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May 23, 2013
- Former school leaders from Queens argue that not all students need academic diplomas. (Indypendent)
- Middle and high school robotics students are helping to fuel the city’s startup culture. (Epoch Times)
- Merryl Tisch, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and big funders were at Success Academy’s gala. (Bloomberg)
- A projection of the drops that could be seen in proficiency rates on this year’s tests. (GS Community)
- As usual, U.S. leads the world in bachelor degrees, but the margin is shrinking. (Hechinger Report)
- A veteran teacher recalls that Bill Thompson has not always been a friend to the UFT. (NYC Educator)
- A longtime education activist, “both praised and vilified,” passed away this week. (Ed Notes Online)
- A cancer-ridden teacher was busted for dealing meth, sort of like TV’s Walter White. (Post)
May 23, 2013
Anthony Weiner’s views on education policy became a little clearer on his first full day on the campaign trail, when he told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer that he supports letting charter schools use space in public school buildings.
The issue puts him at odds with several of his Democratic competitors for mayor, who have said they would impose a moratorium on the space-sharing arrangements. Co-location has induced tension in many school buildings, but it has also allowed the city’s charter school sector to thrive, and whether to continue the practice is a major decision facing the next mayor.
In fact, on the issue of school choice, Weiner suggested that his support extends well beyond the public school system. He proposed helping non-public schools — he cited cash-strapped Catholic schools in particular — with publicly funded support that they are already entitled to, including technology, health care and security. He first floated the idea in his 2009 policy book “Keys to the City,” which he re-released last month.
May 23, 2013
The United Federation of Teachers might not have endorsed a mayoral candidate yet, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been busy picking politicians to support. The union has endorsed candidates in more than 40 local and citywide races, too.
The UFT endorsed 13 City Council candidates in their Democratic primary races at its Delegate Assembly meeting Wednesday night. Seven of them are running for seats whose current occupants cannot run again because of term limits. The union plans to endorse candidates in for all 19 open council seats.
The union endorsed state Assemblywoman Inez Barron in the primary for the 42nd district, an East New York seat that has been filled by her husband Charles for the last 12 years. It’s support that Charles Barron could not secure last year while running against Hakeem Jeffries in a Democratic primary for Congress. In that race, the UFT opted not to endorse either candidate.
The UFT is also supporting one of its own in the 47th district primary, which encompasses several southern Brooklyn neighborhoods. Mark Treyger, a civics teacher and union delegate from New Utrecht High School, officially got the union’s support on Wednesday evening. (more…)
May 23, 2013
After hearing candidates pitch ideas to teachers at union-run forums across the city over the past few weeks, members apparently heard enough. They voted to scratch plans to open up Wednesday’s union-wide Delegate Assembly meeting to comments. The meeting instead adjourned after UFT political director Paul Egan explained what laid ahead in the final stretch as the union prepared to make an endorsement.
The workload includes a lot more vetting, with viability as a crucial quality, Egan explained, according to several people who attended last night’s meeting at 52 Broadway. Over the next four weeks, Egan said his team of political consultants, which includes the firm Red Horse Strategies, will analyze fundraising and expenditures, who’s advising and consulting for the candidates, and lots of poll data.
There’s one more task, too. The union said it plans to meet with and interview Anthony Weiner, who formally announced his candidacy on Wednesday.
As usual, the Delegate Assembly meeting was closed to the press. But afterward, many delegates were eager to talk about their opportunity to play a role in the outcome of a monumental election. (more…)
May 23, 2013
- A Queens 12-year-old committed suicide, citing bullying by I.S. 109 peers as a cause for distress. (Post)
- Chicago’s school board voted to close 49 schools, the most in a single year. (Tribune, Sun-Times, Times)
- City teachers discussed the mayoral candidates at the teachers union’s monthly meeting. (SchoolBook)
- As the UFT endorsement nears, former chief Randi Weingarten backs Bill Thompson. (GothamSchools)
- The latest entrant to the mayoral race, Anthony Weiner, has a spare education record. (GothamSchools)
- An appeals court backed the city’s firing of a teacher who offered good grades for support. (Daily News)
- The heads of City Year New York cite growing up in the Bronx as reasons they lead well. (Daily News)
- Community colleges are getting less federal funding, even as they enroll more students. (Times)
- Boston charter schools have higher test scores but lower graduation rates, a new study funds. (Globe)t
- Leaders in upstate districts where voters rejected school budgets say taxpayers are tired. (Times-Union)
- D.C. is requiring all teachers at two struggling schools to reapply for their jobs. (Washington Post)
May 22, 2013
- Chicago’s appointed school board approved 50 school closures, over loud protest. (Tribune, Sun-Times)
- A local argues that cutting communities out of the closure conversation will impede reform. (Atlantic)
- School science projects strike again, this time when one was mistaken for a bomb on a bus. (HuffPo)
- The latest issue of the “Public School Press,” a promotional paper about the city’s schools, is out. (DOE)
- When student dancing veers almost out of on control, a school official kicks up his own feet. (Upworthy)
- To provide low-cost schooling to children in developing countries, schools turn to large classes. (Fixes)
- Brooklyn charter schools offer kids unique opportunities to study Greek and Hebrew. (Brooklyn Ink)
- This “listicle” is meant to help readers figure out if they have been in the classroom too long. (Buzzfeed)
- A teacher calls the city’s threat to shutter the few remaining teacher cafeterias “callous.” (NYC Educator)
- Districts might or might not be losing interest in winning federal Race to the Top funds. (Politics K-12)
- Marcus Winters: In New York, people paradoxically like both school reform and teachers. (City Journal)
May 22, 2013
More principals have committed to ignoring test scores when selecting students for admission, in a growing show of concern about the state’s new Common Core-aligned reading and math tests.
Principals began making the commitment last week, but the number grew on Tuesday when letters explaining the policy change went out to ”Elementary and Middle School Families, Students, Teachers, Parent Coordinators, Counselors and Principals” who might be affected by it. Now, 15 principals of selective schools across the city have said they will not consider scores on tests that they say did not meet their expectations.
“We appreciate that officials at the New York City Department of Education seem open to hearing our concerns and we hope for the same response from the state,” the letter says.
The principals are part of a larger group who sent a letter to State Education Commissioner John King this week expressing concerns about the tests. They say they want the state’s tests to be shorter, open to public scrutiny, and more aligned to the Common Core, which emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving over recall and the completion of rote processes. (more…)
May 22, 2013
Randi Weingarten is ramping up her support for Bill Thompson’s mayoral bid, just days before her successor at the United Federation of Teachers is due to make an endorsement of his own.
Weingarten, UFT president from 1998 to 2009 before moving on to head the union’s national organization, is helping to host a Thompson fundraiser at Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch’s home on June 12, according to an invitation that’s being circulated to drum up support from women voters. Tisch is Thompson’s campaign chair.
Weingarten worked closely with Thompson when he was president of the city’s Board of Education, from 1996 to 2001, and counts him as a personal friend. She has previously donated to his campaign, as have other education heavyweights who have personal ties to the candidate.
Weingarten is in South America visiting schools as part of her work with the American Federation of Teachers and did not respond to requests for comment. But a spokesman said, “She has great confidence in his character and abilities.” (more…)
May 22, 2013
New Yorkers know a lot of things about the latest entrant to the mayoral race — but not where he stands on hot-button education policy issues.
Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress in 2011 after a sexting scandal, launched his campaign with an video posted – apparently prematurely — early this morning. He becomes the sixth major Democratic candidate, landing in second place to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a poll released today.
Though his candidacy is seen as a long shot, Weiner is assured of media attention and is in a position to influence campaign trail conversation. In the campaign kickoff video, he cites high housing costs and a scarcity of jobs that offer benefits to paint a picture of himself as a champion of the middle class.
He also mentions education, saying, “Our schools aren’t what they should be.”
But Weiner’s vision for the city’s schools is not at all clear. He barely broached the topic of education in 2005, when he ran for mayor, and 2009, when he briefly considered running again. (more…)
May 22, 2013
- A divided City Council passed a resolution to allow religious groups to worship in schools. (News, WSJ)
- The state should pay students to take field tests, the council said in another resolution. (GothamSchools)
- Former Congressman Anthony Weiner officially announced that he’s running for mayor. (Times)
- Amid the wreckage and tragedy at Oklahoma schools were moments of educators’ heroism. (WSJ, Post)
- The city plans to remove PCB-filled light fixtures in schools by 2016. (GothamSchools, Times, Post, NY1)
- Students and professors at Teachers College protested Merryl Tisch’s commencement talk. (DNAInfo)
- Tisch said she doesn’t agree with Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s criticism of the mayoral candidates. (WSJ)
- A former teacher pled guilty to rape for having sex with a student and faces six months in prison. (News)
- Shuttered school buildings in Chicago threaten to take away a community outpost for many. (Times)
- Outside NYC, most school budgets passed: L.I., Lower Hud, Mid-Hudson, Cap. Region, Western, Central