Posts from August 1st, 2012
August 1, 2012
- StudentsFirst and Randi Weingarten are clashing on Twitter over abusive teachers. (Eduwonk 1, 2)
- The fight, posted with the hashtag #protectourkids, started with Campbell Brown’s op/ed. (Twitter)
- A study of “exam” schools nationally finds that they don’t serve more upper-crust kids. (EdNext)
- StudentsFirst says Michelle Rhee herself wrote her new book, “Radical,” out in January. (Russo)
- A mother whose son had a tough transition to ninth grade offers advice to others. (Insideschools)
- New York is the second state officially to recognize graduates’ bilingualism. (Learning the Language)
- Many policies focus on the best and worst teachers. What about the rest? (Starting an Ed School)
- A teacher probes the murky intersection of caring about kids and their test scores. (Jose Vilson)
- A potentially “irreplaceable” teacher says work conditions trump pay for her. (Miss Eyre/NYC Educator)
August 1, 2012
A scheme to underpay more than a dozen teachers at a Brooklyn high school has landed the school’s longtime principal under investigation.
The scheme, which investigators have been probing since this spring, could also put Fort Hamilton High School on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay to teachers so desperate for a position that they accepted one with low pay, no benefits, and little security.
The Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations is in the process of investigating Jo Ann Chester, principal of the Bay Ridge school since 1999, a department spokeswoman confirmed. Sources close to the investigation say investigators have been digging into payroll practices at the 4,200-student high school since at least April. The school was already under investigation because of test scores that the city deemed suspicious.
Last week, a grievance from a teacher who had been underpaid was sustained, entitling him to back pay, union officials confirmed.
The scheme allowed Chester to circumvent three-year-old hiring restrictions and blocked the school from being assigned short-term substitutes from the Absent Teacher Reserve, the city’s pool of teachers without permanent positions. It also saved the school hundreds of thousands of dollars. (more…)
August 1, 2012
In suits and ties, they’re spending the summer in making speeches before thousands of people, bolstering their online presence, and pushing for changes to state governance.
But some of them aren’t even old enough to vote.
A handful of New York State high school students have banded together to create Student Voice, an organization devoted to empowering students. Their first project is to get representation on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education reform commission, where they say students are imperative to conversations about teacher evaluations and technology policy.
Two of the three students behind Student Voice come from Long Island high schools. The third, Matthew Resnick, is a senior at Manhattan’s Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
“It’s like a detective conduncting a criminal investigation without interviewing the victims,” said Zak Malamed, a recent high school graduate from Great Neck, about the commission. “We are the victims of the system’s flaws, so we should at least have a voice.”
The organization started this spring when Malamed realized that through the internet, he could connect to hundreds of other peers interested in education policy. That’s how he met Resnick and Nikhil Goyal, a senior at Syosset High School, who helped him launch the group.
“The trigger was realizing that I’m not the only one, I’m not an anomaly in wanting to change the education system as it is,” Malamed said. (more…)
August 1, 2012
The Department of Education never checked to see whether an initiative to transform city schools for the 21st century that was announced with a splash in 2009 was paying off, according to an audit released today by Comptroller John Liu.
The audit is the latest in a series by Liu’s office to conclude that the department does not adequately evaluate its programs and initiatives, which the Bloomberg administration has always delivered in rapid succession.
The audit also has the department insisting that a technology initiative once billed as “the most exciting work we are now embarking on here in New York City’s public schools” was actually a “small educational initiative” in just a handful of schools.
The initiative, called NY21C, was unveiled in May 2009 at the iSchool, a centerpiece of the department’s efforts to rethink schools using technology. Then-Chancellor Joel Klein said the program, which the city billed as a “research and development project” in promotional materials, would quickly expand across the entire city.
The initiative did expand — but it also quickly evolved. In 2010, NYC21C became the 81-school Innovation Zone, and seven of the original 10 schools were dispersed into different branches of the zone. Since then, Klein and John White, another official who championed the Innovation Zone, have left the Department of Education, and the department’s focus has shifted away from innovation and toward making instruction more rigorous in all schools through new learning standards.
Figuring out just whether NYC21C accomplished the goals set out in its original five-year plan was lost in the shuffle, the audit concludes. (more…)
August 1, 2012
- The state added three city schools to its “persistently dangerous” list last month but told no one. (Post)
- A preschool special ed audit found that a Long Island company bilked the city of $6 million. (Times)
- Ex-turnaround schools got details about their names and more. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook, NY1)
- Turnaround’s end means the end of a “master” and “turnaround” teacher program, too. (GothamSchools)
- A city nonprofit found that students who struggle in high school struggle later on, too. (GothamSchools)
- A former contractor convicted of stealing millions from the DOE blamed it all on his wife. (Post)
- Gov. Cuomo cited expenses as his main reason for vetoing a special education placement bill. (Times)
- A departing 10-year teacher who has been making the rounds explains why the city is losing her. (Post)
- Philadelphia charter schools have wide-ranging, hard-to-complete application processes. (Notebook)
- A court decision to shake up the school board in Bridgeport, Conn., is setting other plans back. (WSJ)