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school overcrowding audit

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  • Leonie Haimson
    More on this article – and this new audit, which uses 2011-2012 figures to confirm many of the findings of our report Space Crunch – as well as the DOE’s
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 9, 2014

      More on this article – and this new audit, which uses 2011-2012 figures to confirm many of the findings of our report Space Crunch – as well as the DOE’s ongoing refusal to address the issue and give us real numbers.  Juan G’s take on it here, well worth reading with interviews etc: 

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/1-3-city-schools-overcrowded-audit-article-1.1859717


      here is my quote:

      The DOE continues to put out misleading data to minimize the ongoing crisis of overcrowding in our schools,” Haimson said. “Chancellor Fariña should use this opportunity to start providing real numbers and focusing on real solutions — including a more aggressive and ambitious capital plan.”

      Full audit here:  http://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/7E13_123A.pdf

       

      Though the audit found that 1/3 of kids were in overcrowded buildings in 2011-2012  – I think they used the historic figures in the Blue Book – we found nearly half of all students were in overcrowded buildings in 2012-2013 using the target figures, which are somewhat more accurate but still underestimate the actual level of overcrowding in schools.  They found the same trendline – worsening overcrowding particularly at the elementary and middle school level.

      Funniest thing about the audit, they asked what Portfolio and Space Planning had done to address issue of overcrowding and of course, they had done nothing; Portfolio’s job was  to cram more co-located schools into already overcrowded buildings.  Too bad the audit didn’t look at the Instructional Footprint.

      From the audit: 

       

      DOE‟s Offices of Space Planning and Portfolio Management lacked any statistical or documentary evidence showing the substantive steps they took to alleviate school overcrowding. This failure constitutes a significant internal control deficiency. The lack of documentation may be partly attributed to the absence of written policies and procedures for either office. Through interviews and discussions with DOE personnel we were able to ascertain that Portfolio Management and Space Planning had some procedures in place and that they had attempted to follow these procedures to alleviate overcrowding. {like what? They do not say]

      However, no documentation or evidence existed with in these two offices to indicate what these steps were or whether they had been taken….

       

      Portfolio Management staff explained that the process for alleviating overcrowding is “organic,” consisting of “borough teams” that monitor schools monthly and annually, conduct monthly meetings, and hold telephone conversations with principals. According to Portfolio Management and Space Planning staff, written documentation, meeting minutes, and telephone logs of this process were  not maintained. Therefore, there is no way to assess whether DOE was in fact, taking steps to alleviate overcrowding and whether those steps were effective.”

      The DOE in response claims that Portolio has been abolished and a new office created called District planning, but Lisa and others have said it has the same personnel and not clear if there is a different mission.

      From a FN in the audit: Portfolio Management, prior to its dissolution, did not have an organizational chart for its approximately 50 person staff

      ,nor did it maintain a list of school buildings where the office attempted to address problems.

       

    • Beth Bernett
      thanks and bravo to Juan Gonzalez and Leonie! sadly, I too I have little confidence in the new admin on this. and without putting an end to (and reversing)
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 9, 2014
        thanks and bravo to Juan Gonzalez and Leonie!  sadly, I too I have little confidence in the new admin on this.  and without putting an end to (and reversing) the damaging co-locations begun in the Bloomberg era that require multiple rooms for multiple schools' offices etc.--losing art, music and therapy rooms, creating ridiculous lunchtimes, and scarce phys ed or auditorium time--this will only get worse.  as a teaching artist and sometime para, especially in D75 schools, I see it first hand.
        BB

        On Jul 9, 2014, at 9:30 AM, 'Leonie Haimson' leonie@... [nyceducationnews] wrote:

         

        More on this article – and this new audit, which uses 2011-2012 figures to confirm many of the findings of our report Space Crunch – as well as the DOE’s ongoing refusal to address the issue and give us real numbers.  Juan G’s take on it here, well worth reading with interviews etc: 

        http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/1-3-city-schools-overcrowded-audit-article-1.1859717


        here is my quote:

        The DOE continues to put out misleading data to minimize the ongoing crisis of overcrowding in our schools,” Haimson said. “Chancellor Fariña should use this opportunity to start providing real numbers and focusing on real solutions — including a more aggressive and ambitious capital plan.”

        Full audit here:  http://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/7E13_123A.pdf

         

        Though the audit found that 1/3 of kids were in overcrowded buildings in 2011-2012  – I think they used the historic figures in the Blue Book – we found nearly half of all students were in overcrowded buildings in 2012-2013 using the target figures, which are somewhat more accurate but still underestimate the actual level of overcrowding in schools.  They found the same trendline – worsening overcrowding particularly at the elementary and middle school level.

        Funniest thing about the audit, they asked what Portfolio and Space Planning had done to address issue of overcrowding and of course, they had done nothing; Portfolio’s job was  to cram more co-located schools into already overcrowded buildings.  Too bad the audit didn’t look at the Instructional Footprint.

        From the audit: 

         

        DOE‟s Offices of Space Planning and Portfolio Management lacked any statistical or documentary evidence showing the substantive steps they took to alleviate school overcrowding. This failure constitutes a significant internal control deficiency. The lack of documentation may be partly attributed to the absence of written policies and procedures for either office. Through interviews and discussions with DOE personnel we were able to ascertain that Portfolio Management and Space Planning had some procedures in place and that they had attempted to follow these procedures to alleviate overcrowding. {like what? They do not say]

        However, no documentation or evidence existed with in these two offices to indicate what these steps were or whether they had been taken….

         

        Portfolio Management staff explained that the process for alleviating overcrowding is “organic,” consisting of “borough teams” that monitor schools monthly and annually, conduct monthly meetings, and hold telephone conversations with principals. According to Portfolio Management and Space Planning staff, written documentation, meeting minutes, and telephone logs of this process were  not maintained. Therefore, there is no way to assess whether DOE was in fact, taking steps to alleviate overcrowding and whether those steps were effective.”

        The DOE in response claims that Portolio has been abolished and a new office created called District planning, but Lisa and others have said it has the same personnel and not clear if there is a different mission.

        From a FN in the audit: Portfolio Management, prior to its dissolution, did not have an organizational chart for its approximately 50 person staff

        ,nor did it maintain a list of school buildings where the office attempted to address problems.

         



      • mchgh_lln
        I d get fired for this.....no records? no notes? my director wants to know how I earn my money and I work in a not for profit. So what s this? a not for real?
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 9, 2014
          I'd get fired for this.....no records? no notes? my director wants to know how I earn my money and I work in a not for profit. 
          So what's this? a not for real?
          Jeezz!
          and this all happened under the numbers crazed DOE of Bloomberg and Walcott?
          Shocking, indeed.
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