Posts from July 26th, 2012
July 26, 2012
- A civil liberties lawyer says an end to stop and frisk could boost student achievement. (SchoolBook)
- Two years after being fired from one school, a Scottish teacher who behaved badly lost his job. (BBC)
- A Teach for America teacher says schools should at least be equal while they are separate. (HuffPo)
- We’ve added information about GothamSchools’ advisory boards to our website. (GS About Us)
- The UFT is asking for support for unionized charter school teachers without a contract. (Edwize)
- A budget watchdog has put together an infographic about disparities in state school funding. (CBCNY)
- As the AFT convention kicks off in Detroit, here’s a primer about what to watch for. (Teacher Beat)
- Norm Scott files a first report from the strangely carless Motor City as the convention starts. (Ed Notes)
- Checker Finn discusses the impetus and outcomes of the nation’s “credit recovery scam.” (Flypaper)
- Eva Moskowitz has raised her goal for Success Academies from 40 to “open ended.” (Capital NY)
July 26, 2012
New York City’s process for assigning students to schools still sets some of the schools up to fail, State Education Commission John King charged today.
“I continue to have concerns about enrollment,” King said. “I worry about the over-concentration of high-needs students in particular buildings without adequate supports to ensure success.”
King made the comments to reporters during a break in a meeting of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state education reform commission, which met this morning in the Bronx.
City officials have acknowledged King’s concerns when petitioning the state for aid, but they have never conceded that high concentrations of needy students could hurt schools. Today, the Department of Education official in charge of enrollment said recent changes to the way some students are assigned to schools, made quietly last summer, were meant to increase choices for families, not respond to King’s concerns or help struggling schools.
King’s concerns reflect longstanding criticism about the Bloomberg administration’s school choice policies. For years, critics have charged that the department overloads some schools with needy students, making it hard for them to show progress or even sustain their past performance. An internal department report completed in 2008 and obtained by GothamSchools last year concluded that a high school’s size and concentration of low-achieving and overage students strongly predicts its graduation rate. (more…)
July 26, 2012
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education reform commission’s 10-stop tour swept into the Bronx for three hours today, members got an earful about more than just how to improve the state’s schools.
It was standing-room-only for most of the meeting, one of many conditions that drew grumbling from some in the crowd who said the commission was giving New York City short shrift on their tour. They complained that the venue was too small, the meeting too short, and the one-time visit too few.
About 140 seats were laid out in a cafeteria on the second floor of Hostos Community College, but they filled up quickly. As the meeting got under way, about 20 people remained outside, waiting to be let in by security.
“I think it’s totally unfair that New York City should get one-tenth of the state’s attention when we have more than one-third of the student population,” said Class Size Matters’ Leonie Haimson.
Observers who have been to all three of the regional meetings so far — the first two were held in Albany and Buffalo — said today’s attendance was far larger than at either of the two previous events. And Richard Parsons, the commission’s chairman, apologized for the tight space, saying it was the biggest room that the group could find in the Bronx.
Issues over logistics did not overshadow the meeting’s goal: to air suggestions for how to improve the state’s schools while also cutting costs. (more…)
July 26, 2012
When New York City faced a budget shortfall three years ago, Bronx Academy of Letters principal Anna Hall faced a crisis at her school.
Because state law requires that layoffs start with the newest teachers, threatened cuts meant more than 50 percent of Hall’s strongest teachers would be cut loose: They had logged relatively few years in the school system.
“That was the most harrowing, horrible experience,” Hall said.
The layoffs never materialized. But the scare cemented Hall’s belief that teachers shouldn’t be protected from layoffs based solely on their experience.
The experience was one of many that Hall said drew her to her new job: as director of education for StudentsFirstNY, the state’s spinoff of Michelle Rhee’s national education advocacy group.
StudentsFirstNY has kept a low profile in the three months since its splashy entrance onto the education advocacy scene. It spent about $10,000 on a mailer to support Hakeem Jeffries in his successful Congressional primary campaign against Charles Barron last month, according to federal election filings. But the group has steered clear of some more heated education debates, including the city’s now-failed effort to close two dozen schools through a federal turnaround model, and it has not yet fully articulated its policy agenda for the next year.
That seems poised to change today. Hall is set to share her personal hopes for policy change at a public meeting in the Bronx of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education reform commission. (more…)
July 26, 2012
- More than 7,000 elementary and middle school students were wrongly told they failed state tests. (Post)
- A state report criticizes Jamaica High School, which is closing, for cutting many courses. (NY1)
- Parents at P.S. 24 in the Bronx are lobbying to preserve their school’s music program. (Riverdale Press)
- Students and advocacy groups have created a new guide to high school admissions. (GothamSchools)
- Fresh off a win over extended school days, Chicago teachers want other disputes resolved. (Tribune)
- Evolving technology is for the first time giving children’s voices to children who cannot speak. (Times)