Posts from May 2013
May 31, 2013
- An Oregon man threatened to blow up an education office over an error on its sign. (Statesman Journal)
- Here are all of the words that spellers not as skilled as Arvind Mahankali got wrong. (Vulture)
- Manhankali’s principal at M.S. 74, Anthony Armstrong, kvelled over his knaidel-speller. (SchoolBook)
- The advisor to a suburban high school’s newspaper resigned rather than submit to prior review. (NJN)
- Teachers can be very funny — funniest, maybe, when the joke comes at students’ expense. (BuzzFeed)
- A teacher explains how she manages the tensions around reading students’ work. (Shoulders of Giants)
- Pennsylvania has suspended a former charter school officials’ credentials over cheating. (Notebook)
- “Restart” is increasingly being seen as an option for D.C.’s weakest charter schools. (Greater Greater Ed)
- A link right here in Remainders has resulted in a teacher getting an assist from an Olympian. (B Niche)
May 31, 2013
When State Education Commissioner John King sets New York City’s teacher evaluation system on Saturday, it will have been a while — three years and three weeks, to be precise — since legislators first set out the parameters.
The basic shape of what lawmakers signed off on in May 2010 hasn’t changed: 40 percent of ratings will be based on student growth, with half of the section coming from the state’s calculation and the other half from a locally determined calculation. The other 60 percent will come from “subjective measures,” including but not limited to in-class observations. All classroom teachers will get ratings on a four-tiered system, and districts can move to fire teachers who score “ineffective” for two straight years.
But three years of jousting over the specifics have added up. In that time, city and teachers union officials have sat down to negotiate and stormed away, multiple times; legislators have revisited their work, adding new stringencies; principals and teachers have prepared for implementation. What King announces tomorrow will reflect all of those changes — as well as the arguments that the Department of Education and the teachers and principals unions included in pitches to him this month.
Because King has only about 24 hours to publish the evaluation system after hearing the final presentation, made by the Council on School Supervisors and Administrators this morning, it seems reasonable to assume that he is focusing his efforts on areas where the parties have failed to agree in the past. Here’s a refresher on what we’re likely to see on Saturday — and what we’re not. (more…)
May 31, 2013
An organization founded to tackle one shortage area in computer science education is teaming up with the teachers union to address another.
Girls Who Code, whose founder Reshma Saujani is running for citywide office this year, launched last year to address stark gender inequities that exist in computer science, one of the many job markets in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) where women are underrepresented. The organization’s eight-week curriculum began last summer with 20 girls and will expand to 160 this summer, with new programs in Detroit and San Francisco as well.
The organization will also be lending its curriculum out to help train a small group of 20 teachers, the United Federation of Teachers announced this week. The union is trying to keep pace with the evolving demands in career and technical education and union chief Michael Mulgrew said one challenge is retaining young math and science teachers, who leave “because we don’t give them something engaging to do.”
“We’re going to make the difference by doing it where it really counts, which is training the teachers so they can bring it inside of the classroom because that’s where the students are,” Mulgrew said this week at an event announcing the pilot, called “Teachers Who Code”. (more…)
May 31, 2013
The United Federation of Teachers won’t wait for a new mayor to expand the school model that the union says could be key to boosting student success.
This fall, at least nine and possibly as many as 12 schools across all five boroughs will turn into “community schools,” offering a full range of social services to students and their families. They will join the half-dozen schools that already transitioned to the model this year, using a combination of union, city, and private funding.
The UFT has made the community schools model a priority in the lead-up to the city’s mayoral election. Touting the model as one that could mitigate against the many obstacles to academic achievement that poor children face, the union organized several trips to Cincinnati, where all district schools use partnerships with businesses and non-profits to provide an array of supports including early childhood education, classes for adults, food banks, and health, dental, and vision services. (more…)
May 31, 2013
- M.S. 74 student Arvind Mahankali won the national spelling bee. (Daily News, Times, Post, AP, NY1)
- The number of homeless students in city schools has continued to rise — in some cases, sharply. (Post)
- The city’s shorter-than-usual summer session means high schoolers can’t earn as many credits. (Post)
- A long-percolating plan to de-zone Manhattan’s District 6 will be aired publicly next week. (Daily News)
- The city can release parent council election results after a it won a suit against the votes. (SchoolBook)
- A task force proposed strategies for reducing reliance on suspensions. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook)
- State officials will release the city’s teacher evaluation plan Saturday at 4 p.m. (GS in Brief, Daily News)
- The Daily News says John King must give New York City a tougher plan than any other district has.
- A principal who is starting a charter school says her experience proves change is needed. (Daily News)
- A Brooklyn grandmother protested the animal nicknames a charter school used for buses. (Daily News)
- A mother who says students at P.S. 194 forced her son to perform oral sex is suing the city. (Daily News)
- Louisiana schools chief John White deflected charges of inflating schools’ grades. (Times-Picayune)
May 30, 2013
- John King is slated to release New York City’s teacher evaluation plan Saturday at 4 p.m. (GS in Brief)
- Of the mayoral candidates came to a forum about children’s issues, most left very quickly. (SchoolBook)
- Just a reminder: Mayoral candidates are unlikely to come through on their promises. (Ed in the Apple)
- A Colorado district offers free, voluntary summer classes to students who have shown growth. (ENC)
- A father explains why he’d like to choose the “disadvantaged” local school but might not. (Motherlode)
- A state senator is worried that a charter operator will use local funds for national growth. (DNAInfo)
- Anthony Weiner is seen as a potentially formidable education mayor — if he cared at all. (Commentary)
- An open question: Can a school be great if its principal is not? A teacher wants to know. (Mrs. Ripp)
- Here’s what’s still on the agenda for this year’s dismal and dwindling legislative session. (City & State)
- P.S. 124 in Queens has used a content-rich curriculum for 14 years and still likes it. (Core Knowledge)
May 30, 2013
With the United Federation of Teachers due to endorse a mayoral candidate in just three weeks, its members are — like all New Yorkers — divided over whom to stand behind.
The union uploaded the cover of the new issue of New York Teacher, its newspaper for members, to Facebook on Wednesday, asking, “Who should we choose?” Teachers and others quickly responded with more than 100 comments that fell all over the electoral map.
“Liu. He was pro teacher and Union before he was Comptroller and not running for mayor like they all are now, feeding teachers what they want to hear,” wrote David Pambianchi.
“I teach in the Flushing area, and Liu was always very supportive of our school when he was councilman. I’d back him if I thought he had a shot to win. Too much scandal around him,” wrote Gary Malone. “I’d say Thompson or Deblasio.” (more…)
May 30, 2013
A group of city officials, educators and members of the justice system are determined to make lowering school suspensions and arrests a high city priority.
The 45-member School-Justice Partnership task force led by a former state judge released a report Thursday that recommends the next mayor encourage all agencies and the court system to work together to reduce suspensions, summonses and student arrests.
The report, which took two years to complete, was presented to an audience of about 150 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where mayoral candidate Bill Thompson also made an appearance to support the recommendations. (more…)
May 30, 2013
For the second time since becoming the Department of Education’s official data monitor, the city’s Independent Budget Office has released a mountain of numbers.
The latest version of the IBO’s Public School Indicators” report compiles data about student demographics, space-sharing arrangements, budget allocations, principal and teacher characteristics, and student performance. While much of the data has appeared elsewhere, the new report collects multiple datasets in one place.
Not much has changed dramatically since the IBO’s first indicators report, released in September 2011. But the new version of the report relies on data that the IBO says was more accurate than the data it was given in 2011 and updates the facts and figures to include data from the 2011-2012 school year.
The new version also includes information for the first time about graduates of one of the city’s newest principal training programs. (more…)
May 30, 2013
- Just three states originally billed as participants in the InBloom student database are still in. (Reuters)
- Schools and districts find it easier to raise high-need students’ scores in math than in reading. (Times)
- At schools that are phasing out, courses and programs dwindle as the student body does. (SchoolBook)
- Testimony starts today in the process that will yield a teacher evaluation system. (GothamSchools, Post)
- Principals have been training this spring for new evaluations, and teachers come next. (SchoolBook)
- Bob McManus: If the UFT ultimately threatens to sue, state ed chief John King did the right thing. (Post)
- The New York Times endorses recommendations of a new report on curbing suspensions in city schools.
- Mayoral hopeful Sal Albanese, a former teacher, says he is his own education advisor. (GothamSchools)
- The head of Educators 4 Excellence-NY lists what he says city teachers want from the next mayor. (Post)
- Eva Moskowitz: Charter school critics know this is their last chance to slow the schools. (Daily News)
- The State University of New York system will put some classes online through Coursera. (Times, AP)
- Los Angeles is pairing students with disabilities with non-disabled peers on the basketball court. (WSJ)