Posts from July 19th, 2012
July 19, 2012
- Parents from the popular NEST+M School are criticizing its principal in a petition. (Schoolbook)
- Queens representatives fret the city’s ongoing commitment to the turnaround model. (Queens Chronicle)
- A comparison of co-located charter and district schools’ scores leads to different conclusions. (Edwize)
- A report on Chicago’s district-union negotiations sounds the alarm of a possible strike. (Catalyst Chicago)
- A teacher wonders when those in the Absent Teacher Reserve will be able to take buyouts. (NYC ATR)
- A look into the educational philosophy of Brooklyn’s Hellenic Classical Charter School. (Charter Network)
July 19, 2012
Lenny Speiller, the education department’s head of public affairs whose stint was checkered by a lobbying incident that got him into trouble with city investigators, is making an unusual career move. He’s moving to Honduras to become a teacher.
Speiller’s exit is part of a restructuring within the Department of Education’s communication and legislative offices meant to improve how the DOE communicates with members of the public, Chief Operating Officer Veronica Conforme told staff in an email this week.
Speiller’s role in charge of public affairs was to work with elected officials and community-based organizations on DOE initiatives and to curry support for the department’s legislative goals. Under a four-office merger, public affairs will be folded into the External Affairs office. The other public-facing shops getting absorbed are: Communications, Digital Communications, and the Chancellor’s Strategic Communications Group (a spokeswoman said the last one helps Dennis Walcott read and respond to emails from the public).
Jessica Scaperotti, a former Cuomo and Bloomberg aide who joined the department in April, will over see the new streamlined office. Elizabeth Rose, a public affairs official, will temporarily fill in for Speiller while a permanent replacement is found.
In announcing Speiller’s departure to staff, Conforme didn’t offer much of a reflection on his two-and-a-half year tenure, which was filled with a busy legislative agenda. During his time, Speiller worked on the successful push to raise the state’s cap on charter schools and on the less-successful effort to reform teacher tenure laws.
But it was his work on the issue of seniority-based layoff laws that got him into trouble. (more…)
July 19, 2012
Dara Ross didn’t know how to write code or develop online software until she joined a pilot program that offered to help teachers use technology in the classroom last year. By the program’s end, the high school English teacher had helped build several of her own educational mobile apps, including one that assesses her students’ emotions after they read. Another one featured an animated robot that acted as a reading buddy.
She and five fellow teachers did that with the help of tech savvy mentors as participants in Digital Teachers Corp, a program launched last year by New Visions for Public Schools, a national non-profit organization, and as lab members in EDesign Lab, an initiative to bridge the educational technology gap between software developers and educators.
“It was valuable to work on education with teachers and technologists; I think that combination is not usually talked about,” said Ross, who teaches English as a second language at Brooklyn International High School. She became interested in incorporating technology in her curriculum when she started creating online videos for her students.
The EDesign Lab is entering its second year and looking for a new crop of teachers to join.
Getting technology into the classroom has been a slow process, in part because the people who develop software and build digital tools aren’t in touch with the learning needs of students. Participants in the pilot said the program helped them quickly bridge that divide by getting in the same room and working out problems together. (more…)
July 19, 2012
- The proficiency gap between charter and district schools widened. (GothamSchools, Schoolbook, Post)
- A charter school with new management and new teachers saw the biggest gains in the state. (NY1)
- A supporter points out that charter schools across the state also outperformed district schools. (Post)
- A middle school that the city is trying to close made dramatic improvements on state tests. (Daily News)
- Schools facing closures didn’t fare any worse than the ones that the city saved. (GothamSchools)
- The News profiles two Queens schools that saw the largest increase and decrease on the state tests.
- Two Brooklyn principals whose schools made large gains grew up in the neighborhood. (News)
- The principal of a turnaround school was arrested for possession of meth. (Courier, Daily News, Post)
- The city gave turnaround teachers details about getting their jobs back. (GothamSchools, Schoolbook)
- A special education company over-billed the city and created no-show jobs, a state audit found. (Times)
- Bronx teenagers talked about the challenges of finding a summer job in tough times. (Rivderdale Press)
- Chicago Public Schools and its union agreed — to reject a report about their contract dispute. (Sun-Times)
- Virtual school students perform significantly worse on tests, a report finds. (Post-Gazette)