Posts from May 11th, 2012
May 11, 2012
- Council Speaker Christine Quinn is ramping up her lobbying for mandatory kindergarten. (Insideschools)
- Rick Hess says American schools are plagued by a “culture of can’t” that holds them back. (Straight Up)
- Joel Rose of New Classrooms offers a blueprint for how to reinvent classrooms for the future. (Atlantic)
- Diane Ravitch says the Quinnipiac poll question about school closures was misleading. (DR’s Blog)
- A summary of city, state, and Obama administration teacher appreciation messages. (NYC P.S. Parents)
- A parent explains why he filed a Freedom of Information Law request to see the state tests. (SchoolBook)
- A math curriculum’s Kickstarter bid raises crowdsourcing vs. venture capital issues. (Hack Education)
- The superintendent of Scarsdale’s public schools makes a case against new evaluations. (Newsday)
- Research and experience show an educator urban students can fall apart after graduation. (Coach G)
- The irony of a new teacher licensing exam is that it was designed by teacher educators. (Teacher Beat)
May 11, 2012
Critics of Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to slash after-school services to tens of thousands of students are forecasting that the cuts will have a grave effect.
Today, they earned an accidental endorsement from an unusual source: Bloomberg.
“We have a lot of kids who unfortunately don’t have parents at home when they leave in the morning or get home in the afternoon and it’s harder to supervise kids,” Bloomberg said during a radio appearance this morning to promote the city’s anti-truancy campaign.
The comments were convenient fodder for Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, who released a report today that painted a doomsday scenario about how the cuts would contribute to crime and hurt citywide employment rates.
De Blasio called Bloomberg “disconnected” and said the issues he raised on the radio were precisely a reason to preserve the after-school programs. (more…)
May 11, 2012
The city might have agreed to temporarily halt hiring decisions at turnaround schools because of a union lawsuit, but it is still moving forward with other massive changes for those schools.
This week, the Department of Education announced new names for the 24 schools set to undergo the overhaul process and continued making leadership changes in them. It also posted job descriptions that will be used to decide which teachers are picked to return in the fall.
The job postings could be the most crucial step toward shaping what the schools will look like in September. That’s because of a requirement of the 18-D process, the process embedded in the city’s contract with the UFT that the city is trying to structure rehiring. (The union’s lawsuit argues that 18-D does not apply to the turnaround schools.)
Under turnaround, every teacher at each of the schools will be “excessed,” but all who want to may reapply for their jobs. 18-D mandates that replacement schools hire back, in order of seniority, at least half of the teachers who apply from the previous school — provided that they are qualified.
The job postings are where those qualifications are set. Principals of the turnaround schools, who have been attending weekly planning workshops, devised them and union officials reviewed them before they were posted, a union official said. (more…)
May 11, 2012
“Every second counts,” teacher Ryan Hall said about the math classes he teaches at Williamsburg Collegiate Charter Middle School.
The Brooklyn teacher, who was recognized by a national nonprofit as one of the top teachers in the country last week, packed a recent eighth-grade class with algebra drills and word problems, presented at a rapid pace to discourage wandering minds.
Last week TNTP named Hall, who got his start as a teacher with Teach for America in 2007, as one of 20 teachers up for the brand-new Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice. Though Hall did not win the $25,000 prize, he was one of just two city teachers honored as finalists.
GothamSchools spent Tuesday morning watching Hall teach at his school, which consistently posts top scores on the city’s annual progress reports. After class, Hall explained how he organized the class, grouped students, and assessed progress. Hall’s commentary is framed in block quotes beneath our observations.
8 a.m. By moments after first-period started, Hall’s 21 students were already sitting in silence, scribbling the answers to a set of six mathematical problems. As he does on most mornings, Hall started the class with two timed exercises: the “Cranium Cruncher” and the “Do Now,” which teachers across the city have used to kick off their classes since the Department of Education first mandated the “workshop model” in 2003.
Hall said it typically takes him 30-45 minutes to prepare for the class, which always takes place in the morning.
“The ‘Do Now’ is more like grade-level work, with five to six word problems, and we go over that,” Hall said. “Then there’s one to 12 problems on a ‘Cranium Crunch12.’ It’s a drill sheet — basic skills in isolation, like computation.” (more…)
May 11, 2012
- Dozens of principals want to use two unused snow makeup days for Common Core training. (Post)
- Schools that use Core Knowledge, such as P.S. 333, confirm a study validating the curriculum. (NY1)
- The city is ramping up its anti-truancy campaign with subway ads. (GothamSchools, Post, NY1)
- New York posted flat scores on the NAEP science test, meant to compare states. (Daily News, Post)
- Nationally, students posted slight gains on the test but still lag in content knowledge. (WSJ, Times)
- Two Manhattan schools were evacuated briefly after non-toxic white powder was found. (Daily News)
- P.S. 41′s green roof is ready, six years after parents raised the idea of gardening there. (The Villager)
- An advocacy group asked the state to investigate Eva Moskowitz’s Success charter network. (Post)
- Michael Benjamin: Problems with tests are not new; the new problem is complaining about them. (Post)
- The Daily News says city small schools’ spots on a national high school ranking proves their value.
- In a letter, the city’s number-two education official disputes a column criticizing progress reports. (Times)
- California’s school board is continuing its quest for federal funds without new evaluations. (L.A. Times)