Posts from March 26th, 2012
March 26, 2012
- Teacher Mike Albertson traces the recent history of Flushing HS, which could close. (Music and Beyond)
- A former city principal, now a top D.C. schools official, was fined for a conflict of interest. (GS Scribd)
- The Manhattan principal who created a teacher dress code now has one for students, too. (DNA Info)
- Across the country, dual-language instruction — classrooms in two tongues — is on the rise. (Ed Week)
- A teacher describes running a mock United Nations with new immigrants. (No Sleep ‘Til Summer)
- D.C.’s teacher rating system suggests that teachers improve at first, then plateau. (D.C. Schools Insider)
- The principal of Brooklyn’s P.S. 186 says teachers created their own Common Core tasks. (SchoolBook)
- More evidence that D.C. teachers suffer when their students’ previous teachers cheat. (Class Struggle)
- New York got low marks on Race to the Top transparency but high marks on data use. (Politics K-12)
- In a collaboration with Youth Communication, Anthony describes being the new kid. (GS Community)
- A teacher says what she would do if state tests weren’t school days away. (On the Shoulders of Giants)
- City Councilman Brad Lander issued a report showing more students in crowded classes. (SchoolBook)
- A former city teacher is suing, saying she was fired because of 15-year-old pictures. (Courthouse News)
- Another look at the soon-to-open city high school that focuses on software development. (Mashable)
March 26, 2012
With a final deal on the 2012-2013 state budget imminent, legislators were racing to hash out the last of several education rifts in a series of closed door negotiations on Monday.
State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos announced today that he would not stand in the way of releasing teacher data ratings, rebuffing earlier reports that senate lawmakers were considering aligning with the Assembly on the issue. The state teachers union had heavily lobbied senators to back a law that would have either banned or restricted the release of any teacher performance data tied to their evaluations.
“There were discussions in terms of seeing if there was a way you could balance the parents’ right to know and some sort of [teacher] privacy rights, but there’s no resolution of that, so it will stay as it is,” Skelos said outside the Senate chamber this afternoon, according to the Daily News.
Other budgetary loose ends related to education also began to firm up as the day went along. Cuomo struck a deal on how much of the increased state aid should be tied to competitive grants, the Times Union reported. In his preliminary budget, Gov. Cuomo proposed $250 million in competitive grants as part of a proposed $800 million state aid increase. That was met with opposition from lawmakers in both houses and the deal reached Monday reduced Cuomo’s grant total to $50 million, which State Education Commissioner John King advocated for in January.
March 26, 2012
Two more New York State school districts will have their federal funding restored after adopting new teacher evaluations for this school year, State Education Commissioner John King announced today.
In January, 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.
But after the state’s teacher evaluation deal in February, five districts refined their applications sufficiently to have their funding restored. Today, two more districts — Yonkers and Roosevelt — got their funding back. The announcement means that just three districts, including New York City, are still shut out of funding for the year. The city was supposed to get almost $60 million this year through the grant program.
The other two districts that haven’t met the state’s requirements for this year are Greenburgh 11 and Buffalo. Greenburgh 11, a tiny school district that serves only students with special needs, has been silent on the issue of teacher evaluations all year. Buffalo, on the other hand, devolved into conflict this month after King rejected an evaluations agreement between the city and its teachers union, saying that their plan to exclude the scores of chronically absent students was unacceptable. (more…)
March 26, 2012
An analysis of nearly 15,000 districts’ test scores turned up suspicious patterns that suggested that some cheating might be taking place in New York City schools.
The analysis was conducted by a team of reporters and researchers at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the newspaper that covered last year’s revelations about a far-ranging cheating scandal in Atlanta’s schools. The team looked at changes in students’ test scores from year to year, reasoning that large increases or decreases in groups of students’ test scores would be unlikely without an unusual intervention such as cheating.
The analysis does not identify instances of cheating, only places and times when cheating is considered more likely to have occurred.
Most of New York’s 32 school districts fell well within the normal range, with around 5 percent of classes showing unusually large score climbs or falls. But in a few places, the analysis detected swings in more than 10 percent of classes, a level that experts told the AJC team was highly improbable under normal circumstances.
In Brooklyn’s District 16, for example, 7.95 to 12.82 percent of classes between 2009 and 2011 showed suspicious test score swings. Between 2008 and 2011, the percentage of classes flagged in Manhattan’s District 2, which includes many middle-class students, ranged from 7.41 to 12.5 — significantly higher than in neighboring districts. (more…)
March 26, 2012
This piece originally appeared in Represent magazine and is reprinted in collaboration with Youth Communication.
“School is right around the corner,” my aunt said on an unusually chilly August day two summers ago. She tried to sound casual, but I could hear the slight urgency in her voice.
“So?” I replied.
“So, shouldn’t you be registering or something? (more…)
March 26, 2012
- State lawmakers are in discussions about how to shield teacher ratings from the public. (Daily News)
- The teachers union is pushing lawmakers to restore funding for teacher support centers. (SchoolBook)
- The state wants the makers of new tests to avoid uncomfortable topics, such as birthdays. (Post)
- The reporters who found cheating in Atlanta found 200 other districts have suspect scores, too. (AJC)
- Chancellor Walcott reassured charter school operators that he would encourage their schools. (AP)
- Some Teaching Fellows say the city should revamp the 12-year-old training program. (Daily News)
- More weapons are being confiscated in city schools, but fewer of them are guns. (Post)
- City students and teachers are in the thick of preparations for this year’s state tests. (NY1)
- The Post says recent news about New York’s graduation rate gains shouldn’t be celebrated.
- Some city parents are trying to time their pregnancies to optimize their private school chances. (Post)
- Across the country, school districts are opting out of serving ammonia-treated beef. (Times)
- Some in Connecticut are concerned about charter schools that serve only very needy students. (WSJ)
- Michael Winerip: A fight over a district’s web access reveals a murky underworld of web filters. (Times)
Last week on GothamSchools:
- A Bronx teacher offers a semester-long training course on “assimilation” into college culture. (Friday)
- The city is bulking up programs that train teachers for schools undergoing radical reforms. (Friday)
- Three schools that were set to close next year have been showing signs of life and fight. (Thursday)
- The city’s teacher hiring landscape appears more open than at any time in recent years. (Wednesday)
- Students at a Brooklyn high school showcased their studies in democratic participation. (Wednesday)
- Educators in Manhattan’s District 2 discussed the transition to Common Core standards. (Wednesday)
- A new feature to showcase findings of education researchers started with college readiness. (Tuesday)
- Some teachers told officials that the Common Core standards have come on too quickly. (Monday)