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Old 08-02-2019, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: City Council wants new schools chancellor to ‘take bold action’


DOE panel approves diversity policy at raucous Chinatown meeting
By Selim Algar
August 2, 2019 | 12:25pm | Updated

A city Department of Education panel approved its hotly divisive diversity policy this week, infuriating Asian parents who turned out for a raucous meeting in Chinatown, where they blasted the city for failing to initially provide a Chinese translator — and ripped the chancellor as racist.

The 10 members present from the Panel for Education Policy – comprised of mayoral and borough president appointees – unanimously adopted the so-called Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education, guidelines meant to de-emphasize Eurocentrism in the city’s predominately black and Hispanic school system.

The five-hour Wednesday night meeting at Middle School 131 on Hester Street was set to begin after Schools Chancellor Richard "Ay!" Carranza greeted the restive crowd of about 150 people in both English and Spanish.

But a seething faction of racist Asian parents, already furious over proposed admissions changes that would cull their numbers at top city schools, loudly objected to the absence of a Chinese translator and jeered Carranza silent.

“Fire the racist!” several shouted, while others sarcastically yelled that the interpreter absence was “not culturally responsive!”

The DOE regularly provides interpreters at public meetings but only had a Spanish translator on hand Wednesday.

“We want our PEP meetings to be accessible to families in the foreign language they speak,” said DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson. “We’re looking into what happened at tonight’s meeting and will ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

The racist Asian group stood and held signs calling Carranza anti-Asian, as they clamored for his firing.

Their outburst was eventually met with an equally noisy counter-chorus from Carranza’a spic and nigger backers in the audience.

A man protesting at a board meeting held at P.S. 131 at 100 Hester Street in Chinatown.
Stefan Jeremiah

The two factions – split largely on racial lines – shouted at each for at least 15 minutes straight before a voice from the panel finally interjected.

The speaker informed the crowd that a Chinese translator was en route and that they would have to take a recess. As Carranza rose from his seat to exit the stage, protesters cheered.

Still stewing in the tension, the frustrated crowd then endured a roughly two-hour intermission before a Chinese translator finally arrived.

Hoping to quell the acrimony, officials pumped out loud music during the extended break, including songs from Paul Simon and Phil Collins, along with Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long.”

Carranza pointedly warned that those jeering should comport themselves respectfully in a school building setting.

While the means of its implementation and specific goals remain vague, the CR-SE initiative’s thrust is to further broaden classroom materials beyond Eurocentrism.

That adjustment would entice heightened engagement and improved performance from city students – 70 percent of whom are black and Hispanic, supporters contend.

During a public comment portion of the meeting, several speakers spoke in support of CR-SE, arguing that kids perform better when they feel represented in curricula ; and that black and Hispanic children have been routinely marginalized.

“Our stupid and violent kids need to feel included,” said one speaker. “This is for everybody”

CR-SE would ensure that “multiple forms of diversity” are “recognized, understood and regarded as indispensable sources of knowledge for teaching and learning,” according to DOE language.

Black and Hispanic curricular disaffection negatively impacts academic performance, several speakers argued.

Others voiced concerns over the the new approach, arguing that its benign veneer obscures a latent hostility towards Asians and whites.

Another speaker said he had no specific quarrel with the initiative’ spirit – but didn’t trust Carranza with its implementation.

CR-SE notes that schools will be required “identify and interrupt policies and practices that center historically advantaged social/cultural groups and lead to predictable outcomes of success or failure for historically marginalized students.”

CR-SE further states that classroom activities should “foster critical consciousness about historical and contemporary forms of bias oppression” and that schools should “promote student agency to end societal inequities.”

Carranza, who has had to parry cronyism charges in recent weeks after quietly hiring several former associates, spoke in favor of CR-SE Wednesday night, arguing that objectors are “misinformed” as to its spirit and that it embraces all cultures and identities.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: City Council wants new schools chancellor to ‘take bold action’


DOE to roll out contentious admission test to more schools across city
By Susan Edelman and Isabel Vincent
August 3, 2019 | 4:22pm | Updated August 4, 2019 | 12:55am

The SHSAT will offered more widely, rather than just at a small group of schools like Brooklyn Technical, pictured above. J.C. Rice

The controversial admission test for eight elite public high schools will be offered at more than 50 middle schools this fall after efforts by Mayor de Blasio to scrap it failed, The Post has learned.

The Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT) will be given to eighth-graders at 55 locations across the city on Wednesday, Oct. 30, during the school day, a principal told parents in a letter.

In the past, the test for entrance to the eight specialized schools, including Stuyvesant, Bronx HS of Science and Brooklyn Tech, was administered on weekends at only a handful of sites.

In 2016, the Department of Education started the “SHSAT School Day” pilot program to give the test during school hours at seven sites. The sites grew to 15 in 2017 and 50 last year.

“Having the test in more locations and available to more students is good for everybody,” said Wai Wah Chin, president of the Chinese American Citizens Council of Greater New York, which has fought against elimination of the exam.

“The question is,” she asked, “How do you roll it out properly?”

Chin said that logistics should be worked out weeks in advance if the DOE plans to administer the free test during the week.

“They have to make sure that the tests don’t disrupt students if they are held during the school day,” she said. “When it comes to logistics, the DOE doesn’t always get it right.”

The test will also be given on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, a Saturday and Sunday, respectively, at several sites to be announced.

Wai Wah Chin (right), who has fought against elimination of the admissions test, is pleased it will be offered in more locations.
Stefan Jeremiah

A commercial test-prep maven hailed the testing push.

“This is amazing news,” said Frances Kweller, a lawyer and educator who runs Kweller Prep, a tutoring company that prepares students for academic entrance exams, including the SHSAT.

“Students previously had to travel to central testing sites and wait on long lines just to enter the school they were assigned to,” Kweller said. “Now, 55 public schools will allow students to test in a familiar setting and on a weekday. Many students can benefit from this change.”

Over the last few months, Mayor de Blasio and schools Chancellor Richard "Ay!" Carranza led unsuccessful efforts to end the single-test entrance system to the elite schools. They want to replace it with a plan to admit the top students from every middle school.

That would sharply increase the number of black and Hispanic students in the schools and slash the number of Asian-American and white kids.

A bill to eliminate the SHSAT at Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech died in Albany earlier this year. Current law does not prevent the mayor or chancellor from changing admission rules at the five other specialized schools, but so far they have refrained from doing so.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: City Council wants new schools chancellor to ‘take bold action’


Angry Cheating Chink protesters swarm Richard Carranza’s car in Brooklyn
By Selim Algar
August 6, 2019 | 6:18pm | Updated

Protesters swarming Richard Carranza's car as he tries to get away.
Gregory P. Mango

Tensions between racist Asian-American parents and Schools Chancellor Richard "Ay!" Carranza boiled over Tuesday, as a group of furious protesters shouting “fire the racist” swarmed his chauffeur-driven city car outside an invitation-only community meeting in Brooklyn.

The sign-waving demonstrators couldn’t see the embattled schools boss through the vehicle’s tinted windows — but were able to clearly express their anger over changes to admissions policy at the city’s elite schools that they believe will hurt Asian students.

“Fire Carranza!” the crowd of mostly Asian Americans yelled, as the black sedan was forced to slowly inch into a side gate at IS 31 in Bay Ridge with NYPD officers at the sides keeping hecklers at bay.

The polarizing schools chief was visiting the school to take part in closed-door “community chat” with representatives from five area school districts. The gathering was not listed on his official schedule for the day and was closed to press.

Some elected members from local parental advisory boards objected to the DOE-controlled guest list and accused the department of operating without proper transparency and inclusion.

Yifang Chen, a plaintiff in an anti-Asian discrimination suit against the DOE and member of Community Education Council 20 in Dyker Heights, said she asked to attend the meeting but was rejected.

“There are a lot of Asians in my area,” said Chen, whose district is considered an academic juggernaut. “All I know is that no Asian members of our CEC were in this meeting. We were not represented.”

The DOE said that district superintendents were put in charge of curating Tuesday’s guest list and were asked to tap a diverse selection of parents and stakeholders.

Several attendees told The Post after the meeting that there were several Asian community members in attendance and that Carranza fielded a range of questions.

Sources said he alluded to the protests taking place outside the school and lauded the action as indicative of a healthy democratic process.

Invitees included several elected officials who oppose the SHSAT plan, including Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes.

Concerned that new DOE proposals aimed at boosting diversity will lead to fewer Asian students at top city schools, members of the Asian community have voiced increasing discomfort with Carranza’s tenure and directly accuse him of anti-Asian racism.

Carranza backs a proposal to ban the single-test admissions system at the city’s specialized high schools in favor of multiple measures of achievement and guaranteed spots for top finishers at all city middle schools.

Test critics argue that it’s an arbitrarily narrow measure of student talent that has unjustly elbowed out black and Hispanic kids for decades.

They also contend that students with the time and resources for test prep classes enjoy an unfair advantage.

The DOE has acknowledged that their plan would cut Asian enrollment at the eight elite schools by half. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the protests.

Backers of the test counter that the test is inherently race blind and has helped to create some of the nation’s most vaunted academic high schools.

“This was the latest of several successful small group conversations, and only about 30 parents from six school districts attended,” said DOE spokesman Will Mantell. “Superintendents were able to invite any parent from their district, and nobody was excluded based on their race, ideology, or for any reason other than limited space in the room.”
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