Please Take Our Class Size Survey, Renewal/PROSE Schools, and Update on Student Privacy

September 15, 2015


Dear Friends,

1. Welcome to another school year. I hope you and your family had a good summer! Please take a moment to fill out this quick survey of your child’s class size this year; if you’re a teacher, please let us know your class sizes as well. It will help us immensely in tracking trends at individual schools.

Also, if you’re a parent or teacher at one of the 94 NYC Renewal schools, or the 62 Receivership schools facing possible takeover by the state, please let us know – we have a list here, sorted by district. Also let us know if you’re at one of the 126 NYC PROSE schools that have been provided flexibility from the union contracts and/or city and state regulations. We’d like to follow up with you.

2. I was recently quoted in the NY Times and BBC News about Facebook’s plan to expand into the ed tech business and the risks to student privacy involved, as well as US News and World Report about growing privacy and security threats from the tech sector and the online apps being used in schools. When we met last month with the new State Commissioner MaryBeth Elia, we alerted her to the fact that the NY privacy law that was passed in March 2014 still has not been enforced, more than a year past the legal deadline. (Here is a letter from August 2014  to our previous Commissioner, making the same points).  Astonishingly, NYSED still has not appointed a permanent privacy officer, who was supposed to develop a robust parent bill of rights with parent input.

Meanwhile, schools and districts are engaging in all sorts of risky data sharing practices, with few if any security controls. On our Parent Coalition for Student Privacy website we have some information and forms you can fill out and send to your school to opt out of Directory information, as well as what else you can do to protect your children’s privacy rights. Please check them out!

3. Finally, if you’re interested in more frequent updates on class size and school overcrowding issues, be sure to join our Class Size Matters Facebook page; and for privacy issues, the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy page.

Talk to you soon, and welcome back!

Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011

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Categories Newsletters, Recent Newsletters | Tags: | Posted on September 15, 2015

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