Posts from May 2nd, 2013
May 2, 2013
The city’s long battle to prevent the public from seeing emails about how Black, a publishing executive with no education experience, came to be chancellor for 100 tumultuous days in 2010 and 2011 came to an end today with a court order to release the messages.
The 78 pages of emails reflect communication only through 10 days after Black’s appointment in November 2010, which is when then-Village Voice reporter Sergio Hernandez filed a Freedom of Information Law request for them. Still, the emails paint a full picture of a frenzied effort to tilt public opinion in Black’s favor amid what the chancellor-nominee called “relentless press.” Those efforts centered on petitioning prominent women including Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy to endorse Black publicly.
Here’s what the emails tell us about this short, weird moment in the city’s education history:
1. Bloomberg’s choice was set a week before he publicly picked Black. When the “small tectonic shift” of Chancellor Joel Klein’s resignation and Black’s appointment to replace him came on Nov. 9, 2010, it seemed like the news took officials at the Department of Education and City Hall by surprise, too. (more…)
May 2, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg said today that a deal to give teachers retroactive raises to make up for five years without a new contract would cost billions and cripple the city’s financial stability.
“It’s just something the city can’t possible afford,” said Bloomberg, who made the remarks while presenting a $69.8 billion spending plan, the final proposal of his administration.
Retroactive raises for the more than 100 municipal labor unions and organizations with expired contracts is a looming issue for the city’s fiscal future and in the mayoral campaign to replace Bloomberg. Bloomberg has refused to negotiate new deals if it means the inclusion of the raises, which would total 4 percent for the city’s 80,000 teachers.
He estimated today that costs from retroactive teacher raises would be $3.8 billion in 2014 and $1 billion every year after. Raises for all city workers would cost a combined $7.8 billion in 2014 and $3 billion in subsequent years, he said. (more…)
May 2, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg’s final budget, which he is unveiling today, is likely to include new details on how changes to the city’s state school aid will affect the Department of Education.
In January, when Bloomberg made his preliminary budget proposal, the city faced losing $250 million because it had not agreed on a teacher evaluation system with its union. Bloomberg said the bulk of the cuts would come from individual schools.
But wrangling in Albany resulted in the city’s state school funding being revised upward, even though the teacher evaluation penalty was not technically rescinded. That means the Department of Education’s budget might be in the best shape it has been since the start of a series of recession-induced budget cuts in 2008.
But the funding picture for other programs and departments that affect children is likely to be less sunny. Bloomberg’s initial budget proposal included steep cuts to after-school and child care programs, just as he originally proposed last year. (more…)
May 2, 2013
It’s been a while since City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the rest of the mayoral hopefuls have focused on education. In the two months since they last appeared at a schools forum, they’ve debated everything from public safety to technology to community gardens.
So tonight’s forum at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill seemed to be an important chance for Quinn and her rivals to refresh the public’s memory about their ideas on education, which parents say will be a crucial issue for them when they cast their ballots later this year.
But of the four Democratic candidates who plans to attend, Quinn isn’t one of them. The race’s five non-Democratic candidates, including four Republicans, also declined invitations to attend.
A spokesman said Quinn has a scheduling conflict, an inevitability at a time when the candidates are making public appearances and private glad-handing with breakneck speed. (more…)
May 2, 2013
- Computer glitches in three states, including two caused by McGraw-Hill, have hampered testing. (Times)
- The city released corrected data about who passed its gifted screening. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook)
- Unable to afford enough guidance counselors, some city schools outsource the burden. (Riverdale Press)
- A teenager whose death Mayor Bloomberg cited as senseless was headed to college. (DNA Info, Times)
- The city offered an escape hatch to students at low-performing schools, but it’s illusory. (GothamSchools)
- Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov visited with Success Academy students. (GothamSchools, DNA Info)
- New Jersey’s school board reduced the weight of test scores in teacher evaluations a little. (Star-Ledger)
- The principal of a Boston school cut security guards, hired art teachers, and restored safety. (NBC News)
- Teachers at a 13-school Chicago charter network, UNO, voted to unionize. (WSJ, Tribune, Sun-Times)
- Maine schools got their (mostly low) scores on a new school grading system. (Portland Press Herald)