New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced the Department of Education’s new grading policy amid the challenges of pandemic-driven school closures that he said would strike a balance between standards and flexibility.
The mayor said upholding academic standards has been a challenge as New York City’s 1.1 million public school children were forced to make an abrupt transition to distance learning as they face “a moment of crisis and trauma for families.”
“We have to help students that are struggling to catch up,” de Blasio said, adding that students would get assistance based on their needs.
“A lot of kids are going to need help catching up after this crisis ends. Some will just need a little help, some will need a lot. We’ll be matching each student with support programs this summer and into the fall to get back on track,” he said.
“Students will be evaluated based on school projects, assignments, and writing,” de Blasio said, adding, “Any student struggling will get the help they need to catch up.”
“Three hundred and thirty-five people passed away yesterday from this virus in this state—that’s 335 families,” he said. “You see this number is basically reducing. But not at a tremendous rate. And the only thing tremendous is the number of New Yorkers who still pass away.”
Cuomo said that while reopening is the aim, the state must do so “without infecting more people or overwhelming the hospital system.”
“Everyone is talking about reopening—I get it. You can’t sustain being closed, the economy can’t sustain it, individual families can’t sustain it. We can’t sustain it on a personal level,” he said. “[But] it shouldn’t be a philosophical discussion, shouldn’t be because people are protesting. It is a factual discussion on reopening.”