Posts from May 2nd, 2012
May 2, 2012
- The city is exempting 27 high schools from a push to enroll more special ed students. (Insideschools)
- State officials have tossed another test question, this time on the fifth-grade math test. (SchoolBook)
- The journalists who flagged suspicious test scores say a federal program is flawed. (Education Reporter)
- A report from the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit of education reform folks. (Marketplace K-12)
- NYC-based ed tech entrepreneurs convened this week to talk about the future. (Digital: Hechinger)
- An exploration of the conceptual border separating teachers and their unions. (Shanker Blog)
- Dan Willingham: Reading comprehension strategies takes joy and turns it into work. (Willingham)
- A new study finds pre-K has an outsized benefit for non-English-speakers. (Learning the Language)
- A reform group has picked a charter teacher and Hunter High student as blogging fellows. (NYCAN)
May 2, 2012
The executive budget Mayor Bloomberg will unveil tomorrow won’t call for any reduction in the size of the city’s teaching corps, according to sources at the City Council.
In each of the last two years, the city has narrowly avoided teacher layoffs but has still seen the number of teaching positions drop because of attrition, last year by 1,800 spots. For next year, a hotly debated line in the mayor’s preliminary budget called for the city to leave about many teaching spots unfilled. The city pegged the reduction at about 1,100 positions, but City Council members said the real shortfall would have cost 2,500 jobs.
Council members continued to be distressed about the proposal even after Chancellor Dennis Walcott assured them during a hearing in March that the final budget would find funds to close the gap and make attrition unnecessary.
“It’s my goal and our hope to make sure that the budget stay flat without having any cuts to our schools,” Walcott said at the time. “We’re going to work very hard within the system that any type of absorptions be done centrally.” (more…)
May 2, 2012
Nearly 100 teachers from the Tri-State area packed the auditorium of George Washington High School Tuesday evening to meet Zeke Vanderhoek, the principal behind a three-year-old charter middle school whose $125,000 salaries are fueling a high-profile experiment in human capital.
The teachers were lured to the school’s Washington Heights campus — a cluster of classroom trailers just off George Washington’s athletic field — with the promise of higher pay and a teacher-centric educational philosophy. Those features garnered the school, called The Equity Project, or TEP, extensive media attention and hundreds of job applications even before it opened in 2009. But since then, its student performance has been lackluster, and nearly a quarter of its hires have left.
Vanderhoek, a 35-year-old former Teach For America teacher dressed in a pinstripe suit, told the crowded room that TEP is exceeding the trajectory he hoped for when he envisioned the school 2007 but has significant room to grow.
“We’re slightly ahead of where I’d hoped to be in terms of year three,” he said. ”Are we anywhere near where we need to be and want to be? Absolutely not. This is not a school that I would say you should come to if you’re looking for the well oiled machine that has already achieved its vision.” (more…)
May 2, 2012
A public hearing to discuss Success Academy’s bid to open two new charter schools in Manhattan’s District 2 next year was dominated by angry residents who said the district’s schools are too crowded to share space.
Parents from the district and members of its elected parent council said they opposed the proposal from the charter network because the district — which includes the Upper East Side down through Greenwich Village, Tribeca, and Lower Manhattan — is already overcrowded.
The council passed resolutions at the end of March calling for Success Academy to find its own building instead of moving into existing public schools and for a moratorium on charter school applications in the district.
“You can come in if you’re invited, but if the families are saying don’t come in, I don’t think you should come in,” said Shino Tanikawa, president of the Community Education Council for District 2. Tanikawa said she thinks of charter schools as “vampires.”
Most parents at the public hearing had children enrolled in one of the six schools located at the Julia Richman Education Complex on the Upper East Side or P.S. 158, whose co-located school, P.S. 267, is set to depart for its own space in September.
“What you’re essentially trying to do if you want to get into the complex is put 14 pounds of sand in a 10 pound bag,” said Guy Workman, whose daughter attends Talent Unlimited High School in the Richman Complex.
Widespread crowding is nothing new in District 2, and neither is criticism of Success Academy schools: The charge that it should find its own space has followed the network, which is run by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, virtually wherever it has sought to open. (more…)
May 2, 2012
Heading into this season, Coach Ruth Lovelace knew her championship basketball team needed to cut down on one statistic that nothing to do with what was happening on the court.
During the 2010-2011 season Boys & Girls High School, Lovelace’s star players took home the city title. But they also incurred academic suspension after academic suspension until, when it mattered the most, she lost seven players the week before her team began the state championship tournament. They lost in the first round.
This year, as the Kangaroos entered yet another long playoff stretch, Lovelace said she made it clear in the locker room that academics remained a top priority, even above wind sprints and layup lines. Players were attending study hall all season long and Lovelace didn’t want their efforts slide now.
“We learned a lesson,” Lovelace said on Monday inside the newly renovated City Council chambers at City Hall, where she and her players were invited to celebrate their Public School Athletics League and New York State championship titles this season. The boys track and field team also received an official honor from the council for winning city, state, and national titles.
The ceremony came just days after a group of schools that Boys & Girls had been part of until January — those receiving federal School Improvement Grants — were approved for the “turnaround” form of closure. But instead of spending the spring defending their school, students at Boys & Girls were busy adapting to higher standards for student athletes set by third-year Principal Bernard Gassaway. (more…)
May 2, 2012
- Some educators continue to say that the city’s special education reforms are financially motivated. (Post)
- Federal prosecutors accused Princeton Review of fraud in New York City. (GothamSchools, Times, Post)
- Advocates say schools are calling 911 over discipline issues. (GothamSchools, Daily News, SchoolBook)
- Parents at P.S. 67 in the Bronx are not happy that a high school is coming to the building. (Daily News)
- Two Brooklyn parents describe their sons’ stress over state tests and call for change. (Daily News)
- State Senate Republicans voted at the last minute to send funds to GOP-controlled school districts. (Post)
- Michael Goodwin: The growing number of out-of-wedlock births is a big education problem. (Post)
- Phone companies are not complying with a mandate to cut prices for poor school districts. (ProPublica)
- Students in a Michigan town with many Muslim students threw an all-girl prom this year. (Times)
- Two dozen high-performing Los Angeles schools want to go charter to get more money. (L.A. Times)