Posts tagged "from our inbox"
March 8, 2011
The Department of Education’s decision to go through with its bid to take back some of the funds that principals save represents a “fundamental policy shift” in its philosophy of school management.
That’s the argument made by a principal who emailed us yesterday after the city announced it would cull just 30 percent of funds that principals set aside for next year, instead of half, as originally planned. Principals are still under the incentive to spend their entire budgets now, and that’s at odds with messages they’ve gotten in the past, the principal said.
Here’s the complete email from the principal, who also weighed in last week to lament losing his cushion for next year:
That the terms of the Deferred Program Planning Initiative were modified is a clear response to widespread frustration among principals, parents and elected officials. It also seems to reflect the Mayor’s reticence to support a policy which penalizes the city’s most fiscally responsible schools. The basic fact, however, remains. Schools which have been strategic in building reserves to offset future budget cuts will either hastily spend these on equipment and supplies or see their budgets cut more than schools which saved nothing. This is a fundamental policy shift with a clear message for principals: spend every last dollar each year regardless of immediate need or future budget projections.
Putting any significant surcharge on roll over funds removes the incentive to save and encourages irresponsible spending. Given the enormous long term costs of such behavior, I sincerely hope Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Black will reconsider.
August 17, 2010
Back in the wild days of New York City in 1974, as the city fell into debt and Phillipe Petit strung his tightrope between the Twin Towers, students at Greenwich Village’s PS 41 got a surprise visit from a giant celebrity.
Muhammad Ali, then heavyweight champion of the world, made an appearance at the school to film a segment of the proto-Punk’d practical joke television show Candid Camera. In the segment, several students are asked what they would say to Ali if given the chance. As they answer, Ali appears, clothed in boxing attire. The students’ expressions are priceless.
Now, producers from a British television network that’s putting together a Candid Camera special in honor of the show’s 50th birthday are looking for those students. I heard today from producer Catherine Crowe, who has narrowed down her search to 1973′s Class 3-313, taught by Mrs. Edgerly, and Class 4-306 from the 1974-1975 school year. Class pictures are below. If you can identify any of the students from the video, let us know.
December 11, 2008
In my last post I raised the possibility that, if ARIS data is flawed, the city records that ARIS is built on could also be flawed. A reader just e-mailed in this response:
Agreed that this could be a big concern – but wouldn’t it be great to get out there that having the data easily accessible to teachers – which has not been the case — is an opportunity for schools to fix that and give teachers the accurate data that they need to provide students with effective instruction? Not on the scale of sweeping social change, but a huge step toward school improvement, no? What’s the alternative – we give up on data entirely? Start over, but without the historical data for kids already in the system?
December 9, 2008
Today’s Times story on Clara Hemphill is a cute and concise portrait of the challenges the city’s complicated high school admissions process pose to middle class parents. But a reader who is going through the process right now writes in with a complaint: Essentially, tell me something I don’t know.
We know the application process makes middle class parents’ hair turn gray, she writes. But the point of centralization was not to please middle class parents. It was to make the process of finding a high school fairer for all the city’s students. The real question the reader would like reporters to ask is, has the new structure done that?
She says there are signs of bumps — the sort that would make the system tough for a poor parent to navigate. She writes:
Plus, the real story that is not getting out there is how little time the high schools have to handle the high school admissions process and the kids they already have.
Some schools simply don’t have time to read all the essays and tests and conduct the interviews. One school I called to find out if my son would get an get an interview said: “We didn’t have time to grade the third round of tests, we are really behind, so we don’t know what is going to happen.’’