Posts from May 14th, 2012
May 14, 2012
- A series of articles tackles the growing clout of big advocacy groups, and their mixed results. (EdWeek)
- A teacher at a turnaround school says he’s not getting clear details about hiring. (Chaz’s School Daze)
- The city’s scoring of the state’s math and reading tests should be finished by Wednesday. (SchoolBook)
- Parents are upset after New Jersey’s state test asked third-graders to reveal a personal secret. (CBS)
- Educators are signing a petition to keep the state Global Studies Regents exam. (Mr. D’s Neighborhood)
- A teacher describes five test-prep strategies that work for him — but also make him sick. (NYCDOENuts)
- A teacher who taught AP Calculus for the first time this year explains why it was also the last. (JD2718)
- Ravitch notes the nasty names that charter advocates called her and other critics in emails. (DR’s Blog)
- A teacher asks why his colleagues are surprised by the charter backers-Joel Klein emails. (Jose Vilson)
- Since David Wakelyn resigned as Gov. Cuomo’s education deputy, no one is in charge. (Ed in the Apple)
- In Georgia, students in every grade will complete surveys that help evaluate their teachers. (Hechinger)
- When the math gets ahead of one teacher, she tells her students she needs to slow down. (Mrs. Ripp)
- A teacher singles out a former student who makes her feel like she has made a difference. (SchoolBook)
May 14, 2012
For the second time, the state’s labor relations board has ruled that the city must accept mediation in its teacher evaluation talks with the United Federation of Teachers.
The board, the Public Employees Relations Board, first decided in March to heed the UFT’s request and appoint a mediator to broker negotiations about teacher evaluations in the 33 schools that until December had been receiving federal School Improvement Grants. But the city appealed the decision, arguing that it was no longer planning to negotiate a separate evaluation system for just those schools.
Now the board has affirmed its stance and once again ordered the city into mediated talks with the union.
When the board first granted the request, its director of conciliation said that because the city had not yet formally applied to switch the schools to a reform model that does not require new teacher evaluations, it was still obligated to seek a deal for the 33 schools. Today, the board ruled that the city’s bid to switch the overhaul model — to “turnaround,” in a swap that the state has not approved — “does not nullify its obligations.”
City lawyers are regrouping after the setback. “We strongly disagree with the board’s ruling and are reviewing our legal options,” said Department of Education spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti in a statement. (more…)
May 14, 2012
After more than a decade at war with Mayor Bloomberg, the UFT has increasingly seemed to be looking forward to the day his successor takes office.
But in a 30-minute speech to members at their annual conference on Saturday, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said the union couldn’t sit back until January 2014. Instead, he said he would move forward on new initiatives that he said were central to the union’s values, with or without financial or political support from the city.
“I want to draw a picture of what we know our schools can be and the central role that our union must play in making that happen,” Mulgrew said. “Why do I say ‘we must’? Because more than any other organization, the UFT is positioned to lead the effort to make New York schools the greatest school system in the United States.”
Mulgrew announced in his speech that he would be giving out $300,000 in planning grants to a school that offered the best proposal to transform itself into a one-stop community shop. The “collective impact” grant is meant to help bring in an array of services that would be available to the larger school community and go well beyond the traditional K-12 classroom education.
In announcing the grants, funded by the UFT, the City Council and the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, Mulgrew said he didn’t care if the Department of Education was on board or not. (more…)
May 14, 2012
When Chancellor Dennis Walcott peeked into an English as a Second Language class at the High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, he caught a crowd of Chinese-speaking students parsing “Death of a Salesman,” a classic of American literature.
In other classrooms on the fifth floor of the Lower East Side’s Seward Park Campus, he saw students reading aloud from “Romeo and Juliet,” designing school emblems in the style of Chinese art, and preparing to discuss the Earth’s capacity to sustain its human population.
It was the second school visit of the day for Walcott, who is touring schools that landed on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of America’s “best high schools.” The list measures schools according to how well their students perform compared to other schools with similar demographics. Seven of the 10 highest-ranking New York State high schools are in the city, topped by Queens’ Baccalaureate School for Global Education.
This morning, Walcott started his day at Queens High School for the Science at York College, also on the list. After a lunch break to accept an award from an architecture mentoring program, he’ll finish the school day at a third top-ranked school, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College.
“I saw a lot of learning taking place, great students, great teachers, and a really outstanding principal,” Walcott said of his visit to the Queens school. “Here, even more so. Coming off the stairwell — I didn’t take the elevator — I saw a young student who was getting ready for his A.P. exam. He said the students and teachers here are all committed to excellence in education.”
Walcott’s habit of stopping by schools is well known. In the first semester of the school year, he visited schools on 72 different occasions, often to attend evening meetings for parents and the public, but also during the day for spelling bees, holiday concerts, and a “Harvest Feast.” In contrast, ex-Chancellor Joel Klein crossed the thresholds of city public schools 84 times in 445 days — well over a year — in 2009 and 2010. (more…)
May 14, 2012
- At Explore Charter, one of the city’s many segregated schools, engaging with race is a challenge. (Times)
- State inspections found that some struggling schools lack basic supplies such as books and paper. (Post)
- Emails the UFT requested show Joel Klein was close to charter schools. (Daily News, NY1, SchoolBook)
- UFT President Michael Mulgrew criticized the city’s school policies at a union conference. (NY1, AP)
- Mayor Bloomberg again criticized parents for not caring about their children’s education. (Daily News)
- P.S. 276 in Manhattan suggested that waitlisted families try applying to a private kindergarten. (Post)
- Parents in Prospect Heights are worried about the arrival of a charter transfer high school. (Daily News)
- Several school workers have left the system after engaging inappropriately with students. (Daily News)
- A Queens City Council member explains her bill to change how teacher salaries are billed. (Daily News)
- Locke High School in Los Angeles, which Green Dot runs, is doing better but still not well. (L.A. Times)
- The nun who runs Brooklyn’s all-girls Fontbonne Hall Academy is a relic of an earlier time. (Times)
- Elsewhere in the state, school budgets enacted under a new property tax cap are going to voters. (WSJ)
- Some independent schools are embracing technology, and some are eschewing it. (Washington Post)