By Eliza Shapiro and Keshia Clukey | 10/10/2017 09:58 AM EDT
AFTER YEARS OF POLITICAL TUMULT, CHARTERS ARE NON-ISSUE IN MAYOR'S RACE — POLITICO New York's Eliza Shapiro: In May 2013, when Bill de Blasio was trying to make a name for himself among a crowded field of mostly better-known Democrats, taking aim at charter schools was an obvious play. At a candidate forum hosted by the United Federation of Teachers, then-public advocate de Blasio trained his fire at Eva Moskowitz, the leader of the Success Academy charter school network, whom he cast as the embodiment of the same Bloomberg-era education reforms he hoped to curb. "It's time for Eva Moskowitz to stop having the run of the place," de Blasio said, to applause from the sympathetic audience. "She has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported." The remark didn't earn the long-shot candidate the UFT's endorsement that spring, but it did help distinguish de Blasio as the anti-charter Democrat in the race at a time when most voters couldn't pick him out of a crowd.
Four years later, as the mayor coasts towards re-election, he isn't saying much of anything about charters. And the city's large and influential charter advocacy sector, typically fond of electoral trench warfare, has been largely absent from the mayor's race. It is a conspicuous detente for a mayor who once racked up political points by criticizing charters — and for charter leaders who have funneled tens of millions of dollars and enormous political capital into battling the mayor. The cessation of hostilities is in part due to inevitable political realities in New York City. Term limit rules discourage potential challengers from running against an incumbent and, despite some transparency questions, the last four years have not produced a major crisis for the mayor.
Moreover, the the city's charter wars from just a few years ago have produced very little for either side... without a viable pro-charter candidate in sight, the local charter sector's best hope for the next four years is that de Blasio will remain merely ambivalent — rather than openly hostile — to their cause. There are no charter marches planned. Neither Families for Excellent Schools nor StudentsFirstNY, which has spent over $5 million to support pro-charter state Senate candidates over the last several years, have bought television or print ads in advance of the election to criticize de Blasio. Charter leaders likewise seem unmoved with the Republican mayoral candidate, Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. (Dan Loeb, the the hedge fund billionaire and prolific charter donor is a notable exception: he gave $4,950 to the Malliotakis campaign in August.) A recent Quinnipiac poll found Malliotakis trailing de Blasio by 44 points. Read more here.
GOOD TUESDAY MORNING. Carmen Fariña will make an announcement about Advanced Placement exams in Manhattan. MaryEllen Elia and Betty Rosa did not release public schedules.
This newsletter is for you, so tell us how we can make it better. Send feedback, tips and education-related events to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter: @elizashapiro and @keshiaclukey.
ALL EYES ON SUNY AS CHARTER CERT VOTE NEARS — Board revised its controversial proposal over the weekend — The Wall Street Journal's Leslie Brody: "A state body that oversees New York charter schools has overhauled a proposal to let some charters certify their own teachers, after fierce opposition from critics who said it watered down standards. A new draft beefs up requirements for training these prospective teachers, just days before the SUNY Board of Trustees Charter Schools Committee is scheduled to vote on whether to approve it Wednesday." Read more here.
— Read the SUNY board's agenda for Wednesday's meeting here.
— Teachers unions aren't satisfied with the changes."Nothing short of the complete withdrawal of these proposed sub-standard, lower-tier certification requirements is acceptable," NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said in a news release.
TESTING REBUTTAL: Several nonprofit and pro-Common Core education groups are calling on the teachers unions to encourage their members to write state exams. New York State United Teachers, the state's largest teachers union, opposes writing questions for the third- through eighth-grade tests until the proficiency benchmarks are corrected. Individual teachers have the option to participate and still have in writing the exams for spring 2018. Following an article on the opposition the benchmarks written by POLITICO New York last week, a number of groups released statements calling for NYSUT to participate. "NYSUT should reverse its decision to boycott participating in the development of state tests. The union demanded a voice in improving assessments, and now it needs to live up to that responsibility," said Stephen Sigmund, executive director of High Achievement New York, a coalition of businesses and civic and education groups. Sigmund also released a similar statement in conjunction with leaders of the Buffalo District Parent Coordinating Council and Community Action Organization, Better Schools Better Neighborhoods, DFER New York, The Education Trust-New York and Educators for Excellence. "This attack on how the state measures college and career readiness is nothing more than a back-door attempt to lower expectations, particularly for low-income students, students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities. Instead of sweeping opportunity and achievement gaps under the rug, as this change would do, we should all be focused on ensuring that every child receives a quality education," the groups said in a released statement. — POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey
OPPOSITION TO CUOMO'S PLAN FOR TROOPERS IN LONG ISLAND SCHOOLS — Newsday's Yancey Roy and David M. Schwartz: "Educators are pushing back at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's plan to install state troopers at certain Long Island schools, making a rocky start for the quickly hatched proposal." Read more here.
FOLLOW THE MONEY: "The Baldwin school district did not preapprove overtime for its employees and paid overtime to several people who worked during their break periods, a state comptroller's audit found. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office reviewed the Baldwin Union Free School District's overtime practices for noninstructional employees between July 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2016, according to a state report released last week." — Newsday's Stefanie Dazio. Read more here.
AROUND NEW YORK:
— "Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud said he wrestles with serving in a homeland security advisory role under the Trump administration. Syverud, who has voiced support for President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) program, was among eight college leaders tapped to advise the U.S. Department of Homeland Security." — Syracuse Post-Standard's Julie McMahon. Read more here.
— "Three candidates from colleges near and far, including the University at Albany, are finalists for the job of president at Hudson Valley Community College." — Times Union's Bethany Bump. Read more here.
— "The NYPD's deep involvement in school security stems from a nearly two-decade-old agreement between the police and education departments, which has never been updated. As de Blasio continues his drive to overhaul school discipline and safety policies limiting suspensions in favor of mediation, and cutting down on student arrests — advocates say that agreement has become a roadblock to reform." — Chalkbeat's Christina Veiga. Read more here.
— "The Roseton power plant was overcharged by $1.2 million in taxes, and now the Marlboro Central School District will have to make it up." — Poughkeepsie Journal's Nina Schutzman. Read more here.
ACROSS THE RIVER:
— The Christie administration announced Friday that $2.7 million is now available to expand access to recovery high schools for students working to overcome substance abuse. — POLITICO New Jersey's Linh Tat. Read more here.
AROUND THE NATION:
— The Trump administration issued guidance Friday telling colleges and universities how to wind down their use of federal Perkins Loans, which Congress let expire last month — and which the guidance makes clear will end after June. "No Perkins Loan disbursements are permitted after June 30, 2018, under any circumstances," the Dear Colleague letter , signed by Kathleen Smith, the acting assistant secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education, says. The loan program expired at the end of September. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) last week blocked legislation in the Senate that would have kept the decades-old loan program alive for two more years, saying at the time that "we need a much simpler program for federal student loans and the end of the Perkins Loan program is a small step toward that end." — POLITICO's Benjamin Wermund.
To view online:
Please click here and follow the steps to unsubscribe.