A report from the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice (Make the Road by Walking is a member) says that many city middle schools are "pathways to failure." Ouch. The group also has some damning statistics: Though 50% of white students can read at eighth grade levels, only 25% of Hispanic and African-American students can (and only 22% of eighth grade students at high poverty schools can read at eighth grade levels).
From the Sun: Accelerated math courses are offered at 57% of high-performing schools, which have higher proportions of white students and lower proportions of high-poverty students, and only 17% of low-performing schools, which tend to have more minority and highpoverty students. Among teachers at the low-performing middle schools, 25% weren't highly qualified under No Child Left Behind requirements, compared to 17% at high-performing schools.
The group has specific recommendations for the Department of Education to revamp its system: Having better qualified teachers; new mentoring programs; a new deputy chancellor to oversee all levels of schools; and "incentive strategies" to recruit and retain middle school teachers.
The Department of Education says that it does consider middle school education important and that it's working to improve performance.
Since the November NYC elections, MRNY members have been hard at work setting the agenda for our next mayor, City Council and citywide elected officials.
We kicked off "Talking Transition" with a low-wage worker forum and our attorneys have been staffing a Single Stop clinic around the clock at the Transition tent.
Recently, our youth joined the Transitions conversation to bring education and police reform issues into the spotlight for the new elected officials. 17-year-old youth leader Cheyanne Smith was also profiled in the New York Times for her leadership to make NYC schools more respectful, safe, and dignified places for learning.