Date: 23-Dec-04 16:54:57 Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
To: CEC Members, Presidents Council Members, Chairs of Community Board Youth and Education Committees
Attached is a proposal by members of the advocate and parent communities to ensure some measure of accountability in the spending of the CFE money when New York City receives it. Attached as well is a letter of support for the proposal. If you have any questions about the proposal or wish to sign the support letter, please contact Leonie Haimson at firstname.lastname@example.org. While the Office of the Manhattan Borough President has not yet endorsed the plan, we wanted to make sure that it was available for review by all those in Manhattan education community. We especially urge CEC members to review the proposal as it includes a role for them in the accountability process.
Last year the Borough President's office began bi-monthly meetings to network with and provide information to community members involved in public education; this informal group was styled the Manhattan Education Advisory Council (MEAC). This school year, given the newness of the Community Education Councils, we elected to restrict our first two meetings to that group. We are now prepared to expand attendance to other involved parent and community leaders.
You are invited to the January MEAC meeting, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. The office is located at One Centre Street on the 19th floor. Please let us know on which of the following four dates you could attend this meeting (we will select the most convenient date for the greatest number of you):
January 24, 25, 26, or 27.
Please also let us know which one of the following topics most interests you:
"The Education of Our English Language Learners and Communication with Immigrant Parents"
"High School Education - The New Admissions Process and Available Options"
"The Third and Fifth Grade Promotion Policies"
"The NYC Accountability Proposal and the Role of CECs"
Please RSVP by emailing or calling:
Nicole Phillips [email@example.com, (212) 669-2206] and indicate which date(s) you are available and which topic you prefer.
Hoping to see you in January,
Manhattan Representative, Panel on Educational Policy
If you’d like to sign this letter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, school, district or other organizational affiliation. Thanks!
Justice Leland DeGrasse
New York State Supreme Court
60 Centre St.
New York, NY 10007
Dear Justice DeGrasse:
We urge you to strengthen existing accountability measures in your ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case. We strongly support the funding recommendations made by the court-appointed panel of referees. However, additional resources alone will not be sufficient to ensure that New York City students receive their constitutional rights to a sound basic education, unless these resources are invested wisely.
More specifically, we do not believe that the referees’ recommendations sufficiently address the need to “ensure a system of accountability to measure whether the reforms actually provide the opportunity for a sound basic education,” as the Court of Appeals directed. Enhanced accountability is critical so that citizens and taxpayers, both in New York City and the rest of the state, can be assured that the increased funds devoted to our public schools will be efficiently and appropriately spent.
We urge you, therefore, to adopt an accountability system, with each of the elements outlined below, to make certain that the systemic deficiencies found by the Court will be remedied, without delay.
• The city’s plan should be required to conform to commonly accepted principles of planning design, including transparent and measurable goals and objectives, with annual benchmarks for improvement;
• The plan should achieve adequacy after four years in the core areas the Court held were key to ensuring a sound basic education, (appropriate class size, teacher quality, and instrumentalities of learning) with adequacy defined, at minimum, as conditions equal to those that exist in the rest of the State outside New York City;
• The plan should undergo a thorough process of public input and review within existing governance structures, from the school level on up, including the duly elected Community Education Councils;
• There should be annual evaluations, again including bottom-up reviews, as well as mandatory yearly audits by the State Comptroller’s office, to ascertain whether the money is being efficiently spent to achieve the goals and objectives as outlined in the plan;
• There should be a documented grievance and appeals process, to assess if problems of a systemic nature remain, and if so, allow for intervention.
An accountability system with these elements will be necessary to ensure that the systemic deficiencies found by the Court are addressed, without delay. Each of these elements is described in more detail in the attached accountability proposal, drawn up by a working group consisting of representatives from key parent and advocacy organizations.
Thank you for your consideration,
Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters
Carolyn Prager, Advocates for Public Representation in Public Education
Jan Atwell, former Board member, Campaign for Fiscal Equity
Ellen Raider, member, CFE Accountability Task Force
Cecilia Blewer, member, CFE Accountability Taskforce
Larry Wood, President of President’s Council, District 3*, Board Member, Alliance for Quality Education*
Missy Frey, parent, Lab School, District 2, Board member, Alliance for Quality Education*
Maria Dapontes-Dougherty, District 30, Queens, Board member, Alliance for Quality Education*
Kathleen Gomez, parent, PS 116, Board Member, Alliance for Quality Education*
Gale Brewer, City Councilmember, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Carmen M. Colon, President of Community Education Council for District 13, Founding Member of the Association of New York City Education Councils
Yuet Chu, Director of the Middle School at School of the Future, Manhattan
Nancy Carbone, parent, PS 58, member, Community Education Council D24, Queens
Elizabeth M. Garcia, Esq., President, Community Education Council District 8*, Bronx
Ira Zalcman, LCSW, elected Member, Community Education Council, D21, Brooklyn
Laura Nathanson, NYC teacher, Professional Judgment Panel member, CFE Costing Out study
Luis O. Reyes, Ph.D., Bronx Institute, Lehman College*
Dolores Schaefer, Former Chair, Community school Board One
Robert S. Johnson, Vice President, Presidents Council*, District 2, Manhattan
Josh Karan, More Schools/Smaller Classes Campaign, D6, Manhattan
Yvonne L. Killebrew, member, Community Education Council, D 21
Tracey Fuller, parent, Seth Low I.S. 96, 2nd VP Community Education Council D 21
Bill Rosenthal, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Hunter College*
Patricia T. Warner, PTA President, Louis D. Brandeis High School
Julie Drake, PTA co-president, Midtown West (P.S. 212), D2, Manhattan
Jane Hirschmann, Co-Chair, Time Out From Testing
Bijou Miller, Co-President, PTA, PS 77, D.2
Pat Thompson, Grandparent/Caretaker, D13 and D17, Brooklyn, Parent Advocacy Group for Education*
Rea Rosno, SLT member, PS 295, District 15, member, Women’s President Educational Organization
Lisa Anderson, parent and PA Communications Secretary, P.S./I.S. 187*, D6
Solomon Panitz, Vice President, PTA, PS 372, Co-President, President’s Council, D15
David Wolfson, parent, School Leadership Team PS 163 *, D3, Manhattan
Heather Strano, PTA President, PS 121, D21, Brooklyn
Joan McCabe, parent, PS 41 and executive board, IS 89, D2 Manhattan
Neil Friedman, UFT Chapter Leader, The School for International Studies, Region 8
Walter Goodman and Mary Cash, parents, P.S. 124 and Lab Middle School, D2
Teresa Solomita, MS 51, District 15, Brooklyn
Linda Dalton, parent, PTA Treasurer, SLT member, PS 95, D21, Brooklyn
Rocco Rella, MS 51, District 15, Brooklyn
Paula Gillen, parent of special education student, P.S. 87, D24, Queens
Lila Deis Lauby, parent, La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts
Lee Levin, Recording Secretary PTA, Clinton School for Writers and Artists, D2
Shellie Sclan, member, School Leadership Team, parent, P.S.75, D3, Manhattan
Marshall Berman, parent, P.S.75, Distinquished Professor, City College
Vivian Farmery, School Leadership Team, School of the Future, District 2 Presidents' Council
Laura Tietjen, parent, PS 163, D3
Margaret Marcy Emerson, parent, Brooklyn New School, Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies
David Bushman, parent, PS 89 and Lab School, District 2, Manhattan
Lisa Bleyer, parent at Brooklyn New School, District 15
Paula Rogovin, author, teacher for 32 years, PS 290, The Manhattan New School, D2
Anthony Romeo and Karen Van Outryve Romeo, parents, IS 89, District 2, Manhattan
Jennifer Plassman, parent, Brooklyn New School and Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, District 15
Michael Weinberg, teacher, Far Rockaway High School, Region 5, Queens
Ellen Bilofsky, PA Recording Secretary*, I.S. 239 Brooklyn, and parent, Stuyvesant HS
Debbie Fine, teacher, PS 79, D 25, Queens
Karen Friedland, parent MS 51, D 15, Brooklyn
Dan H. Sanes, parent, Institute for Collaborative Education, Manhattan
Rosemarie Stupel, parent of child in the Brooklyn New School (P.S. 146), D15
Dan Avallone, parent, Brooklyn Technical High School
Carrie Feinstein, parent, Eleanor Roosevelt HS and PPAS HS, District 2, Manhattan
Alison Liotti, parent, PS116, District 2, Manhattan
Maria & Konstantine Ouranitsas, parents, P.S. 89 & I.S. 89, District 2
Sara Workman, class parent representative, PS/IS 187, District 6, Manhattan
John Lawhead, ICE-UFT, ESL teacher, Brooklyn
Karl F. Lauby, parent, La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts
Maretta Callahan, PS 133 Manhattan School for Children, District 3
Margaret Benczak Porter, parent, MS 158, D26, and member of Queens Advisory Council.
Marva Bhalla, PTA President, MS67, Queens, District 26
Wendy Zeichner, District 2 parent
Bryna Levin, PTA Officer, Midtown West, P.S. 212, D2
Marian Trupiano, School Leadership Team, David A. Boody Middle School, D21 and former PAC president and CPAC rep. for District 15
Emily O. Alfonso, parent, PS 38, District 15
Sanja Zgonjanin, CUNY Law School student, parent PS 75
Marion Richman, M.D., parent, PS 163, District 3
Lenny Gold, parent, PS41, District 2
Robin Moore, PS 87, Co-Chairperson, Afterschool Committee, PA Executive Board member
Gail Rodgers Zecker, PA grade rep, School of the Future, District 2 Region 9
Beth Bernett, School of the Future and P.S. 116M, District 2
Erik Wood, School of the Future and P.S. 116M, District 2
Diane O'Donnell, parent, Curtis HS, District 31, Staten Island
Yvette Toma, Co 3rd Vice President PTA, Midtown West School (PS212), D2
Karen Mooney, parent, MS 54, District 10 and Stuyvesant H.S.
Marie Pollicino, parent, D26, Queens
Miriam (Mimi) Erlich, retired teacher, PS145M, D3
Litonia Harrell, Center for Collaborative Education
Richard Boschen, parent, Institute for Collaborative Education & PS 261
Nina Musinsky and Jean-Claude Grattery, parents, Beacon High School and P.S. 166, D3
Maggie Fishman, School Leadership Team, The Earth School, educational consultant
Barbara Barbaria, P.T.A. President, PS 60, District 31, Staten Island
Betsy Combier, President of The E-Accountability Foundation, and Editor, parentadvocates.org
Connie Quinones, PA member, P.S.126 , District 2
Tim Fredrick, teacher, Thurgood Marshall Academy, MetLife Fellow, Teachers Leadership Network Institute
Sara and Wayne Kimbell, P.S. 41, District 2
Victoria Dallas-Stephenson, teacher, Muscota New School, PS 314*
Mike Kramer, parent, IS 89 and PS 41, D2, Manhattan
Tony Mikolajczyk, parent, PS 146, Brooklyn New School, District 15
Jill Herlands, class parent, PS 89, D2, Manhattan
Judy O'Brien , parent and educator, District 15, Brooklyn
Jonathan Keller, parent, Earth School, District 1 and La Guardia High
Kristin Faivre, parent, PS/IS 187 (Hudson Cliffs School) District 6
John Wehba, class treasurer, PS 163, District 3, and Stuyvesant High School
David Bloom, parent, PS 166 and MS 54, District 3, Manhattan
David Ruderman, parent, PS 261, Brooklyn
Veronique Sway, PTA Correspondence Secretary, Children's Workshop School, D1, Manhattan
Melah L. Gindi, parent M605
Molly Delano, NYC Asset Lab Project, YMCA of Greater New York
Wendy Liquet, parent District 15
Carmen Liquet, parent District 15
Susan Eby, parent, PS9, District 3
Linda Aizer, SLT member, Corresponding Secretary, School of the Future, District 2
Miles Chapin, resident District 30, SLT member, PTA officer, PS 212, District 2
Gerry Griffin, parent, Children's Workshop School, Dist. 1 and Clinton School for Writers and Artists, Dist. 2, Manhattan.
Elizabeth Scaffidi, parent, MS 104, District 2
* affiliation for identification purposes only; not an organizational endorsemen
New York City Sound Basic Education Plan
A Model for Public Accountability & Public Engagement
December 16, 2004
Submitted bBy : a committee with participants from the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), Class Size Matters, Advocates for Public Representation in Public Education (APRPE); CFE Accountability Task Force members, and other leading education advocates.
This proposal was drafted by a group of NYC education advocates who saw a need for a
framework to provide public input, public review and appropriate oversight in the development and implementation of New York City’s Sound Basic Education (SBE) Plan using existing governance and accountability structures.
Enhanced accountability is critical so that citizens and taxpayers, both in New York City and the rest of the state, can be assured that the increased funds devoted to our public schools will be efficiently and appropriately spent on programs that will offer our students an adequate education.
• The city’s plan should be required to be reformulated so that it conforms to commonly accepted principles of planning design, including transparent and measurable goals and objectives, with an annual benchmarks for improvement;
• The plan should achieve adequacy after four (or five) years in the core areas the Court held were key to ensuring a sound basic education, including appropriate class size, teacher quality, and instrumentalities of learning, with adequacy defined, at minimum, as conditions equal to those that exist in the rest of the State outside New York City;
• The plan should undergo a thorough process of public input and review within existing governance structures, from the school level on up, including the duly elected Community Education Councils;
• Following implementation, there should be annual evaluations following the same process as in the initial review, as well as mandatory yearly audits by the State Comptroller’s office, to ensure that the money is being efficiently spent to achieve the goals and objectives as outlined in the plan;
• There should be a documented grievance and appeals process, to assess if problems of a systemic nature remain, and if so, allow for judicial intervention.
WHAT WE MEAN BY A PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY MODEL:
The proposed accountability model involves at least four basic components that reflect commonly accepted standards of good practice in planning and assessment:
A. Planning Design to arrive at shared vision for public education,
B. Public Review that includes public engagement and review within existing governance and accountability structures,
C. Evaluation and Audit that include public engagement as a way to foster public oversight of CFE implementation,
D. Appeals Process to redress CFE non-compliance issues.
A. The Planning Design: The committee proposes a planning design for NYC’s SBE plan consistent with commonly accepted standards of good practice.
The City’s five-year and annual plan must include but not be limited to remedies that address the areas found by the courts to impede NYC’s current delivery of a sound basic education.
All the components of a sound basic education as defined by CFE must be addressed in the plan, with special emphasis on achieving adequacy in the three areas specifically identified by the Court of Appeals in its decision, i.e. teacher quality, class size, and instrumentalities of learning. Adequacy will be defined, at minimum, as conditions at least equal to those that exist in schools in the rest of New York State outside of New York City.
To provide an objective basis for public review, in addition to the comprehensive five-year plan, there will be detailed plans for the first year and each year there after.
The design of the City’s SBE Plan must include:
1. Documentation of Need
4. Activities, Strategies, and Timelines .
Need: In all draft and final forms, the City’s SBE Plan must document need for each goal with quantitative Federal, State, and City data that compare the academic needs and performance of NYC public school students to the rest of the State. The documentation of need must also be used to justify the plan’s measurable objectives.
Goals: In all draft and final forms, the City’s SBE Plan must include but need not be limited to discrete goals for the required areas that the Court has determined necessary to provide a sound basic education.
Objectives: Measurable objectives underpin accountability. Without measurable objectives, it would not be possible for the public to hold the City accountable for its SBE Plan and expenditure of CFE funds.
Therefore, in all draft and final forms, the City’s SBE Plan must include specific measurable outcomes, performance, and process objectives for each goal with defined baselines and benchmarks. Each goal must have multiple measurable objectives. Outcomes must be established that equal or exceed the average for all public schools in the rest of the State. Objectives must be defined in quantitative terms, even where they might involve qualitative assessments.
Activities, Strategies, and Timelines (with rationales): In all draft and final forms, the SBE Plan’s objectives must contain a rationale for specific activities, strategies, and timelines at the school, district, and citywide levels. The rationale must reflect sound data-based research to demonstrate each activity’s likely efficacy.
If the city plans to spend CFE funds on programs not identified in the court record as a necessary component of a sound basic education, it should justify the purpose of the expenditure through reference to research or robust evidence from other school districts where such programs have led to higher student achievement or a narrowing of the achievement gap.
Budgets : In all draft and final forms, the SBE plan must contain detailed budgets for each activity or strategy at the citywide, district, and school levels. The draft and final annual plans must include line item budget allocations to each school, each school district, each region, and to the DOE for each of the implementing established in the SBE Plan.
Internal Evaluation Plan: In all draft and final forms, the DOE must write a SBE Plan that contains a detailed formative and summative Internal Evaluation Plan. The Plan must provide for an evaluation of the measurable outcomes defined in the SBE objectives.
In submitting annual plans to the public for review, the DOE must include copies of the internal formative and summative evaluations for the preceding year(s). The DOE shall also make its intenal evaluation plan and the annual and cumulative formative and summative evaluations based on the Plan available to the public through the DOE web-site and in written form at the school and district levels at least one month before it make public its draft annual and five-year SEBs for public review.
B. The Public Review Process: The committee proposes a public review process for NYC’s SBE plan within existing governance structures, similar to that which presently exists for the District Comprehensive Educational Plans as well as the City’s capital plan for schools.
The Public Review Process for Five-Year and annual SBE plans must engage the public to the greatest extent possible. The public review process should result in a shared vision for public education addressing the conditions and inadequacies of NYC public education identified by the Court. The Public Review Process must provide for:
• Annual and Five-year public reviews,
• Timely public reviews, and
• Documented public reviews.
Annual Plan Review: The SBE Plan must be a comprehensive five-year plan with a detailed plan for the first-year and each year thereafter. The plan must be updated and reviewed each year in accordance with the public review process described below.
To enable the Public Review Process, each Borough President’s Office and the Public Advocate must be funded from the CFE settlement at a level commensurate with their public review responsibilities as defined below. [See NYC Charter on the role of the Public Advocate and Borough Presidents attached]
The Public Review Process must flow from the school forward in the order listed below:
• School Review—Each School Leadership Teams in collaboration with its respective PA/PTAs will submit a formal report of the review to the District level, based on a needs assessment at the school level.
• District Review—Each Community District Education Councils (CDECs) in collaboration with its respective Presidents Councils and the citywide CECs for high schools and special education will hold district-wide public hearings, will review the school reports, and will submit its formal report to the Borough level.
• Borough Review—Each Borough President will hold public hearings and review the results, including the district and school level reports, with his/her Borough Board (which includes each borough’s City Council members and Community Board Chairs). The Borough Board deliberations will include the Borough’s Panel for Education Policy (PEP) representative. Borough Presidents will also submit formal reports to the Public Advocate.
• Public Advocate—The Public Advocate will hold citywide public hearings after reviewing the results of the school, district, and borough reviews. The Public Advocate will summarize and analyze results of the public review and make public a comprehensive report that is also submitted to the DOE. The comprehensive report will provide the DOE with public input into a shared vision for the SBE plan for DOE’s consideration in making revisions.
The Public Advocate will retain all documentation related to public input from the school level forward. The Public Advocate will also submit a formal report to the State Department of Education with an analysis of the DOE’s final plan.
• Department Of Education—The DOE will use the comprehensive Public Advocate’s Report as input for possible revisions to the SBE plan, as well as comments included a review by the Panel on Educational Policy. DOE will then and will submit its revised plan to the NY State Education Department for approval or disapproval. The Public Advocate will also evaluate the revised plan and will provide an assessment to the SED of the extent to which the revisions respond adequately to public concerns with a recommendation for approval or disapproval of the revised SEB SBE by the by SED.
• State Education Department will make reference to the recommendations of the Public Advocate as well as the comments of the various levels of public review in its final decision as to whether the City’s Plan should be approved or amended. SED will also make reference to its own evaluations of the plan, including an independent 360 degree survey of a representative sample of schools.
Timely Public Reviews. Public reviews shall be timely. To assure timely reviews, the DOE will provide its full draft plan to each of the school, district, and borough and citywide review entity at least one month before the review process is to begin.
Documented Public Reviews. Public reviews shall be formal. They shall include public hearings at each level. To assure that reviews at each level are comparable, the review body at each level shall report on the results of its review in writing on a report form designed by the Public Advocate with input from the DOE and education advocacy groups.
C. Public Evaluation and Audit Component
Public Evaluation: To provide an informed basis for its annual review of the DOE’s draft SBE Plan for the coming year, each public review entity listed above shall review the DOE’s internal evaluation report described in Section A, above, and incorporate an assessment of:
• the preceding year’s/years’ implementation of the SBE at its level of review and
• the preceding year’s/year’s appeals processes. .
Audit Component: The State Comptroller’s office will perform annual fiscal and performance audits of the city’s implementation of the SBE plan. If these audits find that the plan itself or its implementation is insufficient to bring the city into compliance in the remaining years of the five-year planning cycle, especially as concerns the areas highlighted by the Court as necessary for a sound basic education, it will recommend to SED that the city’s plan be amended.
D. Appeals Process
The Appeals process includes procedures for individual grievances as well as a process to redress systemic, non-compliance on CFE issues, up to and including judicial review and action.
Grievance Documentation: Grievance documentation related to CFE compliance areas may be used as evidence :
• of continuing systemic problems in the provision of a sound basic education and
• of continuing systemic problems in the resolution of grievances filed by members of the public.
Grievance Process: To protect the rights of each child to receive a sound basic education, individual parents, teachers and other stakeholders must have the right to file a formal grievance at the local level and to have their grievance addressed in a timely manner.
A form, numbered to facilitate tracking, will be designed. Once the form has been completed at the school level it is given to the principal, who will have not more than 30 days to try to remedy the problem. (A copy will also be given to the complainant, and others forwarded to the district’s Community Education Council, the Borough President’s office and the Public Advocate’s office.) If the grievance is not resolved to the parties’ satisfaction at the school level, it is appealed to the district’s Community Education Council who will have no more than 30 days to act before it is automatically appealed to the next level (Borough President) and so on up the ladder to the Public Advocate’s office.
At each level of authority, the governance body will have no more than 30 days to try to remedy the problem. In addition to being the final adjudicator of grievances that cannot be resolved at lower levels, the Public Advocate shall have the responsibility to track grievances and compile data on a citywide basis, including the total number of grievances filed, the number that are resolved, the levels at which they are resolved, etc. The data so collected will be reported to the State Education Department, as well as to the public, to help inform and improve the evaluation process, including the public review process on each level. Data compiled by the Public Advocate can be used to document system-wide non-compliance when numerous grievances emerge on similar issues across the city that remain unresolved for long periods.
Judicial Review: When areas of systemic non-compliance can be documented, either through data collected by the Public Advocate or elsewhere in the evaluation process, a judicial review should automatically be triggered in the areas of non-compliance. If, after judicial review and report of findings are issued the areas of non-compliance are still not remedied, then the court may act to force compliance.
Appendix 1: Defining a Sound Basic Education [To be added]