Posts from March 23rd, 2012
March 23, 2012
- Districts are already responding to AJC’s not-yet-published cheating exposé. (Tennessean, Chronicle)
- “Scripted” practice lesson on the Gettysburg Address gets poor marks from a teacher. (AnswerSheet)
- A city student recalls the period when online learning replaced his teacher and cheating spiked. (HuffPo)
- Charles Barron is positioning himself as the anti-charter candidate in Congressional race. (Capital NY)
- Parents can officially begin applying to kindergarten programs on Monday. (InsideSchools)
- In an Olympic year, a class gets a boost with help from a gold medalist; yours can, too. (GS Community)
- Arne Duncan slightly revised his stance on releasing teacher ratings: He’s opposed. (Teacher Beat)
- Last weekend, State Education Commissioner John King expressed a similar sentiment. (MetroFocus)
- A teacher breaks down how students arrived at the definition of her word of the day. (ComingofAge)
- Rick Hess profiles a Master’s of Education program housed in a business school. (Straight Up)
March 23, 2012
A new recruitment program designed to keep teachers in high-needs schools for the long-term is ramping up its presence in schools where the city is preparing to replace large swaths of teachers.
The city’s $1.3 million teacher apprenticeship program, called the NYC Teaching Residency for School Turnaround, embeds teachers-in-training in high-needs schools and pairs them in classrooms taught by experienced teachers to ease the learning curve. The program launched last summer with 26 residents in two schools and was funded in part with money from federal School Improvement Grants. Next year, the Department of Education aims to double the number of residents and expand into more schools eligible for SIG funding.
Currently the only schools in line to receive SIG funding are the 33 the city has proposed for a “turnaround” at the end of the year, meaning one of the schools that hosted residents this year — Queens Vocational and Technical High School — is likely to close its program at the end of the school year. Queens Vocational was one of six schools that had been receiving SIG funds that the city determined in January should no longer be eligible for them. An education department spokeswoman said no decision has been made about the residency program, but the school’s website is already promoting a different residency starting next year.
The residency is part of a series of recruitment models that the department’s Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality is piloting to better prepare new teachers for classrooms in high-needs communities. One hundred and thirty-six new NYC Teaching Fellows — up from 25 a year ago — were paired with a mentor teacher this month and will work in classrooms for the remainder of the school year as part of an apprenticeship program to supplement the 10-week training they will receive this summer. The fellows will earn a $3,500 stipend for the remainder of the school year.
The DOE is busy staffing up for the expansion of both programs. (more…)
March 23, 2012
Mitch Kurz is a math teacher and a college counselor, but the lessons he teaches don’t fall neatly into either subject area.
On a recent winter morning, Kurz asked students in his college readiness class to describe their dreams. On the board, he wrote, “What do your dreams mean?” followed by “Sigmund Freud” and a list of vocabulary words more typical of a Psychology 101 class: id, ego, superego.
Most of Kurz’s two dozen South Bronx juniors and seniors had not heard of these concepts before. But after a semester learning a hodgepodge of lessons from Kurz meant to ease the transition to college — covering everything from the dreidel game, to basic French, to the elevator pitch — students say they come into class expecting the unfamiliar.
The class, which Kurz calls “Assimilation,” is meant to ease the transition to college for students at the Bronx Center for Science and Math, a small school with many poor students who would be the first in their families to attend college. The school emphatically urges all graduates to enroll in college, and the vast majority do — but they suffer the same academic and financial challenges that low-income, first-generation students often face. Nationally, 89 percent of those students who enter college leave without a degree within six years.
Increasing students’ likelihood of graduating from college has emerged as a major frontier in education policy. The city’s approach is to toughen high school preparation so students have a better shot of handling the rigor of college-level work. Others, such as the KIPP network of charter schools, believe the problem lies more in students’ capacity to handle challenges and have developed programs to bolster traits such as resilience and “grit” that seem correlated with college success.
At Kurz’s school, academic standards are important, and so is character. But Kurz adds an additional approach. (more…)
March 23, 2012
Olympic athlete David Oliver with students from 51st Avenue Academy in Queens at Madison Square Garden earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of Mackenzie McCluer/SI Kids)
Last spring, I felt as if all of the energy and momentum of the first half of the year was being sucked into a vortex. Was it caused by consecutive years (more…)
March 23, 2012
- David Brooks lauds Brooklyn’s New American Academy’s unique model as a “great experiment.” (Times)
- The new head of a SUNY board with charter school authority is a CUNY professor with qualms. (Post)
- Bronx Science’s Pi Day celebration included a recitation and a pie-eating contest. (Riverdale Press)
- Lisa Nielsen, a skeptic in the DOE’s technology office, criticized new social networking rules. (Post)
- A few dozen teachers protested the New York Post’s treatment of teacher ratings outside its offices. (Post)
- The Post says the teachers’ protest outside the paper’s office shows teachers don’t care about students.
- Joel Klein: School choice’s systemic impact is hard to know now but is bound to be good. (Daily News)
- The new head of the national rugby program is a 20-year English teacher at a city private school. (Times)
- Debate is raging in Tennessee over a legislative proposal to keep teacher ratings private. (Tennessean)
- A Brazilian city is outfitting its students with microchips to alert parents about truancy. (AP)