Posts from June 20th, 2013
June 20, 2013
- One lesson from the hard slog of Regents week: that students are good people. (View from the Bronx)
- Teacher Marc Epstein puts the current Regents scoring fiasco into an historical context. (HuffPo)
- A new documentary profiles a Newark high school teacher of students with autism. (Answer Sheet)
- A researcher says criticism of testing in New York City is fair, but a real plan is needed. (Eric Horowitz)
- Jessica Siegel says she knows from a phone call that StudentsFirstNY is planning a comeback. (HuffPo)
- A teacher breaks down and learns from his students’ responses to a survey he gave. (Larry Ferlazzo)
- City schools have very different yields from parent fundraising, which a map shows. (N.Y. World)
- In Japan, one out of 40 students refuses to go to school, and few school options exist for them. (NY1)
- A UFT official sees a disheartening future and a need for change in the city’s graduation rate. (Edwize)
- A cigar store will have to close after smoking up Millennium High School’s gym. (Downtown Express)
- Having to round up support for their classes can feel like groveling for teachers. (TAL via Hechinger)
- City teens, with the Center for Court Innovation, have ideas for curbing absenteeism. (Insideschools)
June 20, 2013
There was apparently a better choice than CTB McGraw-Hill to oversee the new electronic grading system that this week faltered in spectacular fashion: Pearson.
But Pearson’s services could have cost the city nearly three times as much as McGraw-Hill’s, a bargain that the Department of Education concluded was worth the risk, according to details about the contract submitted to the Panel for Educational Policy for approval last year.
“The near-term advantages achieved from Pearson’s proposal did not warrant its significantly higher cost,” the contract document says.
A litte more than a year after the city inked the contract — a three-year, $9.7 million deal — the ambitious scoring system developed by McGraw-Hill is under fire for a series of sweeping technical glitches that has left tens of thousands of students wondering how they did on their end-of-year state exams. Many of those students are seniors whose graduation is contingent on passing the exams even as ceremonies began this week.
“I’ve been doing grading for 18 years and this is the absolute worst,” said Dino Sferrazza, a social studies teacher at Benjamin Cardozo High School. (more…)
June 20, 2013
The Department of Education is desperately recruiting teachers to make up for Regents exam scoring time that CTB/McGraw-Hill lost.
The department needs thousands of graders to work through tens of thousands of test questions that were supposed to be scored already. The scoring hit snags because of breakdowns in the electronic process that the testing company set up, leaving students without scores as high school graduations begin.
“As you know, there have been problems in processing and scanning exam materials for the June Global and US History exams which have resulted in delays grading these exams,” reads an email that history teachers received late Wednesday. Later, it notes, “Participation is voluntary, and we encourage you to consider taking part in this activity and help to complete the scoring of these exams in as timely a manner as possible.”
Several teachers said they and their colleagues were torn about whether to take the overtime offer, which would net them just under $42 an hour on Friday night and over the weekend. (more…)
June 20, 2013
In a major speech on education this morning, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota said he would “continually measure and quantify our schools.”
Lhota also said he would push to double the number of charter schools operating in the city, a move that would require legislative approval, and to offer merit pay for teachers rated highly effective, which would require the UFT’s.
“I challenge the UFT to help me implement a merit pay system,” he said.
The union has said it will never support merit pay for individual teachers, which research so far has found does not improve student achievement.
Lhota’s speech, delivered to business and civic leaders at the Association for a Better New York, marks the first comprehensive education address by a non-Democratic candidate. It comes a day after Bill Thompson received the UFT endorsement, marking a turning point in the education election. Until now, with the Democratic candidates each competing for the union’s support, there has been little incentive to propose wildly different education policies on the campaign trail. (more…)
June 20, 2013
- Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota will call for the city’s charter school sector to double. (Post)
- The UFT endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor. (GothamSchools, Times, WSJ, Post, Daily News, NY1)
- The Daily News says the endorsement sets up a scary quid pro quo between Thompson and the union.
- Sweeping technical glitches with Regents exam scoring continued on Wednesday. (GothamSchools)
- In addition, a box of English tests taken at Chelsea High School have gone missing. (Daily News)
- A Park Slope restauranteur is giving etiquette lessons to children from Crown Heights. (Daily News)
- A teacher at P.S. 386 in the Bronx was charged with raping a 10-year-old student. (Post, Times)
- Ominous posters allegedly by the principal of the Bronx’s I.S. 232 have not been removed. (Daily News)
- The Daily News says Chancellor Walcott must remove I.S. 232′s principal, who has erred before.
- The effect of the explosion of online classes is under debate at colleges that are offering many. (Times)