IMPROVE Online Instruction in NYC Public Schools

IMPROVE Online Instruction in NYC Public Schools

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Whether NYC public schools offer blended or fully-remote instruction this September, the bulk of the instruction will be online. The quality of online instruction must improve. Last spring was a huge disappointment for most students and families, with little live instruction for students. This must change. We demand the following of NYS Governor Cuomo, NYC Mayor de Blasio, NYC Council, NYC DOE Chancellor Carranza, UFT, and principals:

Deliver quality online instruction!

  1. Provide daily live synchronous instruction (whether in-person, blended or fully remote) for all classes, that is also recorded (instead of PowerPoints, reference videos and other self-taught instruction that was prevalent last spring). 
  2. Use simple and robust standard online platforms to provide the live instruction and assign school work. Specifically, we like Zoom and Google Classroom for ease of use.
  3. Train the teachers to effectively use their electronic devices and online platforms before the first day of school.

This is NOT a petition to advocate for fully-remote or blended learning. This is a petition that accepts that online learning will be a huge component of this coming academic year, and must be improved.  

Parents, please share this petition far and wide. We must empower ourselves with a multitude of voices and numbers to fight for quality education for our children. 

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Additional thoughts on live synchronous instruction, that is also recorded. 

  • Recording instruction will help our most vulnerable students who may not be able to attend live synchronous classes for varied reasons (i.e. inadequate Wi-Fi, need to share devices, challenging home environments, etc.). If live synchronous instruction is recorded, these students would be able to view the recordings at any time.
  • Also, if live synchronous instruction is recorded, this will allow one teacher to handle both synchronous and asynchronous instruction for the same class of students, easing the strain on our teachers.
  • Equally important is the need to train teachers to (a) use functionalities such as chats and breakout sessions to allow students to demonstrate understanding, enable group work and provide one-on-one teacher feedback and (b) follow up with individual students and parents who need more support.  
  • As you can see from the UFT website, "synchronous learning is not required at this time". 

Additional thoughts on online platforms.

  • The DOE rolled out yet a new, centralized online platform for summer school: iLearn/Edmentum. We hear that this platform is full of bugs and difficult to use for both teachers and students. We do not want this system or any other new system for September. Let’s use simple systems that have worked.

Let’s all work together to help our children.  

Best, 

Concerned NYC public school parents

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P.P.S. We are NOT asking for donations. Any request for funds is from change.org and NOT from the organizers of this petition.