Posts from July 17th, 2012
July 17, 2012
- The Onion parodies the issue of low retention rates for teachers right out of college. (Onion)
- A teacher writes that cheating has become a pervasive part of school culture for students. (LA Times)
- As test scores and outcomes slowly improve, former Chancellor Joel Klein warns of complacency. (Time)
- Matt Di Carlo shows how higher proficiency rates don’t always mean higher performance. (Shanker Blog)
- A counselor gives college-bound seniors advice for their campus visits this summer. (Insideschools)
- Bloomberg made an uncomfortable “African American” joke at today’s test score presser. (Politicker)
- A new district-charter school partnership in LA will be focused in middle class areas (LA Times)
- Bill Gates hopes that curriculum will more closely resemble the gaming principles that excite kids. (AJC)
- Cuomo’s ed commission set a time and place for its visit to New York City. (Putting Students First)
July 17, 2012
This afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg enjoyed what could be his last opportunity to point to clear gains on city test data.
The state is overhauling its testing program next year, and year-to-year comparisons favored by Bloomberg’s test analysts will soon become futile.
Until then, city officials are championing the small gains almost every group of students made on this year’s state tests, calling the scores a sign that some fledgling school initiatives are already working.
Breaking the test results down by race, grade level and students with disabilities, each group saw gains of one to four percentage points for the numbers of students scoring proficient on the literacy and math exams. But minority students are still performing well below their white peers, and the number of English Language Learners scoring proficient in literacy actually dropped by 1.8 percentage points.
“There is still a gap, and it is unacceptable, inexcusable and it is our responsibility to rectify it,” Bloomberg told reporters this afternoon. He speculated that the ELL scores dropped because the city has begun declassifying greater numbers of ELL students who have become proficient in English. (more…)
July 17, 2012
An early look at this year’s state test scores shows that the percentage of students rated “proficient” in reading and math inched upward in New York City and across the state.
In a press release announcing the scores today, state officials called the gains “incremental” but warned that scores still have a long way to go before they show that all students are on a path toward being prepared for college.
According to the data released today, 46.9 percent of city students tested in grades 3-8 met the state’s proficiency standard on the English language arts exam, compared with 44 percent last year. The proportion of students rated proficient in math increased to 60 percent from 57.3 percent a year ago.
City students still lagged behind the state as a whole, where 55 percent of students scored proficient in reading and 65 percent scored proficient in math. But the city’s scores increased by a wider margin than the state’s. Across the state, reading proficiency increased by 2.3 points and math proficiency rose by 1.5 points.
New York City also did better than several of the other large urban districts that it is often compared to. Scores increased in Yonkers and Syracuse, but they fell in Rochester and Buffalo.
“The progress we see this year doesn’t give us a reason to rest – it gives us a reason to strive for even greater gains,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. “There’s still much more work to do, but there’s no question our students are headed in the right direction.” (more…)
July 17, 2012
When state test scores are released in about half an hour, it will happen solely by press release. For the second year in a row, state education officials are not holding a press conference to announce the year’s results.
Nor does the city appear to be planning to tout its scores. Last year, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis Walcott held a press conference to highlight the fact that city students’ scores, while low, had increased more than those of students in the rest of the state. But there’s nothing on Bloomberg’s or Walcott’s public schedule for today about the scores, and the Department of Education hasn’t informed reporters about any surprise additions.
Quiet from the city and state usually does not bode well for increases in test scores, an annual announcement until the state raised proficiency standards in 2010 and scores across the state dropped precipitously. It’s also unusual that schools are not getting their scores before the state releases them to the public. But rather than read the tea leaves, we’ve prepared a crib sheet for the news that will come later today.
Here are five things we’ll be looking at when the scores come out:
- What they say about students’ stamina. Next year, state test questions will be tied to new learning standards, known as the Common Core, and so the questions themselves are likely to be more challenging. But this year’s tests changed mostly in length, with students in elementary and middle school sitting for twice as long as they did last year. Teachers and parents worried about students’ ability to retain focus for so long, and some teachers also reported that students were thrown by questions that covered unfamiliar content or took an unfamiliar format — likely ungraded questions that the state will use as it toughens tests next year. The scores that come out today could confirm — or refute — the teachers’ and parents’ fears. (more…)
July 17, 2012
- Officials in a Connecticut school district decided to take down a mural depicting Joe Paterno. (TheDay)
- A new faction seeks to upend the electoral status quo in the teachers union. (GothamSchools)
- Space tensions elevated between a struggling elementary school and a charter school. (Daily News)
- A program provides physics teachers with long sought-after professional development. (GothamSchools)
- Bloomberg traveled to the Queens Botanical Garden to tout a summer jobs program. (Times-Ledger)
- One way to slow spending on pre-K special education spending is to crack down on fraud. (Times)
- Top British education officials say privacy isn’t an excuse to withhold teacher performance data. (BBC)