Posts from September 20th, 2012
September 20, 2012
- New Dorp High School’s unprecedented turnaround might have been driven by student writing. (Atlantic)
- A student, a teacher, a principal, and a safety agent weigh in on police presence in city schools. (JJIE)
- A profile of the Common Core’s David Coleman questions the value of one set of standards. (Atlantic)
- New York City students joined students from other cities in a protest against school closures. (Notebook)
- A city parent says shifting zone lines and a long commute drove his family to homeschooling. (Atlantic)
- Researchers advised policymakers to look “beyond the schoolhouse doors.” (Columbia Spectator)
- A union analysis finds that new middle schools are overrepresented on the state’s overhaul list. (Edwize)
- A professor says she was luckier about when she was born than today’s students are. (The Nation)
- Teachers, students, and statisticians alike think student surveys are valuable evaluation tools. (Atlantic)
- A new city initiative will help families of high school students pursue citizenship. (SchoolBook)
- A million-dollar teacher highlights the new marketplace of curriculum sharing. (School of Thought)
- Members of New York’s Absent Teacher Reserve warn Chicagoans about reserve pools. (Ed Notes)
September 20, 2012
Teachers at a school where hundreds of parents signed a petition against the principal this summer continued the protest today by boycotting Curriculum Night.
Teachers at New Explorations in Science, Technology, and Math, or NEST+M, announced the boycott via email this afternoon, telling parents that Principal Olga Livanis had not soothed relations with the staff after she surprised several of them with “unsatisfactory” ratings.
When parents arrived for the annual introduction to what their children would be learning this year at the citywide school for gifted and talented students, they were told that many teachers had stayed home and given a copy of the email announcing the boycott.
“I feel really awful to hear this,” said Angela Stokes, a former teacher whose daughter is a sophomore in NEST’s high school. “I had this idyllic idea about NEST being away from all the muck and the mire of the DOE. NEST is not immune, I’m finding out.”
Livanis has butted heads with parents and teachers since 2006, when she was installed as principal after the school’s founding leader was removed amid controversy and over some parents’ objections. In June, hundreds of parents registered official objections after several well liked teachers received the low ratings. Their petition, which was delivered to Department of Education officials, also called on Livanis to improve the way she communicates with members of the school community.
But two weeks into the new school year, teachers said today that there had been no changes. (more…)
September 20, 2012
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has quietly visited several former “turnaround” schools in recent weeks, but he has done so without calling attention to the fact that the city planned to close them until just a few months ago.
During the first week of school, Walcott made unannounced visits to two of the schools in Brooklyn. At John Dewey High School, where large-scale scheduling problems are prevailing, he shook hands with students one morning. He stopped by William Grady Career and Technical High School, which was removed from the turnaround roster in April, the same day. Neither visit made his public schedule, and department officials said they had nothing to do with the schools’ ex-turnaround status. Instead, the stops were like many that the chancellor, an avid school visitor, has made outside of public view, the officials said.
And on Wednesday, he shared the stage with the new principal of Flushing High School at a press conference heralding a substantial grant from AT&T to the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, which runs an after-school program at the school. Working in about 150 city schools, SASF was only the second group, after the YMCA of New York, to receive a grant through Aspire, a $250 million AT&T grant program aimed at boosting college readiness among high-need students. The grant will help SASF hire staff to support its program at Flushing, which includes targeted efforts to help incoming ninth-graders make up academic ground.
Speaking to the students and staff who attended the press conference, Walcott praised SASF and said, “We expect success from all of you to not just achieve but to achieve at a high level. To do that you need to support great teachers, you need to support great leaders, we need to support families, not-for-profits, the generosity of corporate giving.”
But he did not acknowledge the turmoil the school had gone through in recent months as the city tried to close and reopen it using the turnaround process. Nor did he note the school’s leadership change, made in turnaround’s early stages. And after the press conference, Walcott ducked out without talking to reporters. A department spokeswoman said he was late to a meeting and would be taking questions over email instead, but the spokeswoman did not respond by day’s end. (more…)
September 20, 2012
- New York City has some of the most segregated schools for Latinos, a new USDOE study found. (Times)
- At Queens’ J.H.S. 67, a new but only partly enforced dress code bars logos and sweaters. (Daily News)
- After a slight decrease, the number of city students attending class in trailers has held flat. (DNAInfo)
- The city did better at opening schools last year than fulfilling vows to improve others. (GothamSchools)
- Many students with disabilities have gotten new service providers, but issues remain. (Riverdale Press)
- Among this year’s busing snafus: A girl was told to wait for a bus nearly four hours before school. (Post)
- A longstanding “parent trigger”-like law in New York State has rarely been used. (GothamSchools)
- Both sides are claiming victory in Chicago, and the contract deal’s reality is unclear. (Times, Sun-Times)
- With the teacher strike over, Chicago, like many districts, must return to teacher evaluations. (WSJ)
- Chicago also has another issue to worry about in the future: The solvency of its pension system. (Times)