What’s missing? (Week 3)

I really appreciated the facility with which we are able to find and navigate information on SeeThroughNY and the CUNY budgets. Financial transparency is a commitment to accountability to the public that is meant to be benefitting from these programs. I couldn’t help but notice the missing data, particularly on SeeThroughNY. I wonder why, for example, all charter school data is not readily available, despite the fact that charter schools are publicly funded in similar ways as public schools? It seems like charter schools in upstate New York were included, but not the major charter management organizations most present in NYC (KIPP, Uncommon, Success, Achievement First, Ascend). How do these organizations circumvent inclusion on a site like SeeThroughNY, and more importantly why? What kind of an impact does obscuring this kind of data have on the relationship between institutions and community? And finally, what do these organizations owe their communities in terms of transparency?

3 thoughts on “What’s missing? (Week 3)

  1. Brieanna Scolaro (They)

    Diana, something I also noticed but didn’t get a chance to follow up on was actually how some folx seemed to owe? to the institution…and that this was also shown here. I was not sure what this represented (seeing some numbers in the minuses).

  2. Jen Hoyer (she/her)

    Diana, your post made me think more about the data that escapes public scrutiny because it falls into loopholes that keep it outside of public reporting. There was an article in The City this morning based on data about school reading programs (https://www.thecity.nyc/2023/2/14/23598696/nyc-teachers-college-lucy-calkins-balanced-literacy-david-banks), and I think our instinct is to applaud the work of journalists (and others) who make this kind of data public, but your post reminded me that this data should be public in the first place. So then I suppose my question is: what is the work that needs to be done to require more data transparency?

  3. Katina Rogers (she/her)

    Ooh, Diana, such an interesting point about charter schools. And in conjunction with Jen’s point about data that is unavailable even though it should be public, it makes me think about the labor that gets churned through in trying to make things visible—and that sometimes adding those hurdles is exactly the point. Circling back to Sean’s point about CUNYFirst as well, I often feel like sometimes financial processes at CUNY are difficult precisely so that people will throw in the towel, which then means that some unspent funds will be reabsorbed by the institution. That charter school data must be available somewhere—but why is it hard to find? Whose interest does that serve?

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