Updates on Common Core survey, Student Privacy, and worsening crisis in Class Size & School Overcrowding

November 24, 2015

Dear Friend,

1. On Monday, NYS Allies for Public Education, the coalition we belong to, posted a user-friendly survey on the Common Core. Please take it here. After two days, this survey has already had nearly as many responses (more than 5,300) as the NYSED survey received in more than three weeks.

2. I recently co-authored a Washington Post oped with Cheri Kiesecker of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy about the increasingly detailed personal student information every state is collecting and potentially sharing. Allison White, a NY parent, is demanding that NY State Education Department provide her access to her child’s data without charging her an inordinate fee, as is her right under federal law. If you’d like to write your own letter to the State Education Department to demand to see what information they are collecting and disclosing for your child, we have drafted a sample letter you can use.

3. In NYC, the class size data was released on Nov. 15. The DOE admitted continued increase in average class sizes across the city. We also found that there is a particularly troubling rise in the number of children in classes of 30 or more in the early grades. See our report, the Daily News story, and an editorial from AMNY, admonishing the Mayor about this. I testified yesterday at the City Council that the vast majority of the Renewal schools have not reduced class size to appropriate levels, despite the DOE’s promise to do so.

If you’d like to check the class size data for your school, you can find it here. And let me know if it is accurate; we are finding evidence that many schools are under reporting their actual class sizes.

4. School overcrowding is also on the increase. According to latest DOE Blue Book figures, 556,000 students are crammed into schools that are at 101% capacity or more; and the average utilization figure for elementary schools is at 104%. Make the Road released a report showing that the overcrowding is worst in neighborhoods with large numbers of immigrant residents; Sunset Park parents have waited for more than a decade for a new school to be built in their extremely overcrowded neighborhood.

I asked the Mayor about what he intended to do about the worsening crisis of class size and overcrowding at the Town Hall in Queens on November 12, as did other parents. You can check out the video and his disappointing response on the blog here.

5. Along with NYC Kids PAC, we co-sponsored a very successful parent conference in Brooklyn on November 7 where we discussed and strategized how to address increased class size, school overcrowding, and many other critical issues. If you’d like to see some of the presentations, they are posted here; and the action plans we developed are here. If you missed it, we plan to hold another conference in the spring.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and talk to you after the break,

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

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Categories Newsletters, Recent Newsletters, Updates | Tags: | Posted on November 24, 2015

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