Pols want remote attendance data, delay of in-person learning

August 31, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Pols want remote attendance data, delay of in-person learning
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City Council Education Chair Mark Treyger introduced a bill that would require the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to supply data on school attendance records when remote learning is utilized. The bill is co-sponsored by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

“Inequities in remote learning mirror inequities in the spread of COVID-19,” said Treyger. “In order to know how much support is needed for our students and educators, we need data that illustrates the gaps. Additional specific data on remote learning participation is the only effective way to acknowledge the problem and allocate resources where necessary to eliminate gaps of inequity.

“We need to ensure that every student is receiving a high-quality education, whether in-person or remote, so that vulnerable student populations are not left behind.”

The bill would require the DOE to provide weekly mandated reports on student attendance data when remote learning is utilized fully or combined with in-person learning. The data would be required to be disaggregated by school, school district, grade, race, individualized education plan status, multilingual language learner status and English language learner status.

The report would be submitted to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Williams, the School Diversity Advisory Group and all community education councils, and it would be posted on the DOE’s website.

“Whether the mayor moves forward with his misguided plan to reopen school buildings in September or not, much of the coming school year is likely to be remote,” Williams said. “As we saw this past spring, remote learning has great potential but also highlights the need for many reforms and systems in place to make it more effective. This legislation will help ensure that students and families get the education and resources they need amid the ongoing pandemic.”

Treyger also introduced a resolution calling on the DOE to delay the reopening of public schools until each school meets the safety standards children and school staff require.

“The upcoming school year will present many difficult challenges for our students,” said Treyger. “Reopening the city’s schools cannot occur without having proper safeguards in place to protect our teachers, 1.1 million students and their families. We need to delay and phase in the reopening of schools until we can do so safely, and have the resources needed to operationalize safety plans.”

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