Posts from June 27th, 2012
June 27, 2012
- Teacher Jose Vilson lists five reasons that his year was especially memorable. (Future of Teaching)
- Diane Ravitch provides a lengthy account from an upset teacher in a turnaround school. (DR’s Blog)
- What makes a classroom are the people in it, writes a teacher who has just packed up. (Mr. Foteah)
- Soon-to-be-Rep. Hakeem Jeffries says government should support religious schools. (Ft. Greene Local)
- Private high schools in the D.C. area recruit among junior highs for their basketball teams. (Times)
- A SUNY board approved proposals for six more Success Academy charter schools in 2013. (DNAInfo)
- A parent-led composting initiative led five schools to cut cafeteria waste by 85 percent. (Insideschools)
- New York City is among the districts getting Race to the Top buzz before they apply. (Politics K-12)
- Students are setting the traditions at city schools that are graduating their first classes. (SchoolBook)
- A second-career teacher recalls her best lesson ever and frets over the rating it would get. (Larry Cuban)
- In a survey, D.C. education insiders prefer New York’s Common Core consortium. (Curriculum Matters)
June 27, 2012
When teachers’ union president Michael Mulgrew announced a grant program last month to bolster social services in schools, he said the union was moving ahead because the Department of Education was not.
But today, when Mulgrew announced the schools that will receive grants, Chancellor Dennis Walcott was standing next to him. The two came together in a last-day-of-school show of camaraderie after a year in which relations between the union and the city grew more strained than ever.
The joint appearance meant that amount of grant money awarded doubled, to $600,000, since Mulgrew’s May announcement. That will make it possible for six schools to bring health and dental clinics, tutoring, counseling programs, and social services to students and their families, as part of a pilot program to create “community schools.”
The UFT and Department of Education are each contributing $150,000, and the Partnership for New York City, a coalition of business groups, is adding another $300,000.
The initiative is based on a program in Cincinnati that coordinates and targets social services there. The goal is to harness existing services so they are used more effectively.
“We put enormous resources into our education system, into our healthcare system, and some of our other service systems, but we don’t do a very good job of maximizing the output,” said Kathryn Wylde, president of Partnership for New York City.
“We’ve had services for very long time in New York City. What we want to do now is start coordinating the services at the school site,” said Mulgrew, who was part of the team that began developing the initiative two years ago. (more…)
June 27, 2012
In May 2009, the Department of Education launched a new initiative, NYC21C, to remake the American high school using technology. Then-Chancellor Joel Klein made the announcement at the NYC iSchool, then completing its first year, and praised its students and co-principals, Alisa Berger and Mary Moss.
Now, all of those people have moved on.
Klein left the Department of Education in November 2010 and now earns more than $4 million a year running the education division of a multinational corporation. Moss left last year when her family moved to North Carolina. Berger’s family is relocating to Massachusetts this summer.
And on Monday, members of the school’s inaugural class graduated in an afternoon ceremony, featuring a speech by Klein, held at the Ethical Culture Society on the Upper West Side. This fall, they’ll enroll at colleges and universities up and down the East Coast.
“Our greatest hope is that you love college, that you discover something you love learning about, that what you love to do is something that makes the world better, even in small ways, and that you find fulfillment in your life,” said Moss, who returned to see the school’s first students graduate. Of the 100 students who entered the selective school in 2008, 94 graduated on time.
“I ask that you go and do — that you take what you’ve learned at the iSchool to transform the colleges you attend and create communities for yourselves the way that you have created the iSchool,” Berger told the graduates. (more…)
June 27, 2012
Principal Bob Bender wanted to make sure his teachers started planning for September before they left for summer vacation. So P.S. 11 joined more than 600 schools in scrapping classes on Monday and Tuesday in favor of adding prep time for teachers.
Department of Education officials extended the option, which parents were supposed to approve, to all schools late this spring. Many schools took the time to give teachers a crash course in new learning standards known as the Common Core.
The Common Core emphasizes “deeper” thinking and problem-solving skills. Next year’s state tests will be based on the new standards.
P.S. 11 routinely earns A’s on its city progress reports, and Bender said he is not worried about its performance next year because his staff has been thinking hard about the instructional shifts they will have to make.
“It’s not going to be asking ‘What is 8 times 5?’ It’s going to be ‘I have 8 bookshelves, and 40 books, so how many books go on each shelf?’” he said. “We spend a lot of time on problem-solving, giving kids strategies to solve problems.”
This year, the city asked schools to practice with the new standards in one math unit and one literacy unit, and next year, they’ll be expected to roll out two Common Core-aligned units in each subject. But at P.S. 11, Bender asked his teachers to plan their curriculums in teams made up of teachers at each grade level — and align every one of their units to the Common Core. (more…)
June 27, 2012
- Charter school operator Eva Moskowitz won’t run for mayor in 2013 but might in the future. (WSJ)
- The Stuyvesant HS cheating scandal has grown to implicate 100 students. (Times, Post, Daily News)
- The DOE is investigating why it didn’t find out about the cheating until a week after it happened. (WSJ)
- The father of the junior at the center of the scandal said his son was under pressure to succeed. (Post)
- The Daily News says the scandal lays bare the reality that the cell phone ban is enforced selectively.
- The Post asks who can be trusted to take education seriously if Stuyvesant students are cheating.
- A buddy system at P.S. 51 has disruptive students empathizing with their teachers. (WNYC/SchoolBook)
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education reform commission met for the first time. (GothamSchools, Crain’s NY)
- StudentsFirst’s Micah Lasher says the commission’s approach isn’t conducive to change. (Daily News)
- Security camera footage from George Westinghouse HS shows a dean beating a student. (Daily News)
- Connecticut is set to adopt a teacher evaluation system based on student test scores today. (WSJ)
- Post-split NewsCorp could use Joel Klein’s education division to keep the publishing wing afloat. (Times)