Posts from June 1st, 2012
June 1, 2012
- Teachers at school slated to colocate with a charter school must pack up classrooms. (Inside Colocation)
- A teacher recounts the awkward exchange he had with a principal after being denied tenure. (Yo Mista!)
- National spelling bee prompts reflection on the value of studying proper spelling. (USA Today)
- The Chicago Teachers Union is planning to vote on a strike before the school year ends. (HuffPo)
- Leonie Haimson’s class size advocacy group flunked Michelle Rhee’s advocacy group. (PAA)
- Teacher cuts around the state might not be as bad as they originally seem, analysts say. (Times Union)
- A baseball analogy for teachers to “save” students who are on the brink of “losing” a lesson. (HuffPo)
- We’re inviting readers to our roofdeck to celebrate the (almost) end of the school year. (GothamSchools)
June 1, 2012
Students who have been held back repeatedly will get a renewed shot at moving to the next grade under new regulations that the Department of Education has proposed.
When Mayor Bloomberg won control over the city schools in 2003, his first major initiative was to crack down on “social promotion,” or allowing students to move to the next grade regardless of whether they passed the year’s state tests. The ban first took effect in third grade in 2004 — enabled by Bloomberg’s purge of critics from the city school board — and extended to all tested grades in 2009.
The proposed regulations, announced today, would roll back that policy for a small and particularly challenging segment of the student population: those who are overage for their grade and have been held back multiple times.
Of the roughly 9,200 students who were held back last year, 1,200 fit into that category, according to the Department of Education.
Under the current promotion policy, principals aren’t allowed to advance students who failed state tests under any circumstance. The new regulations would ease that rule, Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky wrote in a letter to principals this week. (more…)
June 1, 2012
The latest internal Department of Education emails to come to light are mostly dark: The 228 pages released today contain large swaths of blacked-out text.
But between redactions, a few messages stand out — including one in which charter operator Eva Moskowitz speedily outlines an agenda that became the driving focus of former Chancellor Joel Klein’s last year in office.
Urging Klein to be “SUPERAGGRESSIVE in [the] standard of excellence” for schools’ academic performance, Moskowitz wrote, “If folks criticize you for having the bar way too high, you know you are inching closer to success.”
The emails were part of the yield from a massive Freedom of Information Law request filed by the United Federation of Teachers. The union wanted to see the communication exchanged between the city Department of Education and charter school supporters during a period when legislators were under pressure to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the state. That cap was raised in May 2010.
Hundreds of emails between Klein and charter advocates were released last month, showing that Klein kept careful tabs on the legislative action and was quick to connect advocates with support. (more…)
June 1, 2012
The charter sector is ramping up its efforts to serve high-needs students with a state legislative proposal that would help charter schools pool their resources.
One obstacle to serving students with disabilities and English language learners, charter operators have said, is that the schools are islands: Every school operates independently, so it is costly for any charter school to serve small populations of students with diverse needs.
Critics have accused charter operators with using this explanation as an excuse for not serving more students with disabilities and ELLs. But in fact some charter school lobbyists have pushed for years to be able to work together to pool resources.
In 2010, when legislators added special education enrollment targets to the state’s charter school law, revised in order to qualify the state for the federal Race to the Top competition, charter advocates asked for a legal change. But it was one of several proposals that didn’t cross the finish line in the frenzy to pass the law, according to officials from the New York State Charter Association, which is currying support for the bill.
Now, legislators are trying again. The Charter School Students With Special Needs Act would allow charter schools across the state to create consortia to serve students with disabilities. State Sen. John Flanagan, chair of the education committee, proposed the bill last month and moved it through his committee yesterday. In the Assembly, Karim Camara, a city representative, has introduced an identical bill. (more…)
June 1, 2012
School’s almost out — party at our place!
That’s right: We liked you all, dear readers, so much when we met you at our February happy hour that we’re taking this relationship a step further and inviting you to our headquarters.
As some of you know from previous GothamSchools events, we have a gorgeous roof deck at our beautiful donated office space. That’s where we’ll be serving up drinks and snacks after school on June 15. Please join us then!
June 1, 2012
Being an active parent in the New York City public schools is practically a family tradition for GothamSchools reader Ayanna Behin, the winner of our reader survey drawing.
Behin’s grandmother went to Hunter College High School before continuing onto Hunter College, and her grandfather went to Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx before attending New York University and Harvard Law School.
“When they were done with high school, they could speak Greek, they could speak Latin,” Behin said. “They had poetry galore memorized, they knew how to think, and they had a core knowledge.”
But because they were West Indian immigrants, her grandparents’ parents had to fight to to keep their children from getting tracked into non-college preparatory classes.
“So even then their parents had to go to school and know people,” she said.
Behin’s daughter Marley represents the fourth generation in her family to attend New York City public schools (fifth if you count Marley’s great-great-grandfather, who went to City College). Marley is a student in the inaugural kindergarten class at Urban Assembly Academy for Arts and Letters in Clinton Hill. (more…)
June 1, 2012
- City schools spent $97 million last year on unvetted teacher training consultants. (WNYC/Hechinger)
- Long-troubled Opportunity Charter School won a five-year renewal recommendation. (GothamSchools)
- Bills that would shield teacher ratings from the public are still on the table in Albany. (GothamSchools)
- An East Harlem 12-year-old who killed himself had changed schools because of bullying. (Times, Post)
- Walcott formally asked the UFT to back the city’s right to fire teachers in sex abuse cases. (Daily News)
- A teacher accused of having sex with a student turned herself in. (SchoolBook, Daily News, Post, NY1)
- A Queens teacher’s sex abuse charges were increased to include more students. (Daily News, NY1)
- Chicago is emerging as a new epicenter of national education policy reform and resistance. (Tribune)
- Two new L.A. advocacy groups endorsed using student test scores in teacher evaluations. (L.A. Times)