Posts from March 2012
March 29, 2012
- Students at Stuyvesant High School are recruiting Jeremy Lin as their graduation speaker. (Daily News)
- The city filed applications with the state to get funding for “turnaround.” (GothamSchools, SchoolBook)
- The city is telling principals at turnaround schools to hire back whomever they want. (GothamSchools)
- Bronx Science is one of 245 schools where toxic levels of PCBs have been detected. (Riverdale Press)
- The Daily News criticizes Gov. Cuomo’s concern about publishing teacher ratings in newspapers.
- A retired city math teacher runs a workshop to inspire other teachers about the subject. (SchoolBook)
- An Orthodox Jewish girls school in Brooklyn is fining students $100 for using Facebook. (Daily News)
- Chicago and its union settled a suit over the city’s extended day push with a pay raise. (Sun-Times)
- Silicon Valley is booming with technology start-ups aimed at making education more efficient. (WSJ)
- Schools across the country are curbing risque attire at proms with stringent dress codes. (WSJ)
March 28, 2012
- Brooke Astor’s estate has been settled; “New York City Education” is getting $30 million. (Daily Politics)
- P.S. 125 in Harlem is getting help from a nonprofit after cutting its arts program last year. (Spectator)
- A look at a social and emotional learning curriculum at Brooklyn’s P.S. 24. (Learning Matters)
- At least 18 states allow teacher ratings to be made public, a practice that is divisive. (Ed Week)
- Ed Sec Arne Duncan defended key elements of his policy agenda to a skeptical Congress. (Politics K-12)
- Denver now has an “early warning” system to tell schools which students are at risk. (Ed News Colorado)
- Leonie Haimson transcribes — and annotates — the city’s school budget testimony. (NYC P.S. Parents)
- Hilary Lustick describes an effort to teach a student to challenge authority safely. (GS Community)
- A math teacher laments the forces that seem to pigeonhole teachers by subject area. (Jose Vilson)
- After lamenting the time crunch before for the class play, a teacher lauds the performance. (Mr. Foteah)
- The head of human capital for D.C.’s public schools says he wishes he could end choice. (Hechinger)
- Dozens of Chicago-area professors warn against student test scores in evaluations. (Answer Sheet)
- An educator who is launching a new school continues a series on the Common Core. (Charter Notebook)
- Be sure to follow our coverage of three schools’ turnaround hearings tonight on Twitter. (GS Twitter)
March 28, 2012
In preparation to protest the closure of Sheepshead Bay High School tonight at a public hearing, students interrogated a cardboard cutout of Mayor Michael Bloomberg on video.
In the video, a student posing as an attorney stages a mock “cross-examination,” of the mayor and his plans, which involve closing and re-opening 33 schools this year under a federal reform model known as “turnaround.” (more…)
March 28, 2012
More than two months after the city announced plans to “turn around” 33 struggling schools, the Department of Education has asked the state for permission to move forward.
Since Mayor Bloomberg announced the turnaround plans, which would require schools to close and reopen after replacing many of their teachers, the city has begun replacing some principals and asking others to develop plans for their new schools. The city also launched its school closure process by releasing “Education Impact Statements” with details about each turnaround plan.
But until now, the city had not formally informed the state about its plans, even though State Education Commission John King must approve them in order for them to receive federal funding. The department missed a self-imposed deadline to submit the applications in early February and then delayed the submission further as plans for the new schools were being formed.
The department finally turned in the applications late Tuesday, about 24 hours before a spate of city hearings about the turnaround plans was set to begin. Its cover letter, which the city released today, emphasizes that department officials have already spent “several months” preparing for the turnaround processes.
Now, it is up to King to decide whether the city should receive nearly $60 million a year in federal School Improvement Grants for the schools. (more…)
March 28, 2012
Department of Education officials are telling principals of schools slated for “turnaround” not to worry about quotas when they decide which teachers to hire for next year.
This guidance conflicts with the federal guidelines for the reform model, which require a school to replace at least half its teachers. It also contradicts the words of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials, who have done little to dispute this figure before alarmed teachers, students and parents at meetings held throughout the city.
The 50 percent figure has been repeated again and again in months since Bloomberg’s announcement, at forums, protests, union press conferences, and city presentations. Superintendent Aimee Horowitz told families and staff at Brooklyn’s William E. Grady High School and Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School that “up to 50 percent of the remaining faculty can be re-hired,” while at least 50 percent will have to leave. At a meeting of the Citywide Council on High Schools, Deputy Chancellor Elaine Gorman distributed a presentation that said part of the plan was to “re-hire no more than 50 percent.”
But behind the scenes, department officials have been telling principals to ignore this requirement. They said they have told principals at the 33 schools to hire the best teachers available without fretting over whether they are new or would be returning.
“Our goal is for schools to hire and recruit the most qualified teachers who meet the high standards set by their principals — not to remove a certain percentage of staff,” said Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg. “As that happens, we will work with the state to secure millions of dollars in funding that these new schools need and deserve.”
Principals who have been working on developing plans for the replacement schools say they plan to follow the department’s instructions and are anticipating replacing far fewer teachers than 50 percent. Multiple principals said they were expecting to replace about a quarter of their teachers over the summer. (more…)
March 28, 2012
Teachers should undergo standardized observations well before their students can read, talk, or even walk, according to researchers who discussed the role of observations in improving teacher quality during a panel on Tuesday.
Lisa Guernsey, director of the Early Education Initiative of the New America Foundation, and Susan Ochshorn, founder of ECE PolicyWorks, touted the potential of engaging caretakers and educators working with the infant through five-year-old group in observations and feedback that push towards effective teaching.
Guernsey and Ochshorn recently co-authored Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades, in which they cite a 2011 study that shows a strong correlation between students struggling in the early grades and dropout rates later on. They argue that the same kind of innovations that are being touted for K-12 teachers would push teachers of even younger children to improve, which would in return ensure children are receiving quality educational experiences from the start.
“Today’s early education system is weakened by discrepancies between standards and measurement tools used for K-12 teachers and those for professionals in child care and pre-K programs,” they write. (more…)
March 28, 2012
There’s only one Bernard, but every teacher has a Bernard. He epitomizes everything we loathe about teaching adolescents, everything we love about teaching adolescents, and everything we loved about being (and still love about being) adolescents. He loves to argue and will pick fights with you about almost anything — but it’s all because he’s (more…)
March 28, 2012
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo broke his silence on teacher ratings’ privacy, saying they should be released. (WSJ)
- More teachers than ever will leave the classroom to grade state tests this year. (GothamSchools)
- DOE officials testified that next year’s budget won’t have cuts. (GothamSchools, Daily News, SchoolBook)
- Council members pressed department officials for information and commitments about class size. (NY1)
- City officials said pension costs are set to have risen fivefold since Mayor Bloomberg took office. (Post)
- Former teachers from Queens’ I.S. 59 are suing their principal over alleged harassment. (Daily News)
- Parents at a Williamsburg school building say their school is infested with mold. (NY1)
- Pleasing advocates, the state will now keep juvenile offenders close to their homes and schools. (WNYC)
- An inquiry found a DOE official had gotten his wife a job. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook, Daily News)
- P.S. 51, the Bronx school relocated over toxin concerns, will be investigated by the state. (Daily News)
- In the wake of cheating scandals, the College Board is toughening SAT exam security. (Times, AP, WSJ)
- Michael Goodwin: The city’s list of verboten test words underscores Bloomberg’s “no” mentality. (Post)
- D.C. is considering a policy to close charter schools that don’t report suspensions. (Washington Post)
March 27, 2012
- A union analysis shows that small schools on shared campuses enroll fewer weak students. (Edwize)
- Rick Hess is proactively drafting a 2020 history of the Common Core’s first 10 years. (Straight Up)
- What this week’s Supreme Court arguments about health care have to do with education. (NSVF)
- A push for universal schooling has worked, overwhelming some countries’ school systems. (Opinionator)
- NYCSA’s Bill Phillips: The Regents are finally toughening charter school accountability. (Chalkboard)
- Students at Bronx Guild HS have started planting what would be the city’s biggest orchard. (DNA Info)
- Colleges are using data to predict who will pass before classes begin. (Inside Higher Ed via Hechinger)
- A teacher describes two ways of introducing fractions to his third-grade students. (Mr. Foteah)
- A city teacher who was terminated in 2010 is making a case against the city on his blog. (Teddy Smith)
- State education chiefs are frustrated that Congress isn’t tackling big education priorities. (Politics K-12)
March 27, 2012
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott repeated a promise not to touch principals’ budgets next year, saying that a proposed cut in school funding that would cost the city more than 1,100 teaching positions would likely disappear once the city finalizes its budget later this spring.
Of the 5,000 teachers who typically leave the system each year, the preliminary 2013 budget projects that only about 4,000 would be replaced, which would save about $64 million, according to the city’s preliminary budget . But Walcott said that funding would likely be restored in time for the final budget and that principals would be able to hire for any vacated positions.
City Council members pestered Walcott about that and much more at a hearing this afternoon on the agency’s $19.6 billion budget, a 1 percent increase that won’t cover the added expenses the department expects. While last year’s hearings focused almost solely on opposition to a proposal to layoff thousands of teachers, the concerns raised by elected officials today spanned a range of the city’s education policies, including increased class sizes, the small schools initiative, spending on technology and contracts, and Medicaid collection.
But they reserved most of their early criticism on the $64 million cut in areas that directly fund schools. The decreased sum represents a headcount reduction of 1,117 teacher positions, according to the city’s projections.
“Year after year the DOE has made cuts to school budgets,” said Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson. “How are schools supposed to make do next year given the loss of funding proposed in the budget?” (more…)