Posts from June 15th, 2012
June 15, 2012
- The Senate has approved a fifth School Improvement model: “the whole school model.” (Politics K-12)
- Comparing Obama’s “pseudo” DREAM Act to Romney’s school voucher ideas. (Hechinger Report)
- For-profit education evangelist Chris Whittle sees a final shot at success in Avenues. (Observer)
- A Scottish student with a popular “school dinners” review blog has been told to shut down. (BBC)
- An Essex Street Academy teacher is raising funds to get help for a dyslexic student. (DonorsChoose)
- Four NYC zip codes are among the 50 nationally to increase their share of white residents most. (Gadfly)
- The group that is creating NY’s Common Core tests is seeking public feedback about them. (PARCC)
- Parents will have a second chance to apply for seats in pre-kindergarten starting Monday. (Schoolbook)
- An educator says Walcott’s op/ed on sex abuse is missing plan for how to prevent it. (Accountable Talk)
June 15, 2012
Our commenters provide a crucial voice to the conversation about education that GothamSchools strives to incubate with our audience every day. Through commenting, readers have the opportunity to safely provide insights and advance the dialogue that our reporters try to start.
So we’re excited to introduce a new feature to our site that highlights this important role. We encourage a vibrant commenting community and encourage readers to submit comments for stories. For those who want to submit a comment, please be sure to also review our commenting policy.
In “school turnaround” news this week, teachers interviewed to get their jobs back at the 24 schools that will close and re-open at the end of the school year. Rachel reported on Tuesday that the process had gotten off to a bumpy start at some schools. She also shed some light on the details of the interview process. Many of our readers are teachers at these turnaround schools and they quickly chimed in with their own – often critical – insights into the interview process.
R.I.P. Richmond, a frequent commenter who works at Richmond Hill High School in Queens, wrote:
At my school, teachers have been asked about how they use data in their lesson plans, how they differentiate instruction, what they’ve learned from our endless professional development, how common core standards are being implemented, how they collaborate with other teachers, and how they can prove student improvement… even when a teacher brings up their accomplishments or what unique talent they bring to the school the panel does not care. It’s all about differentiating and data. No one cares about the human element of this job. (more…)
June 15, 2012
Starting as soon as furor swelled over a prickly “Pineapple” test question, state education officials have maintained that they are confident in Pearson, their chosen test-maker. But speaking to legislators earlier this week, Commissioner John King said Pearson would have to shape up or face consequences. (more…)
June 15, 2012
Dennis Walcott’s first stop on a busy Friday was to reassure anxious families at Harlem’s P.S. 208, where a teacher was arrested yesterday on charges of molesting a third-grader. Walcott has made a series of similar visits this spring at schools around the city amid a spate of sex abuse accusations.
The surge in accusations has spurred Walcott to campaign for a state law that would make it easier for him to fire teachers who commit sexual misconduct, a campaign that he took to the op/ed page of the New York Times today. But Walcott said the bill would not likely apply to a case like P.S. 208′s, which is being handled by the District Attorney, not Department of Education or city investigators.
School workers who are convicted of sex crimes in criminal courts are fired under existing rules. But if they are charged but acquitted, non-criminal investigators can still find culpability, which would trigger a discipline hearing that could result in the teacher being fined and reinstated.
“We’ll have to see what happens with the case itself,” he told reporters. “One of the things I’ve been talking about is cases that may not be a conviction, but have been substantiated by the Special Commissioner of Investigations. I want to move those decisions out of the hands of arbitrators.”
Walcott spoke to lawmakers in Albany last week, and has sent city officials to hold more meetings this week. But sources told the Daily News that the bill is not likely to pass during this legislative session, which concludes on Tuesday. (more…)
June 15, 2012
In September, sixth graders at a new middle school in Clinton Hill will regularly stand at the front of the class to share a vocabulary word, or how to solve a math problem. And feedback from fellow students will be valued as much as feedback from their teachers.
In more than a dozen city schools, teachers are taking a literal backseat in their classroom as they adopt a student-driven teaching method called Learning Cultures. But Urban Assembly Unison School is the first to be built from bottom up around the method.
Unlike some of the schools that use Learning Cultures to help immigrant students learn English, Unison probably won’t be serving a large population of English language learners. District 13, where the school will open, has relatively few ELLs.
But Learning Cultures is flexible enough to challenge and support any students, said Jennifer Ostrow, the co-founder and principal of the school. She said she heavily recruited ELLs from outside the district, but students who live in District 13, which has had a dearth of high-quality middle schools, got priority for admission. (The school is still accepting applicants, Ostrow said.)
“I am really excited to create what I think will be an excellent middle school and hope will be a valuable contribution to our community,” Ostrow said. (more…)
June 15, 2012
- The incoming head of special education vowed to press forward with controversial reforms. (Schoolbook)
- Gov. Cuomo is signaling he would veto bills that give broad access to teacher ratings. (Post, Daily News)
- Jim Dwyer: The city has unwisely given up on teaching swimming skills in public schools. (Times)
- The principal of Queens’ P.S. 195 barred a student from giving a same-sex marriage speech. (NY1, Post)
- A state judge ruled the city was wrong to fire a teacher accused of having sex in her classroom. (Post)
- A poll found New Yorkers want teachers convicted of sex abuse to be fired quickly. (Daily News, Post)
- Chancellor Walcott brings his bid for more freedom to fire abusive teachers to the op/ed page. (Times)
- A teacher at P.S. 208 was charged with molesting a student. (Daily News, Post, NY1, Metropolis)
- The Brooklyn principal under fire for song-banning is under scrutiny after an abuse claim. (Daily News)
- The Post pans Cuomo’s decision to limit the release of teacher evaluation results to parents only.
- A court ruling about Los Angeles’s teacher evaluations could reverberate across California. (L.A. Times)