Posts tagged "john king"
February 7, 2013
City Department of Education officials think they’ll be able to train 1,600 principals and 80,000 teachers to use new a evaluation system by the end of the year, and they plan to let the state know before a deadline next week.
The deadline is one that State Education Commissioner John King set last month after the city and teachers union failed to agree on a new teacher evaluation system: By Feb. 15, he said, the city would have to detail its implementation plans or lose more state funds.
A summary of the draft memo, that department officials released today, is light on details and focuses almost entirely on how administrators will be trained to use a new rubric for classroom observations. It promises real-time training for principals, extra support for administrators at struggling schools, and instruction for network officials and superintendents.
It also includes a proposed requirement for six hours of training for teachers, which a teacher who saw the plan last week said would not be enough.
“A lot of teachers are frustrated about that because there is a lack of resources for teachers to learn how to apply the rubric or shift their practice to the rubric,” said the teacher. (more…)
January 22, 2013
Addressing the collapse of teacher evaluation talks for the first time since state education officials criticized his role, Mayor Bloomberg today blamed the teachers union again.
Last week, Bloomberg said he could not accept a teacher evaluation deal because the union wanted only a temporary evaluation system — an objection that State Education Commissioner John King said city officials had not raised earlier in negotiations.
“That comment from the mayor was, from my perspective, a new issue that was raised after they walked away from the table,” King said on Friday.
Speaking this morning at an announcement about an affordable housing project, Bloomberg dialed back his emphasis on the “sunset” issue. The union “was just deliberately trying to throw as many procedural roadblocks up that it would be so impossible to remove a teacher, even if the deal didn’t expire,” he said. (more…)
January 18, 2013
If nearly $300 million wasn’t incentive enough for the city to create an evaluation plan, state Education Commissioner John King said today that he hopes the threat of more than $1 billion will do the trick.
King assailed the city and the teachers union for their failure to reach a deal on evaluations before last night’s deadline and vowed to get them to do so in the coming weeks. In a letter sent to Chancellor Dennis Walcott today, King said he plans to add teeth to the request by taking advantage of a $1 billion pot of funds meant for city schools that the state has the power to withhold or control.
“They have a legal obligation to continue their negotiation,” King said in a call with reporters today. “I’m disappointed that they’re not at the table today…They thought this new system was the right thing for students. If so, shouldn’t they be at the table?” (more…)
January 14, 2013
ALBANY — State education officials cleared their schedule in anticipation of a busy week as dozens of school districts, including New York City, scramble to meet a Thursday teacher evaluation deadline.
Over the weekend, they finished assessing the last of the evaluation plans that districts had proposed, Commissioner John King told the Board of Regents this morning.
“As of 5 p.m. [Sunday], our desk was empty,” he said. “We’ve reviewed and provided feedback on everything that’s been submitted.”
Now they are just waiting for six districts to submit their plans for the first time and 29 others to resubmit plans that needed revisions.
King did not name New York City when he mentioned the districts that have not yet submitted plans. But there was no mistaking which district was most on his mind.
“One of them is quite large,” King said, to laughter. (more…)
January 2, 2013
The high-profile commission charged with overhauling New York’s public schools released its first set of recommendations today, endorsing several popular education reform policies but shying away from declaring a position on others. The full report, titled “Putting Students First,” is below the jump.
Governor Cuomo, who created the commission, stopped short of endorsing its recommendations, but did express early support for several ideas, including teacher performance pay and the community school model of using schools to offer supports beyond academic preparation.
Other recommendations include expanding pre-kindergarten for students in poor districts, strengthening teacher and principal preparation programs, and extending the school day and year.
The commission did not address some prickly issues, such as teacher evaluation. Chairman Richard Parsons said that was by design, citing a recommendation from State Education Commissioner John King that the commission wait to take up the topic until its next report, scheduled for next fall. (more…)
December 18, 2012
Not having a teacher evaluation agreement puts New York City in an increasingly elite group: Of the state’s 694 school districts, just 27 haven’t agreed on an evaluation system.
And almost all of the other lagging districts have much less ground to negotiate with their teachers unions than the city does: They have fewer students, on average, than some city high schools.
According to the latest update from the State Education Department, 442 districts have already had their evaluations systems approved. About 180 have received feedback from the department and are expected to revise and resubmit before the Jan. 17, 2013, deadline set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And about 45 have submitted plans recently and are waiting to hear whether they pass muster.
That leaves just 27 districts that have not submitted even a first draft of a teacher evaluation plan, despite increasingly strident admonitions that state officials at least six weeks to review whether plans adhere to legal requirements and department guidance. (more…)
November 28, 2012
Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he would withdraw increased state aid from any district that does not negotiate a teacher evaluation system with its union by Jan. 17, 2013. As the deadline nears, state education officials have said repeatedly that they need weeks to review systems that are submitted for approval. Districts should submit plans by the first week of December, they have urged.
Most districts have responded to the urgency. About 85 percent of New York State’s 700 school districts have turned in at least the first draft of required teacher evaluation plans, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said today.
In New York City, where $300 million in state aid is at stake this year, city officials say they feel confident that they will reach a deal before Cuomo’s deadline, and union leaders say constructive discussions are back on track after a nearly monthlong hiatus following Hurricane Sandy. But both said there is significant ground yet to cover.
Comparing the introduction of new teacher evaluations to a 26.2-mile marathon, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said on Tuesday, “We’re at mile five, and our goal is to make this a long-distance run.” (more…)
November 20, 2012
This year’s midwinter vacation will shrink from five days to two to make up for school days cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy, city and union officials announced today.
The city closed schools for five days because of the storm, and some particularly hard-hit schools were closed even longer. In addition to interrupting students’ schooling, the lost time dropped the city below the 180 instructional days required to receive state school aid.
Now, according to a city-union deal, students will attend school on four days they were supposed to have off: Feb. 20-22 and June 4. The February days had been part of a weeklong break that has been part of the calendar since 1990, and the June date had been scheduled as a “clerical day” for teachers and school staff.
With four days added back to the calendar, the school year is now set to be 181 or 182 days, depending on what grade students are in. That leaves a slight cushion for snow days, but if more than one day is cancelled, additional makeup days will have to be identified. (more…)
November 19, 2012
At M.S. 53 on the Rockaway Peninsula, one student told Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch he was worried about taking the state tests after all the time he missed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Up a flight of stairs at Village Academy, Chancellor Dennis Walcott heard from a seventh-grader named Kimberly who lost everything in the storm. In a few weeks, she’s relocating permanently to Rochester, said her principal, Doris Lee.
And at a third visit at P.S. 47 in Broad Channel, an island that helps connect the Far Rockaway peninsula to the Queens mainland, Walcott asked about 20 fourth-graders if they knew what ”FEMA” meant.
Every hand went up.
Another 12 schools damaged by Sandy reopened on Monday, bringing 5,400 more students back to their original classrooms from temporary relocations in other school buildings. During a visit to another Far Rockaway school, P.S. 43, Mayor Bloomberg celebrated the news and noted that of 65 schools originally rendered “non-operational” because of power outages, damaged boilers, and flooded basements, all but 18 are back up and running. (more…)
November 14, 2012
Among the 23 teachers from across the state that Education Commissioner John King has tapped to give him feedback about how policy is playing out in the classroom, seven work in New York City schools.
The commissioner’s Teacher Advisory Council, announced today, will meet periodically to discuss the policy agenda that the state’s Board of Regents is advancing. That agenda, aimed at helping more students become college ready, includes adopting more challenging standards; overhauling low-performing schools; facilitating data-driven instruction; and improving teacher preparation and evaluation.
“The teachers on the Council will give direct feedback from the frontlines of reform – the classroom,” King said in a statement. “The most important thing we can do as educators is maintain focus on the students, and these extraordinary teachers will help us do just that.”
The teacher council parallels ones that already exist for superintendents, school boards, and other groups, according to Dennis Tompkins, a State Education Department spokesman.