Why Can't the NY State DOE Release Data on Dangerous, Failing Schools Early Enough for Parents to Use?
Could this be another way that parents' efforts to transfer their children is sabotaged?
Release school data earlier
THE ISSUE | The timing of the state Education Department's release of failing, dangerous schools in New York.
The Leader Online, September 12, 2004
OUR OPINION | The state and local school districts should release the data earlier, giving parents time to decide whether to transfer their child to a different school or pressure schools to come up with a plan to fix the problems.
Thursday, the New York state Depart-ment of Education released its list of failing and dangerous schools throughout the state. And for the third straight year, the state waited until after the start of a new school year to do so.
The timing of the release is important because federal law allows parents and guardians to try and transfer their children to better and safer schools. By releasing the data after school starts, it becomes much more difficult for caregivers to do so.
Of course, state Educa-tion Commissioner Rich-ard Mills places some responsibility on local school districts, which "have this data before
He's right, to a point. If local school districts have this information early enough, they should release it to keep parents informed of what's going on. Some do, and that's a good thing. But all school districts should be forthcoming with this information.
Ultimately, the responsibility is in the hands of the state, which is doing a great disservice to families when it comes to their children's education by releasing the data so late.
Also, releasing the data earlier to the public would give parents enough time to review it and confront their local school boards.
While parents and guardians have the option to transfer their child, it may not be the best answer because bailing on a school isn't going to fix any problems there.
Parents and guardians should be given every opportunity to be involved in the education process. It is after all, their child's future at stake. They should work hand-in-hand with school boards, administrators and teachers to make sure every student is getting the best education possible.
The state Legislature should require the state Education Department and local school districts to release the information as early as possible before the start of the new school year.
Education - whether it's funding, testing or state mandates - has been one of New York's biggest issues for several years now. Every effort should be made to make sure the state's children are getting the best education possible and that taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their buck.