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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
May 21, 2013
- The man who just made $250 million by selling Tumblr to Yahoo dropped out of Bronx Science. (Times)
- A city teacher proposes himself to replace the departed education aide to Gov. Cuomo. (Mr. D’s Nabe)
- Believe it or not, free computers don’t actually eliminate wealth gaps in achievement. (TechCrunch)
- More city high schools are opening with business partnerships already lined up. (Epoch Times)
- Voters in other school districts voted on their districts’ budgets today. Why not here? (NYCDOEnuts)
- Bill Thompson discussed his stint at the Board of Education on the Road to City Hall. (CapitalNY)
- Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, the education chair, says she’s glad Vito Lopez is gone. (Daily Politics)
- A middle-class Ohio father describes his family’s effort at school choice, which fell short. (Flypaper)
- Recent graduate Nikhil Goyal explains why he didn’t fuel his district’s teacher evaluations. (Nation)
- A 9-year-old who spoke at a Chicago school closure rally captured the crowd’s attention. (YouTube)
- Chicago’s protests are seen as reminiscent of the city’s 1963 boycott against segregation. (Reader)
- Mike Petrilli: All schools should get to propose their own accountability rules. (Bridging Differences)
May 21, 2013
The New York City Council is calling on state officials to do away “immediately” with standalone field tests, just weeks before thousands of city students are scheduled to take the tests.
Speaker Christine Quinn and Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson made the demand in a letter today to State Education Commissioner John King, and the full council is expected to pass a resolution Wednesday calling for the same change.
Test-makers use field testing to try out questions before they count, to see whether they are likely to provide useful results about student achievement in the future. Last month’s state reading and math tests, which were aligned to new standards known as the Common Core for the first time, included some field questions that did not factor into students’ scores. Now, 3,300 schools across the state are being told to administer hourlong, standalone field tests to some students next month.
That requirement has elicited consternation from families and educators who believe that students have already spent enough time taking tests for the year. Some of them plan to boycott the field tests, as a number did last year when field tests were given for the first time. (more…)
May 21, 2013
The city will clear school buildings of light fixtures containing PCBs, a carcinogen, by the end of 2016, five years ahead of schedule, under an agreement announced today.
The agreement was struck between the city and New York Communities for Change and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, which filed suit over the city’s timeline for replacing the toxin-containing light fixtures in July 2011. A mediator stepped in to try to broker a compromise last month.
A year and a half ago, the city said 754 school buildings had the problematic light fixtures, and until recently, officials had said they would clear them all by 2021.
But two weeks ago, after 11 students and a teacher were taken to the hospital after a light fixture containing the chemicals began emitting smoke at a Harlem school, the city announced that it would accelerate the timeline. The announcement also followed a dispute over the light fixtures in a Brooklyn building where a charter school replaced its lights without city permission while schools the district operates continued to have the old fixtures. (more…)
May 21, 2013
Until now, only Kentucky has administered state assessments aligned with the new Common Core standards, and the results were frightening. … I’ve made some projections of New York City’s likely performance on the new state assessments, based on what happened in Kentucky. (more…)