Posts from May 24th, 2012
May 24, 2012
- Schools where students take Advanced Placement exams but few pass get credit, too. (Class Struggle)
- Students and teachers from the iSchool discuss the city’s new social media policies. (Schoolbook)
- Sixth graders from the NYC Lab School tied for first place in a national chess competition. (DNAinfo)
- A teacher warns about the potential consequences of a letter-grade scheme for the MTA. (Jose Vilson)
- A teacher accreditation council approved the first non-higher education prep program. (Teacher Beat)
- Hess: Romney should outline ed policy stances and critique the Obama administration. (Straight Up)
- Romney could win Latino votes with proposals for high-needs students. (Learning the Language)
- Some principals worry about student achievement plummeting over the summer. (Hechinger Report)
- A rubric for better conversation about test scores and student performance. (Shanker Blog)
- Lightning struck P.S. 167 in Crown Heights during class today, frightening students. (DNAInfo)
May 24, 2012
A charter school that the city is trying to close will likely stay open well beyond the end of the school year while a judge reviews the case.
The city announced in January that it would not renew the Peninsula Preparatory Academy’s charter when it expires on June 30. But just as has happened at Williamsburg Charter High School, another charter school facing closure, parents and the school board at PPA have fought back in court. In March, PPA won a temporary restraining order, allowing the school to hold its lottery for next year and begin enrolling students. Principal Ericka Wala said today the school received 125 applications for 50 kindergarten seats and has already filled those seats.
On Thursday, Judge Diccia Pineda-Kirwan of the Queens County Supreme Court extended the restraining order indefinitely while she reviews the case. An additional motion was filed by parents who charge that their due process rights were violated by the Department of Education’s handling of the closure procedure. Advocates for Justice, the nonprofit law firm that is usually opposes charter schools in litigation, filed the motion on behalf of 98 families from the school. (more…)
May 24, 2012
Teachers at another charter school in Queens have voted to unionize, the teachers union announced today.
The school, the Academy of the City Charter School in Long Island City, joins 10 other schools that have moved to unionize since 2007, when the union began its campaign to unionize the charter teaching force. The school is a an off-shoot of Our World Neighborhood Charter School, which has existed for a decade in Astoria, Queens, and is not unionized.
“We made this decision because we believe it is critical for us to establish a formal collective voice within our school community,” Academy of the City’s teachers told the school’s board of trustees in a letter sent last week.
The Academy of the City opened in September 2011 with 12 teachers, one guidance counselor, and about 100 students in its Kindergarten and first grade. It plans to expand to a full elementary school by 2015. (more…)
May 24, 2012
We lied. One week into our latest reader survey, it turns out it actually takes an average of 4.38 minutes — not three — to answer all the questions.
Everything else remains true, though. We still want to know more about you, and we still maintain that the more we know, the better the site will be. We’ll have better stories, and, as we explained last week, we might also have better ways to sustain ourselves financially.
This is your official warning that you only have five more days to answer the survey before we close it down on Monday. That includes only one-and-a-half non-Memorial Day weekend days.
As a reminder, one lucky survey respondent will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, on us.
May 24, 2012
Upper West Sider and mayoral hopeful Tom Allon would oppose testing in elementary schools — even though the state, not the city, sets the testing schedule.
That was one of several policy positions he outlined for a sparse crowd of principals, campaign volunteers, and teachers’ union leader Michael Mulgrew yesterday evening who gathered to hear his first policy speech about education.
Allon, a former teacher and political outsider, said he wants to be the “education mayor” — a mantle Bloomberg sought early in his administration. Allon briefly taught English and journalism at his alma mater, Stuyvesant High School; aided city officials in the creation two small high schools in Manhattan; and sent three daughters to public schools.
The speech itself contained few hard proposals but instead focused on challenges facing the school system and a handful of small-scale solutions that are already in place, such as teacher mentoring programs that the UFT runs.
It was when audience members pressed Allon for specifics that he offered ideas of what an Allon administration might look like. (His five likely competitors in the Democratic primary have also started to stake out their education platforms, but none has yet delivered a policy address on the subject.)
Like Mayor Bloomberg, he would favor mayoral control and school choice. But like some of Bloomberg’s fiercest critics, he would slash the Department of Education’s central bureaucracy and reduce the emphasis on standardized testing.
And on some issues, he would strike out for a middle ground. (more…)
May 24, 2012
As predicted, the Panel for Education Policy approved a budget formula Wednesday night meant to hasten the integration of special education students into general education classrooms.
But before the vote, Department of Education Deputy Chancellor Laura Rodriguez defended the spending plan — and the broader special education reforms that it is meant to facilitate — against charges that the city is asking schools to move too quickly on increasing inclusion of students with special needs. Critics say that Rodriguez’s departure from the Department of Education next month should cause the city to pause the reforms, which are set to go citywide this fall after being delayed once before.
Under the new formula, students who receive special education services for only a portion of the day would bring more city funds than students in self-contained settings for the entire day.
No one at the meeting opposed the objectives behind the Department of Education special education reforms. But some worried that lack of understanding about special education students could cause confusion for parents, students, and teachers alike.
“Everybody’s on the same page,” said Wilfredo Pagan, the board member appointed by the Bronx borough president. “Most of us agree with the opportunity this reform brings to the table.”
“But let’s slow it down here and see how we’re going to re-approach this situation,” he said. (more…)
May 24, 2012
- International Leadership Charter, which has a rocky history, is moving to its own space. (Riverdale Press)
- All students at P.S. 368 in Harlem will get Arabic lessons twice a week, in a first. (NY1, Post, Daily News)
- Advocates want the state to take more time to phase in more stringent diploma rules. (GothamSchools)
- Parent activists are weighing political campaigns as they look toward Bloomberg’s exit. (GothamSchools)
- A janitor was hit in the leg when teenagers sprayed the Lower East Side’s P.S. 2 with BB pellets. (Post)
- Two new Success Academy charter schools in the Bronx attracted 30 applications for each spot. (Post)
- A relatively new city private school is boosting enrollment by accepting some boarding students. (WSJ)
- Channeling Obama, Mitt Romney said education was “the civil rights issue of our time.” (Times, WSJ)
- Chicago teachers held a citywide rally for the first time in decades, against Mayor Emanuel. (Sun-Times)