Posts from June 19th, 2013
June 19, 2013
- A teacher who is moving on to a new school takes a photo tour of his classroom. (Rational Expressions)
- A study of New York City’s school surveys says teachers give more useful data. (Inside School Research)
- Teachers Arthur Goldstein and Gary Rubinstein won Class Size Matters’s Skinny Awards. (Ed Notes)
- Overhauled versions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are under debate. (Politics K-12)
- Here’s a detailed rundown of the devastating budget cuts facing Philadelphia schools. (In These Times)
- Tom Vander Ark lists strategies that smart districts can use to maintain top teachers. (On Innovation)
- Bill de Blasio released a comprehensive policy agenda including an education platform. (GS In Brief)
- New Yorkers for Great Public Schools is attacking Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson. (City & State)
June 19, 2013
The United Federation of Teachers’ months-long process to endorse a mayoral candidate ended today with a warm embrace between President Michael Mulgrew and Bill Thompson, the former Board of Education president who will get the union’s support.
Thompson got the nod after a series of meetings that concluded with a vote by thousands of delegates in which the vast majority supported endorsing him, teachers said. Afterwards, teachers were handed bright posters touting the candidate, which many brandished as they exited the union’s Lower Manhattan headquarters.
At a press conference after the endorsement vote, Thompson was coy after he was asked whether he was worried that the union’s support could prove to be a “kiss of death,” as Mayor Bloomberg alleged earlier this week.
“If I received a kiss from the UFT today, I’m feeling pretty warm and fuzzy,” he said.
Speaking to the delegates, Thompson delivered a seven-minute speech that focused on his respect for teachers. “I know how hard you all work!” he said, citing the example of his mother and daughter, who each taught in city schools. (more…)
June 19, 2013
Thompson spoke to teachers at a union meeting before meeting the press with UFT President Michael Mulgrew this afternoon at the union’s Lower Manhattan headquarters.
“As mayor, I’m not going to demonize teachers. We’ve had enough of that,” Thompson said, alluding to Mayor Bloomberg’s sometimes harsh comments about teachers. “I’m going to help them teach by giving them the resources they need and bringing them back into the decision-making process of how we run our schools.”
The endorsement caps several months of internal discussions within the union. Mulgrew was looking for a candidate who would advance teachers’ interests, inspire UFT members to get out the vote, and, most importantly, have a clear path to City Hall. The UFT has not picked a winning candidate since 1989, and Mulgrew is hoping that this year will break the bad luck.
“We need to make sure that this entire city school system is about helping teachers help children, and we now have the candidate we know will do that,” Mulgrew said. “And we will fight with him and for him — because he is the next mayor of New York City.”
June 19, 2013
Sweeping and serious problems with a new system for grading high school Regents exams persisted today, the date by which one set of tests was supposed to be completely graded.
The new system, designed to curb score inflation, requires teachers to report to central sites to grade answers that have been scanned and meted out by McGraw-Hill, the testing company. Educators from across the city are reporting that teachers were sent back to their schools early again today from grading sites because there were not enough essays to score. At other sites, scorers said they were told to stay put but not given papers to grade.
“We arrived at scoring today at 8:30 only to be sent away at 9,” wrote a commenter posting as AlvySinger in response to our story about the grading issues from Tuesday.
“1:08 pm. Nothing to grade,” another commenter wrote. The story has received nearly 50 comments from educators and others who are distressed about the scoring situation.
Several readers noted that a solution exists to a different issue that left some essays unreadable in the computer system — but that the fix requires compromising the anonymity of the exams, a main reason for the new scoring system in the first place. (more…)
June 19, 2013
For education voters, the mayoral campaign season has been building in large part to today, when the United Federation of Teachers will announce which candidate it is supporting.
But the decision, which will come out around 5:45 p.m. today, hardly ends the education election. Instead, it simply opens a new phase, one in which education policy’s prominence is far from assured.
From the time that campaign season kicked off so many moons ago, all of the Democratic candidates have been careful not to alienate the UFT. While the union’s picks don’t always win — as Mayor Bloomberg pointed out on Monday, it hasn’t backed a winning mayoral candidate in over two decades — the UFT endorsement does confer money, cachet, and bodies to fuel a ground game that will be essential in the coming months.
Even candidates seen as unlikely to win the union’s support, such as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose help letting Bloomberg suspend term limits four years ago put her at a sharp disadvantage, were careful to infuse their education platforms with union-friendly positions. And all of the candidates who attended a forum the union held at its annual spring conference were effusive in their praise. (more…)
June 19, 2013
- Eighth graders at a Brooklyn school were told they flunked exams that were in fact misplaced. (Post)
- Officials are racing to fix glitchy grading on high school exams before graduation. (GothamSchools)
- The UFT’s preparations to endorse and support a mayoral candidate are unprecedented. (Times)
- More siblings are getting preference in the city’s elite gifted programs than two years ago. (WSJ)
- BiIll Thompson, who is seeking the union’s pick, has courted Bloomberg allies, too. (GothamSchools)
- A top Bloomberg aide cast a preemptive shot at Thompson for his Board of Education tenure. (Post)
- The principals union endorsed Thompson a day before teachers make their pick. (GothamSchools, WSJ)
- Arne Duncan told states with new standards they don’t have to impose evaluations yet. (Times, HuffPo)
- New York, a state that hasn’t slowed down, approved a new “enhanced” growth model. (GothamSchools)
- A first-ever report on teacher prep schools found many of New York’s programs lacking. (Times Union)
- Washington Post: Despite its controversial reception, the report could lead to groundbreaking reforms.
- Boston is poised to become the latest city to make condoms broadly available in schools. (Times)
- Parents want the city to remove their principal after learning he made threatening remarks. (Daily News)
- The Daily News says the DOE should easily be able to remove school staff who threaten student safety.
- Salad bars were installed in Staten Island school cafeterias, bringing the borough total to 50. (Advance)
- One of Bill de Blasio’s new ideas is to model 100 new schools on Harlem Children’s Zone. (Times)