Posts from October 18th, 2013
October 18, 2013
- A not-for-profit theater group is putting on a show about a school closure called “And Miles to Go.”
- TNTP President Tim Daly compares the state teachers union’s tactics to the Tea Party’s. (TNTP Blog)
- Mayors of four mid-size cities are promoting an education agenda, but not calling it “reform.” (HuffPost)
- Michael Petrilli says Diane Ravitch’s education solutions aren’t “data-honest,” either. (Education Next)
- A parent coordinator asks for more respect, and compensation, from the city’s next mayor. (SchoolBook)
- Chancellor Walcott subtly compared his and John King’s approach to hostile crowds. (GS in Brief)
- An early-childhood education researcher takes apart a recent op-ed on de Blasio’s pre-K plan. (ECE)
- A city arts organization won $1.1 million to develop a Common Core-aligned curriculum. (GS in Brief)
- Geoffrey Canada is trying to start a conversation about Social Security on college campuses. (WNYC)
- Independent mayoral candidate Jack Hidary’s education plan doesn’t wade into controversial issues.
- An account of how Socratic discussion focused students on questions of Indian history. (Deborah’s Diary)
- An author argues that autonomy can backfire for private schools that don’t keep evolving. (Atlantic)
- Here are some collected tweets from E4E’s discussion with Chancellor Walcott this week. (E4E)
October 18, 2013
Less than a week after he called off parent meetings that he said were “co-opted by special interests,” Commissioner John King announced a slate of new forums that will be moderated on different terms.
The new meetings, like the old ones, are meant to address concerns around the state’s transition to Common Core learning standards and the increased role of testing in schools, a contentious issue for parents who fear it’s leading to narrowed curriculum and instruction. A dozen of the meetings, which will begin in Albany on Oct. 24 and take place over six weeks, will be hosted in partnership with state lawmakers who will moderate the forums. Another four events will be broadcast on local public television stations with studio audiences.
The department didn’t release additional details for the meetings on Friday. None are planned for New York City, but a spokesman said the department was “looking to cover many more communities.”
After he canceled the meetings late last week, accusing outside groups of trying to derail the original purpose, King came under intense criticism from parents, teachers and lawmakers, with some calling for his resignation. They said the decision was just the latest move that showed King’s disinterest in hearing opposing views to his agenda. (more…)
October 18, 2013
It’s never too late to help schools figure out how to implement a complicated teacher evaluation system.
At least that’s the theory at the Department of Education, which is planning to put out a comprehensive guide to navigating the city’s new evaluation system this week, more than four months after the details were set.
It’s now six weeks into the school year, and teachers and principals have been raising red flags about the new teacher evaluations since even before the first day of school. They’ve complained about not having enough time, resources, and information to confront logistical challenges related to evaluations.
Department officials are aware of the gripes, and this week they acknowledged that the process hasn’t always been smooth.
“I think we have done a somewhat decent job,” Chancellor Dennis Walcott said of the rollout this week.
They’re responding with a series of stopgap fixes to aid with the rollout. They’ve extended deadlines, allocated millions in overtime pay, and consolidated the state’s 243-page evaluation plan for New York City into a 45-page guide.
Even teachers eager for the new evaluations, which will judge teachers on a four-rating score and be based on multiple measures, say they feel overwhelmed by the many changes happening at once this year. At an event hosted this week by Educators 4 Excellence, which supports new evaluations and is generally optimistic about school reforms under the Bloomberg administration, nearly 60 percent of teachers said they had been “poorly informed” or “very poorly informed” about the evaluation system.
“I think it’s been a huge lift for us to get information out there,” said Deputy Chancellor David Weiner, who added that he was actually surprised at how many teachers said they had been informed about the changes. (more…)
October 18, 2013
- Two state lawmakers have called for John King to step down after canceling public meetings. (Capital)
- As the state schedules new meetings, a parent group is saying no thanks, for now. (GothamSchools)
- Angry members of parent groups in Ossining have also called for King’s resignation. (LoHud)
- The special investigator’s office is back on the case of an allegation of abuse at P.S. 42. (NY1)
- Ray Kelly: a school safety agent is not to blame for Avonte Oquendo’s disappearance. (DNAInfo)
- Police are now using an audio recording of the teen’s mother in another attempt to find him. (NY1)
- In a radio interview, Chancellor Walcott said his disappearance didn’t “indict” co-locations. (SchoolBook)
- Unions, the city, and an advocacy group worked together to add teacher conferences. (GothamSchools)
- A City Councilman wants Diwali to be a school holiday. The city says it can’t happen. (DNAInfo)
- Both mayoral candidates agree: schools should close for two Muslim holidays, too. (Daily News, Post)
- State officials say they’re trying to protect students from over-testing thanks to teacher evaluations. (WSJ)
- Bronx students will get courses they’ve waited for thanks to a new AP classes initiative. (Riverdale Press)