Posts from May 9th, 2012
May 9, 2012
- The city is asking schools to add more Common Core-aligned units to curricula in the fall. (Schoolbook)
- Lehman student was ticketed for disorderly conduct after passing out fliers protesting closure. (DNAinfo)
- The new principal of Scarsdale High School is coming from Queens’ Townsend Harris. (Patch)
- The public school run by a Hassidic Jew has the same number as Chabad’s Brooklyn HQ. (Jewish Week)
- Robot test graders are not yet sophisticated enough to handle content-laden essay prompts. (Slate)
- A Queens parent describes the process of opting his child out of state exams. (Schoolbook)
- To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, Arne Duncan visits a D.C. “SIG” high school. (Ed.gov)
- If SIG is any indication, districts may struggle to find support for teacher initiative. (Ed Money Watch)
May 9, 2012
City officials are fretting that even a temporary halt to hiring at 24 turnaround schools will weaken their ability to carry out a key piece of the improvement strategy for those schools: recruiting top-quality teachers.
On Tuesday, when the Department of Education agreed to halt hiring in the schools for at least a week during the first round of a union lawsuit, officials said no hiring would be happening yet anyway. But they are worried about what would happen if Judge Joan Lobis grants a temporary restraining order extending the freeze, as she did two years ago when a union lawsuit over school closures came before her.
If that freeze extends into June, officials say it could hurt the schools’ chances of attracting and retaining the most qualified teachers in the applicant pool.
When the judge decides whether to grant a temporary restraining order, she will weigh the likelihood that the unions’ case has merits — but not the merits themselves — and also the likelihood that a delay would harm the schools. Department officials seem likely to argue that the schools would not be able to recover from a slowdown because teachers may not be able to hold out until June if they receive other job offers before then.
But the request for a restraining order is not unexpected: The UFT vowed to sue almost as soon as Mayor Bloomberg announced the turnaround plans in January, and seeking a temporary restraining order is the first step in many legal fights over school policy. (more…)
May 9, 2012
Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch fanned interest in a possible mayoral bid by refusing to deny her interest in the position at a breakfast hosted by Crain’s New York today.
Crain’s NY editor Erik Engquist’s first question for Tisch was about the persistent rumors, first aired last fall, that she might be considering running to succeed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Everything I have to say on that subject I think I’ve already said,” Tisch told Engquist.
What Tisch has said in the past hasn’t been entirely consistent. When GothamSchools broke the news about the mayoral murmurings in October, Tisch told us, “I am absolutely, positively not going to run.” But appearing on Inside City Hall the next month, she was less definitive.
“I have an obligation that I am fulfilling right now and I am very happy in my work,” she said. “And I know there is a really crowded field out there of very eager people and I am sure they will emerge and one of them will serve the city very well.”
Host Errol Louis pointed out that Tisch hadn’t actually said she wasn’t considering running. ”I’ll take that as a ‘I’m thinking about it,’” he said. She answered, “That’s what you said.” (more…)
May 9, 2012
If students at New Dorp High School could redesign their campus, the interiors would feature theme park-sized slides instead of stairs and glass and movie screens instead of walls and ceilings.
They would make those changes to reflect the themes and character of the school’s eight “Small Learning Communities.” SLCs — essentially small schools-within-schools with different academic focuses — are gaining traction as a model for structuring large high schools, and the city is laying groundwork to introduce the model to several of those slated for “turnaround” this year.
Proponents say breaking the schools down into smaller units gives them a small-school feel without requiring closure or more drastic changes. But the small learning communities can struggle to define themselves in a space that often looks and feels just as it did before they were created.
This issue has been the focus of a collaboration between architecture students at the Pratt Institute and a handful of students from New Dorp High School, which restructured its classes into Small Learning Communities in 2005. Students from several SLCs joined up with teams from Pratt this year to imagine how each SLC might look if they were redesigned as standalone wings of the Staten Island campus. (more…)
May 9, 2012
- Adding to issues, foreign language versions of this year’s state tests had many errors. (NY1, Daily News)
- Criticism of new Common Core standards as a federal intrusion into state matters is mounting. (WSJ)
- A judge extended a halt on the city’s plans to close Williamsburg Charter High School. (GothamSchools)
- A student wrongly accused of cyberbullying a teacher at John Bowne High School is suing. (Daily News)
- The city agreed to temporarily stop hiring in schools set for turnaround. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook)
- Joe Williams: The UFT-CSA lawsuit against the city’s turnaround plans strains logic. (Daily News)
- Connecticut’s school reform deal includes less than the governor wanted but still big changes. (WSJ)
- Los Angeles will now require all students to pass a college prep course before graduation. (L.A. Times)