Posts from June 3rd, 2013
June 3, 2013
- In California, a 40-year-old law is inducing teacher evaluations based on test scores. (CIR/Hechinger)
- A mom confesses that she’s just out of steam on parenting by the end of the school year. (Jen Hatmaker)
- Sara Mosle: We need a Race to the Cool to air-condition schools during the hot summer. (Opinionator)
- Central Brooklyn sixth-graders who say they don’t get homework rock a breakout metal band. (Noisey)
- The gains for children that the federal stimulus fueled are being whittled away. (American Prospect)
- A visiting poet offers an account of a morning working with New York City students. (Brooklyn Rail)
- Alan Singer: Newsday’s reports about cheating on Long Island reflect a battle against teachers. (HuffPo)
- In a letter, city officials point out that New York City suspends students less often than Baltimore. (Times)
- A teacher who wrote about tenure changes says the effects are far-reaching. (School Justice Solutions)
- Australia is running into cost and execution issues when replicating Joel Klein’s policies. (Australian)
- MORE, a UFT caucus, wants a “coordinated grievance campaign” against evaluations. (GS in Brief)
June 3, 2013
The teacher evaluation plan that State Education Commissioner John King set for the city over the weekend has prompted both city and union officials to claim victories.
But a point-by-point analysis of some of the major areas of dispute shows that the truth is more complex than either side has proclaimed. We’ve rounded up some of the biggest disputes and how King settled them. In our first installment, we looked at King’s decisions on issues relating to teacher observations. In the second installment, we look at other issues where King bridged gaps between the city’s and union’s positions.
School-based committees to decide student growth measures
Outcome: Shared UFT/DOE win
Both the city and the UFT agreed that figuring how to calculate the “locally selected” piece of student growth should be decided at the school level. But they disagreed about who should make that decision and about one of the options they should have.
The UFT wanted a team of teachers to make the choice, but the city wanted principals to have complete discretion. King accepted the union’s suggestion that each school have a committee to draft recommendations for which student growth measure to use. But, siding with the city, he said principals could reject the committee’s recommendations. (more…)
June 3, 2013
Like most officials who work for city schools’ support networks, Nathan Dudley plans to spend the week helping the principals he works with understand the city’s new teacher evaluation system.
Last week, though, Dudley was telling a freshly minted crop of teachers and administrators not to dwell too much on the evaluation system or on other in-vogue education policies.
As the commencement speaker Hunter College School of Education last week, Dudley, the deputy leader of Children’s First Network 403, started his speech by asking graduates whether they thought the Common Core standards and new state teacher evaluation standards would improve instruction in New York.
After he got some signs of approval, and some laughter, Dudley stage-whispered, “That’s not what’s important.”
He went on: (more…)
June 3, 2013
Over the past 48 hours since State Education Commissioner John King set a new teacher evaluation system for New York City, both sides in the dispute have sought to position themselves as winners. First out of the gate was the Bloomberg administration, which compiled a chart outlining its victories and boasted about publicly. But, as union officials argued in an email highlighting their own “wins,” it was a cherry-picked list.
King imposed the plan after reviewing policy papers (that still have not been made public) and hearing hours of testimony last week. In his written explanation of his decision, he summarized where the two sides differed and where they occasionally agreed — and where he sometimes disagreed with both of them.
We’ve rounded up some of the biggest disputes and how King settled them. In the first part of the roundup, we look at King’s decisions on issues relating to teacher observations, which will count for 60 percent of teachers’ scores next year.
Version of the Danielson rubric
Outcome: DOE win
One of the only issues, it seemed, that the city and the union could agree on when it came to observations was which rubric to base them on. It turns out they lacked consensus even there. (more…)
June 3, 2013
For mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, sleeping on the city’s new teacher and principal evaluation plans was an illuminating experience.
Thompson was the first candidate to issue an official response to the educator evaluation plans that State Education Commissioner John King imposed on the city late Saturday. Speaking less than two hours after King released an overview of the plan, Thompson said the plan represented a victory for the teachers union’s approach to evaluating teachers.
“Let’s remember where this process started: The mayor wanted to be able to fire teachers at will, because he believes you can somehow fire your way to student success. That approach is now off the table for good,” he said. “Instead, teachers are going to get the support and professional development they need.”
But a day later, Thompson’s outlook was less sanguine. He issued a second press release on Sunday afternoon highlighting the many pitfalls that the plan faces in getting implemented. (more…)
June 3, 2013
The big news:
- The city has a new evaluation plan. (GothamSchools, WSJ, Times, Post, Daily News, NY1, SchoolBook)
- The new evaluation systems will require annual assessments in all subjects, even art and P.E. (Times)
- The Bloomberg administration is citing the state-imposed plans as a triumph. (GothamSchools 1, 2)
- Union chiefs also said, at least at first, that they were happy with what the state set. (GothamSchools)
- But the plan could be rolled back or revised as soon as a new mayor takes office in seven months. (WSJ)
- Other districts that got new evaluation systems earlier say the experience has been frustrating. (WSJ)
- Only some elements of the new plan were a surprise, as others were set in law. (GothamSchools, Post)
- The Post says the UFT is the big loser, with many of its requests turned down by state ed chief John King.
- The head of Educators 4 Excellence in New York says there’s lots to praise in the new systems. (Post)
- The Post also says finding out if the plans work will take a while, but charter schools can help until then.
- In Colorado, some schools are under scrutiny after they gave out lots of strong evaluations. (Denver Post)
In other news:
- Nine in 10 city school buildings have at least one outstanding building code violation. (Daily News)
- The principals of I.S. 313 and I.S. 339 in the Bronx quashed a student-led anti-bullying group. (DNA Info)
- Singer Billy Joel visited Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts as a surprise guest on Thursday. (AP)
- Parents say the ex-principal of P.S. 194, where a student was assaulted, was irresponsible. (Daily News)
- The city will spend about $170,000 per student on a new elementary school building in Chelsea. (Post)
- M.S. 74 in Queens came together as a community around spelling-bee champ Arvind Mahankali. (WSJ)
- Hazel Dukes of the local NAACP is among the opponents of abolishing zones in District 5. (Daily News)
- The Daily News plans to launch awards for educators because so often stories about them are negative.
- Some Staten Island schools could get local “slow zones” aimed at boosting traffic safety. (S.I. Advance)
- Illinois legislators are considering doing away with special education class size rules. (Chicago Tribune)