Mayor de Blasio claims city schools are the safest they’ve been in two decades — but not everyone believes the miracle.
Along with Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, de Blasio said Tuesday that major school crimes last year hit their lowest point since 1998 and have tumbled 18 percent since 2015.
Officials said there were a total of 503 serious crimes — including felony assault and robbery — in city schools last year. That’s down from 532 the previous year and 613 in 2015, according to the NYPD.
But Families for Excellent Schools, a charter-school advocacy group, issued a report Tuesday claiming city officials lowballed serious misconduct in 2015-2016 — and that the latest figures should be viewed skeptically.
That school year, the state recorded roughly 10,000 more school incidents than the NYPD, according to FES. The state’s 2016-2017 figures aren’t yet available for a comparison with the latest NYPD data.
According to FES, the state counted 16,851 overall incidents that year while the NYPD tallied only 6,843. The group said the discrepancy suggests that City Hall is cooking the books.
“Contrary to what Mayor de Blasio would have families believe, state data clearly shows that schools are less safe than ever before,” said FES CEO Jeremiah Kittredge. “Failing to report 10,000 violent incidents covers up a crisis of this administration’s own making.”
FES also noted that state school-crime data show a 30 percent overall surge since 2013 when there were 12,940 incidents.
State data come directly from school staffers who are required to report all incidents involving students. Those accounts are handed off to Department of Education officials who then categorize them according to state guidelines. Those criteria, the DOE has stressed, have recently been revised to better reflect school conditions.
The NYPD logs incidents only if they involve school-safety agents or cops. Misconduct handled by internal personnel are not included in their numbers, and school-safety-agent union boss Greg Floyd has repeatedly stated that his members feel pressured to not report any crime.
But de Blasio dismissed the data differences Tuesday, arguing that trivial matters are frequently categorized as serious in the state system and that the respective metrics aren’t comparable.
DOE officials have leaned on a favored example to make their point, claiming that a tossed milk carton once counted as…