The city Department of Education announced last month that it was making changes to its Blue Book — the annual document that outlines school organization and utilization — based on suggestions from a panel created earlier this year by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a.
The Blue Book has been the focus of several education-related debates in the city in recent years, from trailers in schoolyards to co-locations. Critics allege the Bloomberg administration’s Blue Books underestimated how much space schools need and overestimated how much space was available to make co-locations politically palpable.
I would like to know why libraries will be housing universal prekindergarten when there are financial investigations going on.
The Woodhaven branch already has given out UPK applications. I am outraged that library space is being sacrificed for this program and now the Woodhaven community will lose its downstairs space. The UPK space cannot be used for any library programs even when class is not in session or after the school day is over.
Our children will miss out on all the enriching programs: game days, movie making, toddler time, guitar lessons and so many others the library offers. Adults also will lose their programs: ESL, fitness, music book, Zumba classes, etc.
Woodhaven, we must speak up, not only for our community because this is just the beginning of UPK taking over our libraries. Mayor de Blasio didn’t like charter schools taking public school space; what makes it okay to take over community library space?!
Library President Tom Galante stated at the reopening of the Woodhaven Library after upstairs renovations that there will be a phase 2 for downstairs to make that a children/teen space. Well, I guess he meant just 18 children! Maybe he will get a new position to be in charge of the UPK budget.
Other libraries will be taken over if we just bury our heads. The renovation is starting July 11 at the Woodhaven Library. Please speak up!
Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) last week were singing the praises of an agreement on an approximately $75 billion budget.
Now the rest of the city, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, is waiting for the Council to vote on final adoption to see just how the city intends to spend the money, and where it will come from.
After 17 days, the Department of Education said on Monday that coordination — not conspiracy — was to blame for any timing and notification glitches connected with a heated community meeting at IS 59 on June 6.
The meeting, which was not a hearing, was aimed at informing the public about progress toward integrating the Success Academy charter institution that will be opening in the building this coming September.
Many brought heated words and emotions to a public meeting condemning proposed changes to the specialized high school admissions policy at the Flushing Library on Sunday. They support the existing system, under which a student’s score on a single multiple choice test determines his or her ranking and acceptance into one of the eight elite schools.
Two bills, at least one motivated by the desire to address the racial disparity between the students at these schools and the city’s overall population by changing the admissions criteria, were introduced in the state legislative session that just ended. Neither passed, but they could be brought up again in the next session.
Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) said Wednesday that he still had not heard a satisfactory reply from the Department of Education regarding the scheduling and public notice of a June 6 meeting on the co-location of a charter school this fall in PS 59 in Springfield Gardens.
“Absolutely not,” Miller said in a phone conversation. He did say that there appears to have been some feelers from the DOE, but nothing definite.
The architecture of a city or a neighborhood can be like the rings of a tree to the trained eye.
A close examination can uncover history preserved in wood and stone like an insect trapped in amber.
IS 59 parent Marie Adam-Ovide expressed concerns and frustrations on Friday as the Department of Education discussed the charter school that is coming in September.
Community Board 9 member Maria Thomson, a Woodhaven civic leader, opposed sending a letter from the board that she considered too critical of the school.
Parents from IS 59 and local officials are fuming over what they say was less than 48 hours’ notice from the Department of Education about a meeting related to the co-location of a charter school in their building in September.
The meeting, which was not technically a public hearing, was meant to discuss how IS 59, PS 176 and the new Success Academy charter school will coexist and share facilities in the same building for the next two years before 176 returns to its own site.
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a was the guest speaker Tuesday night at the Queens Borough President’s Parents Advisory Board where she said bluntly that the success she envisions for the school system will not be accomplished overnight.
“But we have accomplished a lot in five months,” she said.
Fresh off a political victory that brought it, and other charter schools, strong support from Gov. Cuomo and the state budget, Success Academy announced that it is planning to open 14 new public charter schools across the city, including four in Queens.
“[Schools] Chancellor [Carmen] Fari–a recently noted that it is important to listen to the community. That is what we are doing in applying for these charters because the community is demanding more high quality charter schools,” said Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz. “These families — representing more than a dozen neighborhoods — are desperate for great schools. Even with 14 more schools, we will not make a dent in the demand we are seeing.”
A debate over a proposed charter school in Woodhaven turned somewhat contentious at Community Board 9 Tuesday night.
The Circle Academy Charter School is due to open in a former church at 85-27 91 St. next year, but its application to the New York State Education Department was recently withdrawn.
After at least 26 members of the City Council last week signed a letter telling retail giant Walmart and its owners’ family foundation that donations from them to organizations in the city are not welcome, several charitable groups that receive the contributions were quoted in the media as saying they have no intention of returning the funding.
“We will not give the money back, nor should we,” Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger, told the New York Post. “Our determination of whether we ask for and take money is not how the company earned the money, it’s how they want us to spend it. In this case it’s on progressive values. Never has it been tied to any public-policy agenda.”
The deadline to register a child for public school pre-K may have come and gone, but Mayor de Blasio is still urging parents to sign their children up for UPK programs at community-based early childhood centers.
To make things easier, the mayor unveiled an online application process to help parents choose and enroll their children in UPK programs on Tuesday at PS 239 in Ridgewood.
A slim majority of City Council members have gone off the deep end in their hatred of retail giant Walmart.
In a vicious letter dated Wednesday, 26 of the Council’s 51 members demanded that the company and its charitable arm stop donating to nonprofit organizations in the city. The signatories include Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito of Manhattan and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer of Sunnyside.
Artworks by Abdias Nascimento, works by the Brazilian artist, author, playwright and senator, Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum, 405 Klapper Hall, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, through June 21. Free.
Leaders of Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village and Community Education Council 26 will meet with parents and students to discuss proposed changes that will be required in September to accommodate the new charter school that will be co-located in the building.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, May 8, in the Martin Van Buren Library.
The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association addressed several issues, many of them ongoing, that have been affecting the area during its last meeting.
Community Affairs Bureau Officers Jose Severino and Brendan Noonan of the 102nd Precinct cautioned against scammers who continue to prey on the elderly and vulnerable, particularly immigrants, with promises of winning lottery tickets and manufactured threats.
The middle ground of compromise is not always the best (even if it is the most often recommended) way to solve bitter controversies, although it may sound logical, even-handed and suited to “saving face” for both parties.
By siphoning taxpayer money to pay for the leases of privately run charter schools, Mayor de Blasio has shaken off the obstreperous monkey Moskowitz from his aching back. Of course he was forced to pretend to embrace the decision of a superior power who imposed solidarity upon him, but it serves to protect the mayor as a tactical soldier in future wars.
After years of parasitic occupation of premium public school space by Moskowitz’s squatters, the mayor yielded to the blandishments from Albany and under duress to be chivalrous, bankrolled her new lodgings in cash-strapped Catholic schools.
Now that Queen Eva Moskowitz has a funded roof over all her installations, she has nothing but praise for the mayor whom she formerly blasted. No longer is de Blasio a sinner in her eyes. She has forgiven him his trespasses.
And after years of parasitic occupation of premium public school space by Eva’s squatters, the mayor clearly has forgiven Moskowitz’s trespasses also. The city is a sugar-daddy but Father Sweet sits upstate.
Hopefully the “meeting of the minds” was nothing more than mutual submission to the pressures of practical politics. Saving face can be in the public interest, but the sacrifice of integrity can be a bitch.
The de Blasio-Moskowitz deal defused an explosive problem but it left an intractable catastrophe intact. A clash of principles cannot be negated by an accommodation of convenience. Therefore the de Blasio-Moskowitz settlement is a one-sided “win-win.” The half-filled glass is still empty because an underlying injustice festers intact.
Public money for private schools was wrong, is wrong and shall remain wrong.
The old St. Pius X school in Rosedale will be the site of the new Success Academy Jamaica this September under an agreement announced by the de Blasio administration this past weekend.
First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris also announced two sites of Catholic schools in Manhattan will be leased for Success Academy charters, schools that were approved for co-location in existing schools by the Bloomberg Administration but initially halted by de Blasio.
In an effort to put an end to overcrowding in some of its public schools, the District 24 Community Education Council unanimously voted on a resolution Tuesday which aims to rezone and regulate schools in its district during a meeting held at PS 58 in Maspeth.
According to CEC 24 President Nick Comaianni, the district is the most overcrowded in Queens. “This has been going on for at least 15 years,” said Comaianni of the issue of overcrowding in schools. “We’re trying to solve it but it’s hard for us to catch up.”
A series of reports by a local television station in February has led the SUNY Charter Institute to investigate the finances and governance of the Merrick Academy in Springfield Gardens.
NY1 did a four-part series that raised questions about the school’s finances and its leadership, particularly that of Gerald Karikari, the chairman of the school’s board of trustees.
(BPT) - Itching to get on the water and have some fun this summer? Whether it’s fishing, sailing, cruising or watersports, they’re easier and more accessible than many think. Even better? Boating is one surefire way to make every summer weekend feel like a vacation close to home.
Councilman Danny Dromm, center, announces the reopening of PS 69 and the Renaissance Charter School as polling sites with Jackson Heights resident Abby Drucker and Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan.