*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** MARCH 11, 2015
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ADVISORY: PARENTS CRITICIZE MAYOR DE BLASIO FOR MISLEADING NEW YORKERS ON RENEWAL SCHOOLS “PROGRESS”
CHANGES AT BOYS AND GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL–MASKED AS A SIGN OF RENEWAL SCHOOLS SUCCESS–WERE MANDATED BY STATE IN NOVEMBER
DOZENS OF OTHER RENEWAL SCHOOLS HAVE NO EVIDENCE OF PROGRESS
ADVISORY: PARENTS TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW 11 AM AT CITY HALL STEPS
New York, NY – Dozens of parents will gather on the steps of City Hall tomorrow to counter Mayor de Blasio’s claim that the Renewal Schools program has demonstrated progress. At Tuesday’s press conference at Boys and Girls High School, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina touted developments at the school as sign of progress for Renewal Schools–without mentioning that the changes were forced through by the State Education Department in November as a result of Boys and Girls High School’s “Out of Time” status. Instead, Mayor de Blasio has failed to identify evidence of progress on key elements of the Renewal Schools program announced in November–ranging from lengthening the school day by one hour at all 94 Renewal Schools, to adding more guidance counselors and offering all schools constant visits and feedback.
Chancellor Farina reiterated misleading claims of progress in a Daily News op-ed on Wednesday, arguing that the “work [the city] is doing at Boys and Girls” demonstrates the success of the Renewal Schools program and citing major changes such as forcing “every teacher [to] reapply for his or her job” without mentioning these changes were the byproduct of Boys and Girls High School’s status as one of two “Out of Time” schools in the city–an entirely separate and distinct process.
On Thursday, parents will gather on the steps of City Hall to draw attention to the fact that Mayor de Blasio has misled New Yorkers on the progress of this program while refusing to address a broader crisis that traps 143,000 students in failing schools. Bold, structural change is required to turn around more than 300 schools in New York City where more than 90% of the students are failing.
“Parents aren’t fooled by Mayor de Blasio.” said Kim Booker. “It’s insulting to say there’s been progress when these schools are still failing.”
“My daughter attends a failing school where nothing has changed,” said Dellona Chaplin. “I still don’t see how Mayor de Blasio’s plan will do anything for her.”
WHEN: 11:00 AM, Thursday, March 12, 2015
WHO: Dozens of Parents
WHAT: Press conference countering Mayor de Blasio’s claim that Renewal Schools Program is demonstrating progress
WHERE: New York City Hall Steps
MISLEADING CLAIMS ON RENEWAL SCHOOLS PROGRAM:
Longer School Days:
- Renewal Schools Promise: “Each Renewal School will provide an extra hour each day of extended instruction.”
- Renewal Schools Reality: Only a fraction of Renewal Schools have received a promised extra hour “for every child every day,” as the Mayor said as recently as two weeks ago. On Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio asserted that 54 have, but most of these schools have only offered voluntary “academic activities” or “Saturday classes.” The U.F.T. continues to block extended classroom time for New York City’s children in Renewal Schools.
Frequent Visits and Close Monitoring of Progress
- Renewal Schools Promise: “Frequent visits from DOE trained staff to provide feedback and closely monitor progress.”
- Renewal Schools Reality: Many schools have reported only “one meeting” as part of the Renewal Schools program. Officials at these schools testify that the “city has not provided the schools with principal mentors, teacher coaches, or improvement goals for the year.”
- Renewal Schools Promise: “Schools that do not meet targets for each academic year would face a leadership and faculty change, as needed, and possible reorganization.”
- Renewal Schools Reality: Renewal schools have not been given strict academic performance targets to demonstrate improvement this year, and there has been no indication that the Mayor is willing to hold failing schools accountable.
Leadership and Staff
- Renewal Schools Promise: “We are starting right now to recruit more guidance counselors and other staff to be added to struggling schools in the spring,” said Mayor de Blasio in November.
- Renewal Schools Reality: There was no mention of additional guidance counselors, at any of the Renewal Schools, at Tuesday’s press conference. There is no evidence of any progress on this metric.
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