September 17 (New York) — Educators for Excellence-New York (E4E-New York), a teacher-led organization, reacted to New York City Public Schools’ second delay of in-person learning.
"This delay offers some relief and prioritizes students with special needs, but it is still far short of the sustainable and equitable plan we need by October,” said E4E-New York member Daniel Gannon, a high school history teacher at Bronx Leadership Academy II High School. “For example, the City and UFT are asking us to report to school on Monday, despite being able to safely teach remotely from home. Mr. Mulgrew and Mayor de Blasio, it’s time to partner with teachers and families to develop a plan that works for everyone.”
“While we are thrilled the City listened to E4E teachers and is prioritizing students with special needs for in-person learning, these jarring, eleventh-hour changes are unacceptable,” said Paula L. White, Executive Director of E4E-New York. “District and union leaders could have assigned non-teaching district staff the crucial task of devising a workable strategy for reopening. They could have taken lessons from schools across the country employing a live-streaming teaching approach that reduces staffing demands without compromising instructional delivery. They could have taken the summer to work with educators and families to bring students back safely over time, starting with vulnerable students who need in-person instruction the most. Instead, Mayor de Blasio and Mr. Mulgrew squandered precious time and cobbled together a disorganized plan that put learning and lives in danger. I hope the union and district take this time to authentically engage families and teachers to make a plan that incorporates their feedback and expertise.”