Forums on Student Privacy, Our Lawsuit on Class Size, and School Overcrowding

I have much important news to report:

1. Starting May 2, the NY State Education Department is holding forums around the state to hear from parents on how they would like to see the NY student privacy law strengthened, clarified and enforced. This law was passed in 2014 as a result of the controversy over the NYSED’s plan to share loads of personal student information with a corporation called inBloom Inc., which closed its doors shortly afterward. States, districts, schools and vendors are collecting an increasing amount of highly sensitive student information, and too often, this data has been breached and/or misused. For more on this issue, a schedule of hearings, and how to have your voice heard, check out our blog here.

2. On April 12, along with nine NYC parents and AQE, Class Size Matters filed a lawsuit against the NYC Department of Education, demanding that they comply with the Contracts for Excellence law passed in 2007 and reduce class sizes in all grades.   Despite this law, class sizes increased sharply and are now much larger in all grades than they were when the law was first passed, with more than 290,000 students subjected to classes of 30 or more. Our classes also remain far larger than they are in the rest of the state. There can be no equity for NYC children without smaller classes, which have been linked to higher test scores, better grades, and more students graduating from high school and college.

Today in the NY Post, the Chancellor Carranza asked students to email him with ideas on how “we can level the playing field and support you on the path to college — we believe you can do anything, and we’ll do everything we can to help you reach your highest potential.” Please ask your kids to email him at, and tell him how large classes are denying them the opportunity to do their best.

3. Last week, the NYC Council held important hearings on how to address school overcrowding by reforming school planning and siting. NYC public schools are becoming more overcrowded without any real plan from the DOE to address this, and in fact the Mayor’s priorities of expanding preK, adding 3K and building more housing are instead making the problem worse.

Overcrowding undermines the quality of education that NYC kids receive in many ways, contributing to growing class sizes, loss of art and music rooms, less access to gyms and cafeterias, and much else. Yet despite repeated questioning, DOE Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose refused to admit that school overcrowding was a problem or disadvantaged students in any way, and claimed that “some of our more successful schools are overcrowded.” For more on the issues raised at these hearings and how the DOE and other city officials responded, as well as some of the legislation we’ve proposed to improve the city’s dysfunctional process of school planning, check out the blog here.

Categories Newsletters, Updates | Tags: | Posted on April 24, 2018

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