Posts tagged "Eric Nadelstern"
November 20, 2012
When the five leading mayoral candidates were asked on Monday how they would select the next schools chancellor at a forum on city education policy, the presumed longshot had the most specific answer.
Newspaper publisher Tom Allon, who recently switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, was the only candidate to name names — and his shortlist contained an eclectic mix of people.
He started with Eric Nadelstern, a former Department of Education deputy who is bullish on school closures and other Bloomberg administration policies, then moved to Hunter College President Jennifer Raab before naming Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University education professor who has been critical of policies favored by the Bloomberg administration. To round out his list, he named John White, who became Louisiana’s school superintendent not long after leaving the city Department of Education in 2011.
Allon’s list elicited laugher and whoops of surprise from the audience, as well as a disapproving remark from Comptroller John Liu, who was sitting beside Allon on the stage. The forum was hosted by Manhattan Media, the company that Allon owns, with help from GothamSchools. (View the entire event.)
The one thing all of people on Allon’s list have in common is that they have experience working with schools and educators, which Mayor Bloomberg’s three chancellors have not had. Bloomberg’s first and longest-serving chancellor, Joel Klein, drew criticism because he had come from the corporate world, and most of the candidates were eager to say they would not make the same decision. Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and former comptroller Bill Thompson all promised to choose an educator to lead the schools.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the only outlier. She said she did not think the next schools chancellor should necessarily have an education background. (more…)
November 15, 2012
Realizing that its strategies for stocking the city’s ever-expanding supply of schools with excellent principals have fallen short, the Department of Education is launching new programs aimed at slowing down the transition from teacher to administrator.
The largest of the new initiatives is the Teacher Leadership Program, aimed at developing leadership skills in hundreds of teachers who are still working in the classroom. Other initiatives are meant to prepare leaders to handle the special challenges of running middle schools and to capitalize on the leadership skills of principals who are already in the system.
And a foundation that helped the city underwrite a fast-track principal training program is now paying for educators to earn degrees in school administration at local universities.
“Most of our principal training work that we’ve done historically is focused on that last year before you become a principal,” Chief Academic Office Shael Polakow-Suransky said. “It’s the last step in the process, and what we’ve come to understand is that there [are] a lot of steps that happen before that in someone’s career. … We want to begin to do that kind of training.”
The new programs represent a strong shift away from the Bloomberg administration’s early approach to cultivating school leadership at a time when the city is losing about 150 principals a year, even as it has ramped up new school creation. Together with existing programs, they are set to produce 134 new principals and engage 300 teachers this year, according to the department. (more…)
July 3, 2012
The city Department of Education is politically motivated, riddled with waste, and making policy choices that won’t lead to improved student achievement.
Those claims are frequently lobbed by longstanding critics of the Bloomberg administration’s education policies. But now they are coming from a chief architect of the Department of Education’s current structure: Eric Nadelstern, the number-two official until he retired in January 2011.
Nadelstern designed the department’s network school support structure upon the premise that principals should mostly be left alone, as long as they deliver performance results. When he left, Nadelstern said he was confident that his deputies would carry on the work they had been doing with him.
But in a working paper about the network structure published late last week by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research group associated with the University of Washington, Nadelstern says the department has lost its way. Instead of thinking about what would be best for students, officials have considered what would be best for Mayor Bloomberg, he says. Rather than trusting principals to make the right choices for their schools, officials are mandating instructional changes. The department is frittering away federal funds centrally rather than distributing them to schools. And instead of using the network structure to support schools, the department is using a “ruthlessly efficient structure for micromanaging” them, he writes.
All together, Nadelstern says the changes have him lying awake at night with worry. ”A new mayor will probably mean a new chancellor. With equal numbers of superintendents and networks, it is not hard to envision how easily the city’s schools can be returned to a geographically organized system of local districts,” he writes.
The portion of Nadelstern’s paper that assesses the Department of Education’s current state is excerpted in full below, followed by the complete paper. (more…)
March 29, 2012
New York City’s release of teacher ratings last month stoked fierce debate over the role of evaluations in boosting student achievement and about whether the public should be privy to their results.
A panel discussion featuring former state education chief David Steiner; United Federation of Teachers Vice President Leo Casey; policy researchers; and Nick Lemann, dean of Columbia University’s journalism school tackled those issues this afternoon. The panel, part of a two-day long symposium on testing, was billed as a conversation about whether to make teacher ratings public, as New York City did with caveats last month and New York State is poised, at least legally, to do in the future.
But the panelists mostly skirted that issue, focusing instead on the bigger question of how current teacher evaluations can be improved upon — an issue that the state is grappling with as it rolls out new curriculum standards and prepares to impose a state-wide evaluation system.
Eric Nadelstern, a former top city Department of Education official who spoke from the audience, was the only person to speak out in favor of the data releases — or address the matter head on at all.
“Clearly the tests have to get better, but we can’t wait until they do before we use them to determine whether or not the adults are doing good work,” said Nadelstern, who led the city’s effort to create report cards for each school. “However imperfect the data, if we’re using it to make high stakes decisions about kids, shouldn’t we make that data available to the students, to the parents and to the public?” (more…)
February 22, 2012
Wala discovered that a charter school in Harlem that had faced closure last year was saved when a different operator was allowed to take over its charter and management. Harlem Day lost virtually all of its teachers and got a new name and curriculum when Democracy Prep took over in 2011, but the students were allowed to stay.
For Wala, the last point was the biggest draw: Peninsula Prep’s students are set to be sent back to neighborhood schools that mostly post lower test scores.
“I was like, this is something we should explore,” Wala said, even though it meant she’d almost certainly lose her job in the process. Both Wala and the school’s board, led by Chair Betty Leon, told Recy Dunn of the Department of Education’s Charter Office that they would resign if that’s what it took to keep the school open.
“We were willing to do whatever that would allow the school to continue to exist, in whatever capacity, so that there would be less disruption to the children,” Wala said.
Wala reached out to Seth Andrew, the founder and head of the Democracy Prep charter network, and asked him to consider taking over Peninsula Prep. Wala set up a time for Andrew to visit the school, but when he floated the idea to top city and state education officials they rejected it, according to a source who was briefed on the proposal. (more…)
April 7, 2011
It would be reasonable for Schools Chancellor Cathie Black to be alarmed by the rapid exodus of the Department of Education’s top deputies.
After all, when her predecessor Joel Klein handed over the reins last November, he declared, “I also am comfortable in saying I’m leaving you the best team ever assembled in education.” Mayor Bloomberg also emphasized that he was confident that Black could get past her lack of education experience by leaning on her deputies.
Now four of those deputies have left or are about to. John White, deputy chancellor for talent, labor, and innovation, is set to be named superintendent of schools in New Orleans. Santiago Taveras, deputy chancellor for community engagement, left earlier this week for the private sector. Eric Nadelstern, a top educator who had been with the department for nearly 40 years, retired abruptly n January. And Photeine Anagnastopoulos, the department’s finance guru, tendered her resignation the day after Klein’s.
But Klein said earlier this week that he is not worried about Black’s ability to recruit new talent to the department. In fact, he said, the exodus could be a boon for Black, if she sells it right. “The message is come to New York and you’ll be on your way to a superintendency,” he said. (more…)
April 4, 2011
The city’s first-ever community engagement czar is the latest in a string of high-level departures from the Department of Education since the departure of Chancellor Joel Klein.
Santiago Taveras, deputy chancellor for community engagement, is leaving the department to become a vice president at Cambridge Education, the consulting firm that originally conducted quality reviews in city schools. Taveras is the third member of the chancellor’s leadership team to resign since Cathie Black replaced Klein in November.
Taveras, who worked for the city schools for 22 years, was deputy chancellor for teaching and learning from May 2009 until April 2010, when the DOE eliminated its teaching and learning division. He then became the city’s first community engagement chief, managing the way the department explained proposals for policy changes, such as school closures, to the public. In recent months, he had become the voice of the department at public meetings, sometimes staying long after other officials to take questions and speak with parents and school leaders.
A former principal, Taveras was one of the aides Eric Nadelstern name-checked as someone trained to pick up the slack after the former chief schools officer resigned in January. In addition to Nadelstern, whose position was eliminated after he left, the department also replaced finance director Photeine Anagnastopoulos, who quit the day after Klein announced his departure. The department is looking for a replacement for Taveras, according to the city’s press release.
Here’s the city’s press release: (more…)
February 17, 2011
A top advisor to former Chancellor Joel Klein who resigned shortly after Cathie Black took office is embarking on a new career as a professor to principals.
Former Deputy Chancellor Eric Nadelstern, who hinted last month that he’d been offered a teaching position, is taking a job at Columbia’s Teacher College as a professor of practice in educational leadership. Nadelstern told me today that he also has plans to author two books — one about the lessons he’s learned in urban education reform and one about his time as a principal and deputy chancellor.
Nadelstern, who left the Department of Education last month, was the most senior educator among Klein’s top advisors. He began teaching in 1972 at Dewitt Clinton High School, the high school from which he graduated, and has since worked at almost every level of the city’s education system.
He was also the subject of much speculation when Klein stepped down last year, as many thought Nadelstern would be named chancellor. But when Mayor Bloomberg appointed Black and and Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky was named her second in command, Nadelstern’s departure seemed inevitable to many observers. (more…)
January 21, 2011
After 39 years, Deputy Chancellor Eric Nadelstern is leaving the Department of Education just as new Chancellor Cathie Black is beginning her tenure. In a brief interview with GothamSchools on the day he announced his retirement, Nadelstern gave his take on why he’s leaving and what he’s leaving behind.
What’s the right greeting here? Congrats?
Well, it’s congratulations and good luck.
So why are you retiring now? And where are you off to?
After almost 40 years I’m ready for new challenges. I’ve had a number of very interesting offers — public, private, not-for-profit — all around my area of expertise. I haven’t decided yet, don’t want to rush it. I may wind up teaching at a university…very strong offer along those lines. Had an offer from a state education department outside of New York…I’m sure when the time comes, my dance card will be full.
In December you were telling people that you’d stay through the year. What changed?
That was my intention. A couple of things really — I turned 60 in October, hopefully you’ll have a chance to find out how reflective [you get] when you reach that milestone.
I had a pension consultation recently and there were financial advantages to making the decision sooner than later. That and talking it over with my family thinking about the kinds of things in life after the DOE. It seemed like the right time.
Does this have anything to do with Chancellor Cathie Black’s arrival?
It’s completely independent. In the weeks I’ve worked with Cathie I’ve not only come to admire her, I’ve come to like her…There’s an enormous amount to learn. I think in an earlier point in my career I [would have liked to work with her]. I think at this stage there are really other things that I’d like to do. (more…)
January 21, 2011
Following the retirement of Deputy Chancellor Eric Nadelstern, the Department of Education is combining the office in charge of helping schools improve with the office that holds their feet to the fire.
The Division of School Support and Instruction, which Nadelstern oversaw, will merge with the Division of Performance and Accountability, to create the Division of Academics, Performance and Support. Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky will oversee the combined divisions, a move that frees the department from having to replace Nadelstern and effectively doubles the range of issues that Polakow-Suransky is responsible for.
This is the second reorganization affecting the Division of School Support and Instruction in less than in a year.
Last April, the city folded the teaching and learning office into the school support office under Nadelstern. As a result of the move, Deputy Chancellor Santiago Taveras became the first-ever community engagement czar. He now manages how the department publicly presents proposals that are set to come before the city school board, known as the Panel for Educational Policy.