Posts from June 6th, 2012
June 6, 2012
- Hakeem Jeffries says he will refuse a six-figure donation in his heated congressional race. (Daily Politics)
- Tom Allon reflects on his family’s (ultimately positive) decision to opt for private school. (HuffPo)
- Des Moines’ superintendent lost two jobs by sending explicit emails at work. (Des Moines Register)
- Two new reports examine charter schools that shoot for racial and economic integration. (EdWeek)
- A panel of New York City teachers discussed the struggle to create effective evaluations. (Newshour)
- The schools chief of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., shares her views about this month’s field tests. (Wired Supe)
- As teachers begin voting to strike or not, Chicago Public Schools wants access to ballots. (Catalyst)
- The parent who first posted about “Pineapplegate” considers why the story went viral. (Schoolbook)
- A round-up of blended learning models in schools around the country shows diversity. (Ohio Gadfly)
June 6, 2012
In what organizers are calling the largest gathering of public school parents ever in New York City, thousands turned out for a rally to support the charter school movement and to warn future politicians that their constituency is a sleeping giant in upcoming elections.
“We will vote and we will be heard,” said Tara Brown Arnell, a parent in the Success Academy network.
Plenty of charter schools stayed home from the rally, including some that did so over ideological differences with the leadership that organized the event. But their absence wasn’t immediately apparent based on crowds that packed the sidewalks for four city blocks next to City Hall.
Most of the parents, students and staff were bused in from one of the large charter school networks that helped organize the event: Success Academy, Uncommon Schools, KIPP and Achievement First.
Organizers estimated that the crowds reached 5,100, more than double the audience that turned out for a similar rally around the same time last year. But unlike last year’s rally, which became a heated protest against a co-location lawsuit, this year’s event was more festive. Face painters, magicians and clowns lined the sidewalk and entertained children while music blared on the loudspeakers.
Politics still dominated the day. Parents spoke about the threat that they believed they faced under a new mayor whose education policies differed from that of Mayor Bloomberg’s. (more…)
June 6, 2012
While one tightly organized contingent of the city’s charter school sector prepared to stage a rally outside City Hall today, the Department of Education was shaking up its charter schools bureaucracy.
The Charter Schools Office’s executive director, Recy Dunn, is leaving the department, and the office is being subsumed into a broader division responsible for managing the opening, closing, and siting of schools, Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg announced in an email to his staff today.
Eliminating the Charter Schools Office is in some ways a remarkable move for the department, which has made charter schools a central prong of its reform strategy. But in other ways it is unsurprising, because the office lost momentum and authority in 2010, when legislators stripped the city of the right to award new charters.
Now, all new schools are authorized by either the State Education Department or SUNY’s Charter Schools Institute. The city’s role has been to assess existing schools, supporting them when they fall short of their promises and closing schools that do not improve.
This year, the department moved to close two schools that had faced academic and management problems and backed off of a threat to close a third struggling charter school. Both closures are currently on hold because of parent lawsuits challenging the validity of the department’s closure decision.
A charter schools insider who worked with Dunn at the department said Dunn was well liked but that the ongoing court battles had reflected poorly on his office. (more…)
June 6, 2012
A large public rally to support the city’s charter school sector this afternoon is expected to draw thousands of people, but the event is also notable for who won’t be there.
Organizers say the rally is meant as a show of political might to mayoral candidates, whose support for the sector is unlikely to rival Mayor Bloomberg’s.
But in a sign of what sources say is a widening rift within the sector, two major groups that support charter schools have declined to participate, and large numbers of independent charter school operators are sitting the rally out. Many say they believe the event’s leadership and timing reflect a larger truth about the future of the sector: that it is promising for schools that are part of large networks and less so for independent charter schools.
“The charter world is kind of breaking up into the haves and the have-nots. There’s a schism,” said a source with a long history in city charter schools. (more…)
June 6, 2012
- The city’s charter school sector is ramping up planning for life after Bloomberg, a big supporter. (WSJ)
- The city’s cost of prekindergarten special education has doubled in recent years, raising issues. (Times)
- Arbitrators assigned to hear teacher misconduct cases are quitting after not being paid. (NBC NY)
- Sexual misconduct allegations against city school workers are up 37 percent over last year. (Daily News)
- Chancellor Walcott went to Albany to push bill that would let him fire teachers in those cases. (AP)
- At a hearing on proposed changes to the DOE discipline code, students described punitive rules. (NY1)
- A student who beat odds to graduate from Heritage High School asks why he’s the exception. (NPR)
- High school graduates who are not enrolled in college are increasingly unable to find work. (Times)
- A Manhattan teenager who came to the U.S. five years ago has written a sci-fi book. (Daily News)
- Across the country, schools are cracking down on the time-honored tradition of senior pranks. (WSJ)
- The College Board has dropped a plan to offer a rare summer SAT to high-paying students. (Times)
- A financial audit is turning up issues at three Georgia charter schools tied to a Turkish imam. (Times)
- A national survey found that parents in Brooklyn and Manhattan spend the most on their kids. (Post)