Dear Parents,

Please join us at the upcoming October Calendar meeting. The CEC D2 welcomes all parents and community members as we seek to create a space where everyone can share their thoughts and ideas on improving our schools. This month we added to the calendar “D2 Concerns and Conversation” which will cover many topics that are of concern to families in the District. We encourage and welcome your ideas and thoughts on this month’s topics, will take suggestions for future topics, and look forward to hearing from you!


October Concerns & Conversation topics are:

IMAGINE & RE-IMAGINE GRANTS:

The Imagine and Re-imagine grants are a partnership between the DOE and private funders that invite a broad array of people to propose ‘ innovative ideas for academically rigorous, engaging and equitable new schools.’ The grant process is open to everybody and parents are welcome to come to the CEC meeting to discuss the kinds of projects, schools, and programs that they think should be considered for these grants.

More information is here:


EARLY VOTING & IMPACTED SCHOOLS:

Early Voting is wonderful! Disrupting schools for 10 days is not. School communities should reasonably expect to have all of their safety concerns addressed before voters have access to schools for ten days in a row. Not being able to access cafeterias and gyms for the entire early voting period is significant concern.


GIFTED & TALENTED (G&T) PROGRAMS:

At a meeting with CEC members on Saturday October 13, 2019 Chancellor Carranza was asked if he would submit the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) recommendations to the CECs and allow for parent feedback as District 2 requested via resolution. The Chancellor replied that with regard to the second set of (SDAG) recommendations, he and the Mayor were “very committed to bringing those recommendations forward.”

He also said that “once we have determined where it is that we want to go, we will work through the CECs, especially where the CECs are going to be impacted, to get feedback on what we’re thinking of doing and what we are thinking of adopting…at the end of the day there is going to be a definite approach that we are advocating for and we think there should be a conversation about it. The community will have a opportunity to weigh in and give us feedback, and that may or may not change the recommendation, but there will be a conversation”

CEC D2 has received numerous emails from parents weighing in on the SDAG recommendation to eliminate G&T programs.

Please continue to share your feedback. We will forward it on to the Chancellor’s office.


HIGH SCHOOL RUBRICS :

Lab HS and Baruch HS recently changed their rubrics so that now every child who as an 85 GPA or higher and 3 or 4 on State tests will be ranked “1”. The impacts of this change and whether or not other D2 priority High Schools will switch to this system merit discussion. In particular we will discuss:

1.)  Impact
Ranking every child a #1 who has a GPA of 85 or above creates a de facto lottery since we have a high performing district (~75% of students score a 3 or 4 on State tests). In D2 grades correlate to State tests so well over half the district will qualify. Modeling around this proposal to understand if it will achieve the intended consequences seems warranted. 

2.)  Process  
Publicly noticed discussions around these proposals did not happen. Parent input from the impacted communities should be part of any process moving forward.

3.)  Timing  
a. Announcing changes in September and October creates unwarranted confusion;

b. The School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) recommendations were released at roughly the same time which makes it difficult for families to sort through what is a proposed change to screened schools and what is real;

c. The New York State Integration Pilot for District 2 aims to increase integration by looking at the design and implementation of rubrics district-wide at the MS and HS level. This builds on work that the NYSIP team has been doing for years. Implementing school specific changes immediately before District wide changes are proposed has multiple drawbacks;

d. A firm timeline from office of enrollment and the superintendent’s office regarding when rubrics should be finalized and made public seems warranted.

Parents are invited to share their thoughts on the topic.

D2 PRIORITY HIGH SCHOOLS:

Last year’s admissions errors and the corresponding outcry from parents underscored the significant challenges facing district 2 families applying to high schools. The ongoing proposed changes to the Specialized High Schools which approximately 20% of D2 students typically attend, the sudden changes to some D2 priority High School rubrics, the lack of sufficient D2 priority High School seats to accommodate all D2 students, and the lack of zoned high schools introduces a degree of uncertainty and disruption into the education of district 2 students.

It is time to have a conversation in district 2 about what our education landscape looks like from pre-K to 12 th grade. All students in a district, but particularly those who need extra support such as English Language Learners or IEP students, should be able to expect a reliable continuum of education from early childhood through high school. How to make that happen in district 2 is a conversation worth having.


We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Sincerely.

Maud Maron
President, CEC D2