Posts from April 29th, 2013
April 29, 2013
- A teacher who tweeted about N.Y’s tests knows now that the state is serious about secrecy. (RL Ratto)
- A series of graphs show striking changes in UFT membership and voter turnout over time. (JD2718)
- A teacher argues that apathy is the main reason that active teachers rarely vote. (Chaz’s School Daze)
- A teacher says retirees should vote in union elections, but only for certain positions. (NYC Educator)
- Watch tonight’s public forum on the controversial inBloom student data warehouse in full. (UStream)
- A math teacher says his experience struggling with topology at Yale helps him help students. (Slate)
- The feds give free breakfast and lunch to poor students. Wealthy students will now get brunch. (Onion)
- Added security at city high schools means recent alums can’t always come back for a visit. (Yahoo News)
- A teacher has an insider’s take on the hours of instructional time that’s lost to testing. (Accountable Talk)
- NBA player Jason Collins’s high-profile coming-out story includes advice for teachers. (Teaching Now)
- Andy Rotherham: Democrats made an unforced error by making the Common Core an issue. (Eduwonk)
- A student with autism successfully auditioned for a selective school, but others did not. (Insideschools)
- Obama’s big second-term education problem is his first term policies ignored equity. (Answer Sheet)
- Indiana is hitting “pause” on Common Core implementation, the latest state to push back. (Politics K-12)
- A Long Island high school reopened today after $10 million to repair Sandy damage. (SchoolBook)
- Foster parents blog about their challenges getting help from the Department of Education. (Fosterwee)
April 29, 2013
A judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking $100 million in rent from charter schools that have for years occupied space for free in public school buildings.
The lawsuit, filed by parents and advocates nearly two years ago, claimed that the city Department of Education was in violation of state education law by giving city-owned space to privately managed charter schools at no charge. The parents estimated that the annual free ride cost more than $96 million, a total they sought to steer toward hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes after years of budget cuts.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe didn’t rule on the fundamental issue of whether charter schools should pay rent. Instead, she ruled that it is not the court’s role to settle disputes over state education law. She said that must first go through the State Education Department, a precedent that was established in the UFT’s 2010 suit against rising class sizes.
But even as Jaffe ruled against the parent groups, she wrote that the concerns they raised were legitimate.
The charter sector has thrived under the Bloomberg administration, which has awarded free space to more than 60 percent of 159 charter schools. The schools are often placed alongside existing schools in a controversial arrangement known as “co-location.”
Critics have said that the policy introduces stark inequities and breeds unnecessary tension, issues that Jaffe suggested were valid.
“There is no dispute that charter schools, through public funding and private donations, have access to more financial resources than those available to traditional public schools,” Jaffe wrote. Those resources, she continued, are used for improvements for charter schools that are “within the full view of traditional public school students.” (more…)
April 29, 2013
For thousands of sixth-graders at 20 city middle schools, the school day is about to get a lot longer.
The schools will offer an hour of intensive literacy tutoring and 90 additional minutes of community-inspired programming such as yoga and gardening, as part of the city’s latest effort to spur improvements in the lowest-performing middle schools.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today that they are adding 40 schools to the city’s two-year-old Middle School Quality Initiative. Twenty of those schools will be randomly chosen for the three-year extended day pilot program.
Walcott made middle schools his priority when he took office, rebranding an initiative that Quinn had spearheaded as MSQI and expanding it to include focuses on literacy, teacher collaboration, and using data to drive instruction. Since then, MSQI has grown from 18 to 49 schools, and in the fall, it will include 89 schools. (more…)
April 29, 2013
More than half of the votes in last week’s United Federation of Teachers leadership election came from retired union members, according to a final vote tally that the union released today.
The complete count, released three days after the election, showed 19,808 votes for president from people who currently work in schools and 21,813 from retired members. The distribution reflects longstanding trends in union voting that were accelerated by dramatically lower turnout and a policy change that increased the weight of retirees’ votes.
Retirees make up a potent, and unusual, voting bloc in the UFT, one of the only labor unions in the country that allows retired members to continue to vote in union elections. They turn out in droves and almost always cast their ballots for the union’s leadership. This year’s election was no outlier, with 38 percent of retirees returning their ballots, compared to just 17 percent of active members. (more…)
April 29, 2013
When Superstorm Sandy struck New York City six months ago, it hobbled the school system along with the rest of the city. We look back at half a year of physical, psychic, and academic recovery for the city’s schools.
April 29, 2013
- Mayoral hopefuls said they’d lift Bloomberg’s school cell phone ban. (Daily News, WSJ, Crain’s NY, NY1)
- The long-struggling French American Charter School, already on probation, is $500,000 in the red. (Post)
- The city says it saved $100 million in the contracts that spurred the school bus strike. (Daily News, WSJ)
- UFT chief Michael Mulgrew’s sister is under investigation for getting DOE contracts while on leave. (Post)
- Six months after Hurricane Sandy, a Queens school is still grappling with the loss. (GothamSchools)
- A Rockaway family with six kids in four schools that was struggling right after the storm still is. (NY1)
- Mulgrew lists steps the next mayor could take to curb protest against the Common Core. (Daily News)
- The Daily News says the state should release some test questions to build faith in the Common Core.
- The city’s back-door high school placements were the result of an unannounced policy change. (Post)
- Tribeca Teaches, a program that gives film skills to city students, now has a site at Riker’s Island. (Times)
- The Post says criticism of Eva Moskowitz’s charter schools only happens because they’re successful.
- A bus carrying Bryant High School’s robotics team crashed in Ohio, but no one was seriously hurt. (Post)
- The Obama administration’s focus on fixing failing schools is a mistake, school-starters say. (USA Today)
- Buffalo is the latest district to reduce reliance on out-of-school suspensions, as New York City has. (AP)
- Officials say it’s been too long to prosecute abuse at the private Horace Mann school. (Times, NY1, WSJ)
- Texas lawmakers are taking on school truancy laws that some say are too punitive and harsh. (Times)
- The student-engineered racially integrated prom in Wilcox County, Ga., took place this weekend. (Times)