Posts from March 2013
March 29, 2013
Just 2 percent of city students were held back last year, the same proportion as in the year before Mayor Bloomberg moved to ban “social promotion,” according to data that the Department of Education released today.
Of students in third through eighth grade, 7,540 were required to repeat their grade after attending summer school in 2012, according to the data. Four times that number of students had been required to attend summer school because they were not expected to pass the year’s state math and reading tests. In 2011, 3 percent of students were retained.
Department of Education officials said the decline in the number of students held back was fueled by more students passing the state tests. Because the city doesn’t find out the scores from students’ spring exams until August, when summer school is already over, some students who appeared likely to fail must register for summer classes that they ultimately do not need.
The department is also working to reduce the frequency with which students are retained, amid research finding that students who are held back are less likely to reach proficiency in the future. (more…)
March 29, 2013
In April, New York City students will sit down to state tests that are tied for the first time to the tougher Common Core learning standards. Last fall, we convened city educators to discuss their transition to the new standards in English language arts. Now, we want to continue that conversation about math. (more…)
March 29, 2013
An independent research group with access to a trove of the city’s education data concluded that most of the Bloomberg administration’s claims of high school progress are credible.
But in a different report commissioned by a nonprofit group that manages some city high schools, researchers found that the city’s tools for evaluating schools do not treat schools with higher-need students fairly.
The two reports come as the Bloomberg administration concludes a three-term spree of policy changes meant to spur improvement in the city’s high schools. The spree included dozens of school closures and the creation of hundreds of new high schools, along with accountability metrics such as the annual “progress report” to make school performance transparent. Whether to continue the policies and accountability measures will be a major choice facing the next mayor. (more…)
March 28, 2013
In a year when city officials softened discipline rules, city schools issued a third fewer suspensions in the first four months of the school year than they did during the same period in 2012, according to data that the Department of Education released today. (more…)
March 28, 2013
News from New York:
- The state teachers union is launching a campaign against excessive testing. (Syracuse Post-Standard)
- Boys outnumber girls at the city’s super-selective science-themed specialized high schools. (Times)
- Budget bills aim to ease evaluations and pad school funding. (GothamSchools, Times, Post, Daily News)
- The Post says the legislature taught that “obstinacy pays” by increasing school funding despite a penalty.
- The proposed state budget will require the city Department of Education to report on trailer use. (Post)
- The Post says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still learning lessons about working with the UFT the hard way.
- The number of students arrested in Bronx schools fells by 50 percent since last year. (Daily News)
- Bronx students and a civil rights group are suggesting alternatives to police in schools. (Daily News)
- A Bronx student will sue the city after being shot outside his school when he was suspended. (NBC NY)
- A new report finds that the city’s progress reports do not adequately control for students’ needs. (WSJ)
- A+ NYC’s bright blue school bus represents the challenge of motivating parents as a voting bloc. (Times)
- The city’s new girls high school wrestling league launches next week, with scholarships the goal. (Post)
- A judge turned down the city’s request to have a parent lawsuit over PCB removal dismissed. (NY1)
- The UFT member who is running against President Michael Mulgrew says he is refusing to debate. (Post)
- A detective who falsified evidence in a murder case also conducted faulty school investigations. (Times)
- The Police Athletic League ran a sports and games tournament for students on break this week. (WSJ)
- A rally against school closures drew thousands of protesters to Chicago’s streets. (Sun-Times, Tribune)
- A Broad Foundation-funded study found mayoral control helps schools, including in New York. (Post)
- Seventeen states offer vouchers, a resurgent policy, to give public education funds to families. (Times)
- Indiana’s top court ruled that the state’s school voucher program is constitutional. (Times, Indy Star)
- A new survey finds that while teachers have some complaints, their job satisfaction is high. (Times)
- As schools use more and more technology, many are asking students to bring their own devices. (Times)
- N.J. Gov. Chris Christie announced that the state could take over Camden’s schools. (USA Today, WSJ)
March 27, 2013
Lobbying and political spending records offer a different, behind-the-scenes view into the group’s activities under Lasher, a seasoned legislative director who abruptly announced this week that he is leaving to become state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s chief of staff.
The records show that the group spent more than $100,000 in Albany, largely to bolster Republican legislators who frequently oppose policies that teachers unions support and who are seen as a bulwark against the erosion of mayoral control in New York City. (more…)
March 26, 2013
The traditional seder discusses four children — The Wise Son, The Wicked Son, The Simple One, and The One Who Doesn’t Know How to Ask. Since entering the classroom, I’ve had my own thoughts about each of these children, and their manifestations in my own classroom. (more…)
March 26, 2013
Part of my engagement at the Passover seder I attended came from the knowledge that something important and sacred was about to happen. It made me wonder: How do I make classroom experiences important, even sacred, to my students? (more…)
March 25, 2013
In a surprise move, Micah Lasher announced today that he’s leaving StudentsFirstNY, an education advocacy organization he helped launch less than a year ago to sway mayoral candidates on education policies.
The news broke first early this morning in the Daily News, and it apparently was such a surprise that even Lasher’s staff at StudentsFirstNY didn’t know about it, sources told GothamSchools. Staff put out a press release shortly after that, naming a temporary replacement and praising Lasher for his.achievements. But questions remain about the group’s future.
Lasher, a “wunderkind lobbyist” with expertise in education policy, spent four years advancing the Bloomberg administration’s agenda before leaving city government last year. He’s returning to public service as chief of staff for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after a year in charge of New York’s state branch of Michelle Rhee’s national StudentsFirst organization. (more…)
March 25, 2013
If you’re looking for some reading material to take you through spring break, look no further than the budget bills that landed on legislators’ desks today in Albany.
The education bill alone takes up 227 pages. (It’s embedded below.) The highlights are the latest changes to the state’s teacher evaluation rules, which are designed to get New York City and another three straggling districts to adopt new evaluations that meet the state’s requirements, as 687 other districts already have done.
A press release out from Cuomo’s office today trumpeted the proposed evaluation law changes, which we reported about last week, and expressed confidence that the new tweaks will accomplish what previous revisions of the state’s evaluation law have not. “Today’s law will ensure one hundred percent compliance,” the press release says.
The complete budget bill is below the jump. Lawmakers will vote on it later this week as part of a package of bills that together spell out how the state will spend its money in the next year. (more…)