Posts from August 9th, 2012
August 9, 2012
- A new study shows that struggling teachers who receive performance evaluations can improve. (HuffPo)
- An acclaimed Chicago teacher explains why extending the school day isn’t the solution. (CNN)
- The city’s special education reforms are new here, but reflect a trend that exists nationally. (SchoolBook)
- A band teacher calls for a rethinking of traditional high school music and band class. (Urban Ed Music)
- In Sunset Park, some students are spending their summers studying or playing handball. (Schoolbook)
- Members of the new union caucus MORE are focusing criticism on union-district negotiations. (Ed Notes)
- The CDC says students are smoking fewer cigarettes, but surprisingly, more cigars. (Ed Week)
August 9, 2012
This week kicked off with a bang, as the city named its pick to lead Stuyvesant High School. It has fizzled since then, so we’re moving our regular Friday feature to today and highlighting some extra-interesting comments our readers left on the news story about the new principal, Jie Zhang. On Friday, GothamSchools will publish only if there’s breaking news.
Zhang is taking over Stuyvesant after the Department of Education’s top officials intervened in a high-profile cheating scandal at the ultra-selective school. She told reporters that she didn’t think cheating was a major problem at Stuyvesant — also her children’s school — but that she would nonetheless work immediately to establish a culture of integrity.
Our readers were divided about the scope of the cheating problem Zhang will have to confront — and about whether she could be more honest about it. In the second comment on the story, “Yes” wrote:
If there is a widespread cheating problem … and there is ……..with the NUMEROUS facebook pages with kids posting their homework….is a principal whose own children may be knee deep in it the right choice?
Another reader, posting as “ActualStudent,” expressed a similar sentiment:
To have 2 children go to this school, and think this was an isolated incident?
Either lying or entirely oblivious.
“123″ said there could be a very good reason that Zhang was out of the loop on cheating that did take place: (more…)
August 9, 2012
Wesley Weissberg has poured hours into Park Slope’s public schools, even serving as PTA president at the neighborhood’s popular elementary school, P.S. 321. But until this year, she hadn’t even considered trying to help the neighborhood’s only high schools.
Housed in the John Jay Campus at the heart of Park Slope’s main shopping street, the high schools have never drawn many students from within the neighborhood’s brownstone-lined borders. Students who graduated from local middle schools mostly headed to private schools or Manhattan for ninth grade.
That was true well before Weissberg moved to Park Slope. More than a decade ago, the district’s school board president, Mark Peters, waged an effort to turn John Jay High School into a destination for the neighborhood’s middle-class families. As a result, the struggling high school was replaced by three smaller schools: two that had been located elsewhere in the district and one that grew out of John Jay’s relatively strong legal studies program.
But even with the overhaul, the new schools, which did not screen students, never attracted local students. And a decade after Peters engineered the building’s redesign, the Secondary School for Law; the Secondary School for Journalism; and the Secondary School for Research, which became Park Slope Collegiate in 2011, continued to struggle. Except for during the hours immediately after school, when some neighborhood shopkeepers would lock their doors to keep John Jay students out, there was little relationship between the building and its neighborhood.
Then, last year, tensions over the addition of a selective school billed as more likely to attract Park Slope’s high-performing students drew the neighborhood’s attention back to the campus — and volunteers like Weissberg into the building.
A year into Millennium Brooklyn’s uneasy co-location, it is not yet clear whether the building is on the way to becoming a Park Slope school, or whether the worst fears about Millennium’s presence will come to pass. (more…)
August 9, 2012
- Investigators probing cheating in D.C. looked into only one school with odd data. (WaPo, USA Today)
- A charter school shooting to open on Staten Island say their fourth try will be the charm. (S.I. Advance)
- Backers of a private-school special education bill vetoed this month say they will try again. (Jewish Week)
- A city private school for students with autism is using the Olympics to bolster social skills. (City Room)
- A Yale computer science professor says that, managed right, online schools could be good. (WSJ)
- Oregon’s new schools chief, Rudy Crew, panned districts’ plans for little or no growth. (Oregonian)
- As digital devices make cheating easier, educators seek digital tools to crack down. (Chicago Tribune)