Posts tagged "KIPP Infinity"
April 9, 2013
Joe Negron, the founding principal of KIPP Infinity Middle School, picked a tricky year to return full-time to the classroom. After heading the charter school since it opened in 2005, Negron became a full-time math teacher in August, just as new standards were reshaping what students are supposed to learn.
Negron taught math at I.S.164 before starting KIPP Infinity and kept one foot in the classroom while serving as principal. But even for a seasoned educator, he said, shifting to the Common Core standards is a challenge.
“This is so much messier than what I’m used to and comfortable with,” said Negron, who will appear this evening on the panel at GothamSchools’ event about the Common Core in math. “It used to be, I’m going to teach you this strategy and you’re going to use it until your eyes pop out.”
This year, responding to the Common Core’s emphasis on solving problems in multiple ways, he is asking students to master three approaches. (more…)
March 6, 2013
A song by rapper Jay-Z, a poem by Joyce Kilmer, and an essay by Elizabeth Alexander all got a close reading by sixth-graders at KIPP Infinity Middle School on Tuesday.
Students didn’t realize they were on the front lines of their school’s transition to new Common Core literacy standards in reading. But the visiting teachers and principals in the back of the classroom did, and they were paying close attention.
The teachers and principals were taking part in a “School Study Tour” organized by NYC Collaborates, a nonprofit that seeks to facilitate conversation and collaboration across charter-district lines. KIPP Infinity was the 13th school toured since the program piloted in June, and the first in a series of three this month that focus on the new standards.
Tuesday’s visit focused on close reading, a skill that the standards emphasize. Sayuri Stabrowski, KIPP Infinity’s dean of literacy, spoke to the visitors about techniques for teaching the skill, then ushered them into classrooms to see instruction about it in action. (more…)
February 28, 2012
The Department of Education released a final installment of Teacher Data Reports today, for teachers in charter schools and schools for the most severely disabled students.
Last week, the city released the underlying data from about 53,000 reports for about 18,000 teachers who received them during the project’s three-year lifespan. Teachers received the reports between 2008 and 2010 if they taught reading or math in grades 4 through 8.
When the department first announced that it would be releasing the data in response to several news organizations’ Freedom of Information Law requests, it indicated that ratings for teachers in charter schools would not be made public. It reversed that decision late last week and today released “value-added” data for 217 charter school teachers.
Participation in the data reports program was optional for charter schools and some schools entered and exited the program in each year that it operated, with eight schools participating in 2007-2008 and 18 participating in 2009-2010. At the time, the city had about 100 charter schools.
The department also released reports for 50 teachers in District 75 schools, which enroll the city’s most severely disabled students. The number is small because few District 75 students take regular state math and reading exams. Also, District 75 classes are typically very small, and privacy laws led the city to release data for teachers who had more than 10 students take state tests. District 75 also teachers received reports only in 2008 and 2010; the program was optional in the district’s schools in 2009.
Department officials cautioned last week that the reports had high margins of error — 35 percentage points for math teachers and 53 percentage points for reading teachers, on average — and urged caution when interpreting them. (more…)
September 30, 2010
Among the mix of pages, chancellors, and mayors at NBC’s “Education Nation” outdoor museum at Rockefeller Center this week were a cadre of teachers from around the country who taught live “lessons” to the general public.
The exercise was remarkable for its lack of actual students. The lessons occurred inside one of several mini-tents on the plaza, starting at irregular hours, and the only officially invited guests were teachers, not children.
But the one teacher whose lesson I saw — Joseph Almeida, who teaches sixth grade math at KIPP Academy in the Bronx — did not let that deter him. He tailored his lesson, about place value, to the collection of adult tourists and passersby who gathered around him.
The principal training nonprofit New Leaders for New Schools gathered Almeida and the other roughly 50 teachers who taught public lessons through what New Leaders founder Jon Schnur described as a rigorous process. After recruiting nominations of teachers from around the country, New Leaders reviewed information ranging from the teachers’ students’ performance results to videotapes of their teaching. (more…)
January 14, 2009
Yesterday, I wondered what sparked the move by the teachers union to push a second KIPP charter school, KIPP Infinity, into contract negotiations. I said I didn’t know whether the union had taken this initiative on its own or whether it was working in concert with teachers at Infinity, which is considered one of the best KIPP schools in the country.
This morning, Dave Levin, the superintendent of New York City KIPP schools, told me that, as far as he knows, teachers at Infinity did not approach the union to ask for a contract. That goes along with this comment from someone identifying him/herself as a teacher at Infinity on Ezra Klein’s blog. It also suggests that one of the United Federation of Teachers’ most dramatic claims yesterday — that 3 of 4 KIPP charter schools in New York City are now represented by the union — is a little misleading.
KIPP Academy, the original KIPP school in New York City, is unionized only because it was not originally founded as a charter school but as a traditional public school. When it changed to charter status in 2000, it had to keep its unionization, according to the charter school law. KIPP Infinity, as I reported earlier, has also been represented by the union since it opened in 2005, though it doesn’t (yet) have a labor contract. Only KIPP AMP will unionize because teachers organized together and pushed for it.
January 13, 2009
The Brooklyn KIPP school I’ve been focusing on isn’t the only KIPP school likely to get its first-ever labor contract, courtesy of the United Federation of Teachers. The teachers union is also pushing to negotiate a labor contract on behalf of teachers at KIPP Infinity, a middle school that got one of two of the highest grades in the city on the Department of Education’s progress reports last school year.
While the teachers at KIPP AMP in Brooklyn asked to be represented by the union, the teachers at KIPP Infinity are in a different situation. Randi Weingarten, the president of the union, told me on the phone today that the union has represented Infinity’s teachers for a while, as part of a deal through which the union provided them with health benefits through something called a “welfare fund.” (Not sure what that is.) But the union’s relationship with Infinity did not extend into the more confrontational territory of helping the teachers develop a labor contract.
Today, the union’s secretary, Michael Mendel, informed Infinity’s board members that the union wants to go there and negotiate a labor contract. Here’s the letter he wrote explaining the union’s intentions. What I’m not clear on is what sparked the union to push for a contract at Infinity: Did teachers ask for this, or was it a separate push by the union?