Posts tagged "global studies"
January 9, 2013
The Regents exam that high school students are most likely to fail will not be scored under a new system designed to curb score inflation.
In recent years, exams across the city received a disproportionate number of 65s, suggesting that teachers might be bumping up the scores of students on the verge of passing, sometimes illicitly. Aiming to reduce incentives to pad scores, the Department of Education last year began rolling out a system in which teachers are not permitted to grade exams taken by students in their school.
This month, all exams for all schools were supposed to be scored under the model. But when the department put out a call for teachers to grade the global history exam, only about 1,000 signed up, officials said. That meant the department was short at least 700 teachers to ensure that all global history exams could be graded on time.
The shortfall means the department’s shift to distributed scoring will be incomplete when students take exams later this month. (more…)
September 12, 2011
To Joseph O’Brien, principal of Brooklyn’s School for Global Studies, there is no clearer indication of how new federal funds have led to higher achievement than Room 326.
The classroom-turned-computer lab, outfitted with 35 Apple computers purchased last winter, is being used by students to recover credits toward graduation and study languages online, and by parents who lack Internet access at home. In addition to two laptop carts and new smartboards for a dozen classrooms, the lab replaces the school’s once-meager technology offerings, which included aging classroom computers hampered by viruses and two broken smartboards.
“For the first time, our students were able to have a dedicated room where they could use the computer on their own time, whether after school or on their lunch hour, with staffed personnel,” he said.
Tasked with raising the school’s graduation rate when the Department of Education appointed him to run Global Studies last year, O’Brien sees the new lab as a main tool. He paid for the lab with $170,000 of the $890,000 in federal School Improvement Grants awarded to Global Studies because it landed on the state’s list of lowest-performing schools last year—requiring the city to overhaul it.
For Global Studies and 10 other schools on the list, the city chose “transformation,” meaning they would receive new principals and nearly $2 million in School Improvement Grants over three years to buy extra supplies and support. The city is starting to overhaul another 33 schools this year under three improvement models.
As the 6th through 12th-grade school enters its second year of transformation — bringing it a second infusion of cash — O’Brien said change is already being felt.
“We are no longer the school that we once were,” he said. “This school is really becoming an oasis of learning.”
Now he just has to convince families that that’s true. (more…)
May 7, 2010
If the past is any guide, Israel could be the next foreign country to import New York City-style school reforms.
Chancellor Joel Klein is leaving Saturday night for a two-day trip to Israel, during which he will argue that education reform is both possible and necessary at a day-long education conference hosted by Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.
The last country Klein visited in his capacity as chancellor, Australia in 2008, adopted a New York City-style school grading system shortly afterward. Klein also visited the United Kingdom shortly before its education minister announced plans to adopt a similar school grading system, according to Department of Education spokeswoman Ann Forte.
Klein’s reforms already have some fans in Israel. During his keynote speech Sunday night, titled “It Must Be Done,” Klein will appear alongside Shay Piron, a rabbi who heads an advocacy group that is promoting major changes to Israel’s schools. Among Hakol Chinuch’s goals are closing achievement gaps among different groups of students, linking schools’ funding to their students’ socioeconomic status, and empowering principals.
Klein’s trip, which New York City is not paying for, begins tomorrow night and will end early Tuesday morning, Forte said.