Posts tagged "panel for educational policy"
October 16, 2013
At a meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy, parents and elected officials opposed to changes to their schools let the members know — and many said they were already looking ahead to a Mayor de Blasio to review the decisions.
Only after more than five hours of testimony and discussion did one of the final PEP meetings under Mayor Bloomberg end with the approval of 12 new schools, including five new charter schools operating in public space, and 17 new co-locations to begin in 2014.
Dozens came to protest proposed changes to I.S. 78 Roy H. Mann, wearing bright red T-shirts with the phrase, “Together We Make a Difference.” The Panel approved the addition of a Success Academy elementary charter school in the school’s Bergen Beach building, along with a reduction in Roy H. Mann’s size.
From their public comments emerged a complicated picture of Roy H. Mann. Parents blamed a succession of principals and a lack of staff cooperation for what they acknowledged was low enrollment at the school. (more…)
September 6, 2013
According to a parent engagement plan released today by Thompson’s campaign, Thompson would reserve one of his appointed seats on the Panel for Educational Policy to a parent who gets voted in by a diverse group of other parents.
Rather than appointing his own voting member, Thompson would select whichever parent is picked by parent leaders culled from each of the 32 Community Education Councils. The CECs are diminished holdovers from when districts were controlled by school boards.
Thompson’s campaign staff said the proposal is an example of how Thompson would cede some of the mayor’s control over the Panel for Educational Policy, a power that Mayor Bloomberg has used to aggressively — and contentiously — push through sweeping changes to the school system. In 12 years in office, a Department of Education proposal has never been rejected by the PEP, which consists of eight mayoral appointees and five members appointed by borough presidents.
Under this proposal, the elected parent would remain an appointee of the mayor. That means that Thompson could technically remove the panel member at any time, a privilege that Bloomberg once exercised with cunning precision when he fired three of his appointees in 2004 for opposing his proposed ban on social promotion.
It’s unclear if Thompson is willing to actually give up any of the eight seats that are appointed by the mayor, a change that would require an amendment to state law. When he ran for mayor in 2009, he proposed a plan in which he would pick from a slate of diverse candidates selected by a 19-member nominating committee. (more…)
July 17, 2013
The Bloomberg administration’s efforts to keep school changes moving after it exits office, which have picked up in recent months, are attracting growing resistance from critics who say the city is overstepping.
On Thursday, the teachers union plans to file suit to stop the Department of Education from crafting plans to open, move, or shrink schools after Mayor Bloomberg exits office at the end of the year. Its press advisory says the department is planning to “cement a dozen or more” school space-sharing plans over the next five months, to begin in 2014 or later.
In fact, the Panel for Educational Policy this year has already approved more than that number of co-locations, grade truncations, and new schools to open eight months after Bloomberg’s replacement takes office. Some of the plans that the panel has signed off on include charter school sitings, which tend to elicit the most controversy of any space changes, and a few would not take effect until 2015, nearly two years into the next mayor’s term.
Department of Education spokesman Devon Puglia said the proposals have all been part of the regular planning process. (more…)
March 20, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg’s latest appointments to the Panel for Educational Policy are two men with ties to charter schools that have faced panel votes.
The appointments — made without fanfare — are drawing criticism from other panel members and critics of the panel, who say the new appointees’ interests make them unable to assess proposed policies fairly. A proposal involving Success Academy Charter Schools, which one of the new board members has represented in legal proceedings, is up for a vote at tonight’s panel meeting.
Last month, Joseph Lewis, Jr., was appointed to replace Rosemarie Maldonado, an administrator at John Jay College who had been on the panel since last July. According to his biography on the PEP website, Lewis attended New York City schools; has served on the board of Leadership Prep Charter School; and is currently on the boards of several other education organizations, including NYCAN, a group that has advocated for public school parents to be able to turn their schools into charter schools.
The other new appointee is David Brown, an attorney who works at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison LLP. While he mostly focuses on business litigation, according to the firm’s website, he also does pro bono work for nonprofit clients, including the charter school network that most often seeks space in city school buildings. (more…)
March 12, 2013
At Monday night’s Panel for Educational Policy meeting, there was a single moment of consensus: All of the panel members voted to support the proposed location for Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem.
But for the rest of the meeting, as expected, the panel members split along the same lines that have divided them for years, and came to the same conclusions. Mayor Bloomberg’s seven appointees backed all of the 52 other proposals to close, open, and move schools, while four members appointed by borough presidents voted against them.
The divide held when the panel considered a resolution to support a moratorium on school closures and co-locations. The resolution was brought by panel members appointed by the borough presidents: Patrick Sullivan from Manhattan; Kevin Diamond, representing Brooklyn; Robert Powell of the Bronx; and Dmytro Fedkowskyj of Queens, who called the agenda of proposals “excessive and out of control.” (more…)
March 11, 2013
This year’s Panel for Educational Policy hearing about 24 proposed school closures, set to start in just over an hour, is shaping up to be a little bit different from similar hearings in year’s past.
One reason is that we won’t be live-blogging the vote, something we’ve done five times before. Instead, a team of reporters from the Covering Education class at Columbia University’s journalism school will be covering the hearing. They’ll be reporting on Twitter all night, using the hashtag #PEP311, and they’ll have the full story tomorrow.
But a more substantive shift is that the meeting is likely to be less raucous than in past years. While parents, teachers, and students have spoken out against the closure proposals at hearings across the city, organized protest has been minimal. Tonight’s resistance is likely to focus less on individual schools and more on the Bloomberg administration’s closure policy, which the panel itself will have to discuss because of a resolution calling for a moratorium on closures. (more…)
March 7, 2013
For the third time in just over a year, Herbert H. Lehman High School is being pulled off of the chopping block.
The Department of Education announced today that it would withdraw proposals to close Lehman and one other school, P.S. 140 in Queens. The two schools were among 24 facing closure votes at Monday’s Panel for Educational Policy meeting.
Department officials said they had reviewed the public comments made at the schools’ closure hearings and determined that they were likely to improve in the future. It’s a determination the department has made for a couple of schools each year, usually just days before the PEP is scheduled to vote on their closure plans.
Despite the announcement, Lehman will not actually stay open in its current form. The department announced that the school would shrink over time — from more than 2,700 students this year to about 1,000 in the future — and would still have three new schools open in its building next year, for a total of six in the building. (more…)
January 31, 2013
The city’s school board, used as a rubber stamp for mayoral proposals since 2002, would gain independence under a plan put forward today by Comptroller John Liu.
The plan makes Liu the first of the likely candidates for mayor to propose specific changes to the board, known since 2002 as the Panel for Educational Policy. Any changes would require the approval of the state legislature, which is next set to consider New York City’s school governance in 2015, to become permanent, but a new mayor could take some of the steps immediately upon taking office.
Whether and how to reform the panel is one of the stickiest questions that mayoral candidates face on education. (more…)
December 20, 2012
The latest addition to the citywide school board responsible for signing off on school closures has a child at a school that could be on the chopping block this year.
Robert Powell is replacing Wilfredo Pagan as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s pick for the Panel for Educational Policy, starting with tonight’s meeting in Manhattan. Pagan served on the board, which is controlled by the mayor, for just a year.
Powell attended city schools, then sent six children to them, according to a press release Diaz’s office put out today. One of his children currently attends Herbert H. Lehman High School, which last month was told for the third time in a year that its performance is so weak that it might be closed.
Powell has a long history of participating in school governance. (more…)
November 9, 2012
The city postponed some Panel for Educational Policy votes to next month after Hurricane Sandy threw the Department of Education’s public hearing schedule off track. But at the panel’s monthly meeting Thursday night, several members argued that the department was getting back to its regular business too quickly.
“We need to give people time to recover from this tragedy that we all have experienced in some way or another,” said Kelvin Diamond, the new Brooklyn borough president’s representative on the panel.
Diamond proposed a resolution to suspend all public hearings until 2013 for Brooklyn schools. Hearings about four proposals to co-locate or shrink schools in Brooklyn were rescheduled because they were supposed to take place during the week when all schools were closed because of the storm. Hearings about another 6 proposals for changes to Manhattan and Bronx schools are set for between now and Dec. 20, when the panel is to meet next. The hearings must happen before the panel can vote on the proposals.
Diamond said it would be unfair to hold hearings when many Brooklyn residents cannot focus on changes to how school buildings will be used next year.
“They’ve been hit hard. We just can’t have a machine run through them,” he said. “I have a [Community Education Council] member who is grieving, who attended a funeral and didn’t have time to respond to a letter” from the city.
Other panel members jumped to support the resolution, even suggesting that it be broadened in scope. (more…)