News update on Mayoral control, school planning for next year, and please give!

December 13, 2020

Dear Friends,

1 – It’s that time of year; please give to Class Size Matters, we need financial support especially as we could not hold our annual Skinny award fundraiser last spring because of COVID. We rely on donations from our supporters; please do so by clicking here. Also, if you’re buying gifts on Amazon, you can do it via Amazon smile and a small percentage will go to our organization.

2. Tonight, Sunday Dec. 13 at 8 PM, I along with others will be speaking about the history of Mayoral control and how it needs to be changed, at an online forum called Reimagining Education, hosted by Teachers of New York City. You can register here: On Thursday, Dec. 17, I will also be testifying at Assembly hearings on Mayoral control that begin at 10 AM, livestreamed here. The state law that renewed Mayoral control lapses in June 2022, and it’s time to start thinking seriously about how checks and balances and more parent and community input should be added, to strengthen what is now a basically autocratic system.

3. There seems to be more energy and focus on improving the school governance system now than in years past, in part because of widespread dissatisfaction with the erratic way Mayor de Blasio has handled planning for school shutdowns and reopenings during the Covid pandemic.

During my latest “Talk out of School” podcasts, both Michael Mulgrew, the President of the UFT and Mark Cannizzaro, President of the CSA, emphasized that changes need to happen. Both interviews were wide-ranging and also touched on many other issues, including whether the DOE has focused sufficiently on improving remote learning, whether state testing should be cancelled in the spring, and what should be done to ensure that the huge losses that students have suffered both academically and socially will be sufficiently addressed next year. Some of the comments that Mark Cannizzaro made on the podcast were so newsworthy they made the NY Post.

4. Last week the Mayor and Chancellor announced a new plan for year that would double down on commercial online learning and testing programs, a plan which given the failures of remote learning this year is hugely misconceived. Instead, NYC kids will need more human connection and support next year than ever before, and to build relationships through smaller classes, more counselors, and individualized tutoring, perhaps via an expanded Americorps program. You can be sure that with your help, we will be advocating for this in the coming months.

Thanks as ever for your support,


Categories News, Newsletters, Updates | Tags: , , , , , | Posted on December 13, 2020

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