Education dept. hit with subpoena over remote learning data

NEW YORK CITY — The New York City Department of Education was slapped with a subpoena by the City Council Friday, demanding attendance records for remote learning from March to June — when public schools were shut down due to coronavirus.

“It’s critically important that we know the attendance on the school-by-school basis, and also we’re also asking for how many New York City school children have received live remote instruction,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger. He chairs the education committee.

Black and Brown children make up 64% of the student population in New York City, and the City Council wants to make sure kids who are in need are not left behind.

Attendance is a big indicator of school culture and student wellness, and without the data broken down by school district, school and race, education advocates say you can’t tell the quality of the education.

The Department of Education said 87% of students attended virtually while schools were shut down during the pandemic.

In a statement to PIX11 News, the DOE said they are reviewing the letter from the City Council.

“As we work towards a safe reopening of schools this fall, we are paying special attention to ensuring every student is participating in a high-quality educational experience every day. To help schools combat absenteeism, we will be publishing attendance data for both in-person and remote instruction and we will continue to work with the City Council on addressing this critical issue.”

The City Council is asking to meet face-to-face with Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.

The DOE has until Tuesday to respond.

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