Posts from April 2nd, 2012
April 2, 2012
- A beloved Brooklyn school official, Fortunato “Fred” Rubino, died suddenly today. (SchoolBook)
- Rubino did not always toe the official DOE line as he helmed I.S. 318 and District 14. (Ed Notes)
- A portrait series depicts several New Yorkers who work while also attending high school. (Times)
- A Brooklyn principal says a charter school will be too much for his packed building. (MetroFocus)
- Joanne Barkan: Ed reform with a corporate mindset seems powerful but can be overcome. (Dissent)
- A Philadelphia principal offers his criteria for what makes “transformative” schools. (Practical Theory)
- A teacher says the city’s banned words list was an affront to knowledge. (Coming of Age in the Middle)
- A class of kindergarteners at Manhattan’s P.S. 150 summarizes each day in a Tweet. (SchoolBook)
- A teacher lauds alma mater Bank Street College and asks why more don’t. (On the Shoulders of Giants)
- The superintendent of Colorado Springs, Colo., is likely to be Dallas’s next chief. (Ed News Colorado)
- Miles recently authored a paper praising his district’s teacher compensation plan. (Ed Excellence)
- A problem with the report is that Miles is “almost evangelical” about his faith in testing. (Dana Goldstein)
- An elementary school father pens an ode to his school’s expansive annual auction. (Insideschools)
- We’re tweeting from turnaround hearings at Lehman and Grover Cleveland high schools. (GS Twitter)
April 2, 2012
Just days after telling the state that it wanted to “turn around” 33 schools, the city has knocked that number down to 26.
Department of Education officials notified principals at seven of the schools with top grades on the city’s internal assessment of school quality their schools would no longer be slated for turnaround.
Turnaround is a federally prescribed school reform process that requires half of teachers to be replaced. In the model the city is using in order to win federal funds, the schools would have been closed and reopened with new names and new staffs this summer. The department had been criticized roundly for proposing to turn around seven schools that had met the city’s own benchmarks by receiving A’s or B’s on their annual progress reports.
The city’s shocking about-face comes less than a week after the city submitted formal applications to the state for approval and just hours before one of the schools on the list, Brooklyn’s School for Global Studies, was set to have a public hearing about its closure. Another school on the list, Harlem Renaissance High School, had a closure hearing last week.
In addition to Global Studies and Harlem Renaissance, the five other schools no longer slated for turnaround are William E. Grady Career and Technical High School, Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, I.S. 136, William Maxwell Career and Technical High School, and Cobble Hill School of American Studies.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement that department officials had concluded the schools could improve without radically overhauling their staffs. (more…)
April 2, 2012
Standing beside a dozen elected officials this morning, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall recalled the anxiety in the voices of the many Queens students, teachers and school leaders who have implored her to help them fight city plans to close their schools this year.
“When they came to us, I heard children cry, ‘What am I going to do?’” Marshall said at a press conference denouncing the city’s plans to “turn around” 33 schools, including eight Queens schools. “They love their schools, they want to stay in their schools. They love learning in their schools. I stand hand in hand here with the children. They do not want this.”
Marshall convened the press conference just hours before Queens’ first public hearing about turnaround, the controversial process the city has proposed for 33 struggling schools. But the event was far from Marshall’s first public statement on the plans, which would require the schools to close and reopen with a new name and many new teachers.
She also held a hearing at Queens Borough Hall about the proposals in February, where she unveiled an uncharacteristically aggressive stance against the Department of Education. The shift makes sense: For the previous decade, Queens has seen relatively few of its schools shuttered for poor performance, and of the 23 schools whose closures or truncations were approved in February, only one was in the borough. But the borough is home to a full quarter of the schools proposed for turnaround. (more…)
April 2, 2012
Among the many people set to attend a hearing tonight about the city’s plan to “turn around” Herbert H. Lehman HIgh School is a teacher who has spent time on both sides of the documentary eye.
James McSherry, who has taught writing and film at Lehman for the last 20 years, was the subject of not one but two recent student reporting projects at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. In one story (above), by Nabil Rahman, McSherry empathizes with his students and shares pieces of his life story, saying, “I know what it’s like to be hungry, to be lost, to be forgotten by a system that really doesn’t care.” A second story by Alex Robinson (below) focuses on the turnaround plans and McSherry’s response to them.
McSherry won’t be alone in opposing the turnaround plan tonight. Anne Looser, the school’s UFT chapter leader, sent a press release last week drawing attention to the hearing and calling on the Department of Education to keep Lehman open with the same teachers. And students, too, are organizing to oppose the turnaround plan, which would require the school to be closed and reopened with a new name and many new teachers.
Lehman’s hearing is among eight taking place this week. They are listed at the right. (more…)
April 2, 2012
- All signs point to a coming deal to let parents but not the general public see teacher ratings in NY. (WSJ)
- A comparison of two Bronx schools suggests that teachers, principals, and age groupings are key. (Post)
- The city has approved a national archery foundation to operate programs in city schools. (Post)
- Michael Winerip: A well liked East Side Middle School student was accepted by no high school. (Times)
- A Bronx teacher wants to start a charter school that would let students follow their talents. (DNA Info)
- Some families are keeping students home at Brooklyn’s M.S. 577, where mold was found. (Daily News)
- Diane Ravitch: Potential for “unpleasant emotions” is a bad excuse for barring test topics. (Daily News)
- City private schools are increasingly sending student to far-flung locations for field trips. (Times)
- Two teachers from Entrada Academy were arrested on drug and weapons charges Friday night. (Post)
- Colleges and universities are working to create racial diversity without using affirmative action. (Times)
- A L.I. schools chief inked a contract for $400,000 a year even as Gov. Cuomo tries to cap salaries. (Post)
- Across the country, Democratic mayors are challenging their cities’ teachers unions. (Washington Post)
Last week on GothamSchools:
- The city and UFT were apparently united on a touchy topic: absent students in teacher ratings. (Friday)
- Very different feelings were on display at three schools holding the first turnaround hearings. (Thursday)
- A charter school aiming to enroll high-needs students released early application numbers. (Thursday)
- At long last, the city formally asked the state for federal funding for its turnaround plans. (Wednesday)
- Principals at turnaround schools are being told they don’t have to replace half of teachers. (Wednesday)
- Budget cuts mean teachers are spending more time out of school to grade state tests this year. (Tuesday)
- The City Council grilled Chancellor Walcott on the schools budget and was told not to worry. (Tuesday)