December 12, 2013
Last month we began previewing the changes underway as we transition to Chalkbeat New York. Here’s the latest: more chances for you to shape the conversation about New York City schools.
We’ve always invited readers to comment on our stories, contribute to our community section, and attend our events. But we think it takes more than that for our coverage to reach new readers and reflect diverse experiences with the school system.
My job as community editor, a new position we designed with these goals in mind, is to create more opportunities for you to interact with reporters, share your experiences, and deepen our coverage of public schools. Here are four ways to get involved:
Talk to us
Chalkbeat Conversations are open-ended conversations between Chalkbeat reporters and community members, hosted by organizations in neighborhoods throughout the city. Instead of setting the agenda by interviewing participants about stories we already plan to write, we ask, “What most excites and frustrates you about the schools in your neighborhood?” (more…)
December 12, 2013
- Buffalo will be able to hire up to 60 TFA recruits over two years for needy teacher jobs. (Buffalo News)
- Daycare and pre-K students will soon be required to receive flu vaccinations to attend school. (Post)
- School overcrowding in western Queens is one area of focus in the mayoral transition. (Times-Ledger)
- A charter school will keep an emergency policy that puts students in a ‘calm-down’ room. (Daily News)
- Walcott says progress reports and school options are top items for the next mayor to keep. (Capital NY)
- School board members don’t want student data shared with a data company. (GS in Brief, Times-Union)
- Mike Petrilli says de Blasio’s pre-K ambitions will falter if he can’t improve elementary schools. (News)
- Long Island school districts have spent big on safety in the year since Newtown’s shootings. (Newsday)
December 11, 2013
- More questions are raised about what teachers were on the Common Core ground floor. (EdWeek)
- Study: Attractive students get more attention and friends. They also do better in school. (Time)
- Debate over three reading strategies is a distraction; it’s not what teachers should avoid. (Ed Excellence)
- A writer answers the Times’ editorial board’s question: Yes, sometimes math must be boring. (Slate)
- And, yes, a SAT tutor writes, sometimes it’s important to know what “unscrupulous” means. (Atlantic)
- Two-thirds of students who passed the SAT attended about 60 of the city’s high schools. (EdWize)
- Eva Moskowitz says she doesn’t get special treatment from the city, just that she pesters more. (WNYC)
- A new report outlines ways for districts to build a minor league for school principals. (EdWeek)
December 11, 2013
A well-organized coalition of parents, teachers and advocates turned out in full force to public forums Tuesday night to support Commissioner John King and his push for tougher learning standards that have sparked opposition in most other parts of the state this fall.
The groups, which included StudentsFirstNY, Families for Excellent Schools and Educators 4 Excellence, used the hearings in Brooklyn and the Bronx to make arguments in favor of the Common Core standards that they feel have been left out of recent debates. In particular, some parents argued that the tougher standards are urgently needed to improve the quality of struggling schools, while some teachers said they enhanced their instruction.
“To those of you who are calling to slow it down or stop the movement for these high standards, you do not speak for me or many of these parents,” said Mery Melendez, a charter-school parent and organizer with Families for Excellent Schools who spoke at the Brooklyn hearing. “We’re tired of waiting for change.”
The supportive presence was most apparent in a packed Medgar Evers College auditorium in Crown Heights where the Brooklyn forum was held. A much smaller audience showed up in the Bronx, though it offered more mixed reviews of state education policies.
Critics at the events – who in Brooklyn were vastly outnumbered – challenged the notion that the standards benefit students. Others argued they were too quickly incorporated into the state tests and that they leave some students behind. (more…)
December 11, 2013
- A Brooklyn forum showed support for the Common Core. (GothamSchools, NY1, Cap-NY, Schoolbook)
- The school with no walls that the city is planning has a new industry partner — Microsoft. (WSJ)
- Students are spreading the word to classmates that tests aren’t the end of the world. (GothamSchools)
- Parents pulled their kids from a charter school that uses a closet to calm students down. (Daily News)
- A top high school has a study moratorium on some days so students can catch up on sleep. (News)
- A charter leader explains why he joined Common Core supporters at a Brooklyn forum. (Daily News)
- Following disruptive student protests, New York City colleges are trying to crack down on dissent. (Times)
- There’s a push to convert unused space in a Washington Heights library into a center for teens.(News)
- Connecticut schools have beefed up security in response to the Sandy Hook school massacre. (Times)
- A Times editorial lays out what’s hold back women and minorities from tapping into STEM j0bs.
- Chancellor Dennis Walcott said he struggled to win public opinion over charter schools. (Schoolbook)
December 10, 2013
- The history of NCLB indicates that opposition to the Common Core will die down. (Alexander Russo)
- Rumored chancellor candidate Josh Starr: “We test way too much, with bad tests.” (Learning Matters)
- But Starr’s candidacy is complicated by Bill de Blasio’s stated commitments to diversity. (Politicker)
- Two other potential candidates have different underlying instructional philosophies. (Ed Notes Online)
- Giving effective praise is an ignored piece of classroom management in teacher training. (Atlantic)
- Michael Lopez parses the argument that Common Core is aimed at creating corporate workers.
- NYSUT president Dick Iannuzzi: The education train is going on the wrong direction. (City & State)
- More parents are looking to after-school exercise, thanks to cutbacks in physical education. (NPR)
- Staff members are looking for a way forward after a charter school’s board voted to close. (GS in Brief)
- In San Diego, officials passed but haven’t enacted a plan meant to limit suspensions. (Voice of SD)
- And as today’s snowfall melts, a teacher recounts the fun of seeing high schoolers play. (NYC Educator)
December 10, 2013
Like students across the city, those at the Hudson High School of Learning Technologies can rattle off many reasons to loathe the state Regents exams.
Teens at the Chelsea school have had to slog through Saturday test-prep classes, retake tough tests several times, appeal low scores and — in at least one student’s case — retake two of the all-important exit exams this summer on his 17th birthday.
But unlike most students, those in Hudson’s 12th-grade government class decided to turn their Regents animus into action by launching an outreach campaign aimed at lowering the temperature around testing. (more…)
December 10, 2013
- UFT boss Michael Mulgrew said he liked most of the rumored chancellor picks. (GS Blog, Daily News)
- Meanwhile, teachers at a UFT event said their top concern is getting a new contract. (SchoolBook)
- The city rushed to clear classrooms last year to meet a tight deadline set by Eva Moskowitz. (DNAinfo)
- Teachers around the state wore blue for a union-led national “Day of Action” on Monday. (Storify)
- Top state ed officials head to Brooklyn and the Bronx today to discuss the Common Core. (SchoolBook)
- Critics question whether private donors influence policy by funding state ed research fellows. (Capital)
- The city will train 120 teachers in computer coding in the coming years. (GothamSchools, Daily News)
- STEM programs around the city teach students in-demand job skills like programming. (Daily News)
- Parents urged Mayor-elect de Blasio to prioritize a Bronx school district in “crisis.” (GothamSchools)
- Two schools with nearly the same progress report scores got different grades. (SchoolBook)
- Former critics of de Blasio’s tax-the-rich pre-K plan have since warmed to the idea. (GothamSchools)
- That includes AFT boss Randi Weingarten, who said she was “wrong” to critique it. (GothamSchools)
- After Newtown, some schools have beefed up security, with some staff taking defense classes. (Times)
- Critics will protest a rule that would require flu vaccinations for all city schoolchildren. (Politicker)
December 9, 2013
- The role of school factors heavily into the The New York Times’ tale of a homeless girl’s life. (GS In brief)
- Learning Matters is giving away tickets to a talk with Lee Hirsch, director of “Bully.” Email if you want one!
- Sol Stern explains the personal reasons for joining one side of the curriculum wars. (City Journal)
- Cold water is thrown on rumors that Kaya Henderson could be the city’s next chancellor. (Answer Sheet)
- Larry Littlefield chronicles cushy pension sweeteners that city teachers have received in recent decades.
- How educators in schools can think and talk differently to breed better collaboration. (Ms SpEducate)
- Stanford researcher Linda Darling-Hammond said she’s not a candidate for chancellor. (GS in Brief)
An evaluation of Connecticut schools shows most charters outperform nearby schools. (NECharters.org)
A beloved teacher busted for pot – wrongly, he says – was quickly removed from his school. (Buzzfeed)
A writer struggling through a co-location story breaks for a fleeting celebration of Madiba’s life. (HuffPo)
For siblings who were beaten by school classmates, one transferred quickly, but the other can’t. (DNA)
City lawmakers are poised to pass a resolution calling for changes to state testing policies. (GS in Brief)
December 9, 2013
The city is continuing to expand its efforts to bring coding to the classroom, as Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced today that it will be training 120 additional computer science teachers over the next two summers.
That’s a tiny fraction of the city’s 75,000 teachers, but the initiative is a first step toward developing a system to train teachers in schools across the city how to teach computer science classes.
Two small high schools now focus on computer science: the Academy for Software Engineering, which opened in 2012 near Union Square, and the Bronx Academy for Software Engineering, which opened this year. But the existence of those schools doesn’t change the fact that most middle and high schools don’t have teachers prepared to teach computer science for math or science credit.
“Our goal is we want every student to have it,” said Seth Schoenfeld, senior director for the Department of Education’s Office of Innovation. “We want enough teachers that can teach it in a rigorous way so we know students are getting high-level instruction.” (more…)