NYC schools chancellor talks summer school, fall plans and standardized tests

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NEW YORK — A week after over 50,000 New York City public school students returned to the classroom for in-person learning, NYC Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter checked in with the PIX11 Morning News.

“It was a great week back…they were so excited to be back in classrooms,” Porter said of the first week back for many city students.

However, some parents have complained about their children going to school and yet still being educated on a Zoom by a teacher working remotely.

“We’re really working to ensure that when students are in school, that there is an adult in contact with them – a loving, caring adult to help them through the day,” Porter said. “It is something we’re working to move through, but making sure that our students feel supported in their learning.”

Porter also shared some insight into what to expect in the fall for the new school year.

“My hope is that all of our students, all our teachers will be back in school. However, we’re going to follow all of the health and safety guidelines to get us there,” she said.

Porter said the school system currently has a 0.54% positivity rate, with a 7-day rolling average of 0.32%.

“What we know is that our school buildings are safe and we’re looking forward to getting folks back in them,” Porter said.

The chancellor also shared her thoughts on entrance exams for the city’s specialized high schools.

While former Chancellor Richard Carranza pushed get rid of the standardized tests all together, Porter instead thinks the tests should be just one aspect the schools look at when considering a child.

“There should not be any single measure that determines a student’s future,” Porter said. “We know there are so many ways that students demonstrate their brilliance…we need to move towards a multi-pronged approach to admissions into our specialized high schools.”

Porter also talked more about the city’s Summer Rising, this year’s new summer school program that combines academic support with enrichment programming.

Porter said she sees the program as a “bridge” from the current, unique school year to the the fall semester.

The program will be available for free to all students in grades K-12.

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