City public schools have been back in session for almost a month now, but it appears teachers are still waiting for a significant number of their new Common Core-approved textbooks. Many books that were ordered last spring have reportedly yet to be delivered, and students are stuck with old, less rigorous literature for their classes. Which is unfortunate, because that achievement gap isn't going to close itself!
New York City public school students didn't perform so well on last year's new statewide Common Core tests—though city schools outperformed districts in more rural areas in the state, a wide achievement gap earned a "totally unacceptable" grading from Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. But it's hard to get students up to speed when their textbooks aren't, so the school system spearheaded "the largest mass textbook delivery in the history of New York City," Walcott told the Times.
Unfortunately, ordering all those books at the same time seems to have gotten the system a little screwy, and many books have either not arrived, were delivered late or were sent to the wrong schools. By mid-September, a United Federation of Teachers survey found 78 percent of schools that responded did not have all their English textbooks, and 64 percent said they were missing math texts. At some schools, winter units have arrived already, but fall's materials have yet to arrive. "They want to evaluate us on how well the kids do on the test,” union president Michael Mulgrew told the Times. “But they are not giving us the materials to teach the kids to ensure the kids are doing well on the test.”
Last school year's Common Core test results were sobering statewide, with students seeing huge drops in their performances thanks to the Core's more rigorous standards. And though Mayor Bloomberg wasn't as disappointed with the city's standings as Walcott—he noted that the city outperforming the state was "very good news"—students are still going to need their multiplication workbooks if they're going to best 2013's numbers.