Posts from August 13th, 2012
August 13, 2012
- Rochester’s summer school helps very few students graduate from high school. (Democrat & Chronicle)
- Race to the Top’s district contest is now underway, with additional money at stake. (Campaign K-12)
- One group estimates it would take $271 billion to repair aging school buildings nationally. (Parade)
- Jay Mathews says D.C.’s cheating investigation and its conclusions are laughable. (Class Struggle)
- Brooklyn Tech is the 10th-most active school nationally in an online quest for Target gift cards. (GiveWith)
- An appeals court has overturned a ruling that shielded L.A. schools from seniority layoffs. (Teacher Beat)
- VP hopeful Paul Ryan hasn’t said much about education except that it is too expensive. (Hechinger)
- Dewey and Jefferson top a list of people rolling in their graves over education policy. (Diane Ravitch)
- Joel Klein said he’s a dinosaur for having bookshelves in his office, not interactive e-books. (AP)
- A teacher prepping for fall lists a number of assignments it sounds like he’s not giving. (NYC Urban Ed)
- A group of activist educators wants teachers excessed before this year to get their jobs back. (NYC ATR)
August 13, 2012
A year after the state comptroller canceled a no-bid contract for a statewide student data system, the State Education Department has announced new contracts for the delayed project.
Four companies were awarded parts of a $50 million federal grant to develop the infrastructure for an “education data portal” that would serve as a hub of information for schools and teachers. One of the subcontractors is Wireless Generation, the company that lost the original $27 million contract.
The portal is meant to allow educators to track and use student performance data and exchange information about curriculum and instructional practices across the state. It was one of several new initiatives the state vowed to carry out in its 2010 application for the federal Race to the Top funding competition, in which New York netted $700 million.
“The Education Data Portal is an integral element of the Regents reform agenda and was an essential component of New York’s Race to the Top application,” said Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr., in a statement.
The state’s Race to the Top application promised to roll out the data system in October 2012 — two months from now. By a year from now, the portal was to serve 90 percent of the state’s intended audience, according to the Race To The Top application.
That timeline suffered a significant setback last year when state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli rejected the $27 million contract that was given exclusively to Wireless Generation, the Brooklyn-based education software developer. (more…)
August 13, 2012
As the founding principal of Beacon High School, Ruth Lacey has some of the city’s highest-scoring students and a rare exemption from most state exams. But she lacks a full-sized gymnasium and classrooms to accommodate rabid demand for the school.
Enter 521 West 44th St., the former site of a New York Public Library warehouse that will by 2015 become the new Beacon school. The city plans to convert the gutted concrete storage facility into a school with a cafeteria, special arts and science labs, and gym on the roof, as well as space for a District 75 special education school. There, the school is slated to grow from 1150 students to close to 1500.
Beacon is one of 103 screened high schools that Department of Education officials told to step up their special education enrollment practices because many are not enrolling their fair share of students with special education needs. Department officials have been meeting with Lacey and other principals throughout the year to strategize how to make their special education rates match those of local unscreened schools.
“As long as they meet the criteria of the screened school, we expect special ed students to be a part of those populations at those schools,” Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said at the groundbreaking for the new school. (more…)
August 13, 2012
“If I could clone Shimon Waronker, I would do that immediately,” then-Chancellor Joel Klein said in 2008 about the principal of M.S. 22 at the time.
But given the chance to replicate a school that Waronker started from scratch, city officials this year took a pass.
After a year under Klein’s wing, Waronker opened Brooklyn’s New American Academy to great fanfare in 2010. The school promised to upend the traditional classroom by pairing 60 students with four teachers who would stay with them throughout elementary school. New York Times columnist David Brooks praised the school in a piece this spring.
Now, after failing to interest city officials in allowing him to open a second school, Waronker is looking outside the Department of Education to fulfill his expansion ambitions. He has asked the state for permission to open The New American Academy Charter School next year.
If approved, it would be the city’s first district school to replicate as a charter school, in an arrangement that could pose tricky technical issues.
Waronker’s application has the support of the United Federation of Teachers, which was involved in the New American Academy’s creation but has had a contentious relationship with the city’s charter sector. Leo Casey, a UFT official who is departing to lead a union-affiliated education research institute in Washington, D.C., is a founding board member. (more…)
August 13, 2012
- State officials are so worried about GED changes that they are weighing alternatives. (Crain’s NY, Post)
- The city will let principals use federal funds to pay for no-longer-required tutoring this year. (SchoolBook)
- Seven charter schools are vying to open next year in Queens, which so far has few of them. (Daily News)
- A review of Campbell Brown’s sudden reform fight includes comment from a teacher she pans. (Times)
- The principal of Manhattan’s ICE, who was censured for having students sleep over, has retired. (Post)
- After aging out of public school, an autistic 21-year-old is without an outlet for his art. (Daily News)
- Mayoral candidate Tom Allon says Stuyvesant High’s attention to grades has been toxic. (Daily News)
- The Post says Cuomo was too quick to take credit for a teacher evaluation bill that hasn’t worked yet.
- The Daily News compares Cuomo’s approach to N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s and finds Cuomo lacking.
- The Post praises Gov. Cuomo for vetoing a special education private school funding bill last month.
- A math group says England’s revised national curriculum emphasizes rote learning too much. (BBC)
Last week on GothamSchools:
- Space-sharing tensions have cooled at John Jay, but some fears might have come true. (Thursday)
- A 1958 investigative report casts light on the first time police came to city schools. (Wednesday)
- Some of the supporters of proposed charter schools include principals who have struggled. (Tuesday)
- A new coalition aims to use education research to influence mayoral candidates’ platforms. (Tuesday)
- The city named Jie Zhang, a longtime educator, to head the elite Stuyvesant High School. (Monday)
- Students at Brooklyn’s P-TECH are spending hours a day in a student-centered math class. (Monday)