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table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Executive Summary 2

Introduction

Analysis 6 Map One: Bandwidth Speeds of Schools in New York City - Slow Speeds Accentuated 8 Map Two: Bandwidth Speeds of Schools in New York City - Fast Speeds Accentuated 9 Map Three: Low School Internet Speeds by Household Median Income 10 Map Four: Low School Internet Speeds by Households Earning under $15,000 11 Map Five: Library Internet Speeds in Manhattan 12 Conclusion 13 Recommendations 13 Appendix 1 – July 17, 2013 letter from the Department of Education detailing updated maximum internet speeds 17 Appendix 2 – June 26, 2013 letter to the Department of Education requesting an update on maximum internet speeds 18 Appendix 3 – April 1, 2011 letter from the Department of Education

20

4

1

detailing maximum internet speeds

Appendix 4 – March 18, 2011 letter to the Department of Education requesting maximum internet speeds 29

Acknowledgements

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer thanks Stephen Corson, Adam Eckstein, Andrew L. Kalloch, Josh Aron and Sabina Brukner, the lead researchers and writers of this report.

Borough President Stringer also recognizes the important contributions made to this report by Deputy Borough President Rosemonde Pierre-Louis; Erin McGill, Senior Policy Analyst; Alaina Gilligo, Chief of Staff; Shanifah Rieara, Director of Northern Manhattan Office; Sally Frank, Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison; Josh Getlin, Director of Communications; Megan Dougherty, Press Secretary; Nicole Turso, Speechwriter; Shannon Heath, New Media Associate; Jessica Silver, Director of Community Affairs and Constituent Services; Susannah Vickers, Director of Budget and Grants; Jimmy Yan, General Counsel; and Caesar-Robert Alfano, Graphic Designer.

Special thanks go to Seungmi Oh, Yeon Ryu and Eunchae Lee, interns who spent countless hours collecting and honing data from every school in New York City and every library in Manhattan.

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

1

Executive Summary

The availability of high speed Internet connections in schools and libraries has had a transformative effect on the ability of New Yorkers to access knowledge, communicate with others and prepare for the careers of the future. As President Obama noted in a speech he delivered just two months ago, “In an age when the world’s information is a just click away, it demands that we bring our schools and libraries into the 21st century. We can't be stuck in the 19th century when we're living in a 21st century economy.” 1

However, in New York City’s “anchor institutions” such as public schools and libraries, the Internet resources available are not keeping pace with the goals set out in the President’s National Broadband Plan. The Plan calls for every American community to have affordable access to at least 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) broadband service in anchor institutions such as schools and libraries by the year 2020. 2 While New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) continues to dedicate millions of dollars through its ConnectNYC initia- tive to build 1 Gbps connections for small businesses, the City has not done nearly enough to reach this goal in our schools and libraries. 3

This report, by Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, based on new data from the Department of Education detailing the maximum internet speeds at 1,236 educational facilities, shows that over 75 percent of school facilities have maximum download speeds of 10 Mbps or less - 100 times slower than the target speeds in the National Broadband Plan. Additional data collected at 33 public libraries in Manhattan illus- trates a wide range of Internet speeds, from an unacceptably slow download speed of 0.66 Mbps at one library in West Harlem to a relatively fast download speed of 94.02 Mbps at another library in Central Harlem, just one community district to the East.

While the City has made progress improving Internet speeds at public facilities in recent years, dedicating some $738 million in capital funds to equip hundreds of school buildings with essential broadband infrastruc- ture, these gains are mere baby steps towards the goal of a 1 Gbps connection in every school and library.

Maps contained in this report make it apparent that although neighborhoods with low median incomes host a large number of school facilities with especially slow Internet speeds, the problem is not limited to these areas alone. Indeed, the high speed Internet gap in the New York City public school system is pervasive and the likelihood of finding a fast or slow Internet speed in a Manhattan library is seemingly random. Internet speeds at public libraries in Manhattan paint a picture that is just as arbitrary.

No neighborhood is immune from terrible Internet connectivity. From Tribeca to Tompkinsville, the Upper East Side to East Flatbush, the South Bronx to Sheepshead Bay, schools across the city are affected by poor broadband, and as such it will take a unified, citywide solution to solve.

1 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/06/remarks-president-mooresville-middle-school-mooresville-nc.

2 http://www.broadband.gov/plan/2-goals-for-a-high-performance-america/.

3 http://nycfiberaccess.challengepost.com/.

2 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

This report breaks down the state of connectivity in New York City anchor institutions and proposes a series of recommendations designed to put the city on a path to fulfilling the goals laid out in the National Broadband Plan, including:

Reforming the Federal Communication Commission’s E-rate Funding Guidelines to Provide Greater Resources and Flexibility to Schools and Libraries

Exploring Micro-Trenching and the Establishment of a Municipal Fiber Network as an Option for Bringing Faster Service to Schools

Expanding Public Access to Library Computers

Using the Fund for Public Schools to Achieve National Broadband Plan Goals

Wiring our public facilities so that New Yorkers are prepared to succeed in a 21st Century economy will require leadership from Congress and from the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that the nation’s larg- est school system receives adequate funding to upgrade its buildings and classrooms. Most importantly, the leadership of the next Mayor will be crucial. The stakes for New York City could not be higher.

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

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INTRODUCTION

In 1996, President Bill Clinton called for the na- tion’s schools and libraries to be “hooked up to the Information Superhighway by the year 2000.” 4 Since then, public education has been revolutionized by computers and the Internet. In 1995, eight per- cent of schools had Internet access and there were 5.6 million computers in use. By 2008, 98 percent of American schools were online and the number of computers had nearly tripled to 15.4 million with one Internet-enabled computer for every three stu- dents. 5

Despite successes in connecting schools to the Inter- net, many cities and towns across America still con- tinue to lack fast, affordable connections in homes, businesses, libraries, and schools.

As a result, President Obama made high speed In- ternet a national priority by releasing the National Broadband Plan, which calls for “affordable access to at least 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) broadband ser- vice to anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals, and government buildings” by 2020. 6

Calling to mind past efforts to build transformative national infrastructure, President Obama remarked:

Just as past generations of Americans met the great infrastructure challenges of the day, such as build- ing the Transcontinental Railroad and the interstate highways, so too must we harness the potential of the Internet. Expanding broadband across the na- tion will build a foundation of sustained economic growth and the widely shared prosperity we all seek. 7

The President is not alone in calling for significant improvements to Internet infrastructure. A report last year from the State Educational Technology Di- rectors Association concluded that the minimum Internet access speed at American schools should be 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for every 1,000 stu-

4 http://www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/ntiahome/101096clinton.htm.

5 http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d11/tables/dt11_109.asp.

6 http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43016.pdf.

7 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/statement-president-nation-

al-broadband-plan.

dents and staff members. Additionally, the Association recommended that all schools should reach 1 Gbps for every students and staff member by 2017 in order to take full advantage of novel pedagogical tools. 8

While New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) continues to dedicate millions of dollars through its ConnectNYC initiative to build 1 Gbps connections to small businesses, the city has not done nearly enough to reach this goal in our schools and libraries. 9

This report provides new data that details the state of Internet connectivity in key anchor institutions in Manhattan and citywide. Two discreet data sets are presented.

The first data set, provided to the Manhattan Bor- ough President’s Office by the New York City De- partment of Education (DOE), details maximum In- ternet speeds in 1,236 of New York City’s educational facilities. A record of the DOE's correspondence de- tailing maximum internet speeds in New York City public schools is included in appendices 1 - 4.

The second data set includes the results of Internet speed tests that were conducted in Manhattan librar- ies during the month of June. Thirty-three Manhat- tan public libraries were tested for Download speed (the speed at which a user can access information from the web); Upload speed (the speed at which a user can place something from his/her computer onto the web); and Ping (the amount of time it takes for a user’s computer to send a message to the Inter- net Protocol (IP) host and receive a message in re- turn). These tests represent a series of snap shots that provide indications of a library’s Internet speed. 10

The data presented in this report shows that New York City anchor institutions continue to fall well short of the National Broadband Plan goals.

8 http://www.setda.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=353&name=

DLFE-1517.pdf.

9 http://nycfiberaccess.challengepost.com/.

10 The measurements made by MBPO researchers can be impacted by a large number of variables, including time of day, the age and quality of the computer used, and the number of other library users when the measure- ment was made. Therefore, fluctuation in Internet speeds is to be expected.

4 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Table 1 shows the maximum Internet speed at the city school facilities, and compares data received in July 2013 to data provided by the DOE in response to a similar request made by Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer in April 2011.

Table 1 – Maximum reported Internet speeds in New York City educational facilities as reported by the NYC Depart- ment of Education

Speed

4/2011

7/2013

Difference

1.5 Mbps

498

218

-280

5 Mbps

34

3

-31

10

Mbps

593

701

+108

15

Mbps

N/A

2

+2

20

Mbps

19

62

+43

30

Mbps

5

8

+3

40

Mbps

86

240

+154

50

Mbps

4

12

+8

While it is clear that the DOE has made some prog- ress in bringing faster Internet access to many schools in the past two years, the fact remains that over 75 percent of school facilities have maximum down- load speeds of 10 Mbps or less. 11 Given that many students are simultaneously accessing the connection at any given time, the effective speeds at these schools are likely even slower than what has been reported.

The low speeds in schools – 100 times slower than the broadband speeds President Obama has called for in all of the nation’s schools by 2020 – effectively prevent New York City from fully integrating groundbreaking Internet-enabled learning into the educational experi- ence of our young people. This must change.

Table 2 details recorded Internet speeds at Manhattan public libraries. Internet speeds were measured using the New York State Broadband Speed Test (available at: http://nyspeedtest.org/speed_test2.php).

11 It is important to note that the speeds reported by the DOE are the maximum possible with a given connection. In reality, the speeds are often far lower, depending on time of day, how many students are simultaneously accessing the network, and other factors. For a test of your actual Internet speed, take the New York State Broadband Speed Test at http://www. nyspeedtest.org/speed_test.php.

Table 2 – Internet speed results in Manhattan public libraries

Library

Download

Upload

Ping

Speed

Speed

(ms)

(Mbps)

(Mbps)

115th Street

12.35

18.15

3010

Library

125th St. Library

2.13

1.36

6

58th St. Library

8.88

9.33

14

67th Street

0.74

7.78

6

Library

Aguilar Library

2.53

4.45

12

Battery Park

19.27

6.32

3004

City

Bloomingdale

6.12

9.29

7

Library

Chatham

17.28

10.51

10.5

Square

Chatham

2.34

11.45

7

Square Library

Countee Cullen

94.02

87.71

3

Library

Ephiphany

13.19

8.8

16

Library

Fort Washing-

6.11

8.21

14

ton

Grand Central

4.08

76.18

5

Library

Hamilton Fish

8.3

5.7

5

Library

Hamilton

0.66

13.61

3004

Grange

Harlem Library

14.84

10.77

2999

Hudson Park

1.37

5.2

10

Library

Inwood

12.28

14.97

7

Jefferson Mar-

3.44

4.9

2999

ket Library

Kips Bay Li- brary

1.85

4.88

15

Macomb's

13.92

1.39

8

Bridge Library

Mid-Manhattan

40.31

77.93

3

Library

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

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Table 2 – Internet speed results in Manhattan public libraries

Library

Download

Upload

Ping

Speed

Speed

(ms)

(Mbps)

(Mbps)

Morningside

15.58

5.41

3001

Heights Library

Muhlenberg

6.95

3.48

2999

Library

Mulberry Street

1.16

15.55

13

Library

New Amster-

7.27

10.19

3001

dam

NY Public Library – Main Branch

15.09

72.89

2998

Ottendorfer

0.78

3.15

2999

Riverside Li-

5.69

86.64

3

brary

Roosevelt Island

5.03

0.61

11

Library

Seward Park

1.46

10.87

6

St. Agnes Li- brary

3.68

3.82

4

Terrance Car-

3.93

8.59

5

dinal Cooke

Library

Tompkins

9.08

5.35

5

Square

Webster

2.33

5.98

5

Yorkville

7.47

5.75

3000

The download speeds recorded at nearly 40 percent of the tested libraries did not record speeds in excess of 4 Mbps – the minimum broadband speed threshold iden- tified by the FCC for watching video lectures and other forms of online learning. 12

Ten libraries registered download speeds between 4 – 10 Mbps. Ten additional libraries registered download speeds in excess of 10 Mbps. Of that latter cohort, two libraries stood out for exceptionally fast Internet speeds. The Mid-Manhattan library branch and the Coun- tee Cullen library in Central Harlem posted download speeds of 40.31 Mbps and 94.02 Mbps, respectively.

12 http://www.fcc.gov/guides/broadband-speed-guide.

ANALYSIS

Broadband is the Enabling Technology of Modern Learning Environments

Professor Susan Crawford of the Benjamin N. Car- dozo School of Law recently wrote, “Truly high speed wired Internet access is as basic to innova- tion, economic growth, social communication, and the country’s competitiveness as electricity was a cen- tury ago.” 13

Nowhere is this truer than in our schools, where over 1.1 million New York City youth—many of whom lack broadband connections at home—seek access to the information superhighway.

It is no longer sufficient that schools merely con- nect students to the Internet. Today, the question is whether the speed and quality of the connection is adequate to serve the needs of 21st century stu- dents. As Luis A. Ubiñas, former President of the Ford Foundation, recently wrote:

Virtually all of America’s schools are connect- ed to the Internet today. But that success is a lot like trumpeting, a century ago, that virtu- ally every town in the country was reachable by road. Then, as now, the question is quality. Children who go to school in poor neighbor- hoods are connected to the Web at speeds so slow as to render most educational Web sites unusable. The exploding world of free online courses from great academies is closed to those who lack a digital pathway. 14

The digital divide threatens to create what Ubiñas calls an “information underclass” of young people who cannot compete with their wired peers as jobs flow to those with the best-honed technology skills. 15

Despite the promise of Internet-enhanced education,

13 http://business.time.com/2013/01/09/is-broadband-internet-access-

a-public-utility/; excerpt from Susan Crawford, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Gilded Age (New Haven: Yale

University Press, 2013).

14 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/17/opinion/our-schools-cut-off-from-

the-web.html.

15 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/17/opinion/our-schools-cut-off-from-

the-web.html.

6 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

a recent issue of the Chronicle for Higher Education highlighted the continued obstacles posed by low- quality Internet in America’s schools. 16 Casting the issue as a “Bandwidth Divide,” the Chronicle noted how the use of E-textbooks, even in a mostly affluent area like in Fairfax County, Virginia, can be under- mined by shoddy connectivity. In Fairfax County, students were unable to access some of the most in- novative and interactive features of e-textbooks due to poor connectivity in their schools and homes.

Libraries as Onramps to the Information Super- highway

For many working-class New Yorkers, the local library isn’t just a place to check out a few books. Rather, it’s their portal to the Internet itself and all that it offers. Libraries have become the main community resource for people seeking an array of technological services that are necessary in order to compete, succeed and survive in the digital age. Over the past decade, public libraries have met this challenge by providing free Internet and computer services. From e-books to programs that teach basic computer skills such as how to search for jobs through the web, libraries are more diverse than ever and are molding themselves to best fit the needs of their communities.

It is essential that New Yorkers have maximum ac- cess to public computers that provide free high speed Internet access. A 2010 report from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences detailed the critical role libraries play in linking Americans living below the poverty line to the Internet. Overall, 44 percent of people in households living below the federal pov- erty line ($22,000 a year for a family of four) used computers and the Internet at public libraries.

In New York City, libraries are utilized more than ever. In 2012, the New York Public Library, which consists of library branches in Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx, had a total of 18 million li- brary visits, a 12 percent increase in attendance from 2008. 17 Citywide, some 40.5 million visitors utilized the city’s 212 branches in 2011. 18

16 http://chronicle.com/article/The-Bandwidth-Divide/137633/.

17 http://www.nypl.org/sites/default/files/nypl_bythenumbers_fy12_1.pdf.

18 http://nypress.com/your-favorite-library-could-get-10000/.

As the Center for an Urban Future found in a recent

report on the state of the city’s libraries, the demand for computers/Internet access at public libraries—particu- larly in working class neighborhoods and communities of color—has been nothing short of insatiable. In the last five years alone, the number of computer sessions logged at public computers in the city’s libraries has grown by

62 percent, rising from 5.8 million sessions in 2007 to

over 9.3 million in 2011. At NYPL alone, attendance at technology programs nearly doubled from 2003 to 2012, going from 30,000 to 58,541. 19 Indeed, as the NYPL’s published reports indicate, public computer us- age in libraries has risen 160 percent since 2008. 20

This explosive growth in the use of public Internet has not been confined to New York City. A recent study by the American Library Association found that 70 percent of libraries across the nation have reported an increase in the use of public computers. 21 In addition, a study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that 32 million students accessed the Internet for educa- tional purposes, 30 million adults used the Internet at public libraries to search for employment, and countless Americans rely on Internet access at libraries to apply for government programs such as Social Security, research health care issues, keep current with world events, or stay in contact with friends and family. 22

However, as public library usage metrics have surged in tandem with their increasingly important role in provid- ing Internet access to New Yorkers of modest means, their funding has decreased substantially. Since 2008, the New York Public Library’s annual budget has been cut by $28.2 million, with the Brooklyn and Queens

public library systems losing $18.1 million and $17.5 million, respectively. 23 These budget cuts have resulted in a reduction in library hours, with the average NYC library open 43 hours a week today, down from a high of

47 hours a week. 24 Weekend hours have also been scaled

back with only 30 percent of libraries open on Saturday

and a mere eight libraries open on Sunday. 25

19 http://nycfuture.org/pdf/Branches_of_Opportunity.pdf.

20 http://www.nypl.org/sites/default/files/nypl_bythenumbers_fy12_2.pdf.

21 http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/americaslibraries/soal2012/

public-libraries.

22 http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/assetmanager/opportunityforall.pdf.

23 http://nycfuture.org/pdf/Branches_of_Opportunity.pdf.

24 http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/as-use-of-libraries-

grows-government-support-has-eroded/.

25 http://www.nypl.org/press/press-release/2013/03/08/nypl-president-

testifies-proposed-city-budget-cuts.

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

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Map One: Bandwidth speeds of schools in New York City - Slow Speeds Accentuated

The enlarged red dots detail the geographic distri- bution of school facilities with the slowest Internet speeds. The map displays a distribution of low speeds throughout the five boroughs with visible concen- trations in the southern Bronx and north-eastern Brooklyn. This parallels the distribution of medium

School Bandwidth Speeds

5 Mbps or Below 10 Mbps - 20 Mbps 30 Mbps or Above

0

1.5

3

6 Miles

and faster maximum Interent speeds spread through- out most of Queens and Staten Island. A vast major- ity of the red dots represent 218 facilities that have a maximum Internet speed of 1.5 Mbps, with only three facilities attaining the maximum Internet speed of 5 mbps.

N

Source: New York City Department of Education, New York City Department of City Planning

8 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Map two: Bandwidth speeds of schools in New York City - Fast Speeds Accentuated

This figure provides a contrast to the previous map. The enlarged green dots detail the geographic distri- bution of 240 schools with the maximum Internet speed of 40 mbps, and 12 facilities with the maxi- mum Internet speed of 50 Mbps. This map displays

School Bandwidth Speeds

speed of 50 Mbps. This map displays School Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 10 Mbps

5 Mbps or Below 10 Mbps - 20 Mbps 30 Mbps or Above

0

1.5

3

6 Miles

a slightly more even distribution of higher speeds throughout the City. However there are clear con- centrations of higher Interent speeds in Manhattan, the Bronx and north-east Brooklyn.

N

Source: New York City Department of Education, New York City Department of City Planning

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

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Map three: Low School Internet Speeds by Household Median Income

three: Low School Internet Speeds by Household Median Income In order to illustrate the large number

In order to illustrate the large number of school facil- ities with especially slow Interent speeds, this figure shows the Median Household Income by Communi- ty District throughtout New York City. The red dots represent all facilities with maximum Internet speeds at or below 5 Mbps with the pigment of green show- ing the wealth of each nieghborhood. Lighter colors

represent low-income neighborhoods and brighter colors represent high-income neighborhoods. This map clearly shows a pattern of School facilities with slower Internet speeds throughout the south Bronx and north-east Brooklyn, which are predominently low-income neighborhoods.

Household Median Income by Community District, 2011

Under $32,000Household Median Income by Community District, 2011 $32,001 - $47,000 $47,001 - $65,000 $65,001 - $92,000

$32,001 - $47,000Median Income by Community District, 2011 Under $32,000 $47,001 - $65,000 $65,001 - $92,000 Over $92,001

$47,001 - $65,000by Community District, 2011 Under $32,000 $32,001 - $47,000 $65,001 - $92,000 Over $92,001 No data

$65,001 - $92,0002011 Under $32,000 $32,001 - $47,000 $47,001 - $65,000 Over $92,001 No data Bandwidth Speeds 5

Over $92,001$32,001 - $47,000 $47,001 - $65,000 $65,001 - $92,000 No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or

No data- $47,000 $47,001 - $65,000 $65,001 - $92,000 Over $92,001 Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below

Bandwidth Speeds

5 Mbps or Below$65,001 - $92,000 Over $92,001 No data Bandwidth Speeds N 0 1.5 3 6Miles Source: New

Over $92,001 No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below N 0 1.5 3 6Miles Source:

N

Over $92,001 No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below N 0 1.5 3 6Miles Source:
0 1.5 3 6Miles
0
1.5
3
6Miles

Source: New York City Department of Education, U.S.Census Bureau

10 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Map four: Low School Internet Speeds by Households Earning under $15,000

Using a different metric to identify low-income nieghborhoods, this map shows schools with slow Internet speeds against a backdrop of New York City’s 59 Community Districts. Each Community District’s color represents the percent of households within that neighborhood that earn under $15,000. In this map, brighter pigments represent a higher percentage of households earning under $15,000

with lighter hues representing lower percentages of households earning below this benchmark. Once again there is a clear pattern of slower schools in ar- eas with more households that are living below the poverty line. Specific concentrations can be seen in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the south Bronx, and north-east Brooklyn.

Side of Manhattan, the south Bronx, and north-east Brooklyn. N Percent of Households that Earn Under

N

of Manhattan, the south Bronx, and north-east Brooklyn. N Percent of Households that Earn Under $15,000,

Percent of Households that Earn Under $15,000, by Community District, 2011

Under 7%that Earn Under $15,000, by Community District, 2011 7% - 14% 14% - 18% 18% -

7% - 14%Earn Under $15,000, by Community District, 2011 Under 7% 14% - 18% 18% - 24% Over

14% - 18%Under $15,000, by Community District, 2011 Under 7% 7% - 14% 18% - 24% Over 24%

18% - 24%by Community District, 2011 Under 7% 7% - 14% 14% - 18% Over 24% No data

Over 24%District, 2011 Under 7% 7% - 14% 14% - 18% 18% - 24% No data Bandwidth

No data2011 Under 7% 7% - 14% 14% - 18% 18% - 24% Over 24% Bandwidth Speeds

Bandwidth Speeds

5 Mbps or Below- 14% 14% - 18% 18% - 24% Over 24% No data Bandwidth Speeds 0 1.5

0 1.5 3 6 Miles
0 1.5
3
6 Miles
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York
No data Bandwidth Speeds 5 Mbps or Below 0 1.5 3 6 Miles Source: New York

Source: New York City Department of Education, U.S. Census Bureau

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

11

Map five: Library Internet Speeds in Manhattan

Library Internet speeds are divided roughly into thirds on this map – 11 libraries with faster down- load speeds are plotted in green, 14 slower speeds in red, and 11 speeds that fall into the middle are designated as yellow. These numbers represent the re- sults of the Internet speed snapshots recorded by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. It should be

noted the difference in the range of speeds between Libraries and Schools, with six of the red dots fall- ing even below the 1.5 Mbps benchmark found in Schools. There are no clear patterns shown through this map – with either abismal or accepatable Inter- net speeds throughout the Borough.

Library Bandwidth Speeds

Under 4 Mbpsnet speeds throughout the Borough. Library Bandwidth Speeds 4 - 10 Mbps Above 10 Mbps N

4 - 10 Mbpsthe Borough. Library Bandwidth Speeds Under 4 Mbps Above 10 Mbps N 0 0.4 0.8 1.6

Above 10 MbpsBorough. Library Bandwidth Speeds Under 4 Mbps 4 - 10 Mbps N 0 0.4 0.8 1.6

N

Bandwidth Speeds Under 4 Mbps 4 - 10 Mbps Above 10 Mbps N 0 0.4 0.8
0 0.4 0.8 1.6 Miles Source: New York City Department of Planning, U.S. Census Bureau
0 0.4
0.8
1.6 Miles
Source: New York City Department of Planning, U.S. Census Bureau

12 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Recommendations

New York City is the nation’s largest media market, a center of global commerce and communication, and home to one of the fastest-growing tech economies in the country. For the city to maintain its leadership in these fields and expand its presence in the industries of tomorrow, we need an Internet backbone that pro- vides fast, reliable, affordable connections in the city’s anchor institutions.

However, improving our Internet access is not just about economic development. It is about ensuring that working-class New Yorkers in all five boroughs have access to online courses and job postings. It is about connecting immigrant communities with fam- ily and friends who are abroad. And it is about ev- ery New Yorker being able to forge new connections, personally and professionally, that will enrich their lives and the communities in which they live.

By bringing 21st Century connectivity to every an- chor institution in New York City, we will ensure that our citizens can benefit from the extraordinary opportunities that robust broadband speeds pro- vide. With an estimated 75 percent of New York City Housing Authority residents lacking broadband connections at home, the importance of equipping community anchor institutions with high speed In- ternet connections as soon as possible is can not be understated. 26

The recommendations outlined in this section pro- vide a starting point for achieving this goal.

1) Pledge to Meet the Goals Outlined in the Na- tional Broadband Plan.

The New York City Department of Education has already made laudable progress in increasing broad- band speeds in public schools since 2011. However, the city’s $738 million capital investment from Fiscal Year 2010 through Fiscal Year 2014 to equip 300- 400 buildings each year with new cabling, classroom hardware and wireless software is a mere baby step in the right direction.

26 http://www.nypl.org/press/press-release/2013/03/08/nypl-president- testifies-proposed-city-budget-cuts.

The next Mayor should publicly pledge that all New York City public schools and libraries will meet the goal of equipping each school with a bandwidth of no less than 1 Gbps by 2020, as outlined by Presi- dent Obama in the National Broadband Plan.

In order to achieve this critical goal, the Mayor will need to work closely with Congress to ensure that New York City receives a maximum amount of fed- eral support necessary to achieve this endeavor. Ad- ditionally, the Mayor should pledge to make sub- stantial capital commitments to bridge any gaps in federal funding so the city can reach the National Broadband Plan’s goals on, or ahead of, schedule.

2) Reform the E-rate Program’s Priority Two Funding Guidelines for New York City Public Schools and Libraries.

E-rate is a program administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that subsidiz- es discounts on broadband equipment and services in public schools and libraries. American telephone ratepayers, public pay phone operators, and others contribute approximately $2.25 billion to the E-rate program each year. 27 E-rate subsidy amounts vary; however, low-income urban schools receive generous subsidies relative to other U.S. schools. In 2010, the New York City Department of Education noted that at that time almost 60 percent of NYC schools were eligible for a 90 percent E-rate discount. 28

United States Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who sponsored the legislation that created the E-rate pro- gram, has called it “the singularly most effective and powerful of all of the [FCC’s] universal service programs at supporting the expansion of broadband service.” 29

Nonetheless, despite the accolades that E-rate has re- ceived, the program is in need of meaningful reform.

In particular, internal wiring and connections that bring the Internet to the classroom – labeled in E-rate as “Priority Two funding” – often do not receive suffi-

27 http://www.aei.org/files/2013/07/22/-connecting-the-american-class-

room-transcript_092647280283.pdf.

28 http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6015665294.

29 http://mcclure.ii.fsu.edu/publications/2010/GIQ%20Broadband%20

and%20Pub%20Libs%20Mandel%20et%20al%202010.pdf.

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

13

cient subsidies to make these critical network improve- ments viable. The result, as a May 2012 investigative report published by ProPublica points out, is that “many poor-but-not-destitute schools don’t get the subsidies to carry broadband that last crucial stretch from outside the schoolhouse to inside classrooms.” 30

The vast majority of New York City schools were constructed prior to the Internet era and are there- fore not wired for broadband. As a result, the avail- ability of internal connection funding from the FCC remains a critical variable that will play a major role in determining whether the city can meet the goals of the National Broadband Plan by 2020.

In response to this concern, the FCC released a no- tice of proposed rulemaking on July 19, 2013 that aims to modernize the E-rate program. The FCC’s proposed reforms include measures that will increase broadband capacity, maximize the cost-effectiveness of E-rate purchases, streamline program administra- tion and protect the program from waste, fraud, and abuse. 31

The FCC’s notice directly acknowledged past criti- cisms of Priority Two funding, observing:

“The E-rate program has traditionally been

able to fund all priority one requests, but the total demand including priority two requests has exceeded the E-rate program’s almost every year since the program’s inception. In the ear-

ly years, the E-rate program was able to fund

a substantial percentage of the priority two

requests that it received, but more recently, the vast majority of requests for priority two services have gone unfunded…since funding year 2000, with one exception, priority two funding has been available only for recipients where at least 50 percent of the students are el- igible for free or reduced price school lunch”. 32

Given the problems that New York schools have encountered with capturing adequate funding for

30 http://www.propublica.org/article/att-feds-ignore-low-price-mandate-

designed-to-help-schools.

31 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db0719/

DOC-322288A1.pdf.

32 http://www.e-ratecentral.com/FCC/FCC-13-100A1.pdf.

internal connections, it is imperative that the FCC modify the “Priority Two” component of the E-rate program so that New York City public schools can af- ford to bring high speed broadband into every class- room.

In addition to refocusing the funding mechanics of the E-rate program to fund high speed internet con- nections within the confines of anchor institutions, the FCC should also strive to provide more robust funding streams to urban libraries, particularly those in low income environments. As New York Public Library President Tony Marx noted in City Council testimony delivered earlier this year, 53 percent of the New Yorkers that enroll in the public library’s tech- nology training courses reported household incomes under $25,000 and 83 percent reported household incomes under $50,000. 33 These figures illustrate a clear demand for technology services in the public library system among underprivileged New Yorkers.

It is imperative that the FCC use the current E-rate rulemaking period to channel funds to libraries in urban communities in New York with high levels of demand for fast and reliable broadband.

3) Explore Micro-Trenching and the Establish- ment of a Municipal Fiber Network as an Op- tion for Bringing Faster Service to Schools.

One method for improving Internet speeds and overall connectivity in public schools is through the expansion of micro-trenching. Micro-trenching, which is already being piloted on a limited basis in New York City, involves digging small “trenches” within city side walks and then laying new fiber op- tic cable for high speed Internet services within these “micro-trenches”. 34 The 12 site micro-trenching pi- lot program in New York City, which is being led by Verizon, has been called the largest urban use of micro-trenching in the United States and may reduce the cost of fiber optic installation by two-thirds. 35

If this pilot program proves successful, the DOE

33 http://www.nypl.org/press/press-release/2013/03/08/nypl-president-

testifies-proposed-city-budget-cuts.

34 http://www.nyc.gov/html/doitt/html/business/micro_trenching.shtml.

35 http://www.tellusventure.com/blog/faster-cheaper-fiber-microtrenching-

gains-acceptance/.

14 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

should work together with local ISP’s and the fed- eral government to explore future partnerships that would facilitate cheaper, micro-trenched connections broadband connections. The city should also explore micro-trenching as a method for establishing a mu- nicipal fiber network in the five boroughs.

Manhattan Borough President Stringer first advocat- ed for the establishment of a municipal fiber network in New York City in his December 2012 report, “Start Up City”, noting that “the city, along with the MTA, Con Ed and other public utilities, should care- fully study the success of networks across the country to determine whether such a network could be built in New York. It may be the case that a municipal fiber plant in New York can only be cost-effective in dense parts of the city with many potential customers.” 36

Given the current state of broadband connectivity in New York City public schools and the current lack of competition within the private market, if the city wishes to meet its National Broadband Plan goals by 2020, micro-trenching and the establishment of a municipal fiber network in areas where it is feasible are two methods that the city should explore.

4) Expand Public Access to Library Computers.

Computer and Internet access within the public library system has reached all time highs in recent years. According to the New York Public Library’s 2012 Annual Report, users logged a cumulative 3.6 million hours of computer time in fiscal year 2012. 37 In order to meet the growing demand for computer usage appropriate policies must be in place to allow sufficient access to a maximum number of patrons.

Current computer access policy allows patrons one 45 minute session per day to use a computer terminal or a laptop. 38 Patrons can reserve a computer online but they cannot make more than one reservation per day at any of the NYPL branches. While time con- straints do limit access, they are necessary to prevent patrons from monopolizing a library’s limited com-

36 http://www.mbpo.org/uploads/StartupCity.pdf.

37 http://www.nypl.org/sites/default/files/nypl_annualreport_2012.pdf.

38 http://www.nypl.org/help/computers-internet-and-wireless-access/

reserving-computer.

puter resources. The ideal solution is a usage policy that is flexible enough to allow maximum time per patron and a maximum number of patrons per com- puter.

In Manhattan, the 45 minute per day time limit is programmed into the registration system and is au- tomatically enforced regardless of how crowded or empty a library is. In one instance, a researcher from the Borough President’s Office reserved a library computer that did not work. As accommodations were made to re-locate that researcher to a work- ing computer, the strict 45 minute time allotment continued to run and could not be reset, despite an abundance of open computer terminals at that par- ticular library branch.

There are many variations of time-limited usage pol- icy throughout the country: the most common usage limit is 60 minutes per computer. 39 In approximately 14 percent of low-income areas in the United States, where the library is often the only source of Internet access, two-hour time limits have been implement- ed. 40 Additionally, some U.S. libraries use varying time limits, determined on a real-time basis by the number of users at any given moment. 41

New York City’s public library systems should explore the feasibility of expanding computer time limits in its branches, especially in neighborhoods with large concentrations of residents that do not have home broadband access.

5) Use the Fund for Public Schools to Achieve National Broadband Plan Goals in the City’s Classrooms.

Established by the New York City Board of Educa- tion in 1992, the Fund for Public Schools is a non- profit organization organized to accept donations on behalf of the New York City public school system. Under the exemplary leadership of honorary Chair- person Caroline Kennedy, the Fund has received over

39 http://www.ala.org/research/sites/ala.org.research/files/content/initia-

tives/plftas/previousstudies/0708/LibrariesConnectCommunities.pdf.

40 http://www.ala.org/research/sites/ala.org.research/files/content/initia-

tives/plftas/previousstudies/0708/LibrariesConnectCommunities.pdf.

41 http://www.ala.org/research/sites/ala.org.research/files/content/initia-

tives/plftas/previousstudies/0708/LibrariesConnectCommunities.pdf.

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

15

$350 million in donations from philanthropists and civic-minded New Yorkers since 2002, with some $47 million collected in just the last year alone. 42

Due to changes in leadership at the Fund that will re- sult from the election of a new mayor and the recent appointment of Ms. Kennedy as the U.S. Ambassa- dor to Japan, the Fund will be in a unique position to recalibrate its priorities. Given the well-established relationship between student broadband access and 21st Century academic success, the Fund for Public Schools should make the achievement of a 1 Gbps broadband connection at each school its top priority.

Conclusion

New York City can and must do more. Public-private partnerships have brought Google Fiber to Kansas City, Missouri, Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah while other cities – from Chattanooga to Washington D.C. – have built out municipal fiber networks that offer speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

While New York has dedicated funds for linking small businesses with gigabit Internet connections

42 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873245647045786260310

60937900.html.

through EDC’s ConnectNYC initiative 43 , no similar effort has been made to link community institutions like schools and libraries to this service.

In contrast, other cities have prioritized building fi- ber for public use. For instance, Washington D.C.’s “Community Access Network” (DC-CAN) delivers affordable broadband services to over 250 health, ed- ucational, public safety, and other community insti- tutions in underserved areas of the District—includ- ing public schools and libraries. DC-CAN also leases access to local Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) who plan to bring service to as many as 248,000 house- holds and 30,500 businesses. 44

Indeed, while other nations—from South Korea and Japan to the United Kingdom and Australia—set am- bitious goals for fiber connectivity, the United States remains in the modern equivalent of the Stone Age with limited private sector competition and minimal public investment in the fourth utility of the modern age.

43 http://nycfiberaccess.challengepost.com/.

44 http://dcnet.dc.gov/; Public libraries, community college campuses,

fire, police, and other public safety locations, non-profit public charter and private schools, non-profit health care clinics and organizations that provide health-related services such as homeless shelters and community-based counseling centers, senior centers, and public housing sites qualify for DC- CAN service.

16 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Appendix 1

July 17, 2013 letter from the Department of Education detailing updated maximum internet speeds

of Education detailing updated maximum internet speeds July 17, 2013 Hon. Scott M. Stringer President, Borough

July 17, 2013

Hon. Scott M. Stringer President, Borough of Manhattan 1 Centre Street, Floor 19 New York, NY 10007

Dear Borough President Stringer:

Ben Goodman

Manhattan Borough Director Office of Public Affairs

BGoodman4@schools.nyc.gov

Thank you for your recent letter to Chancellor Walcott regarding maximum broadband speeds at schools located throughout New York City. We appreciate you sharing your concerns with us.

Regarding your request for information on broadband internet speeds, please see the summary below. For your convenience, we have also attached a spreadsheet that provides a school-by- school breakdown.

   

Total School

Circuit Type

 

Bandwidth (Mbps)

 

Buildings

 

1.5

5

10

15

20

30

40

50

 

ATM

 

3

4

2

5

 

1

0

15

Metro E

   

683

 

40

7

239

12

982

Frame Relay

242

             

242

Total

242

3

687

 

45

7

240

12

1239

I hope that this information has been helpful. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at BGoodman4@schools.nyc.gov or (212) 374-5477.

Thank you again for writing to us and for your ongoing advocacy on behalf of New York City’s public school students.

Sincerely,
Sincerely,

Ben Goodman Manhattan Borough Director

Enclosure

Office of Public Affairs 52 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007 Telephone: 212-374-2437 119 Washington Ave.Albany, New York 12210 Telephone: 518-449-2013

Fax: 212-374-5588

Fax: 518-447-5204

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

17

Appendix 2 June 26, 2013 letter to the Department of Education requesting an update on
Appendix 2
June 26, 2013 letter to the Department of Education requesting an update on maximum internet speeds

18 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer 19

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

19

Appendix 3

April 1, 2011 letter from the Department of Education detailing maximum internet speeds

Department of Education detailing maximum internet speeds Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

April 1, 2011

Hon. Scott M. Stringer President, Borough of Manhattan 1 Centre Street, 19 th Floor New York, NY 10007

Dear Borough President Stringer:

Thank you for your letter to the Chancellor concerning the Department of Education’s (DOE’s) Five Year Capital Amendment for 2010-2014, and more specifically, your inquiry into DOE’s decision to increase spending on new technology initiative, like the iZone program.

As you know, the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) will consider the Capital Plan Amendment at the PEP’s April 28 meeting. To review the details the Chancellor shared with you, the most recent capital budget plan for technology amounts to $957 million from FY10-FY14. Of that total, only $41 million will be allocated to iZone-specific software, hardware, and implementation support, while $783 million will go towards equipping all of our buildings (roughly 300-400 buildings each year) with new wireless technology, classroom hardware, cabling, and other infrastructure upgrades that schools need. These upgrades are necessary in order to prepare all of our buildings to administer new tests onlinealigned with the Common Core standardsin the 2014-15 school year.

In addition, we are prohibited from transferring capital funds to the operating budget or using them for day-to-day costs of running the school district. Therefore, expenditures on new school construction or technology upgrades cannot be used to mitigate potential layoffs.

I am pleased to provide details on the specific items you raised. I have also attached a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation for the 2010-2011 iZone Evaluation plan, and the DOE School Bandwidth Report.

20 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov 1. General Technology Spend a. Please

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

1. General Technology Spend

a. Please provide an itemized breakdown of the projects that fall under each category

Enhancement

February 2011 Proposed Amendment

A. Classroom Hardware and Installation

350

B. School Application: Teacher/Student Class Relationships (Identity Management)

250

C. Business and Operations Applications

Combined above

D. Learning Systems/Platforms

91

E. School Building and Classroom Connectivity Cabling; Schools' Bandwidth Upgrade

110

F. School Network Equipment and Common Area Wiring; MDF/IDF Upgrade; Security

6

G. Wireless Technology Upgrade

45

H. Schools Unified Communication Infrastructure

105

TOTAL

956.75

The projected capital funding for the school buildings infrastructure build-out are for all active school buildings ( – category A-E above.) category A-E above.)

The technology infrastructure needs are reviewed by DIIT and the Capital Finance Office each year and based on that, with eventual meeting with the Principal (or designee), the final scope of work for each building is determined.for all active school buildings ( – category A-E above.) About 300 to 400 schools generally

About 300 to 400 schools generally have work in progress in any given year between the various infrastructure categories. Identifying the schools and the infrastructure work needed are done annually and priorities are generally selected based on the percentage of students eligible for the Free and Reduced Lunch in the schools.the final scope of work for each building is determined. Generally, the building-wide scope of work

Generally, the building-wide scope of work encompasses:eligible for the Free and Reduced Lunch in the schools. o Classroom connectivity – new and

o

Classroom connectivity new and retrofit cabling, including electrification

o

School building bandwidth upgrade

o

School main/intermediate distribution frame (MDF/IDF) Hardware

o

Access Point Upgrade/Installations for wireless infrastructure

o

Voice Infrastructure

o

Classroom hardware and installation (New in this Plan Amendment)

2

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

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Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov b. Please provide information about

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

b. Please provide information about what companies and/or contractors will be doing work related to these expenditures, and whether these contracts will be competitively bid

Mini-bid solicitations are conducted against State OGS master contracts and the contract awards are generally for 3 years.and whether these contracts will be competitively bid   Expiration Vendor Services Contract Date

 

Expiration

Vendor

Services

Contract

Date

Verizon

Bandwidth Upgrade/Install

PS63765

9/30/2013

IBM (Authorized Reseller)

Networking Hardware

PT64525

03/17/14

IBM

Network Integration Services

CMS653A

09/30/12

Mitel Networks Inc

PBX installation

PT54087

09/30/13

Nu-Vision Technologies

PBX Maintenance

CMS0825

09/30/13

Siemens Enterprise Communications, Inc

PBX Maintenance

CMS0690

09/30/13

Teltronics Inc.

PBX Maintenance

CMS1021

09/30/13

Various - HP, Lexmark, Lenovo, Apple, etc.

Computer Hardware 1

NYS OGS Group 75350, 75525

 

2. iZone expenditures (as a percentage of overall tech spend)

a. Please detail how much of the $45 million in “Learning Systems/Platforms” is related to iZone, and what makes up the balance;

This budget is for a DOE Learning Management Systems or Platforms. This is a system or platform that can provide functions such as administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs, training content, and distributing courses over the Internet with features for online collaboration and content authoring by educations and/or students. iZone is initiating this development and the current budget is about $25 million to support online learning for AP, credit recovery, elective courses and blended learning in classrooms. The balance of the planned budget will be use for expansion of the functionalities systems to accommodate the different users.is related to iZone, and what makes up the balance; 1 Based on DOE established standards

1 Based on DOE established standards

3

22 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov b. Please detail how much of

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

b. Please detail how much of the $350 million in “Classroom Hardware and Installation” is associated with iZone, and what makes up the balance;

iZone is currently budgeted for $7 million for 128 schools, including student devices, network printers, and servers; the balance of the plan are slated for all schools and needs will be determined by instructional needs by schools.is associated with iZone, and what makes up the balance; c. Please indicate who will be

c. Please indicate who will be the contractors and/or companies receiving these funds, and whether they will be competitively bid.

For services and related equipment, purchases that do not currently have existing valid contracts will be done through competitive solicitations through either the open market or mini-bid against State OGS master contracts.these funds, and whether they will be competitively bid. - RFP R0862 released last year for

- RFP R0862 released last year for content

- RFP R0863 for the learning platform

- Mini-bid B1892 for integration services for hardware in the schools

- NYS OGS contracts for HP (PT55722) and Apple (PT55529)

3. iZone evaluation plan

a. Please indicate who will be the contractors and/or companies receiving these funds, and

whether they will be competitively bid. (See the attached 2010-2011 iZone Evaluation Plan)

iZone evaluations are either being conducted by an external research firm (e.g. Harvard’s Ed Labs) or being done internally and informed by the iZone Research Advisory Council, Harvard’s Ed Labs) or being done internally and informed by the iZone Research Advisory Council, a group of well-known and respected researchers including Nelson Gonzalez from the Stupski Foundation and James Kemple from the NYU Research Alliance.

The iZone’s research and evaluation plan aims to understand the impact of our current programs as well as inform design and implementation decisions current programs as well as inform design and implementation decisions

iZone evaluations analyze:as well as inform design and implementation decisions o Impacts on student achievement outcomes (e.g. State

o

Impacts on student achievement outcomes (e.g. State test performance, credit accumulation, course performance) as compared to similar students in non- iZone schools

o

Impacts on indicators related to college and career readiness, e.g. persistence, engagement, motivation, etc.)

o

Impacts on teacher practice outcomes: Analysis of impacts on indicators such as teacher professional efficacy and belief in the benefit of technology in the classroom.

4

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

23

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov 4. iZone Structure, Staffing and

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

4.

iZone Structure, Staffing and Capacity a. What specifically are “the most advanced models here and abroad” referenced on page 42? The iZone was created in response to school demand. Schools saw the success other local schools, such as the transfer school models that have opened in the last 8 years as well as NYC iSchool, were having by leveraging technology and other tools to focus on the needs of individual students, and sought a way to implement these strategies in their own schools.

a way to implement these strategies in their own schools. Other partners from outside of NYC,

Other partners from outside of NYC, such as Kunskapsskollan, New Tech Network and the Re-Inventing Schools Coalition, have shown that a school can be successfully designed and implemented, and provide strong outcomes, when aligned to the five principles outlined in the plan. These partners, each with 10+ year of experience in this field, will be advising iZone schools.a way to implement these strategies in their own schools. b. What evidence can the DOE

b. What evidence can the DOE offer to show that these models work? There is evidence that schools focused explicitly on personalizing education to the needs of every student, through technology or other tools, lead to increased student achievement.

or other tools, lead to increased student achievement. o In September 2010, the US DOE released
or other tools, lead to increased student achievement. o In September 2010, the US DOE released

o

In September 2010, the US DOE released a survey stating that students using online content perform either as well as or better than peers in traditional face-to- face classes. While this data was primarily based on the performance of college students, it is a strong indicator of success in K-12.

Online learners often report greater levels of engagement and higher-order thinking, and blended learning is more advantageous than purely online learning (iNACOL, 2009). School management organizations working with the iZone schools have experience incorporating online learning and other strategies into a school to personalize learning. Some of their key successes include:

o

o

New Tech Network: An average of 12% more New Tech seniors graduated as compared with similar schools in their districts.

o

RISC (Reinventing Schools Coalition): The odds of a student in a RISC School scoring proficient or above on state tests are 2.3 times greater for reading, 2.5 times greater for writing, and 2.4 times greater for mathematics than the odds of a student scoring proficient or above on state tests at a Non-RISC School.

o

Conclusion: These are mature instructional technologies; we’re building on an established research base; we’ve designed a robust evaluation design to inform how to make these tools most effective here in NYC.

5

24 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov c. How does the iZone define

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

c. How does the iZone define the “flexible adult role” referenced on page 43? In iZone schools’ teachers are finding creative ways to leverage technology or to use their time to better meet the needs of their individual students. In some cases this means using software to supplement instruction that gives teacher real-time data on student progress. In other cases it means team teaching in a school or teaching students in another borough using skype or other online tools.

in another borough using skype or other online tools. d. What is the nature and extent

d. What is the nature and extent of Professional Development (PD) that the DOE is providing teachers in participating iZone schools, to ensure that students’ learning and schools’ staffing capacity are aligned?

Professional development offerings evolve throughout the year based on needs identified by iZone schools and

Professional development offerings evolve throughout the year based on needs identified by iZone schools and teachers.

Training in how to use technology: teachers learn the logistics of how to use and

Training in how to use technology: teachers learn the logistics of how to use and troubleshoot any issues with the technology.

o

All vendors provided training starting in the summer, and ongoing throughout the year.

o

In some cases, vendors provided workshops for all teachers using their tools; in others, vendor representation is in the schools on a weekly basis ensuring that teachers are comfortable with the technology and maximizing its capabilities.

o

Many vendors provided their PD free of charge. Teachers were paid the standard per session rate for time spent learning these new tools.

Targeted PD on how to use instructional technologies to differentiate instruction, use data to inform

Targeted PD on how to use instructional technologies to differentiate instruction, use data to inform instruction, collaboratively review student work, and collaboratively plan.

Structured opportunities for principals and teachers to share best practices and learn from one another

Structured opportunities for principals and teachers to share best practices and learn from one another with the goal of using technology to improve teaching and learning.

o

Includes: 1) Inter-visitations across schools, 2) in person showcases, and 3) monthly online presentations from iZone teachers to other iZone teachers around best practices in a particular content area

o

Schools are also learning how align technology tools with existing instructional priorities. For example, iZone teachers are provided PD through iZone staff and outside vendors on how to integrate technology into curriculum mapping

6

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

25

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov e. How is the DOE making

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

e. How is the DOE making families aware of the iZone? What choices have they had to opt out?

Each school determined the best way to share information about the iZone with their parents. Outreach included:aware of the iZone? What choices have they had to opt out? o PTA Meetings o

o

PTA Meetings

o

Monthly parent meetings with principals

o

Curriculum Night

o

Open School Night

o

Parent Coordinator Meetings

o

Parent Teachers' Meetings

o

School Leadership Team meetings

Schools are just now starting to design their iZone plans for next year and future years. Supported by iZone staff and partners, they will seek out and incorporate feedback from teachers, students, families, and community partners. Participation in the iZone was up to the schools, not mandated by Central. In some cases, the new technology tools were used across a class or grade level, and therefore all students participated. We have not heard of any case where parents have requested that their child opt out.Meetings o School Leadership Team meetings 5. What is the DOE’s long -term sustainability plan for

5. What is the DOE’s long-term sustainability plan for iZone schools? At what point will principals who opt to participate in iZone expected to assume responsibility for technology costs that central DOE is currently absorbing, including for hardware, software, upgrades for broadband service and technical support? What are the DOE’s estimates of the range of costs that principals will have to take on and sustain?

iZone schools are receivingof costs that principals will have to take on and sustain? o The same broadband upgrades

o

The same broadband upgrades as every other school in the system. In FY11, iZone schools make up 14 of the 363 schools receiving bandwidth upgrades.

o

Hardware, which they will be responsible for maintaining as is always the case

o

Ability to purchase online content through the DOE rather than directly from vendors, thus saving schools money. Over 300 schools are already paying for online software by going directly to vendors. The iZone creates a centralized strategy through which schools can buy this and additional software at a reduced price and provides the support to help them use it effectively.

7

26 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov We have been advocating to modernize

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov We have been advocating to modernize the State's

We have been advocating to modernize the State's textbook law and provide our principals with the flexibility to use their State textbook, hardware and software allocations cross-functionally across any of these three categories, freeing up dollars for these important purchases. We are happy to report that this recommendation was included in the State's recently adopted FY 2012 budget

6. iZone Credit Recovery (CR) Online

Please provide detailed information about the number of students in each school, in each borough citywide, participating in online credit recovery programs.

Total CR students by school:

DBN

Total

 

02M432

146

02M615

71

03M404

13

Total By Borough

03M494

10

240

Manhattan

07X221

17

17

Bronx

20K485

90

90

Brooklyn

28Q505

31

31

Queens

31R440

33

61

Staten Island

31R445

28

 

Grand Total

439

Total CR enrollments: 1433

Total CR enrollments by school:

(reflects students taking multiple courses in the CR pilot)

DBN

Total

 

02M432

1065

02M615

111

03M404

18

Total by borough

03M494

10

1204

Manhattan

07X221

18

18

Bronx

20K485

108

108

Brooklyn

28Q505

31

31

Queens

31R440

44

72

Staten Island

31R445

28

 

Grand Total

1433

8

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

27

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov 7. Bandwidth Limitations a. Please

Jenny Sobelman Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs jsobelman@schools.nyc.gov

7. Bandwidth Limitations

a.

Please provide the school names and addresses of “the remaining 500 school buildings that are on T-1 or Frame Relay technology,” reference on page 44. Please see the attached spreadsheet for a full list of the remaining 500 school buildings. For your convenience, we have also provided a summary below:

For your convenience, we have also provided a summary below: Circuit Type Bandwidth (Mbps)   Total

Circuit Type

Bandwidth (Mbps)

 

Total School Buildings

 

1.5

5

10

20

30

40

50

 

ATM

 

34

20

5

2

1

0

62

Metro E

   

573

14

3

85

4

679

Frame Relay

498

           

498

Total

498

34

593

19

5

86

4

1239

I hope this information will prove helpful to both you and your appointee to the PEP, Patrick Sullivan. That said, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 212- 374-0241, or at JSobelman@schools.nyc.gov. Thank you again for writing to the Chancellor, and for your continued advocacy on behalf of New York City public schools.

Sincerely, Jenny Sobelman
Sincerely,
Jenny Sobelman

JS:lh

9

28 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

Appendix 4

March 18, 2011 letter to the Department of Education requesting maximum internet speeds

Department of Education requesting maximum internet speeds T HE C ITY OF N EW Y ORK

THE CITY OF NEW YORK OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN

SCOTT M. STRINGER

BOROUGH PRESIDENT

March 18, 2011

Cathleen Black Chancellor New York City Department of Education 52 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007

Dear Chancellor Black:

I am writing regarding the Department of Education’s (DOE’s) Five Year Capital Amendment for 2010 – 2014, and the Department’s decision to sharply increase spending on new technology to $956.8 million dollars over the next five years. More than half of this -- $542.25 million – is scheduled to be spent in FY 12 alone. This is a significant expenditure for any single year, but it is particularly large in the context of a fiscal crisis which the Mayor reports is so dire that he may eliminate some 6,000 teaching positions.

Unfortunately, the DOE has not provided a clear breakdown of the programs to be supported by this $542 million investment. In the one area where we do know that the DOE has already committed millions of dollars – on its “Innovation Zone” (iZone) pilot program – the Department has not yet provided any data, research or evaluation plan that would justify the substantially increased investment. Despite this lack of information, the current Capital Amendment calls for increasing the number of iZone schools from some 80 schools this year to 400 in 2013/14.

Until this rapid expansion of iZone can be backed up by hard data, I strongly recommend that these funds be directed towards reducing class sizes, addressing overcrowding issues, rapidly replacing dangerous lighting and heating systems in schools, and other urgent needs that impact directly on the health, safety and educational well-being of our students.

My appointee to the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP), Patrick Sullivan, is expected to vote on the Capital Amendment at the PEP’s March 23 rd meeting, and on March 30 th the City Council will conduct its budget hearing with the DOE and School Construction Authority (SCA) on the Mayor’s proposed school Capital Plan. Simply put, Mr. Sullivan has not been provided with sufficient information to make an informed vote on the Capital Amendment, and many outstanding questions remain. It is inconceivable to me that any public official could be asked to spend nearly half a billion dollars of tax dollars on programs widely considered experimental, especially when it comes to the education of our children.

I strongly support the use and development of technology to advance students’ learning and give them the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in an increasingly “connected” world. We should

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1 CENTRE STREET

NEW YORK, NY 10007

PHONE (212) 669-8300

FAX (212) 669-4305

www.mbpo.org

bp@manhattanbp.org

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

29

always be looking for new and innovative ways to help our students advance, and pilot programs such as the iZone may offer much potential. However, given the tremendous fiscal challenges our City faces at this time, it is critical that we carefully prioritize where and when we invest our money. Our precious education dollars should be devoted to programs, services and structural changes that can be shown by hard, peer-reviewed data to improve academic and life outcomes for our students.

Our efforts to gather such details on iZone have so far not been successful. For example, in February my office inquired with the DOE about what comprises “Learning Systems/Platforms,” an area where the DOE proposed increasing funding from $26 million to $45 million between its November and February Capital Amendments. We were advised that in addition to the iZone pilot program, the category is composed of “other data and content systems which might include the need to address state common core requirements.” Specific project names, we were told, were not available at that point.

Furthermore, when my office inquired this February about getting preliminary results of the iZone pilot, the DOE informed us that it was too soon. That same month my PEP appointee requested the DOE’s evaluation plan for the pilot. Despite assurances from Deputy Chancellor John White that he would send the plan, no information has been made available to date. I understand that the pilot only began in September 2010. However without tangible evidence of the iZone’s success, it does not seem reasonable or prudent to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a dramatic scale-up of the program, particularly at this time. Certainly, my PEP appointee and other panel members should not be expected to vote on such a proposal next week.

The Capital Amendment informs us that iZone schools are taking on “a three-year process to fundamentally transform from standardized models to technology-rich customized models, based on five pillars demonstrated by the most advanced models here and abroad.” One of these five tenets is that “the teacher role is now a flexible adult role.” Absent more detailed information, however, I and others are left to guess about what the “most advanced models here and abroad” are, how successful they have been, and what, exactly, the definition and meaning are of “flexible adult role.”

In the absence of more definitive information and data, my office has heard anecdotal reports that while online learning in iZone schools is proving to be an effective tool for some students, it may not be providing the kind of instruction or support that many students need, including those considered harder- to-reach, and those participating in online credit recovery programs. We have heard about glitches with software, problems with technology vendors, capacity issues related to unformulated and inadequate training for teachers, and concerns that parents may not be aware that their children are part of a program considered by many to be experimental in nature.

My office is not alone in raising concerns about the dearth of rigorous empirical research surrounding the DOE’s plan to invest millions in online learning. In its 2011 working paper about the iZone, the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) states: “NYC school district leaders are taking risks with the iZone…How and when they will know if they got the big bet right is a question district leaders will have to ask so that students are not subjected for too long to programs and schools that don’t work.” And a 2010 United States Department of Education (US DOE) review found strikingly little in the way of rigorous research examining the effectiveness of online learning for younger, K–12 students. The report specifically cautions against generalizing findings from studies that focus on older, college-level online learners and applying them to elementary and high school students.

Simply put, we do not have enough information showing that this extraordinarily large investment makes sense, particularly at this time, and especially when we have clear areas of need where increased investment could make a world of difference for all our students.

30 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

In addition, I am deeply concerned that as the DOE pushes to rapidly upgrade the technology infrastructure of its 400 proposed iZone schools, many more non-participating schools will be left in the technological dark ages. In recent months, my office has heard troubling stories about students who cannot even access existing technology in their schools due to outdated electrical systems, and bandwidth limitations that make connecting to the internet all but impossible.

The DOE has clearly recognized the need to increase bandwidth in some 500 schools where systems are most outdated, and I applaud the Department for allocating significant capital funding to bring these schools up to speed. That said, I want to be clear that particularly during this time of fiscal crisis I believe the DOE has an obligation to focus its energies and funding towards ensuring that all students receive equitable access to a reasonable baseline of technology, before it prioritizes new and upgraded technology resources for select schools.

Given the broad range of concerns outlined in this letter, I would greatly appreciate clarification of the following items related to the DOE’s proposed investment of $956.8 million dollars for technology, with more than half of it -- $542.25 million -- to be spent in FY 12 alone.

In regards to the spending on technology as outlined in the Amended Five Year Capital Plan for 2010 – 2014, released in February 2011:

1. General Technology Spending

a. Please provide an itemized breakdown of the projects that fall under each category:

i. $350 million toward “Classroom Hardware and Installation”

ii. $6 million toward “Teacher/Student Class Relationships (Identity Management)

iii. $105 million toward “Business and Operations Applications”

iv. $45 million toward “Learning Systems /Platforms”

v. $250 million toward “School Building and Classroom Connectivity Cabling; Schools’ Bandwidth Upgrade

vi. $90.8 million toward “School Network Equipment and Common Area Wiring; MDF/IDF Upgrade; Security”

vii. $110 million toward “Wireless Technology Upgrade”

b. Please provide information about what companies and/or contractors will be doing work related to these expenditures, and whether these contracts be competitively bid.

2. iZone Expenditures

a. Please detail how much of the $45 million in “Learning Systems/Platforms” is related to iZone, and what makes up the balance;

b. Please detail how much of the $350 million in “Classroom Hardware and Installation” is associated with iZone, and what makes up the balance;

c. Please indicate who will be the contractors and/or companies receiving these funds, and

whether they will be competitively bid.

3. iZone Evaluation Plan

a. Please provide a copy of the iZone evaluation plan that the DOE is using to measure the program’s worthiness, and the timeline for gathering data and completing the study.

4. iZone Structure, Staffing and Capacity

a. What specifically are the “most advanced models here and abroad” referenced on page 42?

b. What evidence can the DOE offer to show that these models work?

c. How does the DOE define the “flexible adult role” referenced on page 43?

Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

31

d.

What is the nature and extent of professional development that the DOE is providing teachers in participating iZone schools, to ensure that students’ learning and schools’ staffing capacity are aligned?

e. How is the DOE making families aware that their children’s schools are participating in the iZone, and what choices, if any, is it providing them if they wish for their children to opt out?

5. iZone Sustainability Issues

a. What is the DOE’s long-term sustainability plan for iZone schools?

b. At what point will principals who opt to participate in iZone be expected to assume responsibility for technology costs that central DOE is currently absorbing, including for hardware, software, upgrades for broadband service, and technical support?

c. What are the DOE’s estimates of the range of costs that principals will have to take on and sustain?

6. iZone’s Online Credit Recovery Learning Options

a. Please provide detailed information about the number of students in each school, in each borough citywide, participating in online credit recovery programs.

7. Bandwidth Limitations

a. Please provide the school names and addresses of “the remaining 500 school buildings that are on T-1 or Frame Relay technology,” referenced on page 44.

b. Please specify in kbits/s the maximum internet speed for each school building in the city, and the network connections (frame relay, T1, T2, T3, T4, etc.) that exist at each school building in the city.

The DOE has an obligation to rigorously examine and provide reasonable evidence that the new programs it proposes will help our students, before it devotes hundreds of millions of tax dollars toward them. While this is always true, it is especially so when the City has threatened to lay off thousands of teachers and slash badly-needed new school seats from the Capital Amendment. Toward this end, the DOE should release empirical data that justifies the large amount of funding it plans to dedicate to technology and the rapid expansion of the iZone initiative.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss the questions and recommendations in this letter.

Sincerely,

the questions and recommendations in this letter. Sincerely, Scott M. Stringer Manhattan Borough President CC: Dennis

Scott M. Stringer Manhattan Borough President

CC: Dennis Walcott, Deputy Mayor

32 New York City's Digital Deficit: An Investigation of Slow Internet Speeds in Public Schools and Libraries

SCOTT M. STRINGER MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT Municipal Building One Centre Street, 19th Floor New York,

SCOTT M. STRINGER MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT

Municipal Building One Centre Street, 19th Floor New York, NY 10007 Tel: 212.669.8300 Fax: 212.669.4306 www.mbpo.org

Visit our Manhattan Minute blog at www.mbpo.org/blog.asp

York, NY 10007 Tel: 212.669.8300 Fax: 212.669.4306 www.mbpo.org Visit our Manhattan Minute blog at www.mbpo.org/blog.asp
York, NY 10007 Tel: 212.669.8300 Fax: 212.669.4306 www.mbpo.org Visit our Manhattan Minute blog at www.mbpo.org/blog.asp