Posts from December 3rd, 2012
December 3, 2012
- An Educators 4 Excellence member explains why she joined a rally for new teacher evaluations. (E4E)
- Critics of E4E and the state’s teacher evaluation requirements staged a counter-rally Sunday. (Ed Notes)
- The Brooklyn Free School is part of a resurgence in a controversial form of unstructured schools. (HuffPo)
- A Florida teacher of the year says value-added measures alone fueled her ineffective rating. (Facebook)
- Rick Hess pans Thomas Friedman’s unproductive “fanboy praise” of Ed Sec Arne Duncan. (Straight Up)
- Prompted by evaluation chatter, a teacher writes, “I have no interest in improving my teaching.” (Quilbilly)
- Even humor writers are joining the debate on the Common Core’s fiction/non-fiction requirements. (TIME)
- A city teacher whose school could phase out argues why it should not. (A Teacher Grows in Brooklyn)
- The leader of a minority caucus in the UFT tries to predict the outcome of evaluations negotiations. (ICE)
- A high school senior’s mother says applying to college isn’t fair because so many can’t. (Insideschools)
- A union blog praises Alternative Learning Centers, where suspended students get instruction. (Edwize)
December 3, 2012
Last month, students from Democracy Prep Charter High School were honored guests at Seondeok High School and Dong Seong Middle School in South Korea. Today, they honored a guest of their own: Kim Hwang-Sik, South Korea’s prime minister.
Kim met with school leaders; spoke with the students; and hobnobbed with Congressman Charles Rangel, who supported the exchange trip, during Kim’s brief stop at the school this afternoon. He was in New York City to visit the United Nations as part of a tour of North America.
All students at Democracy Prep High School study Korean, and last month, three dozen of them traveled to South Korea to see the country up close. They visited the schools, toured Buddhist temples, and stayed in the homes of South Korean families.
One student told Kim that the trip had brought the Korean culture she had studied at school to life for her. “Now I want to travel more and … see things with my own true eyes,” she said.
Democracy Prep Superintendent Seth Andrew told Kim that American education leaders often point to South Korea and Finland as two countries whose students far outpace students in the United States. Korea, he said, is the more instructive example of educational excellence because of its economic history. (more…)
December 3, 2012
As the Department of Education begins holding meetings at the high schools officials are considering closing, some of the schools are tapping into decades-worth of alumni ties and institutional memory to defend themselves.
Representatives of Boys and Girls High School, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, and DeWitt Clinton High School have put out press releases encouraging families, community members and the press to attend the department’s “early engagement” meetings at their schools this week.
At the meetings, which are typically closed to the public, superintendents and other department officials will listen to teachers, families and administrators describe their schools’ strengths and the challenges they face. The meetings are a required first step in the process by which the city initiates school closures under state law.
The department typically recommends closure for about half of the schools that undergo early engagement each year, but the process by which officials narrow down the preliminary hit list is murky. School communities are expected to make the case that their schools should stay open, despite low graduation rates and other issues, and demonstrate that they have the capacity to make dramatic improvements. (more…)
December 3, 2012
The Useable Knowledge series brings education research to GothamSchools readers. In this installment, Madeline Pérez presents her research into how families approach the high school admission process. Eighth-graders must submit high school applications by Dec. 10, a week from today.
A public high school admissions process that serves mostly low-income people of color but is based on white, middle-class assumptions must be redesigned. Providing school choices — such as by creating more small high schools or welcoming charter schools — is not enough to improve the prospects of students’ high school placements. (more…)
December 3, 2012
- New York is among five states to get Ford Foundation funding to extend the school year. (Times, AP)
- The number of districts that, unlike NYC, have reached teacher evaluation deals is up to 633. (Post, NY1)
- Brooklyn’s District 23 became the third to adopt districtwide choice, the second in a week. (Daily News)
- Park Slope’s controversial school rezoning plan could make P.S. 10 lose pre-kindergarten. (Daily News)
- The Post pans the city for giving high grades to high schools that don’t prepare students for college.
- Los Angeles’s teachers union tentatively agreed to use test scores in teacher ratings. (WSJ, L.A. Times)
- An L.A. union activist says smaller districts are paving the road to a new unionism. (Washington Post)
- A state judge ruled that Louisiana’s school voucher system is unconstitutional. (WSJ, Times-Picayune)
- In some cities, school are losing students because of demographic shifts and charter schools. (WSJ)
- Debate over the Common Core’s nonfiction guidelines is heating up nationally. (Washington Post)
- A former D.C. teacher and current professor says credit recovery is used too liberally in D.C. (WSJ)
Last week on GothamSchools:
- The city is scrutinizing homegrown high school courses to see if they meet high standards. (Friday)
- Mayoral hopefuls came before a group that opposes Mayor Bloomberg’s school policies. (Thursday)
- A related group released research briefs to make their case against Bloomberg’s policies. (Thursday)
- The city and others would like student surveys to affect evaluations, but the UFT doesn’t. (Wednesday)
- Timing and implementation issues could cloud any teacher evaluation deal that gets made. (Wednesday)
- Some schools that got progress reports still have investigations open about last year’s scores. (Tuesday)
- Even with college readiness metrics, more high schools got top progress report scores this year. (Monday)
- Still, the city increased the number of high schools it is considering closing, shortlisting 24. (Monday)
- City officials said they are considering making it harder to get high scores in the future. (Monday)
- The principal of one of four schools with two straight F’s said he doesn’t fear being closed. (Monday)