Capital Education: DOE’s missing computers — Zephyr Teachout’s anti-charter …

STRINGER: D.O.E. MISSING 1,800 COMPUTERS — Capital’s Eliza Shapiro: The Department of Education is unable to account for 1,817 computers in ten schools, according to an audit on computers and tables conducted by comptroller Scott Stringer. An additional 394 laptops and tablets were found unpacked and unused in the ten schools. The audit also looked at devices at D.O.E. headquarters at Tweed Courthouse. According to Stringer, millions of dollars in computer equipment could be lost in the city’s 1,800 schools. The audit comes as the D.O.E. is preparing to integrate a new wave of technological products into its schools via the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond, which was approved in November and paves the way for significantly more use of technology in schools. An education official said the D.O.E. is working to establish a better inventory system to track its technological devices.

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Alliance for Quality Education and members of the Working Families Party, joined by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, will hold a rally at Tweed to protest education reform groups’ push for charter schools. Later, Carmen Fariña will join Bill de Blasio for an afternoon announcement at Erasmus High School. Merryl Tisch and John King did not release public schedules.

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CUNY ADOPTS ‘AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT’ — Capital’s Conor Skelding: The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York unanimously approved a new sexual misconduct policy at a meeting on Monday evening. The policy includes “affirmative consent,” the standard for consent to sexual activity Governor Andrew Cuomo set up at SUNY. … The trustees also approved new student disciplinary procedures alongside the sexual misconduct policy. The proposed disciplinary procedures initially removed the student’s right to remain silent without assumption of guilt, which was codified in the old policy. However, the trustees ultimately preserved the language, after public opposition from Councilwoman Inez Barron, other council members, and student representatives.

F.E.S. REPORT ON FAILING SCHOOLS IN UPSTATE CITIES — Capital’s Jessica Bakeman: Families for Excellent Schools, a pro-charter reform organization, will release a report today assailing traditional public schools in upstate cities, where “six out of 10 schools fail 90 percent of their students.” The report, obtained by Capital, says that in 58 percent of schools in the “Big Four” cities—Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers—90 percent or more of children failed this year’s English and math exams or were deemed unprepared for college. Only four schools in those cities graduate a majority of students who are proficient on state exams or college ready, according to the report. F.E.S. already released excerpts from the report criticizing public schools in Syracuse and Yonkers. Tuesday’s release includes Buffalo and Rochester, as well.

— Meanwhile, “the Working Families Party is teaming up with its old ally, Zephyr Teachout, to fight Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to raise the state’s cap on charter schools in a possible special session next week. Today, they plan to release a report entitled ‘Corruption in Education: The Hedge Fund Takeover of New York’s Schools.’ Many of Cuomo’s top donors are funding the charter school lobby, Teachout charges, singling out in the report Carl Icahn, Paul Tudor Jones and Dan Loeb for pouring “more than $10 million into state lobbying and election campaigns since the beginning of 2014, with electrifying results.” Daily News’ Annie Karni:

CITY HALL DEFENDS COMMUNITY SCHOOLS’ ACADEMICS — Capital’s Eliza Shapiro: Deputy mayor Richard Buery on Monday defended the community school model’s efficacy in improving student academic outcomes after the administration announced partnerships between social services agencies and 45 new community schools. On Monday, Buery cited studies showing academic gains for community schools in Boston and Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Tulsa, for example, some community schools outperformed their peers in math by 32 points and in English by 19 points on state exams, according to a Department of Education press release. “Just calling it a community school and bringing in resources by itself does not, of course, guarantee increased academic achievement,” Buery said. “What community schools are all about is increasing the capacity for learning,” he added, stressing a familiar theme for community schools supporters.

–See the full list of community school partnerships with social services providers here:

CUOMO ON TEACHER EVALUATIONS AT FORBES SUMMIT — At a private Forbes magazine-sponsored discussion forum in June, Governor Andrew Cuomo told an audience of wealthy philanthropists that state-mandated performance evaluations should be the basis for hiring, firing and tenure decisions. Forbes published video clips and a transcript from the panel on Monday, with excerpts set to appear in its December 15 issue. Capital reported in October that Cuomo and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten participated in the discussion at the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit.

“As a general rule, I am against public monopolies,” Cuomo said at the event, a sentiment that he repeated later during a pre-election interview with the Daily Newseditorial board. “I am in favor of competition and incentives in any system. … The teacher evaluations system, I think, is the bedrock of this issue. … There will be incentives. You can promote the stronger. You can help the weaker, and that’s the way markets work and systems work that will break down the ‘public monopoly.’” Watch this clip for more:

— Here’s Forbes’ write up of the panel, which will appear in its December 15 issue:

ROCHESTER CHARTER WITHDRAWS APPLICATION — Democrat and Chronicle’s Justin Murphy: “Greater Works Charter School will no longer open in Rochester in 2015, part of the continuing fallout over lies in the resume of its 22-year-old founder. Ted Morris Jr. represented himself to the New York State Education Department as an precocious businessman and educational advisor with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees earned mostly online. In fact, he has no college degrees and scant professional experience. He resigned Nov. 25, the day most of the misrepresentations came to light and just a week after the school gained approval from the state Board of Regents. At that point, both Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Peter Kozik, who took over as the school’s trustee chairman in Morris’ wake, said the school would open as planned without him. But a NYSED spokesman said Monday that the department had asked the board of trustees to rescind its application, and the trustees complied in a letter dated Nov. 29. They are also asking the Board of Regents to take back its approval.”


— Today is the deadline to apply to middle and high schools in New York City. Read more about the complicated admissions process. WNYC’s Beth Fertig:

— Buffalo schools’ flat roofs frustrated clean-up crews after the city was pummeled by snow last week. Buffalo News’ Denise Jewel Gee:

— Rhinebeck schools plans to review students’ use of tablets and laptops before the district invests more money in technology. Kingston Daily Freeman’s William Kemble:


— “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday wrestled with threats made on social media, with some justices worried about when school administrators might need to respond to such content, and others wondering whether the ‘reasonable teenager on the Internet’ should be the standard for evaluating whether threats are serious.” Ed Week’s Mark Walsh:

— “About 30,000 high school students in six states … will take the first official round of Common-Core-aligned tests created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers over the next several weeks.” Ed Week’s Llana Heiten:

— Deep Springs College may alter its mission statement in order to become coeducational, a California judge ruled.Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik:

STUDY UP: The number of jobs advertised on the Modern Language Association’s list fell for the second year straight. MLA:

BONUS: P.S. 15, one of the newly-funded community schools in the Lower East Side, has a laundry room in one of its bathrooms. The school’s principal says the laundry room has helped bring more parents into the school, which means they are more engaged with their children, and are able to provide clean clothes for their children for free.


12 p.m. — Zephyr Teachout, Zakiyah Ansari and Bill Lipton hold a press conference launching a new campaign to target the “hedge fund takeover of New York schools,” Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan.

3 p.m. — Bill de Blasio and Carmen Fariña make announcement, Preston Tisch Gymnasium, Erasmus Hall High School, 911 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.



  • City gets $1.2M donation to prevent football-related injuries

  • Pro-charter PAC spent $3.11M in late push for Senate G.O.P.

  • Report: King highlights feedback in evaluations

  • CUNY to ask for 500 more full-time faculty

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