Posts from August 5th, 2013
August 5, 2013
- Budget cuts mean there will be fewer NAEP exams to measure student growth. (Curriculum Matters)
- Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, but not its for-profit test company, Kaplan. (Politico)
- A city teacher: My qualms about teaching new immigrants this summer are gone. (Chaz’s School Daze)
- Civil rights groups filed suit over New Orleans charter schools’ ELL practices. (Learning the Language)
- Rick Hess: Common Core advocates could have headed off criticism with better planning. (Straight Up)
- One troubling thing about school rating systems is that they combine two competing metrics. (Shanker)
- Philadelphia’s recent history raises questions about the direction of education reform fights. (Nation)
- An education economist says he has found no link between pensions and teacher quality. (Sara Mead)
August 5, 2013
As he continued to deflect attention away from his online misdeeds, Anthony Weiner released a second set of policy proposals today, including more than a dozen priorities for the schools system that would guide him as mayor.
Some of the ideas, contained in an updated version of his “Keys to the City” policy book, are new to the mayoral race. For instance, he wants to make financial literacy a required high school subject to help students manage college debt, and to create a new school leadership position that would exclusively handle a school’s operational needs.
But many of the priorities blend into similar proposals that have been offered repeatedly by other candidates in some form or another throughout the campaign. They include holding onto mayoral control, as well as proposals to improve career and technical education, increase teacher retention, extend learning time and expand community services provided by schools.
One proposal, no. 89, is unclear about what new school reform it is trying to address. It says that new learning standards, known as the Common Core, are being introduced in the fall, and that teachers will “receive a very short training session” on implementation this month. But the new standards — and state tests aligned to them — rolled out last year and the city says it has spent more than $100 million to train teachers on the standards in the past two years. (more…)
August 5, 2013
Union and city officials are sparring in advance of tough test score news that arrives at a pivotal moment for Mayor Bloomberg’s education legacy.
Scores due out on Wednesday reflect students’ performance on the first tests tied to the new Common Core standards, which aim to get students solving complex problems and thinking critically. State officials have long warned that the new tests would produce lower scores, which they say will more accurately reflect students’ skills, and in April, teachers and students reported that the tests were indeed challenging.
After the state sent a letter to principals on Friday confirming that the scores would be ”significantly lower” than in the past, the United Federation of Teachers argued — as it has before — that the news will undermine Bloomberg’s claims of education progress.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott called the union’s criticism “despicable” and “really sad” during a conference call with reporters on Sunday. “What they’re trying to do is politicize something that shouldn’t be politicized at all,” he said.
Instead, Walcott emphasized that the scores should be seen as a baseline against which to measure future improvement. Walcott and Shael Polakow-Suransky, the department’s chief academic officer, said they would not be comparing this year’s test scores to scores from past years.
“You can’t compare these directly because they’re not just slightly different tests, they’re dramatically different tests,” Polakow-Suransky said. “It’s going to be difficult to make close comparisons with old state exams.” (more…)
August 5, 2013
- Lower, politically charged test scores are due this week. (GothamSchools, Times, Post, WSJ, Daily News)
- The state is also planning to release test questions, in a departure from past practices. (GothamSchools)
- The state is giving two Bronx schools, a district school and a charter, funding to collaborate. (Daily News)
- Rochester, the only N.Y. district in a expanded-learning-time pilot, explains its plans for longer days. (AP)
- Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning students, like many, are prepping for high school auditions. (NY1)
- The New York Times says the UFT’s co-location lawsuit is a political statement about the pace of change.
- N.J. Gov. Chris Christie told fellow Republicans that they are wrong to oppose the Common Core. (WSJ)
- In South Korea, a “shadow” education system offers a view into a free market for teacher talent. (WSJ)
- If you were thinking about making a U-turn in a Staten Island school zone, think again. (S.I. Advance)
- A man who bilked the city of $2.7 million for fake special-ed services is going to jail. (Post, Daily News)
- Revelations about corruption in Indiana’s school grades raise questions about grading systems. (WaPo)
- In a real-life “Friday Night Lights” storyline, Philadelphia schools and their football teams merged. (Times)