Posts from June 11th, 2012
June 11, 2012
- Teachers in Tennessee, a pioneering state for evaluations, overwhelmingly disapprove. (Hechinger)
- Brooklyn’s Hasidic schools, like many others, bar students from commuting by bike. (Post via Gothamist)
- A group of Ohio fifth-graders self-published a math e-textbook using their teacher’s iPad. (Getting Smart)
- Bill Maher lamented unions and said it was impossible to fire teachers. (Real Time via NYC Educator)
- Spike in sex abuse charges show urgency to give Chancellor the power to fire teachers. (Daily News)
- A Common Core critic tackles the standards’ mandate to add more instructional reading. (PAA)
- Obama report card on education policies shows bi-partisan approval through his first term. (Politico)
- The Gates Foundation wants to build a bracelet to measure student engagement. (Answer Sheet)
- Echoing recent Useable Knowledge research, Petrilli ponders cities ripe for integration. (Flypaper)
- Coleman talks more about his next venture, leaving his current one and the common core. (Straight Up)
June 11, 2012
Mayor Bloomberg did his best to put a rosy spin on the newly-released graduation rates that showed New York City’s progress last year has flattened for the first time in seven years.
Stunted graduation numbers weren’t a setback as much as they were an impressive achievement in the face of higher standards, he said at a press conference this afternoon. And better rates of improvement in other cities weren’t an indication of New York City’s failures, but a credit to what those school districts were doing right.
“They’re doing a great job and they should be congratulated,” Bloomberg said, even though in past years he’s used such comparisons to tout his own city’s growth. “That doesn’t mean we aren’t doing a great job.”
But even Bloomberg grew sober when asked about future graduation rates. Beginning this year, all students who began high school in 2007 or after will not have the option to earn a less-demanding local diploma, which for years helped prop up the city’s overall graduation numbers.
“That’ll make it tougher,” the mayor said. The man to his left, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, quickly agreed. (more…)
June 11, 2012
Of students who entered high school in 2007, 60.9 percent graduated four years later, according to the new figures. When August graduates are included, the rate rises to 65.5 percent.
Sixty-one percent of students who entered city high schools in 2006 graduated on time in 2010. That year’s graduation rate with August graduates included was 65.1 percent.
The plateau comes after six years of growth that saw graduation rates rise from 46.5 percent in 2005 to 61 percent last year. Before that, graduation rates were stagnant for a decade and its steady improvement over the past six years has been one of the Bloomberg administration’s cornerstone achievements to cite in defending its education policies.
And as graduation standards increase, the flattened figures aren’t likely to resume that rate of improvement in coming years. Graduation could drop by as much as much as 10 percent next year. That’s the percentage of high school students – or about 8,000 students – who graduated with a local diploma, which allowed them to graduate despite scoring under 65 on one Regents exam. The local diploma has been phased out and the option won’t be available to this year’s students. (more…)
June 11, 2012
Searching for an explanation behind their school’s mid-year physical education scheduling shakeup, two Staten Island student journalists arrived at a conclusion familiar to Department of Education insiders: It’s hard to know just how many P.E. courses students must take, and for how long.
Travis Dove and Juliana Zaloom, students at CSI High School for International Studies, launched their investigation in their journalism class after CSI seniors were thrust into extra P.E. classes last semester. Today, they share their report in the GothamSchools Community section.
The physical education scheduling conflicts could be due to mistakes by school administration and faculty. …
But the city Department of Education can also be blamed for its unclear handling of physical education. As it does not monitor schools’ physical education programs, some have not even been aware that there are requirements at all.
CSI High is not the only school to have reshuffled its physical education offerings in the middle of this year. An internal Department of Education audit released in February found that some principals had been unaware of crediting rules, particularly around P.E. (more…)
June 11, 2012
Travis Dove and Juliana Zaloom are students at CSI High School for International Studies. They reported and wrote this piece for their journalism class.
Physical education. The term conjures up images of running, basketball, volleyball, and stretching — and, for many students at CSI High School for International Studies, overcrowding, minimal curriculum, and disorganization. As CSI fills to (more…)
June 11, 2012
The first round of school tours hosted by a group promoting collaboration between the city’s charter and district schools kicked off last week when more than 20 educators visited a high-performing Bronx charter school.
Tuesday’s tour at the Bronx Charter School for Excellence was organized by NYC Collaborates, an initiative that stems from a compact between the Department of Education and more than 85 charter schools to set aside their differences and work together.
“The impetus for the tours … is that there are just not many formal mechanisms for sharing,” said Cara Volpe, who manages NYC Collaborates, part of a national initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. New York became one of nine cities to join the initiative when then-Chancellor Joel Klein signed the foundation’s collaboration compact in 2010.
This month, the group organized four school tours, all in the Bronx. Each has a different theme: Educators will visit KIPP Academy for lessons in character education and the Eagle Academy to learn how new schools can create traditions to build school culture, for example.
Last Tuesday’s tour focused on creativity in the classroom. Sitting in front of blue plastic desks with notepads and pens in their hands, principals, teachers, and other school officials raised their hands to ask questions as they listened to BCSE’s principal, Charlene Reid share tips on how to foster creativity while also achieving strong test scores. (more…)
June 11, 2012
- Students across the country say the pressure of school has encouraged them to use stimulants. (Times)
- A Queens school crossing guard was arrested after allegedly choking a 14-year-old on Friday. (Post)
- The head of assessment at Pearson explains the reasons behind this month’s contested field tests. (WSJ)
- Michael Winerip: Disappointment reigns after Florida lowered cut scores to boost its image. (Times)
- P.S. 90′s controversial principal is in the news again for squashing a patriotic graduation song. (Post)
- Since making waves when taking over at P.S. 90, the principal has gotten racist hate mail. (Daily News)
- The support network whose leader is living with a principal she oversees is being closed. (Daily News)
- The Daily News endorses Jeffries “in the strongest terms” against Barron, “a racial bomb thrower.”
- The principal of Manhattan’s P.S./I.S. 276 is pushing back against the city’s space claims. (Tribeca Trib)
- Detroit’s teaching corps will likely lose 1,000 teachers when its contract expires June 30. (Detroit News)
Last week on GothamSchools:
- Teachers at low-performing schools say their tenure approvals are getting reversed. (Friday)
- Officials are been mum on a two-year special education reform pilot, concerning some groups. (Friday)
- Hundreds boycotted a testing day by showing up to protest at Pearson’s headquarters. (Thursday)
- Officials hope to expand a program that trains teachers in Common Core standards (Thursday.)
- The city collapsed its charter school office and will replace its executive director. (Wednesday)
- A massive charter school parent rally revealed deep tensions in the charter sector. (Wednesday)
- Key players in the city, state, and nation’s education reform spoke on panels on Tuesday evening.
- Cuts to city funding for early child care could lead to more inexperienced providers. (Monday)
- A “saved” turnaround school is trying to overcome months of tumult before next year. (Monday)