New York City’s new small public high schools of choice (“SSCs” for short) are well positioned to meet this challenge because of their focus on providing academically rigorous curricula and personalized learning environments for their students.
Given the city’s relative fiscal health, is there a need to look to budget options? The simple answer is, “of course.” There is never enough money to meet all of the needs expressed by the city’s communities. And besides the need for more funds, there can be changes that could help improve equity and efficiency in the city’s spending and taxation—a benefit that could be associated with some of the budget options we present.
A recent Brookings Institution study found that superintendents on average account for just “0.3 percent of differences in student achievement.
Deasy undercut his successes with expensive, unforced errors. A wildly ambitious, $1.3 billion plan to put Apple iPads into the hands of every district student was a debacle. Last year’s rollout began amid confusion. Would the students be allowed to take the devices home? Who would be responsible for tablets that were lost or stolen? Many students breached their iPads’ security locks and used the devices for non-academic purposes. Deasy halted the program in August after e-mails revealed he had discussed a possible contract with Apple before the official bidding process began. The “MiSiS crisis” followed on the heels of the iPad scandal. The district launched an online school-information system that was nowhere near ready, resulting in thousands of students starting the school year without class schedules. The new system also couldn’t generate transcripts that seniors needed for college applications.