Posts from March 2nd, 2012
March 2, 2012
- UFT’s Leo Casey would like to adjust Mayor Bloomberg’s “Big Muddy” education analogy. (EdWize)
- A student critiques his eighth-grade self as he works through ninth grade at P-TECH. (Smarter Planet)
- Liza Featherstone: February’s PEP meeting proves more than ever a need for change. (Brooklyn Rail)
- Even teachers in New Jersey are defending the city teacher pilloried in the New York Post. (Capital NY)
- The Gates Foundation seems to be making fewer and fewer grants to charter schools. (Russo)
- Joshua Greenman defends value-added reports, despite the fact that they confuse many. (Daily News)
- Parent recounts the trials of her first foray into elementary school theater production. (Schoolbook)
- Advocates for Children criticizes Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to restructure early intervention. (InsideSchools)
- Advocate calls for parents and educators to pay more attention to education opportunity gaps. (Edvox)
- The new schools opening this year include a harvest theme and a health sciences theme. (Schoolbook)
- Principals of two new schools set to open in Union Square describe their recruiting efforts. (WNYC)
- Queens English teacher wins $25,000 foundation prize for literature-focused teaching. (Schoolbook)
- Education Sec. Arne Duncan calls for educators to strengthen and grow arts programs. (U.S. DOE)
- House education committee has put off debate over science testing in NCLB law. (Curriculum Matters)
- An homage to Dr. Seuss takes on the National Education Association. (Ed is Watching)
March 2, 2012
The city has begun telling principals at some of the schools slated for a controversial overhaul process that they won’t be part of the changes.
The city is moving forward with plans to overhaul 33 struggling schools according to a federally prescribed school improvement strategy known as “turnaround.” Turnaround requires that schools replace at least 50 percent of their teachers, revise their curriculums, and get new principals.
The federal regulations make an exception for principals who have been in place less than two years or who arrived three years ago as part of a deliberate effort to overhaul their schools. Those principals are allowed to stay on.
That means that about half of the principals at the schools slated for turnaround are likely to keep their jobs — and half will have to go. Some have already started getting the bad news.
“Most principals found out that they would be leaving as of June 30 and they’re concerned to keep up the progress that the school has made,” said one of the principals who is being removed. “It’s a very upsetting thing because we’ve worked very hard to make progress in our schools.” (more…)
March 2, 2012
Last week, Chancellor Dennis Walcott spent Friday morning cautioning reporters not to take the city’s Teacher Data Reports too seriously. The city was releasing the information only because news organizations had won a legal battle for it, he said.
This morning, after a week in which Mayor Bloomberg defended the release, Walcott revised his message.
“It’s all about accountability,” he said, appearing on a panel in Washington, D.C., with Bloomberg and the mayors and schools chiefs of Chicago and Los Angeles.
“It’s all about accountability,” Walcott added. “And as the mayor indicated, parents have a right to have this information. What I’ve been trying to do is making sure that the entire New York City community understands that this is a limited piece of information and they have to view the teachers in their full context.”
Bloomberg jumped in to rebut philanthropist Bill Gates’ argument, made in a New York Times column just before the release, that no other industries release the results of employee evaluations.
“Incidentally Gates does give information at Microsoft to the people that need it, namely the managers to the people being evaluated,” Bloomberg said. “In our case it’s the principals and the parents who need that information. So we’re not doing anything differently from what Microsoft does.” (more…)
March 2, 2012
Most eighth-graders at the Bronx’s P.S./I.S. 218 tore their high school admissions envelopes open well before dismissal on Thursday. But a small group waited patiently until 2:30 p.m. to find out their fates.
The holdouts were about 20 participants in an after-school program that had coached them through the admissions process. They gathered in the library after school for a letter-opening ceremony with the staff of Project STEP (Students Toward Educational Promise). (more…)
March 2, 2012
After hearing nearly two hours of public testimony in support of a charter school slated for Williamsburg, a member of the Panel for Educational Policy said she worried charter school supporters’ voices were being drowned out.
Lisette Nieves, a mayoral appointee to the citywide school board, defended her plan to vote in favor of the school’s co-location proposal against the suggestion that vocal community opposition to the plan should sway panel members’ votes.
“Even in our last meeting we had about a third who were in support of seeing change … so when I keep hearing that there’s only one large group feeling one way, I know there’s dissent that’s not allowed to speak,” Nieves said. “I can vote with complete confidence to support the co-location because at the end of the day I know that I am too impatient and will not accept that young people who look like me … to be in a school that’s not high quality.”
About 100 parents and students who attend schools in the Success Charter Network came to the panel meeting to advocate for the network’s plans to open a new school inside Williamsburg’s M.S. 50. That plan has drawn vocal opposition, particularly among the neighborhood’s Spanish-speaking community, that has included both a guerrilla sticker campaign and a lawsuit.
The plan also drew a spirited protest outside the panel meeting.
“We are boycotting the meeting! It is a puppet panel!” declared a ring of protesters organized by the advocacy group Southside Community Schools Coalition during a rally outside Brooklyn Technical High School, where the panel was meeting. The protesters were referring to the fact that the PEP has never rejected a city proposal. (more…)
March 2, 2012
- The City Council grilled DOE officials about their efforts to claim more Medicaid funds. (SchoolBook, Post)
- Juan Gonzalez: Parents at P.S. 119 in the Bronx say the city is downplaying its crowding. (Daily News)
- Parents at P.S. 119 say they worry the neighborhood can’t handle a new middle school. (Daily News)
- A school opening this falls aims to offer high-level computer science to all students. (GothamSchools)
- The city’s value-added initiative was an early entrant to a fast-changing national field. (GothamSchools)
- A Queens teacher at a top school won a $25,000 award from a national foundation. (Daily News)
- Buffalo wants chronically absent students not to factor into new teacher evaluations. (Buffalo News)
- A Texas college with many immigrant students doesn’t want to be judged by its graduation rate. (Times)
- Los Angeles is banning a reading strategy that involves blindfolding out of abuse fears. (L.A. Times)