New York City Department of Education
|New York City Department of Education|
|Type and location|
|Location||New York City|
|Students and staff|
|Chancellor||Dennis M. Walcott|
|Teachers' unions||United Federation of Teachers
New York State United Teachers
American Federation of Teachers
National Education Association
The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is the branch of municipal government in New York City that manages the city's public school system. It is the largest school system in the United States, with over 1.1 million students taught in more than 1,700 separate schools. The department covers all five boroughs of New York City.
The department is run by the New York City Schools Chancellor. The current chancellor is Dennis M. Walcott, who replaced Cathie Black after she stepped down after fewer than one hundred days on the job.
Because of its immense size—there are more students in the system than people in eight U.S. states—the New York City public school system is arguably the most influential in the United States.
In 1969, on the heels of a series of strikes and demands for community control, New York City Mayor John Lindsay relinquished mayoral control of schools, and organized the city school system into the Board of Education (made up of seven members appointed by borough presidents and the mayor) and 32 community school boards (whose members were elected). Elementary and middle schools were controlled by the community boards, while high schools were controlled by the Board of Education.
In 2002, the city's school system was reorganized. Control of the school system was given to the mayor, who began reorganization and reform efforts. The community school boards were abolished and the Board of Education was renamed the Panel for Educational Policy, a twelve-member body of which seven members are appointed by the mayor and five by Borough Presidents. The education headquarters were moved from 110 Livingston Street in downtown Brooklyn to the Tweed Courthouse building adjacent to New York City Hall in Manhattan.
Due to an ongoing power struggle between the Democratic and Republican parties, state senators failed to renew mayoral control of the city's school system by 12:00 a.m. EDT on July 1, 2009, immediately ceding control back to the pre-2002 Board of Education system. Mayor Bloomberg announced summer school sessions would be held without interruption while city attorneys oversaw the transition of power. On August 6, 2009, the state senate ratified the bill returning control of the schools back to the mayor for another six years with few changes from the 2002-2009 mayoral control structure.
New York is one of ten major U.S. cities in which the educational system is under the control of the mayor rather than an elected school board. In 2011, Panel for Educational Policy member Patrick Sullivan (who was appointed by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in 2007) suggested changing the system to have only six mayoral appointees, and that appointees should have fixed terms; additionally, he stated "For us not to have the same role in our kids' education as people who live in the suburbs or Middle America is patronizing."
Beginning in 2000, after experiments with hiring uncertified teachers to fulfill a massive teacher shortage failed to produce acceptable results, and responding to pressure from the New York State Board of Regents and the No Child Left Behind Act, the DOE instituted a number of innovative programs for teacher recruitment, including the New York City Teaching Fellows, the TOP Scholars Program, and initiatives to bring foreign teachers (primarily from eastern Europe) to teach in the city's schools. Housing subsidies are in place for experienced teachers who relocate to the city to teach.
In a May 11, 2012 report, The New York Times reported that New York City has the third most segregated large city school system, after Chicago and Dallas. Hispanic students are concentrated in Washington Heights and Corona. Asian students dominate in Chinatown. The Times reported that the greatest segregation is in black neighborhoods. It further noted that black isolation in schools has persisted even as residential segregation has declined.
Standard curriculum 
Beginning in 2003, New York City public schools citywide implemented a mathematics "core curriculum" based on New York State standards for grades K-10. To graduate high school, students must earn at least six credits in mathematics. In order to receive a Regents diploma, students must score at least 65 on the Regents math exam.
About 1.1 million students attend New York City public schools.
About 40% of students in the city's public school system live in households where a language other than English is spoken, and one-third of all New Yorkers were born in another country. The city's Department of Education translates report cards, registration forms, system-wide alerts, and documents on health and policy initiatives for parents into Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, and Arabic.
In 2007, Hispanics and Latino students made up 39.4% of the student population. African Americans made up 32.2% of the student population. White American and Asian American students made up 14.2% and 13.7% of the student populace respectively. Native Americans made up the remaining 0.4% of the student body.
The specialized high schools tend to be disproportionately Caucasian and Asian. New York's Specialized High School Institute is an after-school program for students in late middle school. It was designed to enlarge the pool of African American and Hispanic candidates eligible for admission to the selective schools by giving them extra lessons and teaching test-taking skills. Unlike other urban school districts (such as San Francisco Unified School District), New York does not use racial preferences (affirmative action) in public school admissions.
School buildings 
Many school buildings are architecturally noteworthy, in part due to the efforts of C. B. J. Snyder. Some are historically important, or are named after noteworthy people.
- P.S. 11 - Purvis J. Behan Public School, named for a principal.
- P.S. 53 - Bay Terrace School is in Bay Terrace, Staten Island.
- P.S. 67 is located at 51 St. Edwards St. in Brooklyn, New York. The school was named after Charles A. Dorsey, who became the principal in 1863. The name was changed in Brooklyn's school records from Colored School Number One to PS 67 in 1887.
The Department has closed many failing elementary, middle (intermediate) and high schools. The buildings of some of the larger schools have been turned into "Campuses" or "Complexes" in which a number of smaller school entities, educationally independent of each other, co-exist within the building. In the course of school reorganizations, some veteran teachers have lost their positions. They then enter a pool of substitutes, called the Absent Teacher Reserve. On November 19, 2008, the Department and the city's teacher union (the United Federation of Teachers), reached an agreement to create financial incentives for principals of new schools to hire ATR teachers and guidance counselors.
Health and nutrition 
During Mayor Bloomberg's first term, white bread was entirely replaced with whole wheat bread, hot dog buns, and hamburger buns in cafeterias. In 2006, the city set out to eliminate whole milk from cafeteria lunch menus and took the further step of banning low-fat flavored milks, allowing only skim milk (white and chocolate). The New York City school system purchases more milk than any other in the United States; although the dairy industry aggressively lobbied against the new plan they ultimately failed to prevent its implementation.
In October 2009, the DOE banned bake sales, though some schools continue to have them with frequency. The DOE cited the high sugar content of baked sale goods and that 40% of NYC students are obese. Meanwhile vending machines in the schools operated by Frito Lay and Snapple continue to sell high processed empty calorie foods such as Doritos and Juices. Contracts for the vending machines were awarded in no-bid deals through Mayor Bloomberg's office. As part of the DOE's ambition to create healthy diets among students, as of October, Frito Lay will have to put Reduced Fat Doritos in machines. The DOE considers Reduced Fat Doritos, which contain corn dextrin, corn maltodextrin, monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium phosphate, artificial flavor, dextrose, artificial color, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, a healthy snack based on its June 2009 request for healthy snack vending machine proposals. The NYC school lunch menu contains numerous highly processed foods and high sugar content foods including chicken nuggets, French fries, French toast and syrup. NYC also continues to fail to meet the mandatory physical education requirements of NY State, and NYC DOE has failed to maintain or improve playgrounds instead turning them into ad-hoc additional classroom space or parking lots.
In January 2011, more than 1,100 New York City students from 13 schools were offered morning-after pill and other birth control pill (Reclipsen). The pilot program is called Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health and is facing criticism.
Radio and television stations 
The department operated television station WNYE-TV from 1967 to 2004. A new education channel, Channel 25, is now operated by the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
Both broadcasts were transmitted from the large antennae on Brooklyn Technical High School, which was also the other working antennae in the city capable of transmitting signals from television and radio stations across New York City after the World Trade Center Building No. 2 had fallen, leaving many stations unable to broadcast for a few hours.
Panel for Educational Policy 
Community Education Councils 
According to Beth Fertig, Community Education Councils are "supposed to provide an avenue for parent engagement." According to Tim Kremer, head of the New York State School Boards Association, "although education councils don't have a lot of power they can play a vital role in vetting budgets and giving feedback on instructional policies." Councils have some veto power. The councils were created in 2002 and their authority was increased "a little" in 2009, but, according to Fertig, "many parents still claim the councils don't matter because decisions are ultimately controlled by the mayor." According to Soni Sangha, the councils are mainly obscure and unknown to many parents, their forums are not well-attended, and they meet with the citywide schools chancellor.
There are 32 councils, with 11 members on each, 2 appointed by Borough Presidents and 9 selected by PTA leaders who are advised by parents who live in the council districts, the local parents acting through an election process conducted online and overseen by the Department of Education. The 2009 election cost $650,000 to conduct and another election was held in 2011.
Organizational history 
Beginning in the late 1960s, schools were grouped into districts. Elementary schools and middle schools were grouped into 32 community school districts, and high schools were grouped into five geographically larger districts: One each for Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, one for most of Brooklyn, and one, BASIS, for the rest of Brooklyn and all of Staten Island). In addition there were several special districts for alternative schools and schools serving severely disabled students. While the districts no longer exist, the former district of a school is often used as an identifier.
In 2003, the districts were grouped into ten regions, each encompassing several elementary and middle school districts, and part of a high school district. In 2005, several schools joined the Autonomous Zone (later Empowerment Zone) and were allowed to use part of their budgets to directly purchase support services. These schools were released from their regions.
In 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel I. Klein announced the dissolution of the regions effective June 2007. At that time, schools became organized into one of the following School Support Organizations:
- Empowerment Support Organization
- Learning Support Organization
- Community LSO
- Integrated Curriculum and Instruction LSO
- Knowledge Network LSO
- Leadership LSO
- Partnership Support Organization
See also 
- New York City Department of Education - About Us. NYC Department of Education. 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2012
- Hartocollis, Anemona (June 7, 2002). "CONSENSUS ON CITY SCHOOLS: HISTORY; Growing Outrage Leads Back to Centralized Leadership". The New York Times.
- Goodnough, Abby (2002-09-24), "A New Sort of School Board, Bland and Calm", New York Times, retrieved 2011-09-12
- "The great experiment". The Economist. November 10, 2007. pp. 35–36
- "NY Senate Confusion Continues". MyFoxNY.com. June 30, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2009.[dead link]
- Medina, Jennifer (August 7, 2009). "N.Y. Senate Renews Mayor’s Power to Run Schools". New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- Favro, Tony. "US mayors are divided about merits of controlling schools". citymayors.com. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- "Borough President Stringer Announces Appointment to Panel for Educational Policy" (Press release). Scott Stringer. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- Featherstone, Liza (September 2011), "Report Card: Our Fake School Board", Brooklyn Rail, retrieved 2011-09-12
- Goodnough, Abby (August 23, 2002). "Shortage Ends As City Lures New Teachers". The New York Times.
- Herszenhorn, David M. (April 19, 2006). "New York Offers Housing Subsidy as Teacher Lure". The New York Times.
- Ford Fessenden, "A Portrait of Segregation in New York City’s Schools" The New York Times, May 11, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/11/nyregion/segregation-in-new-york-city-public-schools.html?ref=education
- New York City Department of Education website, visited 9 April 2012, "Mathematics," http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/Mathematics/default.htm
- [dead link]
- "Specialized High Schools Institute". New York City Department of Education. March 11, 2009. Retrieved May 2, 2009.
- Gootman, Elissa (August 18, 2006). "In Elite N.Y. Schools, a Dip in Blacks and Hispanics - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2009.
- UFT and DOE reach agreement on ATRs - United Federation of Teachers
- Medina, Jennifer (October 3, 2009). "A Crackdown on Bake Sales in City Schools". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- "Why Joel Klein Should Be Fired". Huffington Post. May 25, 2011.
- "DiNapoli: Junk Food Sold in NYC Schools Weakens Efforts to Promote Healthy Eating, 6/10/09". Osc.state.ny.us. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- "DORITOS® Reduced Fat Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips". Smart Snacking Products by Frito-Lay: Fun Snacks and Party Snacks. Frito-Lay. 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- Hamacher, Brian (May 5, 2008). "Schools Fail Pe Requirements". New York Post.
- "No Room in the Playground - A Report Examining Playground Space in NYC Elementary Schools". Assembly.state.ny.us. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- "New York schools offer 'morning after' pill to students". CNN. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- "Morning-after pills made available to N.Y. high school students". Reuters. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- "About NYC Media". NYC Media (City of New York). Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- Phillips, Anna M., 12 With Low State Test Scores Are Put on School Closing List, in The New York Times (Late ed. (East Coast)), December 9, 2011, last updated January 5, 2012, p. A.29, in New York Times (1980 - current) (ProQuest (database)), as accessed March 23, 2013 (subscription may be required).
- Fertig, Beth, Parents Claim City Bungled Community Education Council Elections, on WNYC, May 6, 2011, as accessed March 23, 2013.
- Sangha, Soni, School Rezoning's Border Wars, in The New York Times (Late ed. (East Coast)), November 25, 2012, last updated December 7, 2012, p. MB1, in New York Times (1980 - current) (ProQuest) (database), as accessed March 23, 2013 (subscription may be required).
- Yet Another Reorganization of New York City's Public Schools - Center for New York Affairs]
- "School Support Organizations". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: New York City Department of Education|
- New York City Department of Education
- NYCDOE Office of School Support Services
- New York City Board of Education/New York City Department of Education (Archive)
- NYCDOE school zoning information