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Stop adding new charter schools: Keep the cap and ensure that badly needed financial resources flow to traditional public schools

New York State legislators need to halt planned charter school expansions that would only solidify charters as a parallel — but unregulated and discriminatory — school system, one that is draining resources from many of New York’s neediest kids.

Bubble Test

Testing overkill and its consequences

New York City and New York State fell prey to the movement that made standardized tests in reading and math the only important measure of student and school success.

A high school class.

The specialized high school controversy is a political sideshow

Current proposals to deal with the appalling lack of black and Hispanic students in the city's specialized high schools by creating even more such "exam" schools are feeding the political and media obsession with these schools; at the same time this focus distracts the system from the much larger problem -- the academic isolation that affects tens of thousands of students in roughly 20 percent of city high schools. 

MS 51, Brooklyn, teachers (from left) Rachel Rear, Julie Gibson and Joanna Santa

The Supreme Court's Janus decision is one battle in an ongoing fight unions will win

The finding in the Janus case will make it more difficult for unions to gather the resources they need to defend the interests of workers and their families. But our union will remain strong, and we will not be silenced.

Marly Jean-Baptiste, Valmire Peters and Jane Wang.

Diversify NY high schools now

If New York City is going to have the first-class public education system it deserves, then the new chancellor and the city’s Panel for Educational Policy need to tackle the widespread academic segregation in the city’s high schools — a problem within their power to solve. 

UFT President Michael Mulgrew (center) joins students in a walkout advocating fo

Teachers need resources, not guns

The thousands of New York City students who walked out of their classrooms on March 14 to honor those murdered in the Parkland, Florida mass-shooting didn’t ask for Kevlar vests or gun-toting teachers. They do want adults to do the hard work to make their schools safe — to stand up to the national gun lobby, but also to arm staff with knowledge, such as how to create safe school environments, and to train them in how to recognize and de-escalate potentially violent situations.

Children Lose in Faulty Charter School Accounting

Charters claim that they serve the same children as city public schools, but the truth is that they enroll and keep half the percentage of English Language Learners, dramatically fewer special education students, including those needing the highest level of intervention, and far fewer children who are homeless or in temporary housing.

Classroom circle

“Instant” teacher licensing is a threat to charter students and the teaching profession

Why is the charter lobby pushing a watered-down “instant“ license that would be worthless at any traditional public school and would undermine years of efforts to ensure that teachers are trained and treated as professionals? Because charters don’t want to invest in their teachers.

The principle — and the politics — of mayoral control

In 2002 and 2009 State Senate Republicans, saying that the New York City’s public schools needed predictable and accountable management, couldn't wait to give former Mayor Bloomberg long-term control of the schools. But if the principle of mayoral control was enough to ensure that Bloomberg got a total of 13 years as head of the school system, why has Mayor de Blasio had to fight to get even one-year extensions of the mayoral control law?

Charter Schools Can't Suspend Their Way to Success

Children who miss 20 or more days of school in New York City have lost so much instruction time that they are classified as chronically absent, which studies have linked to lower test scores and higher dropout rates. So it is hard to see the educational purpose behind Success Academy's suspending a special-needs 7-year-old for 45 days, even if some form of alternative instruction was provided.