It’s shaping up to be a busy Monday — with a lot of open questions — for New York’s schools.
Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver his first State of the City speech today, set for noon in Queens. He’s certain to push his signature policy, expanding pre-kindergarten access using a tax hike, and early reports indicate that he’s planning to tackle policing and other issues, too. One open question is whether he’ll make any news about how he plans to run the city’s schools: After more than a month in office, his administration has said little about its plans for what happens in its K-12 schools during the regular school day. Chancellor Carmen Fariña, like the rest of de Blasio’s cabinet, will be on hand for the address, as will our reporter Patrick.
Up in Harlem, another civic leader will be delivering another major speech. Geoffrey Canada, the founder and head of the Harlem Children’s Zone, will deliver a “State of the Agency” address this morning. The speech, which is rumored to include news about a leadership change at Harlem Children’s Zone, comes as de Blasio takes widely disparate approaches to two of Canada’s initiatives — his community’s web of social services and the charter schools he founded. Canada has so far stayed out of the brewing political battle over charter schools in the city, preferring instead to focus on government spending in recent months, but he will be speaking at one of the new buildings partially paid for by a city charter school construction program that de Blasio is ending. Sarah will be on hand.
And in Albany, the Board of Regents is settling in for its monthly meeting. The board, which sets education policy in New York State, doesn’t have Common Core implementation on its formal agenda. But members are almost certain to be grappling with the setback that legislators delivered last week to the state’s rollout of the new standards. Legislators on both sides of the aisle called for the state to delay tying Common Core test scores to teacher evaluations for two years, a move that would undercut a signature policy initiative for state education officials and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Geoff will be reporting from Albany.