Posts from August 16th, 2012
August 16, 2012
- Scores at Philadelphia schools investigated for cheating dropped by enormous margins. (Notebook)
- Eva Moskowitz takes aim at schools that claim diversity but are segregated on the inside. (SchoolBook)
- Joel Klein makes the argument in favor of bringing private interests into public education. (Atlantic)
- A teacher contrasts her bright-eyed start in 2007 with her dismal ATR status today. (Suddenly ATR)
- Teach for America is looking for an executive director of its New York region, to replace Jeff Li. (TFA)
- Los Angeles has gotten its own school news website, with a Brooklynite editing. (L.A. Schools Report)
- Rick Hess wonders why people say D.C. doesn’t need a humanities-centered school. (Straight Up)
- Joe Williams notes that unions, like StudentsFirstNY board members, give to Republicans. (DFER)
- Here are some of the videos that D.C. teachers made showcasing their classroom skills. (The Lede)
- The Staten Island students who got famous singing others’ songs are writing their own. (P.S. Chorus)
- A charter school chief lists unexpected startup challenges, such as getting insurance. (Charter Notebook)
- After two decades, Teach For America’s mission and success rates are still fodder for debate. (Reuters)
- A bill in California would require teacher evaluation systems to be collectively bargained. (Teacher Beat)
August 16, 2012
Hours after the union-backed New Yorkers for Great Public Schools launched a campaign to tie the education advocacy group StudentsFirstNY to the political ideologies of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, 2013 mayoral candidates began chiming in on whether they would accept StudentsFirstNY’s support.
Of the three campaigns that responded to requests for comment from GothamSchools, one said no StudentsFirstNY money would come into its coffers. The other two said they would have no problem accepting support from the group, which seeks to advance many of the Bloomberg administration’s education policies. A fourth candidate says he hasn’t made up his mind yet.
Comptroller John Liu said he would reject any support, although a spokesman acknowledged that funds from StudentsFirstNY were unlikely to be directed toward Liu’s campaign.
“I doubt the group would send us any contributions,” said the spokesman, Chung Seto. Liu, who hasn’t declared for mayor and whose campaign finances are the subject of a federal investigation, is considered a candidate likely to align with the teachers union.
Speaker Christine Quinn, an early favorite in the Democratic primary bid, would happily accept support from education groups, no matter their school reform ideologies, a campaign consultant said today. (more…)
August 16, 2012
When asked to envision an office building that would meet federal environmental design standards, a team of 13 students spent the summer researching sustainable building materials and construction practices.
The result was a mock-up for 51 Astor Place, a seven story office building proposal that would feature a parking garage with bike storage, a roof garden that would naturally cool the building, and a community center with a pool and a gym.
The students, who presented their project results this morning to family members and peers, were amoung 100 students from public and private city high schools participating in a free science research program run by the Cooper Union. The students were matched up with researchers, who helped them devise projects to solve problems facing mathematicians, civil engineers, product testers, and other professionals who conduct scientific research.
Samuel Fok, a rising senior from Manhattan’s High School for Environmental Studies, said he learned much about environmental engineering and teamwork from the green building project.
“It was intense. Coming here, you have to be serious about working and cooperating and trying to learn more,” he said. “It provided a good sense of what engineers actually do.”
Close to 90 students in the program hailed from public schools, including Aviation High School, Francis Lewis High School, Bard Early College High School, and Fort Hamilton High School. They are among a number of city students to spend the summer exploring math and science through their schools and local nonprofits.
August 16, 2012
As of today, school districts across New York State have in hand the first piece of data they would need to calculate some teachers’ ratings: their “growth scores” for last year.
The State Education Department today distributed scores to districts for 36,685 educators who teach reading and math in grades 4-8 or supervise those teachers. The scores — which calculate students’ growth on state math and reading tests, adjusting for the students’ past performance, the performance of similar students, and the reliability of the exams — would count for 20 percent of educators’ ratings under the state’s evaluation law.
Two consecutive “ineffective” ratings would automatically trigger termination proceedings under the law. But the data released today suggest that the state’s current formula for measuring student growth would be unlikely to place many teachers’ jobs at risk.
Nearly 85 percent of the 36,685 educators who received a score fell into the “highly effective” or “effective” ranges. Just 6 percent of them had scores in the “ineffective” range.
Few of the scores issued today will actually be used to evaluate teachers. Most of the state’s 715 school districts, including New York City, have not yet adopted evaluation systems that comply with the state’s evaluation law, and many that have adopted new evaluations won’t use them until next year. (more…)
August 16, 2012
- A coalition is launching a campaign to discredit the education policies pushed by StudentsFirst. (Times)
- Its first big effort is a paper detailing ways some board members support Romney. (GothamSchools)
- The state did not release positive reports about schools the city wanted to close until this summer. (Post)
- After a period of growth, Albany charter schools that struggle are beginning to close. (Times-Union)
- Washington D.C. schools are taking a page from reality TV to improve the teaching practice. (Times)
- Horace Mann alumni plan to protest the school’s response to sex abuse allegations. (Riverdale Press)
- Teacher: high suspension rates among minority students have nothing to do with discrimination. (Post)
- Some schools with openings are still struggling to hire teachers due to a hiring freeze. (GothamSchools)
- P.S. 24 found money in its budget to hire back music teachers excessed earlier this summer. (Press)
- Councilman Jumaane Williams uses his disability to connect with public school students. (Schoolbook)
- A proselytizing teacher who called her students ‘racists’ was fired last month. (DNAInfo, Daily News)
- Two district school teachers are hoping to open a charter school in Queens next year. (Queens Courier)