Monday, August 30, 2010

The "top" NYC high schools, with SAT scores, class sizes, and caveats

Check out the NY Post listing on the "top" 50 NYC high schools here: The top 10, 11 - 20, 21 - 40, 41 - 50. The data for all 400 plus high schools, including graduation rates, average SAT scores, etc. is available here.

The Post used the DOE progress reports, plus other relevant outcome data, to calculate this list. Like all such rankings, they have to be taken with a heavy grain of salt. In this case, the salt pile is immense, since so much of the DOE data are either unreliable or incomplete. For example, high school NYC graduation rates are often inflated, because they don't taken into account the numbers of discharged students, a huge loophole that many high schools use to boost their grad rates.

The Post says that the graduation rate in their listings reflects the percent of 9th graders who end up graduating after four years plus a summer; but that is not true. Many high schools discharge significant numbers of students before they even reach the 12th grade, and many if most of these students end up dropouts, but are never counted as such.

Even in the case of one of top schools on the list (Bard), the reporter notes that “about 20 students in each class transfer out.” In the case of Bard, a highly selective school, they probably enroll in other regular high schools, but for other schools, discharged students often end up in alternative high schools, GED programs or sometimes nowhere at all. The DOE used to make the discharge data by each individual school available in their graduation reports, but no longer does, ever since Jennifer Jennings and I produced a report on the rising discharge figures under Bloomberg and Klein.

[Correction! Updated reports for the classes of 2008 and 2009 do contain discharge data by school, at least for general ed students; see Appendix B at the links above, which reveal egregiously high discharge rates at many schools, with twice the number of official "dropouts" in many cases. What the city no longer seems to report on are discharge rates for D 75 and self-contained students.]

The NY Post's listing does not include any data on the growing practice of credit recovery, which is another manner in which many schools are artificially inflating their grad rates, (see this article by the same Post reporter on the phenomenon.) The DOE refuses to release any data on credit recovery, so it is impossible to know just how widespread this practice is. The class size data are also are not fully reliable; and tend to underestimate the actual size of classes in many high schools, since inclusion (CTT) classes are commonly reported as two separate classes.

I also don't trust the college-going rates in the listings; and the SAT scores don't include information as to what percent of the class actually took the SATs. Finally, the ratings may reflect more than anything else the socio-economic background of the students rather than what the schools actually bring to the table.

Nevertheless, as parents have a right to see this information, I have now posted a spreadsheet with SAT average scores for every school, for 2008 and 2009, as well the schoolwide class size averages for 2009-10 school year, as calculated by the DOE (as opposed to class size averages in each school by grade and subject, that are available here.). Neither of these files are on the DOE website, as far as I know.

The Achievement Gap Nobody Talks About - Part 1: The Chasm

Following the June 2008 Integrated Algebra Regents exam -- the only math exam required to receive a NYS high school diploma -- NYSED commissioned a technical report to analyze the results. That report, the only such one I have found so far, was posted on the NYSED website, seemingly to no public or media notice despite its startling revelations about a racial achievement gap in mathematics that education officials in NYC and throughout NYS had by 2008 already been claiming for years was well on its way to being eliminated.

While recent revisions to the cut score levels on the NYS Grade 3 - 8 exams have exploded that myth, the June 2008 Integrated Algebra technical report (available for download here) provides striking indications that the gap may be much worse at the high school level. Analyzing the results for 175,000 mostly ninth-grade students statewide who sat for the June 2008 test, where a scaled passing score of 65 was (and continues to be) derived from a raw score of just 30 out of 87 points maximum (34.5%), the report reveals:

** Overall pass rate, all students: 75.06%
** White student pass rate: 88.08%
** Black student pass rate: 53.17%
** Hispanic student pass rate: 58.71%
** Black/White gap: 35.91 pct. pts.
** Hispanic/White gap: 29.37 pct. pts.

These achievement gaps at the ninth grade level already substantially exceeded those reported in the June 23, 2008 Commissioner's Press Conference presentation slides (available here) for Grade 3 - 8 Mathematics (Black/White -- 22.4 percentage points, Hispanic/White -- 17.2 percentage points), despite the fact that these same ninth grade students had for the previous five years been the very ones whose increased proficiency had been so widely and unquestioningly touted.

Even more disturbing, however, is that any raising of the bar on the Grade 9 Integrated Algebra exam along the lines of those just implemented by Commissioner Steiner for the Grade 3 - 8 exams (where the weighted average raw score percentage across grades for achieving Level 3 in 2010 was increased from 47.1% of the available exam points to 72.4%) would likely transform an alarming racial achievement gap into a veritable chasm, a Grand Canyon of racial disparity in high school math achievement.

For example, based on the detailed 2008 exam data, if the Regents Integrated Algebra passing bar had been raised from its current 34.5% of the available raw score points (30 out of 87) to just over 50% (44 out of 87), the Black student pass rate would have been reduced by more than half and the Hispanic student pass rate by a little less than half, as detailed in the table below:

** Revised overall pass rate, all students: 52.28% (-22.78 pct. pts.)
** Revised White student pass rate: 67.74% (-20.34 pct. pts.)
** Revised Black student pass rate: 24.85% (-27.32 pct. pts.)
** Revised Hispanic student pass rate: 31.11% (-27.60 pct. pts.)
** Revised Black/White gap: 42.89 pct. pts. (+6.98 pct. pts.)
** Revised Hispanic/White gap: 36.63 pct. pts. (+7.26 pct. pts.)

In other words, raising the expectations bar enough to require students to earn at least 50% of the raw score points (where Grade 3 - 8 children now must earn over 70% of their available points under Steiner's new standard) would have resulted in less than one-third of the Hispanic students and less than one-fourth of the Black students passing. Furthermore, the Black/White achievement gap would have climbed to just under a staggering 43 percentage points, and the Hispanic/White gap to almost 37 percentage points. By comparison, the combined 2010 Grade 3 - 8 achievement gaps for Black and Hispanic students following the recent Steiner cut score upward revisions were 30.2 and 23.8 points, respectively (Commissioner's slide presentation available here). Note that these achievement gaps, even after revision to a higher standard, are still markedly less than the June 2008 Regents math achievement gaps even under their (continuing) low-expectations pass levels (shown in the first table above).

Regent exam breakdowns (score distributions in total and by ethnic and other breakdowns such as ELL, students with disabilities, low SES, etc.) are not routinely publicized, to the best of my knowledge. The one I found for Integrated Algebra appears to have been a special situation for a new exam. And while the data is presented on a statewide basis only, we know for a fact that well over 40,000 of the 175,000 students tested, perhaps as many as 50,000, were NYC public high school students.

Isn't it time that this type of data, so aggressively presented and touted for the Grade 3 - 8 exams, also be presented to the public, at least for the Regents core subject exams if not for all of them? Shouldn't this type of data also be made available for NYC schools, just as the DOE now does for its Grade 3 - 8 exam results? Isn't it curious that for all the talk about Grades 3 - 8, no one -- not the State Commission, not the Regents board, and certainly not Chancellor Klein and his irrepressible P.R. machine, EVER break down and/or talk about the results of the high school Regents exams from 2003 to 2010. Why is that?

After all, don't these exams provide some measure of the success (or lack thereof) of all the Grade 3 - 8 testing? If those earlier-year educational benefits cannot be carried over into high school, then something is wrong, and we have a right to know. A Grade 4 student still has time for remediation and support, a luxury not so readily available or achievable at the high school level, where there are relatively few second chances.

In any event, for Commissioner Steiner to be consistent in his insistence on college readiness expectations of NYS public school students (and even a 50% standard still falls well short of "college ready" in my judgment), an increase in the Integrated Algebra cut score level seems inescapable. If and when that happens, the impact for many will be a rude awakening, to say the least. Like Wile E. Coyote running right past the edge of the unseen cliff, the drop to the canyon floor below will be a long, long, long way down.

NOTE: My next posting, "Part 2: Where's the Proficiency?," will reveal some shocking information about the 2008/09 Integrated Algebra exam in NYC's public high schools.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wishful Testing in this week's New York magazine


Check out the just-published piece in NY Magazine called Wishful Testing, featuring the comments of Steve Koss, blogger here, and which analyzes the state test score bubble, Campbell’s law, the over-hyped Harlem Village Academy, and connects the dots.

Between this, the recent Robert Kolker piece on the national craze of scapegoating teachers, and features by Jeff Coplon on Eva Moskowitz’ chain of charters and school overcrowding, the magazine has shown itself to be most valuable in dissecting the Bloomberg/Klein mirage.

Especially as compared to the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, whose reporting on the subject has been execrable.

Read it and leave a comment on the website!!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Listen up, mayor and the NY Times

The Times ran an editorial last week, "Parents need to know", which claimed that NYC parents didn't understand how the weak state exams had been "shortchanging students" and that they did their "children no favor" when they disrupted a Panel for Education Policy meeting on Monday. This was after the PEP chair, David Chang, refused to let them speak in response to a long, deceptive power point that claimed, despite the collapse of the state test score bubble collapse, that the schools had made great progress.

The editorial also excused the state test score inflation by stating, "Weak state tests are a chronic problem throughout the country — one that education departments are only beginning to come to grips with." Oh please. The NY test score inflation has been obvious to nearly all objective observers since at least 2007, despite the fact that it conveniently allowed the mayor to claim great improvements during his campaigns for the renewal of mayoral control and re-election, illusions that were bought hook line and sinker by the mayor's allies on the Times and the other editorial boards.

The editorial ended by claiming that the schools have nevertheless been "narrowing the performance gap between white and minority students." Yet the gold standard, the national exams called the NAEPs, show no narrowing of the achievement gap in any grade or subject since the Klein regime began. Truly, the Times editors "need to know" and start living in the real world, for they, along with the chancellor and mayor, have lost all credibility, and should stop criticizing parents while displaying their ignorance of what's really going on in our schools.Our mayor, who famously said people could "boo him at parades" if people didn't like his educational policies, will likely see more booing of his Panel of Eight Puppets in the months to come, unless he wakes up and starts to listen.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Video of Patrick Sullivan and parent protest at the PEP meeting on Aug. 16

Check out the video from yesterday's Panel for Educational Policy meeting, where Patrick Sullivan, Manhattan member, observes that what he heard from the DOE's earlier test score presentation was "an attempt at spin to protect the reputations of the people who are responsible for the school system."

He makes a motion so that the Panel can hear "from parents and the public about what their concerns are about what I think is probably one of the worst debacles in the history of the public school system."

Yet PEP Chair David Chang refuses to bring the motion to a vote. Check out Patrick's explanation of how Chang's refusal was a violation of the PEP bylaws.

This refusal to let them speak led to an outcry from parents, chanting "Let us speak", and a subsequent walk-out of the PEP members, all except for Patrick.

For more on these events, see GothamSchools, Times, Post, Daily News, WNYC , Ed Notes and Patrick's own post. (video thanks to Norm Scott.)

PEP Chairman Chang Blocks Vote on Public Comment, Violates Bylaws

Last night's Panel for Educational Policy meeting was another unfortunate example of how the mayoral appointees on the Panel repeatedly show disregard for both the law and the public school community they are supposed to serve.

The public agenda issued prior to the meeting contained no indication that the Panel would consider the enormous controversy surrounding the state testing debacle, yet a fifteen minute session was added for a DOE staffer to present a defense of the administration's record in student achievement.

At the conclusion of the session, I made a motion to add a public comment session to the agenda to allow the audience to comment on the presentation. It is common for public comment sessions to be placed on the agenda following important presentations. It was clear the purpose of the presentation was to deflect the intense criticism of the DOE's educational record and would not address the concerns of the many parents who, after years of being told their children were doing better, are now being told their children are not proficient. I felt it essential that the parents in the audience have an opportunity to comment and share their perspective with the Panel. My motion was seconded by Bronx Representative Anna Santos.

Rather than hold the vote on the motion, Chairman David Chang said he would disregard the motion based on his authority over "procedural matters". Chang's action was a clear violation of Article 2 of the Panel's bylaws that require a vote of the Panel when a member seeks to add an item:
If a member of the Panel for Educational Policy requests that an item be placed on the calendar at a calendar meeting, the Chairperson shall take a vote of the Panel members regarding whether such item shall be added to the calendar. An item may be added to the calendar at the meeting by majority vote of those present. (Article 2, Section 2.4)
The audience was outraged and began to demand a voice. After several admonishments and instructions to "behave", Chairman Chang adjourned the meeting.


A few comments to further explain how Chairman Chang violated PEP bylaws in order to suppress any parent response to the DOE viewpoint:

As the meeting agenda did not include a session for the Accountability Office to make its presentation, Chang's decision to allow the presentation violated the bylaws which restrict the meeting to items in the agenda unless a vote is taken to add an item:
At calendar meetings, business shall be the consideration of the resolutions, communications and other appropriate matters as described in the agenda accompanying the meeting notice. No other matters shall be considered except by consent of a majority of the members present. (Section 2.1.1)
Chang should have asked for a vote to add the item along with a public comment session to hear responses. Instead, he allowed the DOE communication to proceed but demanded that parents wait until the end of the meeting to be heard. There were already five more items on the agenda, each with its own dedicated public comment session. Adding another session following the testing presentation would not have been out of the ordinary or an inconvenience to anyone, especially given the obvious interest in the issue. Given that PEP meetings have averaged four hours, Chang knew well that few parents would be left at the end of the evening. Why did he not allow even a vote on my motion? It would be interesting to know what exactly DOE General Counsel whispered in his ear before Chang ruled my motion "out of order".

News coverage in the Times here and News here. Videos here.

For the front-page story that likely led to the preparation of the DOE's defensive presentation on testing results, see the Times: Triumph Fades on Racial Gap in City Schools.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New revelations and timeline of Sharpton, Klein and Bloomberg's political machinations

UPDATE:  thanks to Ken Libby, we now know that both the Broad Foundation ($500K) and the Gates Foundation ($100K) gave substantial funds to EEP in 2009.  As of 2011, however, the organization no longer appears to exists.
Today, in the Daily News, Adam Lisberg reports that Mayor Bloomberg gave $110,000 to Al Sharpton in 2008, apparently to gain his assent for overturning term limits, money that was laundered through the Education Equity Project, Joel Klein’s vanity non-profit that supposedly works for education reform.

This revelation comes on top of the earlier finding that
Sharpton received a secret contribution of $500,000 from a hedge fund to join EEP in the first place, funds that were washed through Education Reform Now, a pro-charter lobbying group, to help him avoid federal indictment for tax fraud. Below is a timeline of events:

December 2007: As many as ten of Sharpton’s associates receive grand jury subpoenas as the IRS is probing whether Sharpton or his organization, National Action Network (NAN), committed tax crimes and/or violations related to his 2004 presidential campaign.

March 25, 2008: Eva Moskowitz writes an email to Klein:“As you know I met with Sharpton. Had a great meeting. Am sure you know Charlie King is working with who I have known for years. He was enthusiastic. Just was worried that Mayor and you were not on board. Was kind of surprised by this concern. Wonder if you can call him.

Joel Klein responds, “I’m going to Memphis for him and have put together a panel for MLK day – I will speak to him. I think by on board he’s not talking policy….” [What then? finances?]
April 4, 2008: Klein appears at the Sharpton NAN event in Memphis. According to account written by Joe Williams on Democrats for Education Reform blog, entitled MLK, Ed Reform Sharpton, Shifting Winds?: ….It will be particularly interesting to see whether Rev. Sharpton can match his rhetoric with action… Sharpton...talked about how the education problem is so dire that we can no longer honor past alliances which existed to protect the status quo in education. (He didn't elaborate, but I assume he was talking about partnerships and $$$ between old civil rights groups and big labor, specifically teachers unions. Why did I assume that? He made the dots pretty easy to connect.)"
April 10, 2008: Joel Klein sends an email to Eva Moskowitz, asking, “Did I send you article re Memphis w Sharptons comment about new alliances.” She replies, “Yes thanks. Thought it was amazing.”

May 9, 2008: The AP reports that Sharpton is a subject of federal investigation and that his organization owes nearly $1.5 million in overdue taxes and penalties. It is also revealed that over the course of the past year, Sharpton's lawyers have been negotiating with the feds over the size of his debt, which include $365,558 in NYC income tax and $931,397 in unpaid federal income tax. His for-profit company, Rev. Al Communications, owes the state another $175,962 in delinquent taxes.

early June 2008: Al Sharpton and Joel Klein announce they will form the Education Equality Project.
June 4, 2008: According to an article in the NY Times, Bloomberg and his advisers are exploring overturning term limits so he can run for a third term.
June 11, 2008: Education Equality Project, co-chaired by Joel Klein and Al Sharpton, is launched at a DC press conference.
Sharpton says: "There have been a lot of old alliances being protected, and the children are not being protected," he said. "And if we're going to move forward, we're going to have to be able to have new alliances here — that might mean some old relationships with teachers unions, principals unions and all are going to be a little troubled.”

June 12, 2008: There is much speculation on our list serv and elsewhere about who is funding this effort. On our blog at “Unholy alliance: Al Sharpton and Joel Klein” we speculate that it is being supported by Gates and/or Broad Foundations. The next day, David Cantor, then-head of the DOE press office, emails our NYC education list serv that “No Gates or Broad money is going to this initiative. Zero.”

June 13, 2008: We speculate that perhaps Bloomberg money is backing EEP and add another posting, Who is funding the Education Equity project? Later that day, David Cantor emails me: Leonie: The project is being funded anonymously. No public money will be spent. The mayor is not funding the project.”

June 15, 2008: I post Cantor’s email on our blog at The mystery continues: who is funding the Klein/Sharpton operation? and add: “One would think that given the kind of public campaign that these men say they are embarking upon, including staging "events at both political conventions” and attempting to influence the position of the next President, they should be obligated to reveal their source of financing" Silly me.

June 15, 2008: I finally pick up on the news about how Sharpton owes the IRS more than $1 million in taxes, and write on the blog: “Which further begs the question – is someone contributing to Sharpton's operations to persuade him to ally himself with Joel Klein, and if so, who is it? Apparently, the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn is conducting a grand-jury investigation of his organization's finances, as is Attorney General Cuomo. Hopefully we'll find out someday. More good timing on the part of Joel Klein, who certainly knows how to pick his friends. But I guess beggars can't be choosers.”

June 19, 2008
: According to the Post, the feds broaden their investigation, and issue "a flurry of subpoenas" to Sharpton’s corporate donors.
June 20, 2008: Sharpton hires former Brooklyn US Attorney Zachary Carter to represent him.
June 2008: Sometime this month, Sharpton's organization receives a $500,000 donation from former Chancellor Harold Levy’s hedge fund, Plainfield Asset Management, passed through Joe Williams’ pro-charter group Education Reform Now. None of this is revealed, however, until almost a year later, in Juan Gonzalez’ column.
July 20, 2008: Al Sharpton pays a down payment of more than $1 million in tax debt to the IRS.
July 22, 2008: The Feds agree to drop criminal charges against Sharpton, as he has agreed to pay millions of dollars in back taxes and penalties. About a dozen of his aides who had been served with federal subpoenas will no longer be required to testify. The unpaid taxes which he has agreed to repay are believed to total anywhere between $2 million and $9 million.
August 2008: Bloomberg considers running for a third term, which will necessitate overturning term limits.
On or about Sept 20, 2008: While "testing the waters" on term limits, Bloomberg "meets personally with Sharpton.

Sometime during Sept. 2008 (?): Bloomberg gives $250,000 grant to EEP. According to the News, this is one of only two contributions that EEP received in 2008, totaling $500,000.

Sept. 30, 2008: It is reported that Bloomberg has definitely decided to overturn term limits, ignoring the results of two referenda, so he can run for a third time. The NY Times runs an editorial supporting his decision, saying “If the voters don’t like the result, they can register their views at the polls,” meaning they can choose not to vote for Bloomberg.
October 2, 2008: Bloomberg formally announces he will run for third term. The same day, National Action Network gets $50,000 from EEP.
October 8, 2008: Sharpton tells the New York Times, "I'm leaning toward those who advocate in favor of making changes in the law through a referendum. But I haven’t come to any final determination yet."
October 12, 2008: Charlie King, Sharpton’s chief of staff tells the New York Post re term limits "There are meritorious arguments on both sides of this issue, and we are taking great pains to weigh each argument."
October 17, 2008: The National Action Network receives another $60,000 payment from EEP. The same day, the NY Times reveals that the mayor and his top aides have asked leaders of community and arts organizations which have received contributions from Bloomberg and/or city funding to testify on behalf of overturning term limits during the City Council hearings.
At least 11 Doe Fund employees, testified in favor of the mayor’s plan, without identifying their employer, describing themselves only as neighborhood residents. The DOE Fund also shipped homeless men to the hearings in support. It is later revealed that just weeks after the hearings, Bloomberg gave at least $5 million to the DOE Fund, and a year later, less than 48 hours before he was sworn in for a third term, another $5 million.
October 22, 2008: the NY Times runs an editorial supporting the city Council overturning term limits, despite the fact that voters voted twice to uphold the limits: “... We agree with the mayor that the Council is best positioned to quickly settle the matter. It would be technically difficult and perhaps legally problematic to organize a meaningful citywide referendum before the 2009 elections." (Just a few months later, the Times excoriates Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for proposing that voters be allowed to decide term limits through a referendum, an opportunity that NYC voters never received.)
October 23, 2008: The City Council votes to overturn term limits 29-22.

December 8, 2008: Bloomberg hires Bradley Tusk, formerly top operative and Deputy Gov. to Rod. Blagojevich, as his campaign manager. Over the course of the year Bloomberg gives $1.3 million to the Independence Party. Of that, $750,000 was allegedly pocketed by Queens GOP operative John Haggerty.

March 31, 2009: Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News breaks the story of the $500,000 contribution to Sharpton from Harold Levy's hedge fund, which was first laundered through Joe Williams’ pro-charter organization Education Reform Now. David Cantor tells Juan that up to that point, Klein has raised more than $1.6 million for EEP. [more than $1 million in Jan-March? From whom?]
April 1, 2009: Bloomberg appears at Sharpton’s annual NAN conference, saying he is a “Sharpton fan.” Gov. Paterson, Sec. Duncan and Joel Klein also participate in the event.
May 7, 2009: Bloomberg, Sharpton and Gingrich meet with Duncan and Obama and announce that education reforms are the “civil rights issue of the 21st century.” The same day, the White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says the president “does not intend to make any political endorsement in the New York City mayor’s race.” (Obama does later make very low-key endorsement of Bill Thompson, but never campaigns on his behalf.)

November 4, 2009: Bloomberg wins a third term by an unexpectedly narrow margin of 5 percent; after spending a record $110 million of his personal fortune on his campaign, more than all other donations for all NY state elected officials combined.

And that's only the campaign spending that is officially reported!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Net Gain for Queens Students

August 11, 2010 (GBN News): In an abrupt change of plans, a former tennis stadium, reportedly in line to be turned into condos, will instead be bought by the NY City Department of Education and used as a giant high school classroom. The historic Forest Hills Stadium, home to countless US Open championships before being replaced by a new stadium in Flushing, has been the object of controversy, and the decision to sell to a private developer had rankled many community groups that wanted to see the facility put to public use.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, in announcing the plan in a press conference at Tweed Courthouse, told reporters that the purchase will more than make up for any planned high school closures in the borough of Queens, where the stadium is located. “We’re closing high schools with maybe 14,000 students total,” the Chancellor said. “The stadium holds 15,000, so we’re actually gaining space.”

“For those naysayers who insist that the DOE favors charter schools over public schools,” Mr. Klein continued, “I dare you to find me any charter school kids that can boast that they go to school in a historic facility that has housed the likes of John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, and Arthur Ashe.”

The Chancellor did not directly address the issue of where students will go in bad weather, since the stadium does not have a dome. But GBN News has learned that the DOE recently put in a purchase order for 15,000 ponchos.

Please sign our letter to Klein and Liu re federal jobs funds

Yesterday the President signed an education jobs bill that will provide $10 billion to save an estimated 160,000 teaching jobs nationwide

According to news reports, it will send about $608 million to NY State; and an estimated $200 million to NYC. Thanks to those of you that called or emailed the Congress about this critical bill. (You can see how your House member voted here.)

These funds are desperately needed to prevent the projected loss of 2,000 teaching positions in NYC schools this fall, which, along with a continued growth in enrollment, would otherwise lead to drastically increased class sizes.

As you know, class sizes have already risen on average for the last two years; and last year, more than half of Kindergarten students were in classes of 25 or more in many schools. This is simply unacceptable, especially as the city promised to reduce class sizes in all grades in return for receiving nearly a billion dollars in extra state funds.

Please sign onto our letter to Chancellor Klein below, urging him to use these new federal funds to avert the loss of any teaching positions so that class sizes do not increase, and the City Comptroller to provide rigorous oversight to ensure that these funds are used appropriately.

Please email me at with your name, school, borough, and leadership position or other organizational affiliation (if any). If you would like that affiliation to be starred with an asterix (meaning affiliation for identification purposes only) please let me know that as well.

Thanks for your support, and please forward this message to others who care.

Dear Chancellor Klein and Comptroller Liu:

As you know, the Congress passed and the President signed an education jobs bill that will provide approximately $200 million in federal funds for New York City schools.

Chancellor, we urge you to use these funds immediately to avert the loss of any teaching positions. Otherwise, the budget cuts already imposed are expected to lead to the elimination of 2,000 teaching positions and cause damaging increases in class size, especially as student enrollment is increasing.

Comptroller Liu, we urge you to implement strict oversight to ensure that these funds are used appropriately. Over the last two years, class sizes have risen sharply despite the city’s promise to reduce them in exchange for taking nearly a billion dollars in additional state aid.

The need for smaller classes has been the top priority of parents in the Department of Education’s parent surveys for as long as these surveys have been given.

Class size reduction is one of the very few reforms that, according to the federal government’s Institute for Education Sciences, has been proven to improve student achievement.

It is critical that these federal funds go directly to the classroom where they belong, so that the city’s children can learn in classes that are as small as possible .

Yours sincerely,

Leonie Haimson, Executive Director, Class Size Matters

Add your name here: Name, school, borough, leadership position or other affiliation (if any)