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May 17, 2013
The Board of Regents and the Assembly are teaming up next week to push for legislation that would give New York’s roughly 150,000 undocumented students access to financial aid for college.
On Monday, the board will convene a forum in Queens on immigration and education to wrap up their monthly meeting. The forum will discuss ways to increase opportunities for English language learners and undocumented students who were brought to the United States as children.
That has been part of the board’s legislative agenda for the past two years. The bill, the New York Dream Act, would give undocumented students access to state financial aid through the $1 billion-funded Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP. It would also allow them to open tax-advantaged savings accounts with private banks.
The TAP funding in this year’s budget is up from $885 million in 2010-2011. The Fiscal Policy Institute, an independent research organization, has estimated that the state would need to spend an additional $17 million annually to afford tuition assistance for the roughly 4,500 undocumented seniors who graduate from New York high schools every year. (more…)
May 17, 2013
Distressed by state tests that they say did not reflect the way they want students to learn, several city principals are pledging not to use the scores to help them pick their students.
Selective middle schools consider students’ fourth-grade reading and math scores, and selective high schools look at students’ seventh-grade scores.
But after the first round of state tests tied to new standards known as the Common Core, about a dozen principals have announced — in an open letter to parents, students, educators, and others with an interest in education — that they are abandoning the use of test scores in admission, at least for now.
“We welcome rigor, high standards and accountability, but demand that these three crucial words and concepts not be thrown around loosely; and, even more importantly, we demand that they be implemented in a proper, respectful and effective way,” write the principals, who come from a range of selective schools in three boroughs. ”Therefore, we cannot grant these recent tests the value others claim they have until [our] concerns are addressed.” (more…)
May 17, 2013
For the second time in six months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tiny team of education aides is undergoing transition.
The departure of Katie Campos, Cuomo’s P-12 assistant education secretary since 2011, comes as one of the governor’s major initiatives, his education reform commission, prepares to renew its operations.
Campos’s last day is technically today as she prepares to enter law school this fall. But a spokesman for Cuomo said she’s sticking around parttime — and unpaid — through the summer to oversee the commission, which convenes next week for a second and potentially more controversial phase of meetings.
Cuomo and a small circle of policy advisors, including Jim Malatras, set the governor’s education agenda. But the execution of that agenda is largely left to a deputy secretary and two assistants. Campos’s is the second departure in a year for the triumvirate, of which Campos, at 27, was the most experienced member. (more…)
May 17, 2013
When Lynn Sanchez, a Bronx parent activist, challenged police and education officials to address persistent school climate problems during a public forum on school safety last year, she did not think they would say yes.
And yet just months later, Sanchez was sitting with safety agents during one of their training sessions — which, for the first time, community members and advocates were helping to lead.
She saw a long-standing vision of collaboration coming together in that room. “We have to make sure everyone is on same page — we have to include school safety officers, teachers, principals, paras, students, and parents — in order for a school climate to change,” Sanchez said.
The community-run training sessions represent a striking shift in the city’s strategy for preparing safety agents to work in schools, where their role has historically been fraught. While the Bloomberg administration has famously considered principals to be the CEOs of their schools, principals’ authority does not extend to safety agents, who since 1998 have been under the authority of the New York Police Department in an arrangement that advocates say breeds tension.
The quiet shakeup so far has taken place only in a corner of the Bronx, where community groups were able to persuade the police department to let them play a role in the training of 450 agents, and its future is far from certain. But students, educators, and advocates say they are confident that the approach could go a long way toward easing some of the tensions that have plagued city schools, and a small-scale expansion of the first round of trainings appears to be in the works. (more…)
May 17, 2013
- The city is doubling teacher training spending next year to account for the Common Core. (Daily News)
- Some students at LaGuardia, the elite arts school, have watched “Seinfeld” instead of having P.E. (Post)
- Parents filed suit against the city over its methods for admitting students to gifted programs. (WSJ, Post)
- An appellate court upheld rulings against last year’s city “turnaround” plans. (GothamSchools, NY1)
- Mayoral candidate Adolfo Carrión, Jr., get education tips from a right-wing think tank. (GothamSchools)
- A former principal in the Bronx’s District aims to open an Italy-themed charter school. (Riverdale Press)
- The Daily News criticizes Democratic mayoral candidates for opposing charter schools amid demand.
- Eva Moskowitz decries the candidates for levying unfounded charges against charter schools. (Post)
- Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow, is stepping up giving in education and other areas. (Times)
- Arrests are still being made in the theft of iPads from Scholars’ Academy amid Sandy repairs. (NY1)
- Chicago’s calculation of school facilities needs and student commutes are drawing fire. (Tribune 1, 2)
- Texas and New Orleans are set to get more charter schools. (Dallas Morning News, Times-Picayune)
May 16, 2013
- A primer on how the UFT endorsement will go down includes a note on secret voting. (Ed in the Apple)
- Two thirds of education “influentials” think a pause on Common Core stakes will happen. (Answer Sheet)
- It seems like maybe U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan isn’t opposed to a pause. (Politics K-12)
- Teacher Stephen Lazar, who critiqued N.Y.’s history standards, finds promise in national ones. (Shanker)
- Three prominent charter school operators are finalists for a new Broad Prize. (District Dossier)
- Examples from New York City fuel the question of whether school discipline has gone too far. (Salon)
- A teacher who wants to transform discipline lists old and new ways of handling misbehavior. (Mrs. Ripp)
- Fred Smith praises the protest at Teachers College against Regents chief Merryl Tisch. (SchoolBook)
- In addition to closing many schools, Philadelphia is replacing a quarter of principals this year. (Notebook)
- The city mailed out middle school admissions letters a few days earlier than planned. (Insideschools)
- Tennessee will pay teachers with top ratings to transfer to lower-performing schools. (Teacher Beat)
May 16, 2013
The city is finally, officially calling off its quest to close 24 schools that a labor arbitrator ended nearly a year ago.
After an arbitrator ruled that the city’s plans to overhaul the schools using a process known as “turnaround” violated its contracts with the teachers and principals unions, the city filed suit, arguing that the issue wasn’t fit for arbitration in the first place. A judge quickly ruled against the city, and the school closure plans were halted for the year.
But the city appealed again, and today, the state’s Appellate Court ruled again that the city’s arguments were without merit. “The arbitrator neither exceeded his powers … nor violated public policy in resolving the merits of the parties’ disputes,” read the ruling by the panel of judges. (more…)
May 16, 2013
Perhaps the candidates who showed up to Wednesday’s mayoral forum in a Harlem school auditorium thought they’d get a break when they saw who was asking the questions: a couple of high school kids.
But Michael Cummings and Alize-Jazel Smith, seniors at Democracy Prep Charter High School, turned out to be tough moderators. They shushed Bill Thompson when he spoke out of turn, politely interrupted Comptroller John Liu when his time was up, and pushed candidates to answer the questions they were asked if they had strayed off topic — as one candidate did often.
“So, Mr. McMillan, just to be specific,” said Cummings, referring to Jimmy McMillan, the perennial also-ran candidate of the Rent Is Too Damn High party. “Do you support or do you not support co-location inside school buildings for public schools and charter schools?” (more…)
May 16, 2013
GothamSchools is profiling the education policy advisors to each mayoral candidate.
Candidate: Adolfo Carrión, Jr.
Education policy advisor: Michael Allegretti, vice president of programs for the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
For the last two years, Michael Allegretti has overseen policy research at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank that champions school choice and the need for accountability.
Allegretti, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010, has also stayed active in politics, first by urging former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr., to run for mayor and now advising Carrión on education policy and other other issues.
Allegretti, who is not paid by Carrión’s campaign, said there is still confusion among the mainstream media about where Carrión stands on education issues, and that’s probably because he was a Democrat for more than 20 years before entering the race as an independent candidate. (more…)
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)