Posts from July 11th, 2012
July 11, 2012
- An upstate newspaper has revised its coverage of Tuesday’s ed reform commission meeting. (FERA)
- A teacher is glad she’s working her school’s “bridge” program and not other summer classes. (Miss Eyre)
- The plot thickens at the city’s school support networks, according to a report from the field. (Ed Notes)
- The state is soliciting feedback about how schools serve English language learners. (Insideschools)
- After struggling with school choice, Ta-Nehisi Coates reports on his son’s year in private school. (Times)
- A teacher lavishes praise on the book he wishes he had when he started teaching. (Urban Teacher’s Ed)
- D.C.’s schools reporter, who scrutinized city officials, is leaving the beat. (D.C. Schools Insider)
- A national study of “turnaround” schools found that they struggled with staffing and time. (Politics K-12)
July 11, 2012
A day after the city lost its latest bid to move forward with its plans to overhaul the staffs of 24 “turnaround” schools, school leaders say they are sitting on their hands as they await guidance from the Department of Education.
Reiterating comments he made during a Monday radio appearance, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said today that his goal is for the schools to open smoothly this fall, according to SchoolBook. He also said he would meet with their principals next week.
But administrators at the schools today said they had heard nothing concrete. The department has declined to comment on its plans for the schools since a judge ruled on Tuesday that the city would have to reinstate teachers and principals cut loose from the schools while it appeals an arbitrator’s ruling blocking the staffing changes. The teachers and principals unions said their members have not gotten any updates on how they can reclaim their jobs at the schools.
And administrators at some of the schools say they can’t see how the next school year can open smoothly when it’s not even clear who is in charge right now.
“We’d really love to get back in there and do what we do,” said one administrator who was ousted last month but is now entitled to return. “I should be preparing stuff for the year. Seeing what kids didn’t graduate, why they didn’t; calling up kids who didn’t come to summer school; attendance outreach; planning freshman orientation — it’s a million things we’d be doing. And I’d be doing regular hirings, because we had a lot of retirements this year.”
The department’s preferred principals were in place at 18 of the 24 schools before the end of the school year, and they cannot be displaced. But at six schools, principals from the 2011-2012 school year can reclaim their jobs under the arbitrator’s ruling. (more…)
July 11, 2012
Last year, the Evander Childs Campus got a new library, replete with rows of new computers and a mural depicting scholarly pursuits.
The library opened its doors for the first time last month — but not to students. Instead, it housed teachers from other high school campuses, who convened there to try out a new model for grading students’ final exams.
Regents exams, which students must pass to graduate from high school, have been scored by the teachers who administered them since the Regents exam program began in the nineteenth century. But mounting concerns about cheating — spurred on by the finding that students hit the minimum passing score at a disproportionately high rate — have prompted the city and state to make changes to how the exams are graded.
The state’s test security overhaul calls for schools to stop grading their own Regents exams by June 2013. The changes are meant to reduce opportunities and incentives for teachers to inflate their students’ scores, which under state law could factor into teachers’ evaluations in the future. The shift would bring Regents exam grading in line with how most states score high-stakes exams and with New York State’s requirements about elementary and middle schools’ exams.
Buoyed by its own concerns about cheating and softer forms of score inflation, the city has sped that timeline up. In January, a handful of schools tested out a system to ensure that teachers do not grade their own students’ exams.
Department of Education officials expanded that system, known as “distributed scoring,” to more than 160 schools this spring. Most of the schools deployed teachers to centralized locations such as Evander Childs, and teachers from 17 schools tested a system for grading exams online. In total, about 107,000 exams were graded under distributed scoring last month.
Teachers who participated in the pilot gave it mixed reviews. Some said the system made them better graders because they considered only the answers, not the students, when assigning scores. But others said the system of musical graders was complicated, time-consuming, and likely to lead to unfairly deflated scores. And a small number of missing tests highlight the potential cost of logistical mishaps. (more…)
July 11, 2012
- Despite health concerns, schools in the city and elsewhere still offer little P.E. instruction. (Times)
- A judge said the city must reinstate teachers at 24 schools. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook, Post, NY1)
- Gov. Cuomo’s education commission broke no ground at its public meeting in Albany. (Times-Union)
- The current labor market is the worst it’s ever been for city teenagers, according to a city board. (WSJ)
- A teacher who blasted students on Facebook will face a two-year unpaid suspension, not firing. (Post)
- Here’s another look at a man with a checkered past who’s backing pro-charter politicians. (Daily News)
- Lawyers for the school leaders suing over their Google results say the city didn’t help them. (Post)