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This resolution is from the Community Education Council in D30. So far, there are resolutions against the Chancellor's reorganization from CECs from D1, D2, D24, D26, D30 and the Citywide High School Parents Council; also President's Council from D3 and countless PTAs.

The following resolution passed on Friday, March 30, 2007.

_________________________

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, After having reviewed the Department of Education's Children First: and Fair Student Funding Plan;

WHEREAS, By financially penalizing schools for having experienced teachers over time, will likely lead to a less qualified teaching force in our schools, which already have nearly double the attrition rate of teachers more than anywhere else in the state;

WHEREAS, Reaffirming the fact that our schools and classrooms are severely overcrowded and our children's quality of education is suffering from this ongoing crisis;

WHEREAS, many schools in District 30 are being penalized for low levels of achievement as a result of this overcrowding, which is out of their control;

WHEREAS, despite pursuing additional schools to relieve our overcrowding, the Department of Education acknowledges they only provided 41 additional seats in District 30 despite numerous sites having been identified and sent to the School Construction Authority for review;

WHEREAS, as a result of overly large classes and overcrowded facilities, there is an unconscionably dropout rate in our high schools, and the state finds that only 43.5% of our students graduate in four years;

WHEREAS, Research strongly indicates that reduced class size makes a big difference in a child's education, and will lead to higher overall graduation rates;

WHEREAS, If we want more effective and experienced teachers, the best way to do so is to improve classroom conditions by lowering class size;

WHEREAS, Smaller classes has been one of the top priorities of New York City parents, teachers, New York City Council Members, Assembly Members and many constituents for the last twenty years;

WHEREAS, the state's highest court found that classes in NYC schools were too large in all grades to provide our children with their constitutional right to an adequate education;

WHEREAS, despite claims from the Department of Education, state data shows that there has been little or no progress in reducing class size since that decision was written, and in some key subjects, class sizes have actually risen;

WHEREAS, an audit released last March by the State Comptroller's Office found that with $89 million in state funds targeted to create 1,586 additional classes to reduce class size, the city had only created 20, contrary to the language and intent of the law;

WHEREAS, despite billions of dollars in added funds, the Department of Education does not intend to reduce average class size in any grade higher than 3rd, and that is only slightly for the early grades, and to use only 2% of the extra funds for smaller classes;

WHEREAS, this would leave our children still deprived of the attention they need in classes that are up to 60% larger than the rest of the state;

WHEREAS, despite claims to the contrary, there is no independent evidence that in the last round of reorganization, $200 million was ever redirected directly into the classroom;

WHEREAS, as a result of that reorganization, thousands of special education students were not evaluated in a timely fashion and many were denied their right to mandated services, in accordance with the Federal Law, and the Department of Education also cut spending on special education by $445 million in one year;

WHEREAS, the following year, despite claims that more funding was being driven to the classroom, total dollars spent on general education declined by $144 million;

WHEREAS, according to the Educational Priorities Panel, a smaller percentage of the overall budget has gone to instruction each year;

WHEREAS, the head count and salaries of Tweed employees has grown substantially, and continues to grow, with a projected increase of 12% in spending for Tweed staff next year;

WHEREAS, in contrast, our schools are still hugely underfunded, and under this new system, up to half of all schools may have their budgets further cut, despite $1.1 billion in additional education spending next year and more than $5 billion over the next four years;

WHEREAS, the implementation of a similar proposal, supposed to make funding fairer, and more flexible caused one of the largest educational crises in Great Britain's history, with the threat of massive teacher lay-offs and children actually sent home from school after only four days of instruction, until an emergency supplementary bill to provide additional funding for schools could be passed;

WHEREAS, Sir Michael Barber, the Chief Education Advisor at the time for Prime Minister Tony Blair, is now a top consultant at Tweed, and helped devise this new proposal;

WHEREAS, there is no evidence of any school system in the world that has adopted weighted funding and has made significant progress in student achievement;

WHEREAS, though DOE claims that many principals in the empowerment zone last year used their additional funding and flexibility to hire extra teachers to reduce class size, principals reported that they were simply sent more students by Tweed as a result, erasing any chance of actually providing them with smaller classes;

WHEREAS, the administration has admitted this may have occurred in many instances, and yet refuses to promise that it will not happen again;

WHEREAS, for many middle and high school teachers, given their huge class sizes and teaching loads, just spending 5 minutes out of class conferring with each student, and another five minutes correcting his or her weekly homework would take an additional 40 hours per week;

WHEREAS, the Department of Education has just contracted with IBM for $80 million to produce a new computer system whose function and purpose is supposedly to help teachers individualize instruction to meet the needs of each student, and yet with class sizes of 30 or more in many schools, and teaching loads of 150-180 students, it will continue to be impossible for teachers to so;

WHEREAS, the new accountability/grading system is also potentially dangerous, and may lead principals to discharge, transfer, suspend, and otherwise try to rid their schools of low-achieving students any way they can, since their jobs will depend upon raising test scores sufficiently, regardless of how many students have been ejected from their schools in the process;

WHEREAS, the data reported by Department of Education regarding class size, graduation rates, and many other measures is often inaccurate and unreliable, so the new formula for assessing the progress of schools will be based on similarly erroneous metrics;

WHEREAS, in trying to impose a new system citywide without adequate consultation, careful thought, or testing, education officials have previously caused grave problems, most recently as in the bus route fiasco, when thousands of children were left shivering in the cold, without a way to get to school, and five year old children were given Metrocards to take the subway by themselves;

WHEREAS, for all the above reasons and more, in numerous public meetings, parents and teachers have urged the Department of Education to stop this new reorganization from going forward, because of the substantial risk that rather than improving our schools, it will lead to further chaos, instability, and budget cuts, and may result in class sizes growing even larger at many schools;

RESOLVED, that the Community Education Council in District 30 rejects the Department of Education's Children First proposal and calls upon the Mayor and Chancellor to designate that the CFE funds, which many fought so hard to acquire, be utilized to reduce class size in all grades throughout all New York City public schools, so that our children will finally receive their right to an adequate education and a better chance in getting a quality education, by giving them a more solid foundation towards their future.

Red Alert!
Let's Opt Out of the April 2014 NYS Tests

Parents can refuse to allow their child to take the State high stakes tests. Hand in this letter to your principal [other formats: .pdf .odt .doc]. En Español: [otros formatos: .pdf .odt .doc] Send your child to school and ask that an alternative activity be planned for him/her during the 6 days of testing.

Information for Parents who want to Opt Out:

Feel free to duplicate these flyers and give them to other parents!

We also have a magazine explaining Common Core, High Stakes Testing, and InBloom to parents. Varios artículos de esta revista fueron traducidos a Español.

Opt Out New York
New material to support the April Boycott.
Please share this Powerpoint!
Developed by a Long Island parent.


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