Posts from February 4th, 2013
February 4, 2013
- Mayor Bloomberg has been effusive, reserved, and scathing when talking about the UFT. (SchoolBook)
- On Super Bowl Sunday, a teacher parses online notes to identify seven defenses of the union. (Assailed)
- A math teacher updates about his self-help regimen of focusing on tough stuff. (Rational Expressions)
- A mother shares her conflicted feelings about having her son screened for special needs. (Insideschools)
- The Department of Education is looking, internally, for a chief charter school evaluator. (Simply Hired)
- A former teacher riffs, critically, on a recent report about democracy-focused schools. (Commonal)
- Alabama no longer plans to adopt common exams aligned to the Common Core. (Curriculum Matters)
- New Jersey is playing catch-up with technology to be prepared for Common Core exams. (N.J. Spotlight)
- In letters, educators and parents share their thoughts on testing’s value — or lack of value. (Times)
- Rhode Island’s schools chief has decreed that districts must do away with seniority hiring. (Pro Jo)
- Researchers say the data in the Gates Foundation’s latest teaching study don’t hold up. (Teacher Beat)
February 4, 2013
How much voting power does a New Yorker really wield? How can statistics presented by the media manipulate readers? How do you raise sweatshop wages without sacrificing profit?
These are a few of the questions that math teachers in New York City are asking their students as they try to bring complex and abstract concepts to life. To answer them, students must supplement the equations and formulas found in textbooks by grappling with real-world applications.
The lessons cover a mathematical practice known as modeling that has been around for decades but is now getting a closer look in schools around the city as teachers try to align their math lessons to Common Core standards that require real-world applicability.
Using modeling to present lessons is one of two instructional focuses that the Department of Education has laid out this year for math teachers.
“It’s the practice of solving real-world problems,” said Brooklyn Technical High School’s Patrick Honner, a teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School who in December won a $10,000 award for an innovative math lesson he developed. (more…)
February 4, 2013
While students across the city hunkered over bubble sheets and short answer questions during last month’s Regents exam period, seniors at East Side Community High School were deep in conversation.
In one corner of Ben Wides’s American Foreign Policy classroom, two students huddled with a university professor talking about the role of altruism in foreign policy. Three desks over, another group discussed the role of public opinion in policy decisions, and across the room, a student told a student teacher why he found the Mexican-American War so interesting.
The conversations were part of “roundtable” discussions that are a crucial early step in East Side’s assessment program. As a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, the school exempts students from most of the exams the state requires for high school graduation. The students instead demonstrate competency by completing extensive research projects and presenting their findings to teachers and outside evaluators.
Wides’s students will write and defend original historical research papers at the end of the year in a process that he likened to a graduate thesis defense. Last month’s roundtables gave students an opportunity to practice discussing class material and defending their interpretations, he said, and they also gave him one more way to gauge mid–year what material still hadn’t sunk in. (more…)
February 4, 2013
- The number of city students receiving emergency contraception more than doubled since 2009. (Post)
- The city’s teen pregnancy rate is down 27 percent since 2002; officials credit contraception. (Daily News)
- The school bus strike is dividing drivers between those who aren’t working and those who still are. (WSJ)
- One family’s fix in the bus strike still involves a three-and-a-half-hour daily commute. (GothamSchools)
- Drivers marched on Mayor Bloomberg and UFT members joined a protest over the weekend. (Post, NY1)
- The Public School Athletics League is raising academic standards substantially. (GothamSchools)
- Gov. Cuomo told city and union officials that he’ll take first steps to impose evaluations on Feb. 22. (Post)
- The Daily News says Cuomo’s threat has Bloomberg in a bind but the UFT should concede. (Daily News)
- Four legislators who have said they would try to undo mayoral control have now proposed bills. (Post)
- The Daily News says a judge who heard last week’s charter school rent case showed blatant bias.
- A columnist hammers away at the idea that several parent advocacy groups are union fronts. (Post)
- A columnist says last week’s unscripted school closure hearing in D.C. should have impact. (Daily News)
- Students at Forest Hills HS need to raise $22,000 to compete in a government contest. (Daily News)
- Michelle Rhee says she wishes she had paid more attention to test security in Washington, D.C. (Times)
- Harvard University is requiring about 70 students to withdraw after a cheating scandal last year. (Times)
- Memphis has barred 18 people who paid others to take their certification exams from teaching. (Times)