Posts from June 13th, 2012
June 13, 2012
- The next generation of testing will attempt to assess learning for phys ed and the arts. (Slate)
- A tale of two PTAs show what parents can and can’t do for their school principals. (Schoolbook)
- Developers hope there’s an app for whistler-blowers who want to report bullying. (Mashable)
- At the opening of an art gallery featuring student work, Bloomberg waxed poetic. (CapitalNY)
- Hakeem Jeffries can’t shake his opponent despite endorsement and money advantages. (Gonzalez)
- Congress is trying to deal with NCLB’s mandate for “highly qualified teacher.” (Answer Sheet)
- Horace Mann’s administration has been “cooperative” with investigators on abuse reports. (WNYC)
- Some parents pick schools specifically for after-school programs, now getting cut. (Insideschools)
- On gentrification, some might hear “integration” but others still see a social dilemma. (Slate)
- An immigrant principal in the Bronx prides himself on helping newcomers excel. (DNAInfo)
June 13, 2012
The head of one of the city’s largest charter school networks is calling on state charter authorizers to reject a law that requires schools to serve a larger share of high-needs students.
The law, Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz wrote in a letter to authorizers this month, creates “perverse incentives” for charter schools to “over-identify” students in high-needs categories, an effect that she said would do more harm than good for children.
“We urge you not to impose any enrollment and retention targets,” Moskowitz wrote to the New York State Education Department and SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which are charged with enforcing the law. “Instead, we request that you partner with us in going to Albany to change this poorly-thought-out legislation.”
The mandate for charter schools to enroll more high-needs students was established in 2010 when lawmakers passed the Race to the Top bill. A charter sector self-assessment earlier this year found that a large majority of charter schools still served lower proportions of poor, special-needs and English language learning students than their districts.
It’s taken some time to iron out the details, but last month authorizers proposed a method of calculating the targets that they intend to use. The proposal is a complex methodology that would assign enrollment targets to each charter school based on the overall ratio of high-needs students in school districts where they operate. Schools that repeatedly fail to comply could be closed. (more…)
June 13, 2012
On a sunny Friday morning, the hallways in a Bronx school buzzed with excitement as students prepared to celebrate their prom in the first floor cafeteria, which had been converted into a disco-themed dance floor.
Principal Ava Kaplan greeted a group of P186′s eighth graders as parents, teachers, and other administrators hovered over them with cameras. Everyone gathered around to cheer the 29 students who, because of serious cognitive and physical disabilities, are part of the school’s alternative assessment program.
Kaplan bent down and waved one hand across her face. “Beautiful,” she said in sign language to a girl in a white lace dress.
The prom is a welcomed break in Kaplan’s busy schedule – running a special education school requires the Bronx native to take on additional responsibilities than a district school principal would because of the extra support her students require inside and outside of the classroom.
Now in her fifth year as principal, Kaplan’s no-nonsense attitude helps her oversee the large special education school, which has five campuses, 542 students, and more than 200 staff members.
The Bronx school is under the umbrella of the Department of Education’s District 75, which encompasses all of the city’s special education programs for students who have autism, cognitive and physical disabilities, hearing or speech impediments, and other serious issues that make it difficult for them to regularly attend a district school.
As principal, Kaplan’s duties often extend beyond the walls of P186. Some days, Kaplan is a social worker; other days, she’s a guardian. And everyday she’s a demanding boss who expects her staff to keep up with the complicated responsibilities that come with caring for some of the city’s most challenged students. (more…)
June 13, 2012
After a protracted back-and-forth that included a district-union dust-up over absenteeism, State Education Commissioner John King is restoring a pot of federal funds to Buffalo.
That leaves just New York City as the only major School Improvement Grant-eligible district to be forgoing them this year.
Buffalo joined New York City and eight other districts across the state in losing the funds after King determined they had not adequately complied with a Dec. 31 deadline to adopt new evaluations for teachers in schools eligible for the funds, known as School Improvement Grants.
After the state’s teacher evaluation deal in February, five districts refined their applications sufficiently to have their funding restored. Two others got their funding back in March, and an eighth district, Greenburgh 11, saw its funding restored in April. Buffalo finally got King’s sign-off on Tuesday.
New York City was supposed to get almost $60 million this year through the grant program for dozens of struggling schools, and at first city officials said they hoped to see the funds restored. But with progress toward new teacher evaluations non-existent and the year winding to a close, the Bloomberg administration got permission in March to use city funds to cover this year’s loss. (more…)
June 13, 2012
- City Council members pressed education officials for concrete special education data. (GothamSchools)
- Special education advocates say the city is trying to implement reforms too quickly. (Schoolbook)
- A bill to give districts power to fire teachers after sex abuse might have trouble passing. (Daily News)
- City officials estimate about 33,000 students will need to attend summer school. (NY1)
- Thieves stole hundreds of Bronx students’ cell phones being stored off-campus for the day. (Post)
- Teachers and parents alike are fleeing a progressive private school because kids can’t read. (Post)
- Teachers’ job interviews are underway at the city’s 24 “turnaround” schools. (GothamSchools)
- A student at a Bronx elementary school cut another child with a razor. (Daily News, Post)
- Country singer Lee Greenwood admonished the principal who banned his patriotic song. (Daily News)
- The Post joined the criticism of the song-banning principal, adding that the city should force a change.
- A James Madison HS student wrote a rap about the school’s teacher sex scandals. (Daily News)
- There might be few legal routes to prosecute past sex abuse at the private Horace Mann School. (Times)
- A 40-year-old law requires Los Angeles to tie teacher evaluations to student achievement. (L.A. Times)