Friday, July 29, 2022

New "Lost Student" Number Cited by NYPost: Only 73,000

Yesterday, I wrote about a New York City parent who discovered that City Hall and the DOE greatly overstated the actual drop in enrolled students in city schools. In short, City Hall and the DOE wanted to cut school budgets so much next year that they pretended the city had lost 760,000 children when, in fact, they had not. 

Almost everyone in the press allowed them to share this mistruth with little or no fact checking. 


Today,  The NY Post published an article about how the DOE is now fighting for the budget cuts they want so much (the ones that will hurt children and school staff next year) by appealling a court order blocking the cuts. 

As part of the story, Post reporter Cayla Bamberger cited just 73,000 as the accurate number of students the city has lost since the start of the pandemic

The budget cuts come as the public schools — including 3K and preK, as well as charter schools — have lost 73,000 students since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the city’s Independent Budget Office.

That's right. A journalist didn't even bother using NYCDOE's data. She used IBO data instead. The numbers the IBO published are more than ten times lower than the number the mayor and the chancellor say. 

To be clear, a loss of 73,000 students is significant. This represents an approximate 6.7% loss in student enrollment in New York City (from 1.1 million).  But in his Executive Budget last February, the mayor proposed cuts closer to 10% and the #312 million mentioned today is higher number than that -and all of it is scheduled to come from school budgets. All of it. 

Don't forget, the mayor and chancellor are cutting the DOE budget by just 1% overall but all of those cuts, (totalling $312-$375 million) are coming only from school budgets. No cuts to Tweed. No cuts to supes. No cuts to central. Only cuts to schools. 

And they have such a problem with the truth that the New York Post won't even use the numbers they are claiming. Let that sink in.

That the papers will no longer publish data provided by the NYCDOE should be evidence enough that the DOE in New York is broken and can no longer be trusted.  But you tell me if the cuts n your school seem reflective of a 6% loss in student enrollment. And then fell free to tell me whether you think your school budget was the place to cut. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Data Review: City Hall Lied. Enrollment Is Not Declining.

Edit 1: Thanks to the commenter who pointed out that the parent I mention here doesn't have 30k followers. I've edited 

Edit 2: I published a follow up to this here. Seems the New York Post stopped believing the DOE. 

A New York City school parent with 30,000 Twitter followers has discovered the truth about the "declining enrollment" in New York City schools: It's not really declining. 

Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks have been bragging about how we serve less children than we once did. This "fact" has been the cornerstone of their efforts to cut hundreds of millions of dollars straight from NYC classrooms next year. 

 Enrollment. however, has not declined to 760,000 students in New York City as they have claimed:

At the end of the 2021–2022 school year, there were 1,058,888 students in those schools/grades, not 760,000 1/5

The discovery was made by anonymous Twitter user Tim Positive (@PositiveSubway). The series of tweets came with something that no one has been interested in these days: Actual data. Sharing that data led a DailyNews journalist to respond and change (though ever so slightly) her original claim. It has led to nothing else. 

And what those data show is telling.  Enrollment numbers that were shared by the Adams administration failed to include 3k student and Pre-K students, although they have always been included in the past. The data also show that the Chancellor and Mayor decided NOT to include some of our most vulnerable students from D75 and Alternative Schools (D79). They simply ignored those students and the press, of course, has let them get away with it. 

The city reached their non-factual number of 760,000 only after ignoring nearly one-quarter of a million children in core groups that have always been counted in the past.  

Thaty' right, baby. Tweed and City Hall juked the numbers. And they are getting away with it. 


Peeling away the lies and mistruths coming from these leaders has been a challenge since the administration began. The city once claimed they were cutting only $215 million from schools. The press reported. When the city was caught trying to cut an actual $375 million from schools, The press barely mentioned.  The mayor's own executive budget from the winter describes $306 Million in cuts to "pedagogical personnel" (those are cuts made directly to the classroom). This was never reported by the press either (because, obviously, reading takes too much time away from education reporters these days). 

And, as if discovering the correct amount of cuts was not enough dishonesty, they have now been caught (by a parent) lying about the justification for those cuts; The claim that we serve less students. That too, as it turns out, has been a lie. This revelation proves that they are hiding large numbers of students from their register in order to justify to the public the cuts they have made to classrooms. Here is a quick look, as well as brief summary, of the students City Hall and Tweed no longer count as their own.

District 75 (D75) serves our most vulnerable special education students. It is (by far) the best functioning district in the entire NYCDOE and has sent tens of thousands of children into functioning, rewarding lives as adults.  According to data this parent has shared, these students were not counted as enrolled in the NYCDOE. They told the public we lost those students. 

District 79 (D79) are our alternative school students. These students were not able to fit into a cookie cutter mold of NYC high schools. For decades, D79 has provided an alternative path for them. I have personally taught D79 students who have gone on to jobs in finance with Blackrock and  jobs in software with Facebook. The parent of at least one celebrity had sent their child to my D79 classroom. She was very satisfied. These students, too, are now excluded from being counted by the mayor and chancellor in their enrollment numbers, according to data provided by the parent. 

D79 and D75 schools have not been closed, mind you. The students simply no longer count. (As a reminder, in a surprise move, the chancellor fired the superintendent to D79 just last month in favor of someone who was closer to the chancellor. Perhaps, moving the older more experienced supe out of the way was related to this oversight). 

As if pretending our D75 and alternative students in D79 don't exist weren't enough, the mayor and chancellor have also decided not to count 3k and pre-k students in their enrollment -a departure from policy of previous years. These students have been included in the total register since Pre-k and then 3K were created. That they are not now is the result of a decision that has been made by a change in politics, not facts. 

The tweets are supported by data in the form of screen shots and links. I have examined them and, by in large, the data passes muster. The city is lying. There are almost 250,000 students who are being left off of the official count. That is one quarter of a million students. . 

This isn't declining enrollment. It's a shell game; played by two or more dishonest men who's goals include hurting children and school staff. Review the data for yourself. Feel free to check my facts by dropping a comment. I will update if needed. 

The first tweet of the thread is embedded below. Links to the whole thread can be found here. But the bottom line can be found in the original tweet: "1,058,888 students in those schools/grades, not 760,000". 

From 1.1 million to 1.05 million. That's closer to the truth.