Posts from Elizabeth Green
May 13, 2013
Teach For America used its annual New York City benefit last week to wade into the city’s political debate. Praising the Bloomberg administration’s education record, founder and board chair Wendy Kopp vowed that Teach For America and its supporters would fight to preserve the mayor’s education legacy after he leaves office at the end of the year.
“No matter who takes office,” Kopp said, “we are creating an unstoppable force.”
The remarks reflected Teach For America’s transition to playing a stronger role in public dialogue about education.
Kopp suggested that the organization would not throw its support behind a single candidate. “Progress isn’t a function of one leader,” Kopp said. Instead, she said, the educational change Teach For America supports requires “a constellation of committed souls.”
The strength of that constellation was on display at the nonprofit’s gala, held Wednesday at the glittering Waldorf Astoria hotel. In one night, the organization announced it raised $6.7 million, and speakers included Charlie Rose and Richard Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner and Teach For America board member who also chairs Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Education Reform Commission. (more…)
March 1, 2013
Updated March 3 to add some information in response to a reader’s questions.
This January, we formally left our incredible founding parent organization, OpenPlans, to create our own nonprofit home, one designed for the sole purpose of supporting the kind of work we do — in New York City and, over time, in other communities.
We’re calling it the Education News Network, or ENN if you’re being familiar. And we did it by joining forces with another nonprofit news site that is also focused exclusively on local public schools, EdNews Colorado.
We built ENN for a ton of reasons. Here are a few: (more…)
February 26, 2013
- A survey of American teachers finds “deep wells of concern” about the Common Core rollout. (EdWeek)
- Shael Polakow-Suransky explains why the DOE is focusing on leadership. (Wallace Foundation)
- SUNY professor: the Common Core’s literacy approach will exacerbate inequality. (DianeRavitch.net)
- An FAQ on “sequestration” and schools explains it all, ie when cuts would take effect. (Politics K-12)
- Arcane rules make it even harder for low-income kids to access college scholarships. (The Atlantic)
- Twenty questions challenging the city on its commitment to reducing class size. (NYC P.S. Parents)
- Working paper: Teachers with high VAM don’t necessarily help students non-cognitively. (Jay Greene)
- Gates and Zuckerberg, education philanthropists, also think young people should learn to code. (NYT)
- A math teacher tries out Khan Academy and admires not the videos but the problem sets. (Goldstein)
- A new documentary follows a startup Brooklyn high school through ups and downs. (EdNews Colorado)
- Joel Klein’s leadership is cited in this Indianapolis plea to let non-educators run districts. (Indy Star)
February 25, 2013
- Inside a Chicago high school that has lost multiple students to gun violence. (This American Life, 1/2)
- Part two explores the looming end of the school’s federal “turnaround” status. (This American Life, 2/2)
- What happens if no action happens on “sequestration”: major, major school cuts. (Politics K12)
- Expanding school choice is taking an emotional toll on overwhelmed parents in DC. (Washington Post)
- Instead of a test moratorium while Common Core rolls out, a call for a cool down. (Eduwonk)
- A national charter advocate wonders why authorizers don’t close struggling charters. (EdNews Colorado)
- Students across the country will join a Google hangout to discuss the State of the Union. (Innovative Edu)
- Seeing schools as ecosystems and the case for not closing “bad” neighborhood schools. (Mark Anderson)
- Nearly 60% of New Jersey schools are choosing Charlotte Danielson as their eval tool. (NJ Spotlight)
- An alternate take on the study that showed VAM matters; is 1% difference enough? (Mother Jones)
- And a hint at why we now direct donations to Colorado. More tomorrow! (EdNews Colorado)
January 4, 2013
- A Philly KIPP teacher argues that sometimes the high-expectations scale should slide. (Notebook)
- Study: high VAM teachers are not more likely to improve students’ non-cognitive measures. (Ferlazzo)
- Fewer districts with strong unions applied for the district Race to the Top competition. (Flypaper)
- Los Angeles’s UTLA will be a test-case for the future of teachers union reform. (This Week in Education)
- Four of five Newark teachers eligible to opt in to a bonus program have not. (NJ Spotlight via Hechinger)
- Ten big early-childhood stories to track in 2013, from budgets to effective teaching. (Early Ed Watch)
- The race for the council seat being evacuated by ed committee chair Jackson gets uglier still. (Capital)
- A teacher argues the evaluation law makes the UFT’s efforts to get a fair system moot. (NYC Educator)
- A group is petitioning the governor and mayor to intervene after the Horan School incident. (Change.org)
January 4, 2013
GothamSchools commenters didn’t take much of a vacation this year. This week, they were already back in action, releasing some steam and sparking a few debates worth highlighting in our regular weekly roundup.
(As a reminder, each Friday we highlight a sampling of our favorite comments from the week. Review our commenting policy to find out more about what we like.)
Our story describing the report out this week from Governor Cuomo’s education reform commission sparked a discussion of education technology. Digging into the report, readers picked up on one of the recommendations we’d given less attention — the suggestion to create “innovation zones” to spark novel uses of technology in the classroom.
A technology teacher named Steve Kinney who said he works at a school involved in city’s iLearn pilot applauded the recommendation. “I can only imagine,” he wrote, that the “innovation zone” idea “is based on the similarly named program in New York City,” which he applauded for improving on itself each year.
The program has allowed us to offer courses to our juniors and seniors that we would not have been able to offer otherwise (most notably: AP courses). It allows us to be more flexible with our scheduling and use the time students spend with their teachers having rich discussions about the content they were introduced to outside of the classroom. Additionally, as part of the program, we now have access to a wide number of instructional media like NBC Learn and Discovery—not to mention the equipment we’ve received as part of the program, which has been a tremendous blessing.
Basically, it’s saved us money and allowed us to do a better job serving our students and I’d like to see something similar at the state level and based on what’s happening in New York City.
“I noticed that…” replied skeptically, pointing Steve to a dispatch by Diane Ravitch about the Rocketship program’s blended-learning model, which Ravitch described as a way to cut costs by replacing teachers with computers. The commenter wrote: (more…)
December 28, 2012
December 17, 2012
All year, you have sent us tips, comments, and helped spread the word about our reporting. We have appreciated every single Tweet.
Now, as the year comes to a close, we have one more request — this time for a donation. Your tax-deductible contribution will ensure that in 2013, we can keep delivering the great stories you’ve come to expect, plus more and better of them, without sacrificing any of our independence.
We are about $100,000 away from meeting our 2013 goals of:
- adding two new reporters to expand coverage in the city as well as the state legislature; (more…)
May 24, 2012
We lied. One week into our latest reader survey, it turns out it actually takes an average of 4.38 minutes — not three — to answer all the questions.
Everything else remains true, though. We still want to know more about you, and we still maintain that the more we know, the better the site will be. We’ll have better stories, and, as we explained last week, we might also have better ways to sustain ourselves financially.
This is your official warning that you only have five more days to answer the survey before we close it down on Monday. That includes only one-and-a-half non-Memorial Day weekend days.
As a reminder, one lucky survey respondent will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, on us.
May 16, 2012
The last time we checked, dear readers, 45 percent of you were teachers, 52 percent of you identified with neither Diane Ravitch nor Joel Klein, and a majority of you preferred not to post comments here. “No comment, duh,” one of you explained.
It’s time to check in again. Please donate three minutes of your day to taking this very brief survey, which asks you to tell us more about yourselves.
We know our readers are smart, so you probably don’t need us to explain that the survey is intended to help GothamSchools as we seek funding and, potentially, advertising. (As you know, we are a nonprofit that depends on your support to keep our reporters fed.)
But we are also asking for feedback about what we can do better.
It’s a win-win: The more we know about our readers, the better we can serve you — and the more likely we are to stay in business.
Not that we’re endorsing financial incentives, but to say thank you, one randomly selected survey respondent will win a $50 Amazon gift card. On us! So don’t forget to give an e-mail address to which we can send your winnings.