Posts from March 13th, 2012
March 13, 2012
- A special ed teacher lists the comments he hears most frequently when doing test prep. (Mr. Foteah)
- A teacher explains her guilt over taking a sick day and why she does so rarely. (Miss Eyre/NYC Educator)
- A politician attributes Obama’s edu-agenda success to the issue’s poor press coverage. (New Yorker)
- A teacher at a proposed turnaround school describes the effect of random scanning. (GS Community)
- A report is on its way from a committee that Joel Klein chaired with Condoleezza Rice. (Answer Sheet)
- Brokers face pressure from parents who want to live in their ideal school zone. (Real Estate Weekly)
- Teach for America’s head of research explains what she knows and what she doesn’t yet. (Rick Hess)
- A reminder to teachers to pay close attention to how they answer questions. (Coach G’s Teaching Tips)
- Some District 3 parents are worried a Harlem Success move could crowd middle schools. (Insideschools)
- A Manhattan teacher says his school has ceded its discipline room to a charter co-location. (Ed Notes)
March 13, 2012
Watley, a ninth-grader at a city high school, is hoping to attend a technology camp at New York University. Adrian wants to attend a youth leadership conference. And Sheridan thinks a physics program at the University of Pennsylvania would help her move towards her goal of studying aerospace engineering.
But all of the opportunities cost money that the students don’t have. That’s why their schools directed them towards Wishbone, an organization developed by a former teacher to help students independently raise money for out-of-school and summer programs.
Wishbone, which launched its website yesterday, follows in the tradition of DonorsChoose and GrayMatter, which allow donors to earmark funds to specific school and student needs. Like those groups, Wishbone depends on the graciousness of strangers to fulfill the wishes of those fundraising, but Wishbone’s innovation is to focus on the non-academic side of the student experience.
Already, 15 city students are raising funds. One student’s campaign — Sheridan’s — is marked urgent because she has just 16 days to raise nearly $2,000 to pay for the physics summer program. (A video featuring Sheridan is below.)
Reed Matheny, Wishbone’s outreach coordinator, said the organization sees itself as supplementing more established groups.
“We’re putting that same philanthropic energy that’s out there in the country towards supporting individual students in out-of-school opportunities,” Matheny said. (more…)
March 13, 2012
The changes affect policies around “credit recovery,” which schools have used to let students earn credits for failed classes without retaking the classes themselves. The new rules restrict the frequency and timing of credit recovery and the online programs schools can use. And for the first time, the teacher who originally issued the failing grade must weigh in on the decision of whether to grant a student credit for make-up work.
The rule changes could radically reshape some schools’ practices — particularly if they have been abusing leniencies under the current rules and giving students credit for work they haven’t really done.
Responding to our story about a town hall meeting on credit recovery held last month, a commenter posting under the name “Glad to be out of there” described how exactly that happened at his school:
Kids were supposed to do two sets of online problems, 75 questions each and get a minimum grade of 75. They were supposed to provide some sort of proof they actually did the work on their own. When the kids didn’t do this, the number was reduced to one set of 75 questions, passing grade 65 and no proof of work required. I know many kids had friends and private tutors do the assignments for them. The [instructional support services] chairperson paid teachers to come in on Saturday and do the work for the children, working with the kids when the kids were supposed to be in credit recovery gym. She told the students to sign in for gym and then go do the work. She also had them do credit recovery assignments during their regular classes. The after-school program, the one kids were attending to make up credits, also allowed them to do this assignment, giving them two credits at the same time. In reality, they did nothing. It was a sham to make the administration look like they were doing a good job.
With schools’ credit recovery practices set to change July 1, we’d like to know more about how the practice has played out in the past. Share your stories in the comments.
March 13, 2012
A short time before my school was slated for possible turnaround status in January we saw our first “random” scanning by the New York Police Department. In the short time that has followed we have had three additional visits.
Scanning is quite the operation. Students are herded into a roped-off line leading into the gymnasium, which is (more…)
March 13, 2012
Teachers and students from Brooklyn schools proposed for turnaround brought protest signs and pointed questions to a Monday night meeting with city officials — and left with few concrete answers.
As representatives of most Brooklyn schools proposed for turnaround pled their cases in front of city officials tasked with closing an extra 33 schools this year, members of the overflow audience interrupted with shout-outs, standing ovations, and, at one point, sustained chanting of “Free the 33!”
School communities have argued against the turnaround plans in tandem before, at an event in Queens and a meeting of the citywide high schools parent group. But this is the first time schools have been invited to testify in front of city officials masterminding the changes. Officials also heard for the first time from schools that have been almost completely silent about the reform plans.
Elaine Gorman, the Department of Education official overseeing turnaround, opened the meeting, organized by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, with an overview of the proposals, which would call for each school to replace at least half its staff and to be closed and re-opened with a new name. Then representatives from the 11 Brooklyn turnaround schools were invited to give testimonies about their schools.
John Dewey High School teachers, parents, and students reprised their frequent protests by turning out in full-force; at least 100 of them sat in the audience sporting their cheerleading outfits or T-shirts in the school’s signature red, and lept into standing ovations each time a Dewey student or teacher spoke. And a half-dozen William Maxwell High School teachers, unhappy that their A grade on the city’s annual progress report would not be enough to protect their school from closure, waved poster-sized versions of the report card and the letter A when it was their turn to speak.
They were joined by a slightly more subdued group of parents and teachers from Sheepshead Bay High School, the Cobble Hill School for American Studies, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, and a lone middle school student from the School for Global Studies, who spoke about the school’s co-location with a charter school. (more…)
March 13, 2012
- The city’s teacher data release is complicating implementation of the state’s evaluation system. (EdWeek)
- Principals who have been protesting the state’s evaluation system are taking action. (GothamSchools)
- Peer review in teacher evaluations is catching on Indiana. (Indianapolis Star/Hechinger)
- Success charters found applicants amid protest and marketing. (GothamSchools, Post, Brooklyn Paper)
- The New York Times urges state legislators to pass the DREAM Act to aid undocumented students.