Posts from May 16th, 2012
May 16, 2012
- Teachers are complaining about flawed scoring guides for this year’s state tests. (Insideschools)
- David Coleman, College Board’s new chief, said future SATs will be Common Core-aligned. (EdWeek)
- A parent reports that state test prep took a backseat to a talent show at her son’s school. (Insideschools)
- A teacher says project-based learning keeps students motivated through exam season. (Mr. Foteah)
- A teacher says the city’s plan to flag teachers subject to disciplinary action is problematic. (JD2718)
- A city program encourages District 75 teachers to incorporate more art into lessons. (Schoolbook)
- Students in P.S. 22′s chorus perform Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution.” (PS22 Chorus Blog)
- A teacher details his experience in the “Rubber Room,” with an apologia for taxpayers. (Protect Portelos)
May 16, 2012
The first court appearance in the union lawsuit to halt hiring decisions at 24 turnaround schools ended with the judge telling the city and unions to resolve their dispute out of court.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Joan Lobis urged the city and teachers and principals unions to resolve their contractual disputes through arbitration, rather than litigation. If the two sides would agree to let an independent arbitrator hear their case, then she would not need to rule on the unions’ request for an injunction to halt hiring at the schools.
Union and city lawyers both said they wanted to resolve the dispute quickly because schools would be harmed if hiring decisions are not made well before the end of the school year.
“If you’re both saying you need the arbitrator as soon as possible, an injunction would not be necessary,” Lobis said. “If what you’re saying is really sincere, then you’ll get it to the arbitrator as quickly as possible.”
After conferring this afternoon, city and union lawyers accepted Lobis’s suggestion. The two sides are meeting tonight to select an arbitrator and meeting dates, with the goal of resolving the legal questions about teacher and principal staffing at the turnaround schools by early June. (more…)
May 16, 2012
Holes in the Department of Education’s oversight of tutoring companies that work in city schools allowed one of the companies to collect payments without proving it had delivered services, according to an audit by Comptroller John Liu.
Liu found that Champion Learning Center collected about $860,000 in the 2009-2010 school year for tutoring students who had not signed into tutoring sessions or for tutoring sessions that officials had not certified had taken place.
The audit highlights the murky world of “supplemental educational services” providers, companies that offer tutoring mandated under the No Child Left Behind law. They are private entities but are subject to a host of city and state regulations, and the city must both monitor them and give them access to students.
The audit comes weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against another SES provider, Princeton Review, for falsifying attendance records and bilking New York City out of millions of dollars. In that case, investigators found that the company had submitted false signatures showing that tutoring sessions had taken place. (more…)
May 16, 2012
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May 16, 2012
The state is preparing to take a step forward in implementing a two-year-old clause in its charter school law that requires the schools to serve their fair share of high-needs students.
When legislators revised the charter school law in 2010, their main objective was to increase the number of charters allowed. But they also added a requirement that charter schools enroll “comparable” numbers of students with disabilities and English language learners, populations that the schools typically under-enroll.
What comparability would mean has never been clear — until now. Last week, the state unveiled a proposed methodology for calculating enrollment targets, and it intends to finalize the algorithm at next month’s meeting of SUNY’s Board of Trustees, which oversees charter schools.
The targets would vary from school to school and be determined based on the overall ratio of high-needs students in each district. The proposal includes a calculator that determines enrollment targets for any school based on its location, the grades it serves, and the size of its student body.
Under the proposed methodology, a charter school with 400 students in grades five through eight in Upper Manhattan’s District 6, for example, would have to enroll 98 percent students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, 15 percent students with disabilities, and 44 percent ELLs. In District 2, which has more affluent families and fewer immigrants, a similar school would be expected to enroll 64 percent poor students and 13.4 percent ELLs. But it would still need to have 15 percent of students with special needs. (more…)
May 16, 2012
- Common Core standards architect David Coleman will head the test-making College Board. (Times)
- The city’s response to the union “turnaround” suit says a delay would be damaging. (GothamSchools)
- A janitor at P.S. 160 in the Bronx is being hailed for foiling a potential kidnapping. (Post, NBC)
- The principal removed after being accused of lewd behavior is being demoted. (Post, Daily News, NY1)
- A growing emphasis on standardized testing nationally has given rise to scattered rebellions. (WSJ)
- The backlash has led to intense criticism of testing firms even as the firms continue to expand. (WSJ)
- Florida schools won’t be penalized for low writing test scores after all scores fell. (Orlando Sentinel)
- Michelle Rhee’s ongoing advocacy through StudentsFirst continues to win big funders. (Reuters)
- A lawsuit funded by reform advocates takes aim at California’s tenure and seniority rights. (L.A. Times)