New Yorkers of all races and income levels have fled the city’s mainstream public school system, a huge vote of no confidence in the leadership of then-Mayor Bill de Blasio. New mayor Eric Adams wants to do things very differently, but state leaders are doubling down on Blasioism.
New data from the Department of Education shows that Department of Education schools have been bleeding students during the pandemic, with enrollment in primary education falling 5.6% to 821,000 students in the past year alone. And Ray Domanico of the Manhattan Institute found that the drop was most dramatic in the lower grades: “This year’s kindergarten class is 14% smaller than the class from two years ago,” with an equally stark picture in grades 1-6. .
Now the education site Chalkbeat Reports That three quarters of DOE schools saw enrollment declines in the past year, with nearly a quarter losing 10% or more of their students. In fact, the decline among students from low-income families was almost double the decline for families not live in poverty.
That is a clear sign that the Blasio’s worst failure involved the ones he always claimed to care about the most – and they know it.
Significant, public registration charter schools, over which the DOE has no control, grew. The parish schools also won.
Also telling: the news that charters approved by the SUNY Charter Institute outperform nearby DOE schools. In state exams, these charter kids beat their DOE peers by 15 points in English and 25 points in math.
The report comes as state lawmakers consider a bill that would strip SUNY of its legal authority to approve new charter schools. And the legislature simply refuses to lift the cap that prevents new charters from opening in the city, despite a waiting list of 50,000 children.
New York spends twice the national average per student on its regular public schools, but far less on charters, even as Empire State students (again, except for charters) do only mediocre on national exams. Still, government leader Kathy Hochul’s budget plan is increasing spending on traditional schools by 7%, putting more good money down a rat hole. And she only offers the more effective charters an increase of 4.9%. (Her rationale: charters manage to spend more efficiently!)
Meanwhile, the legislature-controlled Board of Regents and the State Education Department are doing everything they can to lower standards in order to hide the truth.
We trust that Adams and Chancellor David Banks will do good to the children of the city. Too bad they have to fight against the state every step of the way.