Posts from July 9th, 2013
July 9, 2013
- As “school reform” grew, starting in the 1970′s, city high school basketball withered. (GothamHoops)
- Jose Vilson explains why he keeps working all summer, even though he doesn’t “have to.” (CTQ)
- Barnes and Noble and other booksellers are catching on to the Common Core. (Curriculum Matters)
- A police officer who fatally hit a Brooklyn teacher might’ve been on the phone while driving. (Gothamist)
- A Brazilian school’s unique approach to teaching grammar got kids tweeting with celebrities. (Buzzfeed)
- With test scores nearing, a reminder that New York City data presentation can be misleading. (Shanker)
- Upper West Side parents are battling over the cobblestone quality of P.S. 166′s playground. (Observer)
- More on the “hackathon” that the Department of Education and Spotify held last week. (Fast Company)
- Stuyvesant’s newspaper editor says high schoolers are ready for a role in the mayor’s race. (Daily Intel)
July 9, 2013
For the second summer in a row, the body that’s helping Gov. Andrew Cuomo form his education agenda visited New York City. But unlike last year, which drew a crowd and Campbell Brown, Tuesday’s meeting happened with little fanfare and much more focus.
It’s been a little more than a year since Cuomo assembled the Education Reform Commission, a 25-member body made up of businessmen, government officials, union leaders, researchers, lawmakers and nonprofit executives. The commission was created to recommend wholesale reforms to improve the state’s expensive school system.
It’s too soon to measure the commission’s impact, but the handful of first-year recommendations that Cuomo adopted — the commission recommended 12 — will only affect a small percentage of schools. Cuomo used an allocated $75 million in the budget to create competitive grants, available by design to limited number of districts, to launch longer school days, expand prekindergarten and create schools that offer more nonacademic services to low-income students.
Cuomo also allocated $11 million in stipends for “master teachers,” to fulfill another recommendation, which aims to recruit and retain top teachers for in-demand subjects. Cuomo announced that teachers can begin applying for the program this week.
It’s unclear what the commission will recommend in its second year, but the possibilities seem more narrow. Last summer’s meeting resembled more of a City Council hearing, with 17 speaker testimonies and a public comment period that covered a spectrum of education policies. It was also the place where Campbell Brown first launched her cause célèbre, to make it easier to fire teachers who’ve acted inappropriately in school.
By contrast, Tuesday’s event, held in a dimly lit performance arts theater inside the Borough of Manhattan Community College, featured lengthy PowerPoint presentations from five people who honed in on a few issues. (more…)
July 9, 2013
An advocacy group that fought for changes to teacher evaluations plans to cite data from the old rating system in a civil rights suit against the city.
In a complaint that hasn’t yet been filed, StudentsFirstNY will ask the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the distribution of teacher quality in city schools. The group issued a report in January finding that the 3 percent of teachers rated “unsatisfactory” last year worked disproportionately often in schools with many poor students of color. Its complaint will allege that the distribution was the result of discriminatory city policies.
Filing a complaint against the Bloomberg administration is an unusual move for StudentsFirstNY, which was formed to defend the mayor’s education policies and criticize opponents during the mayoral election. Some of those opponents have a civil rights complaint of their own pending with the federal government, about the Bloomberg administration’s school closures. (more…)
July 9, 2013
Some Democratic mayoral candidates are calling for a moratorium on charter school co-locations and at least two have said they would require charter schools to pay rent. But charter school advocates say they remain not too concerned.
“We should be worried … [but] I don’t think we should be panicked,” said James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center, this morning at a panel discussion about the future of education in New York City hosted by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a right-wing think tank.
Merriman joined Marcus Winters, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Joe Williams, executive director for Democrats for Education Reform, on the panel.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott also made an appearance to warn against moving away from the Bloomberg administration’s school policies, which include helping the charter sector to flourish. Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald and Independent mayoral candidate Adolfo Carrión, who have each expressed support for charter schools, sat in the audience. (more…)
July 9, 2013
- StudentsFirstNY is filing a civil rights complaint today over the city’s distribution of teacher quality. (Post)
- State policy makers are moving to increase scrutiny of charter schools’ student attrition. (GothamSchools)
- The city is investigating a Queens principal who teachers say has made inappropriate comments. (NY1)
- Buffalo is set to follow mandates and let students in low-performing schools transfer out. (Buffalo News)
- Chicago is making schools turn over money made from renting roof space to cell phone towers. (Tribune)