USA

When it can’t take attendance, NYC’s public-school system has stopped working

One silver lining of sorts from this whole dreadful pandemic: It has exposed the fundamental dysfunction of the city’s public-schools system and the utter incompetence of Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Any learning now happening is despite Carranza, his bureaucracy and the United Federation of Teachers.

So overwhelmed is the Department of Education that it can’t even pretend to know how many children are in school on the days they’re supposed to be there — let alone how many have checked-in online, nor how few actually e-tend a given class.

Many heroic teachers and school leaders are sweating blood to make school work, but the DOE itself is checked out. And the UFT panders to its most paranoid (or lazy) members: It wants to avoid any sort of review of the effectiveness of hybrid or online learning.

Carranza botched the first wave of the epidemic, then wasted the summer when his team should have been planning for the fall. Nearly eight months into the pandemic, the DOE is as clueless as on Day One.

Credit the mayor with wanting to reopen schools despite the UFT’s fears — but he and his chancellor have repeatedly failed to make it work. The DOE can’t even offer grading policies or schedule key system-wide exams.

Private and parochial schools have risen to the challenge, as have most public charter schools — finding ways to reopen or to offer meaningful virtual classes.

Oh, and to take attendance and ensure live instruction for every class. Parents across the city know Carranza’s schools aren’t even trying to do that.

The system might still be a disaster under another leader — but Team Carranza plainly can’t manage anything except “anti-bias” training, race-obsessed revisions to school-admission rules and other divisive nonsense.

A system that can’t even take attendance will fail at everything. And the children who suffer most are overwhelmingly the poor black and Hispanic kids that Carranza and de Blasio always claim are their top priority.

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