Posts from June 26th, 2012
June 26, 2012
- John Dewey HS, which graduates its last class today, began as a beacon of optimism. (Brooklyn Bureau)
- Relay Graduate School of Education is different: competency-based, flipped, and growing. (Ed Next)
- A Beijing native says her schooling left her ill-equipped to think creatively or problem-solve. (Atlantic)
- A parent asks why some principals might not penalize cheaters and what she can do. (Insideschools)
- The head of a charter school opening this fall lists the tasks that come after approval. (Charter Notebook)
- At Manhattan’s Facing History School, students hold mock trials of genocidal leaders. (SchoolBook)
- As tests move online, districts are able and willing to require more of them each year. (Hechinger)
- More than 500 school districts across the country are now using Google Chromebooks. (TechCrunch)
- Books used in some Christian schools use the Loch Ness Monster to disprove evolution. (Answer Sheet)
- Illinois is standing by a criticized tougher cutoff score on its teacher credentialing exam. (Teacher Beat)
- A teacher at a “turnaround” school describes the emotional impact of the process. (GS Community)
- With little left to do, a teacher explains how he keeps his room safe over the summer. (NYC Educator)
- A teacher posts a heartfelt plea from an eighth-grader who is facing being held back again. (Prelife)
June 26, 2012
At their first official meeting today, members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s blue-ribbon education reform commission stayed away from specifics.
But their two-hour discussion, held in a Midtown conference room, previewed some of the issues they will tackle as they travel the state to learn about problems facing local school districts.
The 25-member commission, announced more than six months ago, is tasked with coming up with recommendations aimed at reducing costs while improving the overall quality of the state’s schools. A report is due in late 2012.
New York State’s 3.4 million student school system is diverse and complex. It boasts the country’s largest school district — New York City — but it also includes six districts that employ fewer than eight teachers. At more than $18,000 per pupil, spending in the state is the highest in the country, 70 percent higher than the U.S. average, according to an analysis by Cuomo’s office. Spending has increased dramatically in the last 15 years, outpacing inflation, but student performance has barely budged. The state ranks 39th in graduation rates (73.5 percent) and no higher than 19th on any of the four NAEP test scores.
Cuomo has argued that the state’s school funds should be used more efficiently. The commission — which includes many of the state’s and country’s top education officials, including union leader Randi Weingarten and state education chief John King — is supposed to figure out how to make that happen. (more…)
June 26, 2012
It’s been a week and a half since our (almost) end-of-the-year happy hour and we’re still basking in the event’s good company, story ideas, and perfect weather. In fact, the party was such a success that we’re going to try to sneak another one in for our readers who are treating their summer break as more of a staycation — and those who will also be in town.
Stay tuned for details about that event.
Until then, now is a really great time to make a donation to GothamSchools! We have a challenge grant right now that will guarantee us our full next year’s budget — i.e., one more year of great reporting that you depend on! — if we can raise $150,000 by the end of this week. We’re close, but not there yet, and every single dollar counts. Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation.
There are more pictures below the jump. (more…)
June 26, 2012
Classes had already ended for the year at International High School when President Obama announced that he would pull back on deporting undocumented youth, but Principal Nedda DeCastro made sure to deliver the news to her students anyway. She cut out a newspaper article and brought it to the school’s prom, where it quickly circulated on the dance floor.
The celebration continued Monday at the school’s graduation ceremony, when English teacher Suzannah Taylor told the 50 graduates, “Class of 2012, you live here too and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.”
It was a lesson that many International students have not always gotten. The school caters specifically to young immigrants who are still learning the English language, and many of them are undocumented. The school’s unique profile gained national attention when it was portrayed in “The New Kids,” a book that tracked a year in the life of immigrant students at the school. (more…)
June 26, 2012
Approximately three weeks ago teachers at Flushing High School began interviewing for their current positions at the turnaround school that will replace ours on July 1: Rupert B. Thomas Academy at Flushing Campus. In addition to preparing students for Regents exams and calculating final grades, my colleagues were working nonstop to gather portfolio materials and (more…)
June 26, 2012
In an ideal world, the Department of Education would install dedicated college counselors in each city high school, according to Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky.
But doing so would cost the city more than $600 million, he said, so the department is trying instead to close the college-readiness gap with free or low-cost solutions, including training staff members at each school to offer college advice and tweaking the way school performance is measured.
Polakow-Suransky made the comments last week while appearing on a panel on college-readiness hosted by the Center for New York City Affairs. The center is set to release a report next month about why so few city students graduate with the skills they need for college — and what can be done about it.
Interviews with hundreds of students at struggling high schools conducted as part of the center’s research revealed that most had high aspirations for themselves, but few understood that simply graduating from high school would not ensure success in college. The findings reflect a dim reality: In 2010, when the city touted a 61 percent four-year graduation rate, just 21 percent of students who had entered high school in four years earlier met the state’s college-readiness standards.
The city’s main strategy for closing that gap is the Common Core, new learning standards that are supposed to push students to develop critical thinking skills required for college-level work.
But making sure students have the academic skills and knowledge to hack it in college is necessary but not sufficient to ensuring that they succeed there, said David Conley, a researcher who students college readiness. They also need “soft skills” such as persistence and “transition knowledge” about how to navigate the admissions process, he said. (more…)
June 26, 2012
- Dozens of students could be implicated in a cheating ring at Stuyvesant HS. (Daily News, Post, WSJ)
- Michael Powell: After a Success Academy moved into P.S. 30, it took control of the building. (Times)
- An ex-principal barred from work in city schools was hired to head a Bronx charter school. (Daily News)
- The father of a girl who died under the ex-principal’s watch says he should get another shot. (Daily News)
- A baseball coach suspended for illicitly recruiting a student to George Washington HS will return. (Times)
- A budget deal saved child-care spots and school aide jobs. (GothamSchools, Times, NY1, WSJ, Post)
- Parents are frantically fundraising after Brooklyn’s P.S. 9 lost some federal funds. (GothamSchools)
- City parents say they are pitching in more often to boost their schools’ strapped budgets. (SchoolBook)
- A former New Yorker who was pushed out of L.A.’s schools will help Buffalo’s system turn around. (AP)