Posts from February 22nd, 2012
February 22, 2012
- Advocates for the city’s Asian students say privacy laws prevent their needs from being met. (EdWeek)
- UFT VP Leo Casey analyzes the state’s evalss deal and argues that some criticism is off-base. (Edwize)
- With skeptics watching, a child tackles math using an approach used in some city schools. (YouTube)
- Students’ entries for a contest to design next year’s high school directory are due Friday. (NYC DOE)
- One of probably many, many teaching-related entries into the “What I Really Do” meme. (Russo)
- A Stuyvesant HS teacher continues his critique of the state’s recent math exams. (Gary Rubinstein 1, 2)
- Seven tips for teachers who want to become better bloggers. (Charting My Own Course)
- An explanation of just why the city schools are off this week (echoing our 2009 explainer). (SchoolBook)
- The city is planning to buy empty lots to build a new elementary school in Woodside. (Queens Courier)
- An advocate of parent trigger policies says the trigger’s failure in California is appropriate. (Flypaper)
- See a computer lab that a teacher will be closed when a charter school moves in. (Inside Colocation)
- A retired testing expert says New York’s tests are flawed and should be boycotted. (NYC P.S. Parents)
February 22, 2012
Police officers arrested more students and handed out more tickets in schools as the school year got underway, according to new data released today. On average, five students were arrested per day on school grounds between October and December 2011.
Those statistics come from a trove of data the New York Police Department is required to release under a relatively new law mandating the disclosure of information about in-school arrests and suspensions. The first data dump, released in late November and compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union, showed police had arrested or ticketed roughly four students per day on school grounds between July and September.
Both reports show that disproportionate number of black and Latino students were being arrested and ticketed. 74.9 percent of those arrested during the fall quarter were male, and 93.5 percent were black or Latino. Black and Latino students make up about 71 percent of students in city schools.
Over the 55 school-day period between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, NYPD reported nearly 2,300 incidents. Of those, 279 resulted in arrests and 532 in summonses. According to NYCLU’s analysis, 63 percent of summonses were for disorderly conduct. of the arrests, about 120, or 40 percent, were labelled as assault or related to assault.
This afternoon, politicians joined representatives from the ACLU’s New York chapter and several student advocacy groups to decry the statistics as evidence that police involvement in schools leads to racial discrimination and a fearful environment. As a ring of police officers looked on, advocates rallying outside of NYPD headquarters said they would like the City Council to revisit the issue of the NYPD role in schools now that the council’s Student Safety Act is is in effect. (more…)
February 22, 2012
The state’s thaw over teacher evaluations is extending to federal funds that had been frozen to some districts. But New York City is still out nearly $60 million.
Last month, State Education Commissioner John King cut off the funds, known as School Improvement Grants, to 10 districts that had been receiving them to help overhaul low-performing schools. The districts had not adequately complied with a Dec. 31 deadline to adopt new evaluations for teachers in those schools, King said.
The funding freeze, along with a hefty dose of evaluations pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the last month, sent many of the districts back into negotiations about new teacher evaluations with their local unions. Today, King announced that five of the districts — Albany, Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, Rochester, and Schenectady — had refined their evaluations agreements enough to restart the flow of federal funds.
The other five districts, which include New York City, have all requested hearings to try to convince King that he should restore their funding. The districts all called off hearings scheduled for this week after last week’s statewide evaluation deal, although it was not clear how the deal would have changed what districts planned to say during their hearings.
In a statement, King took aim at districts such as New York City that have not been able to work with their teachers unions to adopt new evaluations that comply with the state’s requirements. (more…)
February 22, 2012
Wala discovered that a charter school in Harlem that had faced closure last year was saved when a different operator was allowed to take over its charter and management. Harlem Day lost virtually all of its teachers and got a new name and curriculum when Democracy Prep took over in 2011, but the students were allowed to stay.
For Wala, the last point was the biggest draw: Peninsula Prep’s students are set to be sent back to neighborhood schools that mostly post lower test scores.
“I was like, this is something we should explore,” Wala said, even though it meant she’d almost certainly lose her job in the process. Both Wala and the school’s board, led by Chair Betty Leon, told Recy Dunn of the Department of Education’s Charter Office that they would resign if that’s what it took to keep the school open.
“We were willing to do whatever that would allow the school to continue to exist, in whatever capacity, so that there would be less disruption to the children,” Wala said.
Wala reached out to Seth Andrew, the founder and head of the Democracy Prep charter network, and asked him to consider taking over Peninsula Prep. Wala set up a time for Andrew to visit the school, but when he floated the idea to top city and state education officials they rejected it, according to a source who was briefed on the proposal. (more…)
February 22, 2012
- Despite a new mandate, some schools are still turning away special needs students. (Insideschools)
- The city has called off its state hearing to restore federal funds to 33 struggling schools. (GothamSchools)
- Juan Gonzalez: The release of teachers’ ratings will bring undeserved ridicule for many. (Daily News)
- Two transfer high schools don’t want a charter school serving the same students to move in. (DNAInfo)
- A researcher says charter schools have caused state Catholic schools to lose enrollment. (Daily News)
- A Bronx substitute teacher was charged with forcibly touching a high school student. (NY1)
- Another teacher at the same Bronx campus was charged with assaulting a student. (Daily News, NY1)
- An upstate union leader is denouncing NYSUT for its teacher evaluations agreement. (Buffalo News)
- A push to use the “parent trigger” to turn a California school into a charter school fell short. (L.A. Times)
- The recent history of “turnaround” efforts shows improving long-struggling schools is hard. (Denver Post)
- The Supreme Court is rethinking colleges’ use of race in admission just years after upholding it. (Times)