Posts tagged "GothamSchools"
April 12, 2013
On Tuesday, GothamSchools and New America NYC presented “Adding it Up,” an event that brought together New York City educators to talk about the new Common Core standards in math. The panel, moderated by GothamSchools’ Emma Sokoloff-Rubin, included three New York City math teachers: Joe Negron from KIPP Infinity Middle School, Bushra Makiya from I.S. 303 in the Bronx, and Jose Vilson from I.S. 52 in Washington Heights.
March 1, 2013
Updated March 3 to add some information in response to a reader’s questions.
This January, we formally left our incredible founding parent organization, OpenPlans, to create our own nonprofit home, one designed for the sole purpose of supporting the kind of work we do — in New York City and, over time, in other communities.
We’re calling it the Education News Network, or ENN if you’re being familiar. And we did it by joining forces with another nonprofit news site that is also focused exclusively on local public schools, EdNews Colorado.
We built ENN for a ton of reasons. Here are a few: (more…)
August 21, 2012
Some of our readers took a short break from summer teaching and learning, Common Core curriculum planning, and (of course) beach-going last week to celebrate the upcoming school year with GothamSchools.
Even though an evening rain storm drove us off our roof deck, we still had a great time, and heard some great story ideas.
We’re also looking forward to seeing more of our readers soon: On Sept. 29 we will be hosting education writer Paul Tough, who will be reading from his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiousity, and the Hidden Power of Character. More details to follow. (more…)
May 24, 2012
We lied. One week into our latest reader survey, it turns out it actually takes an average of 4.38 minutes — not three — to answer all the questions.
Everything else remains true, though. We still want to know more about you, and we still maintain that the more we know, the better the site will be. We’ll have better stories, and, as we explained last week, we might also have better ways to sustain ourselves financially.
This is your official warning that you only have five more days to answer the survey before we close it down on Monday. That includes only one-and-a-half non-Memorial Day weekend days.
As a reminder, one lucky survey respondent will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, on us.
February 28, 2011
GothamSchools won two first prize awards in a national competition for education journalism, the Education Writers Association announced today. One award, in the journalism blogging category, went to our editorial staff plus our Newsroom contributor Kim Gittleson. The other, in the community blogging category, went to Community section contributor Ruben Brosbe and Community section editor Philissa Cramer.
This is the second year in a row that GothamSchools has won first prize in the journalism blogging category. Last year was the first year that the annual awards included a category for online news.
Other New York City education reporters received honors: NY1′s Lindsey Christ won four awards in the broadcast category, including first prize in the investigative reporting category for her story exposing that District 16′s community education council was effectively defunct due to low participation, despite having an administrative assistant assigned to the council. Helen Zelon and a team of City Limits reporters won second prize in investigative reporting for their stories on the Harlem Children’s Zone. The New York Times’ Sharon Otterman won a special citation for beat reporting in the large news organization category.
Disclosure: I serve on the board of the Education Writers Association. The contest is judged by an external panel.
January 28, 2011
Our comments section has its moments of glory, instances of brave citizens discoursing civilly despite a national education debate dominated by divisive misconceptions.
But too often, it’s ugly down there. Too often, comments include personal attacks and deliberate deceptions.
And so we embark on a niceness campaign. Down the road, we are open to making more major changes, such as asking commenters to log in with a registered verified identity or creating a community policing system where other commenters can vote comments up or down a la Gawker.
Another idea is to change the structure so you can respond right underneath other readers’ postings and flag comments you find inappropriate. We hope you will share more ideas.
For now, we have drafted a recommended list of principles to govern our most basic (and, at present, only) moderation decision: Do we allow a comment to be published, or do we delete it? (Right now, given our editorial capacity, every comment that the WordPress computers don’t flag as possible spam is published immediately by default. For more on the spam catchers, see #4 below.)
Most of these principles we already follow in an ad hoc way, but we want to codify them. The list is below. Please share your feedback. Once we’ve got something we all like — or at least, most of us like — we’ll publish it permanently on the site.
Draft GothamSchools Community Policy
We encourage vigorous debate and welcome constructive criticism of our coverage. However, we do reserve the right to moderate these discussions and occasionally will delete comments that violate our community policy.
1. No obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, racism or sexism. If you think something might cross the line, it probably does. Disagreement with people’s arguments is fine, but personal attacks — including on other commenters and GothamSchools writers and editors — will not be tolerated. We tend to agree with Jon Stewart that Nazi analogies are rarely appropriate. We reserve the right to judge what crosses the line. (more…)
January 24, 2011
“Any questions?” I asked last Friday, staring at a room full of educators who’d just watched my standard 15-minute meet-GothamSchools presentation. A hand went up.
“What,” the woman asked slowly, “is the main function of your organization?”
I didn’t think this woman was asking the kind of existential question that sometimes keeps me up at night.* She just wanted the main function.
What was going on here? The person who’d brought the room full of educators offered me an explanation, delicately describing GothamSchools’ mission of offering independent news coverage of public education as “something of a surprise” to the group.
After all, the educators were all senior officials and professors from East Asia — countries including China, Thailand, the Philippines, Fiji, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore. They’d come to GothamSchools as part of a visitor program organized by the U.S. State Department. Their tour, which began January 17 and will go through February, focuses on what the state department describes as “innovations in primary and secondary education.”
Our guests, the official explained to me, had struggled to understand us from the moment they stepped out of their tour bus and into our building’s elevator. “Is this part of the state or the federal government?” one person asked him. They had trouble conceiving of how or why a non-governmental organization would take any interest in public schools, he said. Understanding that journalists could also be independent was even more of a stretch for many. (more…)
November 11, 2010
We have the most devoted, party-happy readers. All the slots for our party next Wednesday have been filled!
So we’re no longer selling tickets, but you can still get involved. We’re looking for a small team of volunteers to help out with logistics like greeting guests, taking coats, and accepting donations. We’ll cycle you between tasks so that you also get a chance to mingle, eat, and visit the bar.
If you can’t come but would like to make a donation, please do so here. Don’t forget that, thanks to a challenge grant from a generous donor, every dollar we raise right now will be fully matched.
To sign up to volunteer, please e-mail our intern extraordinaire Kate Schimel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 8, 2010
To celebrate our second year of existence and to ensure that we plow boldly into the future, we are throwing another party! It is next Wednesday evening, Nov. 17. It will be just like last year’s party — big names, top educators, and arch rivals sharing drinks, food, and rich conversation — with two twists.
First, this time you will have even more chances to support GothamSchools. And second, you will also have to act quickly because we can only admit a limited number of people to the party.
Remember, we are a nonprofit financed almost entirely by philanthropic contributions. We literally cannot operate without the support of generous readers like you. To that end, we are charging for tickets this year, with a starting price of $50. Please purchase yours here and consider making an additional donation, too. Thanks to a challenge grant from a generous donor, every dollar we raise for this event will be fully matched.
Another reason to come: Our featured speaker will be Doug Lemov, author of “Teach Like a Champion,” subject of a story I wrote for the New York Times Magazine, and a GothamSchools reader. Some other surprise guests that I can’t yet name will also pop in.
October 13, 2010
Most of you, dear readers, don’t fall neatly into either the Joel Klein or the Diane Ravitch camps on education, and even more of you don’t find GothamSchools ideological. (Phew! Not being ideological is our goal.)
These are among the findings of our first-ever nonscientific reader survey. You can read our full breakdown in this report.
Our aim is to use the survey findings as fuel for self-improvement. For instance, there seems to be something going on with the comments section.
On one hand, almost 30 percent of responders described the comments section as “very useful,” and a strong 41 percent of respondents reported commenting “every so often.” Among the silent readers, a few reported keeping quiet despite using the comments to shape an opinion. ”I visit Gotham to learn from others,” one wrote.
But most of the responders who didn’t comment said it was because of the tone of the comments that are posted. These people peppered their feedback with words like “vitriol” and “offensive.” “I love Gotham Schools but the commenters are nasty!” one wrote. “I’d never want to enter into that fray!”
A few more responses along those lines:
I find the comments are generally people with overly opinionated, yet unsubstantiated views that they want desperately to share but have nobody willing to listen.
I stopped. The comment section has deteriorated from thoughtful commentary to an arena of hysterics, mudslinging, and proselytizing. It degraded from NYT comments to Daily News comments.
Not a good forum for productive conversation–talking at people, not with them (more…)