Posts from November 1st, 2012
November 1, 2012
- City school buildings have been housing Sandy evacuees since Sunday. (Insideschools, SchoolBook)
- A city teacher lists six big questions that leapt to his mind about Friday’s teacher workday. (B Niche)
- A teacher praises Mayor Bloomberg’s Sandy response, except for his decree about teachers. (Mr Foteah)
- On behalf of marooned teachers, a UFT chapter leader pleads for telecommuting. (Labor’s Lessons)
- A Brownstone Brooklyn family’s commute to their private school went smoothly today. (SchoolBook)
- This weekend’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test date has been rescheduled. (Insideschools)
- Aaron Pallas says the data show no narrowing of the achievement gap under Bloomberg. (Eye on Ed)
- The U.S. Department of Education extended its deadline for Race to the Top Districts. (Politics K-12)
- Georgia’s charter school funding rules are fueling the dollars vs. efficiency debate. (Southern Ed Desk)
- One city school is conducting a survey to produce its own Where are they Now report. (SurveyMonkey)
- A new report concludes that teachers unions vary in strength from state to state. (Teacher Beat)
November 1, 2012
Despite massive transportation problems, ongoing power outages, and dozens of buildings so severely damaged that they cannot be used in the near future, the city is moving forward with a plan to open schools by Monday, one week after Hurricane Sandy swept across the city.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that students would return to classes next week and that teachers would be required to report for work on Friday to prepare. Chancellor Dennis Walcott told reporters today that the timeline was firm.
“There are no ifs ands or buts about it,” Walcott said. “They will open. We know they’ll open.”
But exactly where each of the schools will open is an unresolved question. Of the city’s roughly 1,200 school buildings, 174 are still not operational today because of flooding, loss of power, or other damages, Walcott said, a number that had declined by about 25 since Wednesday.
Of them, 44 buildings housing 79 schools are considered “severely damaged” and will have to undergo major repairs before they are safe for students, he said.
The severely damaged schools include Brooklyn’s John Dewey High School, where officials said today a transformer fire had essentially burned through the building’s electrical system, and Beach Channel High School in Queens, where flooding caused the school’s boiler to burst and leak oil into Jamaica Bay. Walcott said the department was now working with city’s Department of Environmental Protection to contain the spill.
Students and teachers from the severely damaged schools, and from schools that still do not have power, will be sent to other locations when classes resume on Monday. The alternate locations, which could involve dividing some schools across multiple sites, had not yet been finalized this afternoon, Walcott said. (more…)
November 1, 2012
As it became clear on Wednesday that city schools would not be able to reopen this week because of damage to the city’s infrastructure, concern deepened at the Department of Education.
The department has ramped up a push to toughen academic standards this year, and a week off eight weeks into the semester — even if the days are likely to be made up later — could set back those efforts.
So department officials started compiling worksheets, suggested study schedules, test preparation guides, and lists of television shows with educational merit for students in each grade. On Wednesday night, they emailed principals to ask them to send a message alerting families to the new resources.
“We know that you and your students are eager to get back to school, and we are working hard to reopen schools as soon as possible,” Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky wrote in the message to families, which schools without power could have difficulty distributing. “In the meantime, we are encouraging students and their parents to continue learning at home during this time away from school.”
He suggested that families look to a silver lining in this week’s storm clouds: “Extra time at home is an opportunity to begin or continue planning for your future after graduation,” he wrote.
It’s an approach that some families and schools have taken since early in the week, when Hurricane Sandy’s danger passed for the many New Yorkers living out of the flood zone and in areas that retained electrical power.
When her nephews finished the homework they brought home on Friday, Wanda Fisher said her husband started quizzing them on mental math problems. (more…)
November 1, 2012
- The city’s schools are canceled for a week because of Hurricane Sandy. (GothamSchools, Times)
- Hundreds of city schools were hurt by the storm, and many are too damaged to open. (GothamSchools)
- Among those killed by Sandy was a first-year Bushwick School for Social Justice teacher. (Times)
- At the beginning of the week, parents saw the closures as an inconvenience to plan around. (WSJ)
- By the middle of the week, families in unaffected areas were starting to lament cabin fever. (WSJ)
- State education officials say forgiving some hurricane days would require legislation. (Times-Union)
In other news:
- The high number of Asian students at specialized high schools reflects deep cultural values. (Times)
- Staten Island’s Tottenville HS responded to bullying before and after a student’s suicide. (S.I. Advance)
- Middle schoolers in a young lacrosse program in Harlem are winning prep school scholarships. (WSJ)
- A teacher at P.S. 73 in the Bronx was reassigned after making “terroristic threats” to his colleagues. (Post)
- California is penalizing 23 schools for “adult irregularities,” or cheating, on state tests. (L.A. Times)
- The city this year are not giving as much preference to siblings in gifted program admissions. (Times)
- Scott Stringer: Social impact bonds are the best way to pay for early childhood education. (Daily News)
- Michiganders will vote next week on allowing the state to mange struggling districts. (Detroit Free Press)