Posts from May 10th, 2012
May 10, 2012
- MCA’s teacher remembers him as a likable kid and a mediocre student with a deep soul. (Schoolbook)
- A brief history lesson on the famous names behind the turnaround schools changing names. (EdWize)
- U.S. Department of Education officials spent today with teachers to celebrate the profession. (Ed.Gov)
- 60 Minutes is taking a look at the mysterious founder of the growing Gulen charter chain. (CBS News)
- Teacher says city’s anti-truancy ads won’t be helpful to some struggling parents. (Pissed Off Teacher)
- Colorado educators say mix of online and in-person teaching should be on the rise. (Ed News Colorado)
- Public school advocates are sweating over slated federal budget cuts, despite House bill. (Politics K-12)
- Eric DeGiaimo and his ascent from neglect, which we covered Tues., was also profiled on TV. (ABC 7)
- A cancer group wants a ban on indoor tanning in New York State for teenagers. (Capital New York)
May 10, 2012
When the 18 seniors in Amy Matthusen’s Advanced Placement English class entered Room 104 at Bronx Academy of Letters on Wednesday, they were surprised to see an unfamiliar figure at the front of the classroom.
Instead of their teacher, they found Shael Polakow-Suransky, the Department of Education’s second in command, who signed up to guest-teach in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Polakow-Suransky is leading the department’s efforts to make instruction more challenging but hadn’t taught a class of students since working as a principal in 2004.
“When I thought about a good way to express my appreciation, I thought doing some teaching and getting a feel for what our teachers are working on day to day would be a powerful way to do that,” he said.
Matthusen’s students had analyzed three essays about affirmative action, each arguing that a different kind of student should get an edge in university admissions. One argued for race-based affirmative action; another pushed for poor students to get a boost; and the third said admissions preferences could bring more male students to college campuses, where they are under-represented.
Polakow-Suransky didn’t want to pull the class away from its trajectory. So after speaking with Matthusen twice, he prepared an activity that used all of the same materials. His twist: Students would argue the positions contained in the essays before a “Board of Regents,” a group of students responsible for setting admissions policies for a hypothetical university. (more…)
May 10, 2012
In the two years since the city launched its initiative to combat truancy and longterm school absences, they targeted students, with the help of teachers and celebrities like Magic Johnson. Now the initiative is turning its attention to parents.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today an advertisement campaign to inspire parents to make sure their children are in school each morning, and guide them to resources if their children are not. Each ad shows images of students and the public service announcement-inspired message: “It’s 9 a.m. Do you know where your kids are?”
Bloomberg told an auditorium of reporters, city officials, and young students and teachers at P.S. 91 in Queens that the city will be pushing to help parents increase their childrens’ attendance rates and understand the academic consequences of chronic absenteeism. Repeat offenders in elementary and middle school are more likely to drop out when they get to high school, he said.
“But many parents…don’t know what to do about it, and that’s why we’re launching the ad campaign,” he said. “It points parents towards help.”
The city will post these ads on public transportation and metro cards, in schools and community centers, and online. The campaign directs parents to visit the Department of Education web site, where they can find out how many days of school their child has missed. Librarians will be trained to help parents access this information, which requires a student identification number. And four times a year Department of Education officials will station themselves in the libraries to give more detailed advice to parents. (more…)
May 10, 2012
A study of New York City charter schools that found a strong link between the amount of instructional time students got and their achievement is being held up as an evidence for a national push for longer school days.
Roland Fryer, the Harvard University researcher who completed the study, found in a different investigation that student test scores inched up — by about .015 points per day of school — in years with few snow days.
Fryer spoke during a press call this morning announcing the debut of the Time to Succeed Coalition, which is calling for schools to expand their day and year — an often controversial proposition. It also calls on schools to redesign the way they use time in order to beef up the curriculum and ensure students get a well-rounded education.
The coalition’s chairs are Chris Gabrieli, the longtime extended-day advocate who chairs the National Center on Time & Learning, and Ford Foundation president Luis Ubiñas. They have attracted more than 100 coalition members from across state, sector, and political lines, ranging from the CEO of Netflix to the president of the NAACP. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and State Education Commissioner John King have all signed on as well, committing to prioritize the expansion and redesign of school time in the coming years. (more…)
May 10, 2012
Fewer than four in 10 New Yorkers think closing schools makes for sound education policy, according to the results of a new poll released today. And approval is lowest in the borough most hard-hit by school closures under the Bloomberg administration.
The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University’s survey center, focused largely on 2013 mayoral race and found that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is a clear frontrunner among the Democratic candidates. But it also asked a raft of questions about education policy in the city.
Several of the questions had been asked before and yielded consistent results. New Yorkers still want the next mayor to share school control with an independent board, disapprove in large numbers of how Mayor Bloomberg is handling the city’s schools, and are divided about whether the teachers union exerts a positive force.
But one question had never appeared on a Quinnipiac poll before. It asked, “Mayor Bloomberg wants to close a number of low performing public schools and replace them. Which comes closer to your point of view; this is good educational policy, or this is an attack on the teacher’s union?” (more…)
May 10, 2012
- An internal memo shows that Pearson, the state’s test-maker, is concerned about its errors. (NY1)
- Merryl Tisch said the errors are “inexcusable.” (GothamSchools, Daily News, WSJ, Post, Crain’s NY)
- The city announced new names for the 24 schools set to undergo turnaround. (SchoolBook, Daily News)
- City officials are worrying that a legal holdup could undermine the turnaround schools. (GothamSchools)
- (For now known as) Automotive HS will teach bike repair to reflect the new Greenpoint. (Brooklyn Paper)
- Chancellor Walcott visited P.S. 98 in the Bronx, where at 11-year-old student committed suicide. (Post)
- Riverdale families are joining in a citywide fight to get after-school funding restored. (Riverdale Press)