Posts from May 1st, 2013
May 1, 2013
- The city’s Children First Networks were named one of government’s top recent innovations. (Ash Center)
- A Florida honors student was arrested and expelled because of a rogue science experiment. (Gawker)
- Just as happened here, Oregon teachers were unnerved by an surprise shooter drill. (Teaching Now)
- A top Department of Education official disputes reporting critical of the city’s CTE programs. (City Limits)
- An airy 19th-century surgery theater in Midtown West is the new home of a private school. (City Room)
- A parent asks why city schools give grades for P.E. classes that don’t factor into GPAs. (Insideschools)
- A teacher trainer answers her most common question: How to coach resistant teachers. (Art of Coaching)
- An activist L.A. teacher from Teach for America’s first cohort has been laid off — again. (Dana Goldstein)
- Chicago’s instruction, observations, and teacher evaluation work come as its murder rate rises. (Atlantic)
May 1, 2013
As chess champion Garry Kasparov finished up his visit to the chess club at Harlem Success Academy I this morning, he posed a question for the three dozen students taking a break from their matches: How does chess help you in school?
At first, the students struggled to answer Kasparov’s question with the kind of specifics he wanted. One boy said it helped, but couldn’t explain how exactly. Another said it helped him strategize, but came up short when pressed for more. Two girls said that chess helped them with complicated math problems and one boy said it helped him concentrate.
Finally, a young girl’s answer seemed to satisfy the grandmaster.
“Chess helps me with writing because when you’re writing an essay you have to reread your work just like you have to reread your notations,” said Hawa Diallo, a fourth grader at the school, referring to the scoresheets kept during games.
“Brilliant,” Kasparov said.
It’s a question that Kasparov said is at the core of one of his life’s goals since he retired in 2005 after spending nearly 19 years as the game’s top-ranked player. Through his foundation, Kasparov has set out to grow chess by exposing it to younger generations and he said that one way to do that is to prove that developing chess curriculum in schools has long-term educational impacts for children. (more…)
May 1, 2013
Pearson’s errors when grading city students’ screening tests for gifted programs did not affect all test-takers equally.
Children in districts with many white and Asian families — who make up more than 70 percent of students in gifted programs, despite being just a third of the city’s student population — were most likely to have learned that their score was higher than they had been told, according to data the Department of Education released today. The good news came much more infrequently in districts that are heavily black and Hispanic.
The department announced nearly two weeks ago that Pearson, the testing company, had botched the scores of nearly 5,000 children who were screened for gifted programs. Instead of slightly fewer children qualifying than last year, as the department initially said had happened, children had met the eligible requirements at a record rate.
Today, the department released an updated breakdown of where children qualifying for gifted programs live. The data reinforce the fact that the department’s overhaul of the screening process — which included a test that was billed as harder to game — seems to have done little to chip away at longstanding inequities in the racial makeup of students in gifted programs. (more…)
May 1, 2013
An escape route from the city’s most struggling schools that Department of Education officials touted as a significant innovation is unlikely to be an option for many eligible families, parents and advocates say.
When the city closes low-performing schools, new students aren’t allowed to enroll and current students stay on until they graduate. The arrangement has drawn criticism from state officials, families, and advocates who say high-need students see morale and support decline as their schools diminish in size.
This spring, just before finalizing plans to close 22 schools, department officials said they felt a “moral imperative” to help students who want to leave closing schools do so. They said they would mail transfer applications, including a list of possible destination schools, to all 16,000 students in the 61 schools that would be in the process of phasing out this fall.
“They presented it to families as an alternative to protect their children,” said Emma Hulse, a community organizer with New Settlement who has helped South Bronx families fill out transfer applications.
“But when the package actually hit people’s mailboxes, we realized it’s not a meaningful alternative,” she said. (more…)
May 1, 2013
- P.S. 244 became the first school to serve only vegetarian food. (GothamSchools, Daily News, NY1, Post)
- A junk food-loving education reporter gave P.S. 244′s new lunch a glowing review. (Daily News)
- A nonprofit education venture fund is teaming up with a new for-profit venture capital fund. (Times)
- Randi Weingarten: Strip stakes from Common Core tests. (GothamSchools, Times, NY1, Daily News)
- The Daily News agrees with Weingarten on some of her Common Core concerns but not the biggest one.
- The country’s other teachers union president also called for a two-year moratorium on stakes. (HuffPo)
- An unlikely coalition of critics is behind the growing backlash to the new learning standards. (WSJ)
- The city has spent $38.5 million in overtime payments for a special ed data program. (GothamSchools)
- Michael Benjamin: Advocate Leonie Haimson is mum on some class size reduction barriers. (Post)
- A Brooklyn school was evacuated while police investigated an abandoned backpack. (Post, DNAInfo)
- Report: School districts bound by a 2 percent tax cap could raise taxes to 4.6 percent. (Journal News)