Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, July 16, 2015

NYSED Threatens To Close School That's Already Being Phased Out (UPDATED)

Classic NYSED:

Ben Chapman nails it with this response:

Indeed it doesn't.

And yet, NYSED has been given an awful lot of power for a state entity that doesn't seem to know which way is up:

The state Education Department has just put out its list of failing, or what they call struggling and persistently struggling schools under a new program, thanks to legislation passed with the budget in the spring.

The program creates carrots and sticks and sets out the possibility that the poorest performers could in a year’s time end up under outside receivership, that is, they could be taken over by an independent entity, such as a college or even a charter school operator.

There are 144 struggling schools statewide including 20 that are ”persistently struggling.”


The stick includes some potentially harsh measures, although it’s unclear how they will play out. In persistently struggling schools, for example, a superintendent acting as the local or in district receiver could conceivably fire teachers and administrators regardless of tenure. The superintendent also can change curriculum and institute a longer school day and school year.

As for the carrot, a superintendent can increase pay for teachers and administrators. The law includes a $75 million pot of money to be divided up over the next two years to help with the improvement programs.

Most of these schools will get sticks, of course, that goes without saying.

The goal of education reform is to slowly but surely privatize the school system, fire the unionized teachers, and replace schools with non-union charters.

That's what Cuomo devised here with the budget legislation that allows for state receivership of so-called "failing" schools, but as is usual with the incompetents at NYSED, they screw stuff up and threaten to close a school that's already closing.

Nice work, MaryEllen.

Just a couple of days under your tenure at NYSED and you've already picked up from the previous incompetent in Albany.

UPDATE - 5:25 PM: Looks like the stick use is starting:


From the Capital NY Morning Education Email:

The announcement—some version of which was expected after a deal in the state budget to create a receivership program—means that the de Blasio administration has an extra layer of pressure to turn around the city's struggling schools quickly. Of the 55 schools identified by the state as ‘struggling,’ 44 are Renewal Schools, part of de Blasio's initiative to improve low-performing schools. All the ‘persistently struggling schools’ are Renewal Schools, except for one, P.S. 64 in the Bronx, which is already being phased out and will close by next year.” A spokesperson for the D.O.E. said Thursday that the department has the option of re-hiring staff at all 62 schools, but is still in talks about how that would work. Capital’s Eliza Shapiro [PRO]:

Lots of uncertainty with this receivership plan - which is of course the point.

As I've written over and over, reformers want to destroy public education for fun and profit and the easiest way to get to that goal is to destabilize as much as possible.


  1. Teachers at these schools have 4 choices: 1) They can "re-apply" for their jobs at their school. 2) They can apply for a position in another school via the open market. 3) They can apply for a job in a district outside of NYC. 4) They can quit/retire. Now, lets look at the reality of this. How many NYC schools will take one of these teachers via the open market? Probably none, as they are considered as crappy teachers by most Leadership Academy principals. How many schools outside of NYC will take these teachers? Hardly any, due to what was mentioned above. Some teachers who are old enough may retire or quit and take on another career. However, the MAJORITY of these teachers are going to end up in the ATR pool. Is it any wonder that hardly half of these teachers are even bothering to "re-apply" for their jobs?

    1. Check out the update I put in the post - still a little conjecture about this, but it seems teachers at these schools may not have Option #1.

  2. Then, it looks like they will be in the ATR pool. As we all know, we are all one step away from becoming an ATR. If it can happen at one school, it can happen at any school. What is going to happen when the ATR pool grows into the tens of thousands? Don't laugh, this could literally happen.

  3. I live in Yonkers. Six "struggling" and one "persistently struggling" schools.

    The cretins who sit on the Board of Education of the Yonkers Public School system blew a $55 million hole in its budget last year when they double-counted two years of state aid. The Superintendent and a few hacks in the YPS were fired. The genius who is the new Superintendent will be the "receiver" for the first year for the "persistently struggling" high school? What's Mr. Genius gonna do in one year to keep the school out of the hands of the State?

    Every single one of these schools is in NYC, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse, Albany or Islip/Bellevue in Long Island. Jeez, that's really a surprise.

    We all know that the only example where "receivership" supposedly does anything for struggling schools is the short-term and very limited improvement in the Lawrence, MA school district. As with every other element of the reformista program--which claims to prize "data," "accountability," "evidence" and "research" above all else--none of that really matters when the reformistas just want to do something.

    Beyond that, where are all the magical teachers going to come from to staff these schools when their current rosters get dumped into the ATR in New York City and straight fired everywhere else? Will the State give the "receivers" special wands and hocus-pocus powers to make magical teachers appear from thin air? What "master" teacher anywhere would transfer to any of these schools when the State accountability system will turn a "master" teacher into a "developing" teacher in one year?

    I try not to despair but....

  4. @Harris L
    I wouldn't characterize Lawrence MA as a victory. The first year. the state added lots of cash, but not anymore. They're on year three, and I believe many teachers' contracts were not renewed for next year (unless I've gotten mixed up with Holyoke, MA, which has just gone into receivership).