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May 16, 2013
- Parents with statistics expertise are questioning the city’s methodology for calculating giftedness. (WSJ)
- Advocates are concerned about the proposal in the city budget to cut school health clinics. (Daily News)
- Families and educators P.S. 186 in Brooklyn say its extended-day program is working. (Daily News)
- State legislative action on education seems unlikely this year given recent events. (GothamSchools)
- Bill Thompson set out a schools agenda. (GothamSchools, Times, SchoolBook, Post, Daily News, WSJ)
- Parents say all students who attend a sign-language school, not just deaf ones, should get busing. (NY1)
- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke to immigrant parents. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook)
- The city’s ethics board dinged a principal and teacher in two separate rulings. (GothamSchools, Post)
- Los Angeles is curbing suspensions for many school offenses, reflecting a national trend. (WSJ)
- Chicago’s teachers union filed suit over the city’s plan to close more than 50 schools. (Times, Sun-Times)
- A former U.S. DOE official is under fire for sharing federal information with his consulting group. (WSJ)
May 15, 2013
- A Staten Island Tech student recalls the interactions with science that made him a finalist. (SchoolBook)
- A father argues that city life isn’t good for boys, who need more activity than the city allows. (Motherlode)
- The U.S. DOE answers questions about the national consortia trying to make shared tests. (Flypaper)
- John Merrow: The media helped make Atlanta’s cheating scandal bigger than D.C.’s. (Taking Note)
- Nationally, dropout rates for students with learning disabilities are very high. (On Special Education)
- A Finnish education expert says Finnish teachers wouldn’t take what teachers here do. (Answer Sheet)
- Chicago parents describe their frustration and fears about the city’s school closings. (Hechinger 1, 2)
- “Teach Your Children” is an early nominee for a list of songs about schooling. (Twitter via Eduwonk)
- A look inside a classroom at Bronx Leadership Academy II that Blue Engine has transformed. (Fixes)
- The CEO of New Schools for New Orleans offers more details on his “relinquishment” theory. (Flypaper)
- An advocate of getting kids into programming reflects on volunteering in Brooklyn schools. (EdSurge)
May 15, 2013
To make sure that all attendees of the city’s annual conference for families of English language learners today could go home with an autographed copy of her book, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor signed 3,000 copies of her book in two days.
She was able to write the book, she told parents at the conference, because her mother – who didn’t speak English — taught her to value words. “My mother loved reading. Seeing her read inspired my brother and me to read,” Sotomayor said in her speech.
The Department of Education’s annual conference is designed to help immigrant families navigate the city’s education system and support their children’s learning at home. Sotomayor’s address, as well as the workshops that followed, was translated into nine languages, just a fraction of the 180 languages spoken by students in the city’s public schools. (more…)
May 15, 2013
When former comptroller Bill Thompson took the stage at the United Federation of Teachers conference on Saturday, he joined fellow mayoral candidates in criticizing Mayor Bloomberg’s education record.
But Thompson, the former president of the city’s Board of Education who ran against Bloomberg is 2009, took a more measured approach when putting together his formal education platform. He outlined the platform today in a policy speech at New York University, becoming the first candidate to set out a complete education agenda.
Thompson’s platform — which skimmed over some important issues — reflects ample criticism of Bloomberg administration education policies. He reiterated a commitment to avoid school closures, promised to “lead with teachers” rather than threaten them, vowed to involve parents in policy making, and pledged to reduce schools’ emphasis on testing.
But it also signals that Thompson would expand, not end, many of Bloomberg’s school policies. (more…)
May 15, 2013
A pair of Department of Education employees were separately warned this week for breaking city ethics laws, according to letters released today by an ethics board.
In one case, a special education teacher, Faith Walters, used names of 15 former students without permission in a book she published in 2011. The letter doesn’t name the book, but it appears to fit the description of a poetry book that sells on paperback for $15.99 on Amazon. The name of the author of the 67-page book is also Faith Walters and she describes herself as a New York City special education teacher.
In the book’s description, Walters said she was inspired by an experience she had when she first started teaching:
The memory of my first day of teaching will forever be in my mind of having an almost fatal experience of losing one of my eyes because of a flying chair that hit the wall just as I opened the classroom door of 15 students who appeared to be very angry and fearful. (more…)
May 15, 2013
It was already slim odds that education would get much action from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature this session after they increased school aid, funded several education grants, and amended the teacher evaluation law during budget negotiations in March.
But in the aftermath of a federal corruption dragnet that has brought down several lawmakers, any glimmer of hope that education could get some attention seems to have vanished.
“With this legislative session, with all the corruption, I would be surprised if anything gets passed,” said Mona Davids, who runs the New York City Parents Union, a parent advocacy group. State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, of Brooklyn, sponsored a bill to end mayoral control that Davids lobbied for. The bill’s long odds grew even longer after Montgomery’s named surfaced last week as one of seven lawmakers recorded in the home of former Senator Shirley Huntley, who was cooperating with investigators to reduce a prison sentence. Huntley was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for embezzling funds from a charity she ran.
Davids said she believed Montgomery, who has not been charged, has done nothing wrong. Still, she said she doubted the bill could proceed before the session ends on June 30. “It’s May, but it’s over,” Davids said. (more…)
May 15, 2013
- Charter school advocates touted record-high demand for seats. (GothamSchools, Post, Daily News)
- As charter demand increases, so have the seats — and chances that students get one. (Schoolbook)
- Joel Klein and Sol Stern say hardliners on the left and right should embrace the Common Core. (WSJ)
- Merryl Tisch’s support for Bill Thompson is a political break from her husband, James Tisch. (Post)
- The public spat between Eva Moskowitz and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio continued. (Daily News)
- Prince Harry helped a Harlem charter school launch a coaching program for youth. (DNAInfo)
- Parents want tuition paid back from a Catholic school shuttered abruptly for health violations. (NY1)
- New Jersey is considering legislation to require statewide full-day prekindergarten. (Star-Ledger)
- As testing season heats up, parents are grappling with idea that their young children cheat. (WSJ)
- Chancellor Walcott on why the state should pick his evaluation plan — not the union’s. (Daily News)
- Greek civil servants are striking over the government’s efforts to quash a teachers union strike. (Times)
May 14, 2013
- A New Jersey kindergartener used what he learned in school to save his father’s life. (Yahoo! Shine)
- NY1 reporter Lindsey Christ’s dispatches from Japanese schools keep getting more interesting. (Twitter)
- New York City is just one of 17 big-city school districts soon to get a new superintendent. (EdWeek)
- A new study finds that few children are “redshirted,” or kept out of kindergarten for a year. (EdSource)
- Denver is grappling with how to reduce the in- and out-of-school suspension rate. (EdNewsColorado)
- The principal of the city’s software programming-themed school says culture comes first. (SchoolBook)
- The city is reminding families about what not to wear for students as spring warms up. (Insideschools)
- A reminder: If everyone gets smarter across the board, the achievement gap won’t narrow at all. (Russo)
- Most NAEP social studies tests have been postponed indefinitely due to sequestration. (Politics K-12)
- Pearson could lose its gifted testing contract, but it has 18 others with the city. (NYC P.S. Parents)
May 14, 2013
Students who were turned away from city charter schools this year could fill some of the city’s grandest landmarks, according to the New York City Charter School Center’s final tally of charter school applications.
According to the center, more than 69,000 students applied for 18,600 seats at the city’s soon-to-be 183 charter schools for next year. After filling their seats in lotteries last month, the schools had to turn away more than 50,000 students, the center said today, noting that this year’s wait lists contain more students than Yankees Stadium or the Great Lawn in Central Park could hold. (more…)
May 14, 2013
With the race for City Hall the most contested the city has seen in years, education voters have a lot of options. But keeping track of the major candidates’ views on complex education policy issues can be a challenge.
That’s why we created “The Next Education Mayor,” a special feature that tracks mayoral candidates’ statements on important education policy issues during the 2013 campaign season. It launches today with over 150 opinions from all nine leading candidates and will be continually updated through November’s mayoral election. (more…)