Many have asked, but few have seen actual figures that show the progress that district officials say they've made with the reform initiatives launched under Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.
At least that's how City Councilman Bill Green, and many like him, see it. They say that district officials have yet to show data validating their claims that daily attendance at Promise Academies is up while serious incidents are on a downward slope.
In its $2.75 billion budget, approved on Tuesday by the School Reform Commission, district officials earmarked money to expand the district's Renaissance Schools initiative to turn around struggling schools and its 18-day summer school, but slashed full-day kindergarten, school budgets and transportation.
City officials, union leaders and education advocates were stunned by the district's budget decisions, and have asked officials to explain their reasoning, but to no avail.
Green, never one to shy away from criticizing the district, said that the district's behavior has left him sour.
"I think that while people are looking to try to find a way to provide resources, it's only if they treat us like adults to begin with," he said.
Green noted that he has yet to receive information about summer school and other programs that he requested last week during the district's hearings in front of City Council.
District officials last week requested up to $110 million in additional funds from the city to stave off cuts.
"And to expect us to take any kind of votes to increase revenues in that case, I don't think that's likely," Green said.
Fellow Council member Jannie Blackwell agreed.
"Nobody knows anything because we don't know what the district has done," she said on Tuesday, the day the district's provisional budget was adopted.
"We're not informed. I have not seen a plan or a process, and I'm the chair of the Education Committee. We're very worried."
A district spokeswoman said that the district has answered many questions and will continue to. "The answers to the remaining questions will be provided [today]," said spokeswoman Shana Kemp."
Council isn't alone in its skepticism. City Controller Alan Butkovitz released an audit of the district's financial statements yesterday that found "serious financial errors."
He called for more oversight of the district, including giving the city's finance director involvement in district finances and giving wider auditing power to the controller's office.
Cindy Clark, whose son Caleb will attend kindergarten at Meredith School next year, is also skeptical of the district's budget.
"They talk about transparency and what the district is doing with the money, but we're not seeing it," she said.