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NYC Chancellor FariƱa Calls For Citywide Y-PLAN Expansion at Y-PLAN NYC Pilot Launch Event

Posted on by Amanda Eppley
“Y-PLAN is crucial to our lives, because we can see how young people have the power to make changes in society and make our voices heard.”
- Y-PLAN NYC Student

 

On Wednesday morning, March 2nd, fifty high school students from across New York City joined their teachers, principals, superintendents, and chancellor, as well as civic leaders from across the city, at the Y-PLAN NYC Pilot Launch in the Court Room at Brooklyn Borough Hall to share their early successes and challenges in implementing Y-PLAN. An opening Gallery of Student Work allowed the young people to explain their projects to their peers and adult allies, including Chancellor Fariña who arrived early to interact directly with the students.

Superintendent Karen Watts, a champion of Y-PLAN NYC, opened the program and introduced Chancellor Fariña who offered welcome remarks to the group, congratulated participants, and expressed her lofty goal of implementing Y-PLAN in every NYC high school so that all of the city’s more than one million public school students would have this opportunity in the near future. She was followed by Jeff Lowell, the Senior Policy Analyst for the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, and by Dr. Deborah McKoy, the Executive Director of the Center for Cities + Schools at UC Berkeley, who provided context and history for the Y-PLAN, a global educational strategy that has a double bottom line of improving college, career, and community preparation and readiness while building healthy, equitable, and sustainable cities by partnering civic leaders with high schools as the city agencies propose authentic, real-world problems for the students to help solve.

The young people took the stage next for the Student Showcase. Students from eleven different NYC public high schools explained the early successes, challenges, and next steps for their projects, which ranged from combating domestic violence to improving the Broadway Corridor in Bushwick, from improving college readiness for homeless youth to increasing pedestrian safety at some of the city’s most dangerous intersections. At Urban Action Academy, students learned about the school-to-prison pipeline and researched the potential of restorative justice to address the issue. In the words of Destiny, a senior at Urban Action Academy: “If we didn’t have scanners, and have to walk in every day, and have to take off our bags, and just think about being a prisoner, we wouldn’t be where we are right now, but at the same time, it’s not really healing us as people. It’s making us look like prisoners. We don’t want to be prisoners anymore. That’s basically what we’re saying. We want to be healed.” Meanwhile, at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, students engaged with the participatory budgeting process alongside Council Member Levin, and as one senior explained, while they enjoyed and learned a lot from their work designing new park benches, “[t]his project is one small step in solving many of our community problems. At the end of the day there are so many bigger problems, and we hope that after this project we’ll participate more and try to be involved in solving issues like gentrification and school-to-prison pipeline, and all these nuanced issues that really impact our community.”

After the student showcase, the civic clients who posed these project questions to the students took the stage to offer their feedback. City leaders from the Departments of Transportation and of Homeless Services, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (MOCDV) and NYC Service used this opportunity to convey the value of young people’s voices in policy decisions, as well as the impression that these students have already made on them. For example, the representatives from the MOCDV praised the Culinary Arts students from George Westinghouse CTE High School for their immediate impact. The MOCDV had met with the students less than a week before the event, and in that time, the had students already taken innovative action by arriving at the event with cookies adorned with the Domestic Violence Prevention Hotline number, explaining that by attaching the number to a cookie wrapper, individuals will be able to discretely take the number, thereby protecting the privacy and safety of victims. Y-PLAN Civic Clients Tesa Arozqueta and Elizabeth Falcone from the MOCDV praised the students, noting that at this point “for us the real highlight is seeing the amazing work they have already done. The information they took from us, pulled out of that workshop, and completely made their own was beyond anything we expected. It’s incredible. We can’t wait to begin moving forward with it.”

Following the morning’s public event, current Y-PLAN students, teachers, and civic clients stayed for a student workshop andplanning session to help launch these projects for the spring. Final proposals will be displayed at the culminating event, a Y-PLAN NYC Summit on May 26th at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

“We need help getting more people to see our vision through our lenses in order to succeed.”

-Y-PLAN NYC Student


How Should California Fund its K-12 School Facility Needs?

Posted on by JEFF VINCENT, PHD
Filed under: School Facilities,
Tagged: jeff vincent

This blog is part of our series looking at the California policy implications for our new study, Going it Alone: Can California’s K-12 School Districts Adequately and Equitably Fund School Facilities?, which finds that more than half of school districts in the state underspend on their facilities, raising educational and health equity concerns. In Spring 2016, lawmakers in Sacramento will debate new state funding options for K-12 public school facilities. To inform this policy discussion, CC+S has invited guest commentary from prominent voices across the state. With the Brown Administration and the State Legislature returning from the holiday break and looking at options for new…


K-12 School Buildings: Key to a Low Carbon Future

Posted on by KATE GORDON
Filed under: School Facilities,
Tagged: kate gordon

This blog is part of our series looking at the California policy implications for our new study, Going it Alone: Can California’s K-12 School Districts Adequately and Equitably Fund School Facilities?, which finds that more than half of school districts in the state underspend on their facilities, raising educational and health equity concerns. In Spring 2016, lawmakers in Sacramento will debate new state funding options for K-12 public school facilities. To inform this policy discussion, CC+S has invited guest commentary from prominent voices across the state. As the holidays end and my kids gear up for a new semester, it’s turned my attention on a critical issue here in…


Eliminating the K-12 Facility Gap

Posted on by KATHLEEN MOORE
Filed under: School Facilities,

A NEW UC BERKELEY CENTER FOR CITIES+SCHOOLS STUDY FINDS THAT MORE THAN HALF OF CALIFORNIA’S K-12 SCHOOL DISTRICTS UNDERSPEND ON THEIR FACILITIES, COMPARED TO BEST PRACTICE SPENDING STANDARDS. THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ON OUR RESEARCH FINDINGS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE POLICY. UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools’ recent study, “Going it Alone: Can California’s K-12 School Districts adequately and Equitably Fund School Facilities?” benchmarks school maintenance and operations (M & O) and capital spending to building industry best practice standards for the first time ever in California. Doing so gives us a far better picture of…


EQUALIZING SCHOOL QUALITY: PROGRESSIVE FINANCE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES NEEDED IN CALIFORNIA

Posted on by BRUCE FULLER, PHD
Filed under: School Facilities,
Tagged: bruce fuller

A NEW UC BERKELEY CENTER FOR CITIES+SCHOOLS STUDY FINDS THAT MORE THAN HALF OF CALIFORNIA’S K-12 SCHOOL DISTRICTS UNDERSPEND ON THEIR FACILITIES, COMPARED TO BEST PRACTICE SPENDING STANDARDS. THIS IS A GUEST BLOG REFLECTING ON THE RESEARCH FINDINGS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CALIFORNIA STATE POLICY. Gov. Brown’s deputies find themselves in a contradictory position as they consider whether or not to tax local communities to improve crumbling school facilities. The Administration presses forward on one of the largest efforts to redistribute public resources toward lower-income families and their children ever attempted by any government. The governor’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) reform will…


Is School Facility Funding in California Adequate and Equitable?

Posted on by JEFF VINCENT, PHD
Filed under: School Facilities,
Tagged: jeff vincent

A new UC Berkeley Center for Cities+Schools study finds that more than half of California’s K-12 school districts underspend on their facilities, compared to best practice spending standards. This is the first in a series of blog posts on our research findings and their implications for state policy.   Public education funding is undergoing major changes in California. The new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) significantly restructured education program funding – providing more money overall and instituting a new formula that gives more funding to districts with targeted disadvantaged students (see the details here). Though it’s been making fewer headlines,…


Designing Outdoor Play and Learning Environments

Posted on by Cailin
Filed under: School Facilities,

We get a lot of random requests for information here at CC+S. Here’s one we’ve had more than once: “What are best practices for the design of outdoor play and learning environments at schools?"  We recently got an email about this from a parent in Hawai’i. As my colleagues and I put together a shortlist of key resources for her, it occurred to me that it was worth sharing. So here goes. Big kudos to CC+S’s Creative Director, Shirl Buss, who put most of this info together.  In no particular order, these firms and organizations have done innovative work in playground design: Robin…


Full Service Schools in a Full Service City

Posted on by Cailin
Filed under: School Facilities,

Desiree Carver-Thomas is working with the City of Richmond to examine the way in which communities and schools positively interact to create beneficial outcomes. Her project: Implementing the Full Service Community Schools Initiative, aims to increase the presence of full service schools across Richmond.  Desiree is a first-year Master of Public Policy student at the Goldman School, interested in education policy and social welfare. She came to Berkeley after teaching for five years in New York City public elementary schools. She's committed to working on issues of equity and community empowerment in public education. A full service community school (FSCS) is “both a place and a…


Advancing Project-Based Learning in OUSD: Best Practices and Tradeoffs

Posted on by Cailin

Kate Glassman is passionate about promoting instructional practices that encourage students in grades K-12 to engage in meaningful inquiry and undergo personal transformation. She cares deeply about harnessing social policy to increase the professional capacity of teachers in public schools, and to expand educational opportunities for low-income students, foster youth, and English language learners. Kate is a first year Master of Public Policy (MPP) student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Before beginning graduate school, Kate taught argumentative writing at a public high school within the Ministry of Education of Singapore. Prior to teaching abroad, Kate worked as a third grade teacher for…


Aligning Linked Learning with Market Trends

Posted on by Cailin

Raúl Chavez's research interests include emerging adults and employment issues, vocational identity development, and social policy analysis. Raúl is a second-year doctoral student at the School of Social Welfare. He has over eight combined years of public service experience at the FBI, CIA, US Department of Health and Human Services, and County of Los Angeles.  As a PLUS fellow with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and the Association of Bay Area Governments, I am working to aggregate data, information, and knowledge from various sources to make recommendations for how the OUSD can strengthen its relationships with employers as part of its work-based learning…