the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, which says overseas service members must get absentee ballots at least 45 days before a federal election to make sure the ballots can be sent back and counted in time.

The June primary victory and meager Republican opposition in the general election means the presumptive mayor has almost six months to prepare for his/her ascension.

I know the overriding issue is crime; it was the issue that propelled me to Gracie Mansion.

The crime statistics are troubling,

                 (one year from 2020 to 2021)    (two years)

Murder                       +4.7%                          +37.2%

Shootings                  +22.2%                        + 105.4%

Hate Crimes              +118.2%                      + 49.5%

While the murder numbers are declining they are still far above numbers for the past decade.  Maybe a reviving economy and the full opening of school will depress the numbers. I have to have a crime fighting scenario ready to go from day one, and I need a high profile police commissioner, one that I know and trust.

I have to balance vigorously fighting crime with not returning to the police tactics of Giuliani and Bloomberg. I have to balance “defund the police” and “lock them up.” I can’t risk alienating the very people who put me in office and I have to reduce crime.

I’m seriously considering a woman for commissioner.

I need a City Council Speaker who I can work with, and, who can keep their members in line.

The 51 City Council members will select a Speaker in early January, 35 members of the Council will be newly elected, and, many of the members are “progressive,” far more progressive than me. In the past the County Democratic leaders “negotiated;” chairmanships of key committees, capital projects, the horse-trading that is as old as Paleolithic man.  De Blasio supported Corey Johnson, a Speaker who worked with him and kept his members in line. I have to get involved; not getting someone I can work with will make life hard.

Aside from the police commissioner the school chancellor is the highest profile job in my administration.

De Blasio kept a tight rein, a very tight rein on his three chancellors; the line between educational decisions and political decisions was, to be kind, blurred.  After almost eight years the SHSAT is still unchanged, centrally run gifted and talented classes still in place (although this year the selection is by teacher recommendation) and the School Diversity Advisory Group report, co-chaired by Maya Wiley gathers dust.

I can’t send mixed messages.  

I’ll keep the SHSAT and my chancellor will push to integrate more schools.

De Blasio talked the talk and didn’t walk the walk, his bipolar behavior caught up with him.

After police commissioner selecting a chancellor will be a crucial choice. I could select the current acting chancellor or a former NYC superintendent (de Blasio brought back Carmen Farina), or another high profile New Yorker, some urge me to look for a national figure, a nother tough decision, I’m leaning towards a New Yorker.

The education budget is richly funded with American Rescue Act and Campaign for Fiscal Equity dollars; however, for only for two years, just in time for my next mayoral campaign,

(Read thorough explanation of NYC school funding here) and for the next fiscal year I have to live with de Blasio’s budget.

A crucial issue is working with Michael Mulgrew, the teacher union president. As borough president I had an amicable relationship with Mulgrew, while we disagreed on charter schools changes in the law can only be made in Albany and Mulgrew is a major player in Albany. I’m a blue collar guy and Mulgrew began as a carpenter, De Blasio’s Renewal initiative was a failure and his new initiative looks like a retread, I need something understandable to the public and widely applauded.

De Blasio’s commitment to pre-K and 3 for all will have a deep and lasting impact, maybe I should continue the investment in children, Norm Fruchter at the NYU Metro Center suggests a safety net for early childcare (Read here)

The teacher contract doesn’t expire until September, 2022; an early contract would be a huge plus.

I have to build a highly regarded team and satisfy conflicting interests

Who do I appoint to the Rent Guidelines Board? The Board determines rent increases for rent stabilized apartments; after the pandemic rent freeze landlords want rent increases, the real estate interests did contribute millions to my campaign, another tough decision.

We need more housing, a lot more housing, and home ownership. A new Mitchell-Lama program, we’ll need Albany, maybe housing for teachers and other city employees, Mulgrew and other union heads can be partners. The landlord-tenant relationship is fraught with conflict, home ownership is building assets.

The line of office seekers is long: how do I reward supporters and fill jobs with competent and loyal employees?

I know the rumors about “inappropriate financial dealings” have followed me for years.

I have almost six months to prepare myself, surround myself with the “best and the brightest,” and loyalist.

We have to build a “first hundred days,” a rollout of major initiatives, not just words, fully constructed programs across the city and across the policy landscapes.

Six months gives us the time to get out of the starting gate ready for the race to rebuild New York.

Tisch/Loeb versus Young/Rosa: The Battle Over the Charter Cap

A New York State Surrogate judge wrote, “No one’s life, liberty or property is safe while the NYS legislature is in session,” truer words were never spoken.

At 1:30 am in December, 1998, during a lame duck session called by Governor Pataki the legislature passed a package of bills,

Pataki and legislative leaders agreed on a package of bills that included the creation of charter schools, a 38 percent pay raise and proposals to penalize lawmakers for late budget and to help farmers receive higher prices for milk.

Over the last twenty years the charter school industry has grown exponentially. The original charter school legislation set a cap of 100 schools, over the years the cap has been increased a number of times (currently 460) a specific cap for New York City was reached a few years ago.

The current law: sets two charter school authorizers, the Board of Regents and the SUNY Board of Trustees/Charter School Institute. The two authorizers are totally separate and operate under regulations established by each authorizer. The Board of Regents Charter School Frameworks here and the SUNY Charter School Institute here.

The Board of Regents and the SUNY Board of Trustees have had a contentious relationship. Merryl Tisch, the former Chancellor of the Board of Regents advocated for the Board of Regents becoming the only authorizer, without success. Tisch and Shelly Silver had a long relationship and when Silver was indicted and left the legislature Tisch left the Board of Regents and was appointed to the SUNY Board of Trustees by the Governor, who appoints all members of the SUNY Board. Carl McCall stepped down as Chancellor and Tisch replaced him.

Daniel Loeb, a billionaire hedge fund investor was a member of the SUNY board and the leader of the SUNY Charter Institute, an extremely outspoken supporter of charters and an opponent of teacher unions. Loeb made “inappropriate” comments (many called racist) and resigned as leader of the Charter Institute. (See here) and the SUNY board.

The Board of Regents members are “elected” by a joint session of the state legislatures, in reality by the Speaker of the Assembly. The custom has been to make the selections in collaboration with the local state electeds.

The Board of Regents has rigorous standards for granting charters and frequently extends charters for less than the five year limit. SUNY extends charters for the full five years and in a number of cases well before the expiration of the charter.

 A few years ago SUNY claimed they had the right to certify teachers, “Independent licensure process is necessary to alleviate a teacher shortage.” The SUNY plan eliminated a master’s degree requirement for teachers and permitted charter schools authorized by SUNY to certifytheir teachers with one month of classroom instruction and 40 hours of practice teaching.”

The Board of Regents challenged the SUNY action in the courts and the court sustained the challenge.

SUNY, again, is directly challenging the Board of Regents by approving a charter high school in New York City, challenging the cap concluding,

The Regents are unable to make the required findings in accordance with Education Law §2852(2), including, but not limited to, the findings that (a) the charter schools described in the application meet the requirements set out in this article and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; and (b) the applicants can demonstrate the ability to operate the schools in an educationally and fiscally sound manner. In addition, in accordance with Education Law §2852(9) there are no charters available for issuance in New York City. Although the proposed charter actions are identified as revisions, the nature of the proposed charter actions and a review of supporting documentation evidence the creation of a new charter high school, in potential violation of the law. These proposed charter actions must be abandoned.

Under the arcane law if the Regents returns a request for a new charter the SUNY board can ignore the request and after 30 days move forward with the charter.

The Board of Regents, as they did with the SUNY attempt to certify teachers, can challenge the action in the courts.

Michael Mulgrew, the leader of the teacher union applauded the actions of the Board of Regents (Read here)

 Why is SUNY challenging the NYC Charter Cap?  The cap is embedded in law and it is highly unlikely that the court will sustain SUNY?

Is Loeb flexing his muscles?

Does Governor Cuomo want to make raising the NYC Charter Cap an issue in his run for a fourth term? (Cuomo appoints the SUNY Board)

Will Cuomo and Adams cooperate in a pro-charter push in Albany?

Will this action mobilize progressive anti-charter legislators?

Stay tuned