New York City Public Schools

New York City Public Schools

Bloomberg’s Teacher Layoffs Reduced, but Still Grim

teacher union protest

Protesters outside Brooklyn Borough Hall, May 5th

New York City still stands to lose thousands of teachers due to city budget cuts, but the number has been somewhat reduced since the February figure. The mayor originally proposed to eliminate 6,100 teaching jobs through layoffs. Yesterday, it was announced that now 4,278 teachers will be laid off, but the city hopes to reduce the total number of teachers by another 1,500 through attrition.

Reducing the number of teachers, along with other city employees, is part of an effort to reduce the city budget by an additional $400 million. The city is facing a multibillion-dollar deficit for the fiscal year starting on July 1st, despite drawing heavily from city reserves. “Even that will not be enough to avoid layoffs of some city employees, including teachers,” said Bloomberg during an online news conference.

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Cathie Black Abruptly Resigns as NYC’s School Chancellor

Cathie BlackJust three months after taking office, Cathie Black announced that she is resigning from her position of New York City’s Chancellor of Schools. A controversial appointment from the start, Black was criticized for her lack of credentials in both the eduction field and the public sector. NBC New York reports that Black released a statement saying, “it has become increasingly apparent that my ability to serve successfully as the chancellor of New York City Schools is not possible.”

Mayor Bloomberg announced today that Black will be succeeded by deputy mayor for education, Dennis Walcott. “She loves New York and wants to do what’s right for the families and students that we serve,” said Bloomberg. “She and I met this morning and we have mutually agreed that it is in the city’s best interests if she steps down as chancellor. I take full responsibility for the fact that this has not worked out as either of us had hoped or expected.”

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Most New York Students Unprepared for College

Students graduating from high school in New York are found to be unprepared for college. In the latest set of graduation statistics, fewer than half of the students in the state of New York are leaving high school fully prepared for college or well paying careers. These new statistics are being used as a push to realign state standards with college performance.

In 2009, statistics show that only 23 percent of students in New York City graduated ready for college or careers. This number excludes special education students. Surprisingly, New York City is doing better than other large urban districts in the state. Less than five percent met the standards for being college-ready in Rochester and less than 17 percent in Yonkers, Buffalo and Syracuse. The state Board of Regents met on Monday to make decisions on how to use this new data and should reach a decision sometime in March.

Unfortunately, city and state officials have been slow to raise the standards for graduation even though they know that graduation from a public school does not mean a student is ready for college.

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Cathie Black Appointed Chancellor of New York City Schools

Cathie Black

UPDATE [4/7/11]: Cathie Black Abruptly Resigns as NYC’s School Chancellor

Just as Cathie Black takes her new post as Chancellor of New York City Schools, two more veteran officials step down. Joel Klein’s surprise resignation and the unusual appointment of Black, who was previously the chairman of Hearst Magazines, have left the governing body of New York City schools in shock.

“I’m leaving you the best team ever assembled in K to 12 education. The eight deputy chancellors…have a depth of institutional knowledge and a range of skills that you will be able to draw on,” Klein said after announcing he will step down.

However, two of those team members are already leaving. Photeine Anagnostopoulos, deputy chancellor for finance and technology, and Elizabeth Sciabarra, who founded the Office of student enrollment, have both offered their letters of resignation.

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