Posts tagged "michael mulgrew"
June 19, 2013
After a back-to-back series of meetings, the United Federation of Teachers is throwing its weight behind Bill Thompson, the former school board president, in this year’s mayoral election. Thompson spoke to teachers at a union meeting before meeting the press with UFT President Michael Mulgrew this afternoon at the union’s Lower Manhattan headquarters. More soon.
June 17, 2013
For Mayor Bloomberg, putting a positive spin on the city’s latest high school graduation numbers required him to get creative with his number-crunching.
The city’s four-year graduation rate fell by half a point, to 60.4 percent, making Bloomberg’s final press conference about the data the first to contend with a sharp decline.
During a press conference at City Hall this afternoon, Bloomberg said the fact that the city’s graduation rate did not fall more because of the state’s tougher graduation requirements was reason for celebration. Last year was the first time that students had to pass five Regents exams with a grade or 65 or higher, as opposed to 55.
“Everybody predicted that our graduation rates would fall precipitously and that did not happen,” Bloomberg said. ”This is showing improvement, not decline.”
In a PowerPoint presentation, Bloomberg highlighted how far the city’s graduation rate would have climbed had the standards in place last year also been in place earlier in his term. City officials pointed out that if the state had not raised its graduation standards, the city’s rate would have climbed by 1.4 points instead of falling.
And Bloomberg said he could have raised graduation rates even more had his policy proposals never been stymied by the United Federation of Teachers, spurring a fresh round of mutual criticism. (more…)
June 13, 2013
A common criticism during campaign season has been that standardized testing plays too large a role in city schools. Today, some who have made the claim most loudly backed up their rhetoric with policy proposals.
In a press conference on the steps of City Hall, the teachers union and New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, a coalition that formed to oppose the Bloomberg administration’s school policies, outlined steps that the next mayor should take to end high-stakes testing and improve the Department of Education’s school accountability system. (more…)
June 3, 2013
For mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, sleeping on the city’s new teacher and principal evaluation plans was an illuminating experience.
Thompson was the first candidate to issue an official response to the educator evaluation plans that State Education Commissioner John King imposed on the city late Saturday. Speaking less than two hours after King released an overview of the plan, Thompson said the plan represented a victory for the teachers union’s approach to evaluating teachers.
“Let’s remember where this process started: The mayor wanted to be able to fire teachers at will, because he believes you can somehow fire your way to student success. That approach is now off the table for good,” he said. “Instead, teachers are going to get the support and professional development they need.”
But a day later, Thompson’s outlook was less sanguine. He issued a second press release on Sunday afternoon highlighting the many pitfalls that the plan faces in getting implemented. (more…)
June 1, 2013
The evaluation system that State Education Commissioner John King imposed on New York City today fulfills requests made by both the Bloomberg administration and the United Federation of Teachers.
In a unique move, it also delegates crucial decisions about how teachers will be rated to the city’s roughly 1,600 non-charter public schools and, in some cases, to teachers themselves.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked lawmakers to allow King to impose an evaluation system after city and union officials failed to agree on one by a January deadline. Starting from broad parameters set out in state law, each side made its case in position papers and in-person presentations last month, and King issued his final determination tonight.
“Following years of delay, today we can finally say that every school district in the state of New York has a teacher evaluation system in place based on some of the most stringent and comprehensive standards in the nation,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The mayor didn’t win and the union didn’t win. Today, the students won. Finally.” (more…)
June 1, 2013
UFT President Michael Mulgrew offered what appeared to be a tepid endorsement of the teacher evaluation system that State Education Commissioner John King imposed today, while Mulgrew’s counterpart at the principals union was more favorable about the new plan for rating his members.
Ernest Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Superintendents, said in a statement that his union had actually reached a deal on evaluations with the city Department of Education late Friday, “with the strong intervention of Commissioner King.” He said the deal resembled what had almost been finalized back in January, when the city’s negotiations with the teachers union fell apart just before a state deadline.
Logan praised the new evaluation system, saying that it “preserves many of the same tools our principals are accustomed to while at the same time substantially improving our due process protections and safeguards.” It also provides for helping principals improve, which the old system did not do, he said.
Mulgrew’s reaction was more circumspect. (more…)
May 31, 2013
An organization founded to tackle one shortage area in computer science education is teaming up with the teachers union to address another.
Girls Who Code, whose founder Reshma Saujani is running for citywide office this year, launched last year to address stark gender inequities that exist in computer science, one of the many job markets in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) where women are underrepresented. The organization’s eight-week curriculum began last summer with 20 girls and will expand to 160 this summer, with new programs in Detroit and San Francisco as well.
The organization will also be lending its curriculum out to help train a small group of 20 teachers, the United Federation of Teachers announced this week. The union is trying to keep pace with the evolving demands in career and technical education and union chief Michael Mulgrew said one challenge is retaining young math and science teachers, who leave “because we don’t give them something engaging to do.”
“We’re going to make the difference by doing it where it really counts, which is training the teachers so they can bring it inside of the classroom because that’s where the students are,” Mulgrew said this week at an event announcing the pilot, called “Teachers Who Code”. (more…)
May 31, 2013
The United Federation of Teachers won’t wait for a new mayor to expand the school model that the union says could be key to boosting student success.
This fall, at least nine and possibly as many as 12 schools across all five boroughs will turn into “community schools,” offering a full range of social services to students and their families. They will join the half-dozen schools that already transitioned to the model this year, using a combination of union, city, and private funding.
The UFT has made the community schools model a priority in the lead-up to the city’s mayoral election. Touting the model as one that could mitigate against the many obstacles to academic achievement that poor children face, the union organized several trips to Cincinnati, where all district schools use partnerships with businesses and non-profits to provide an array of supports including early childhood education, classes for adults, food banks, and health, dental, and vision services. (more…)
May 29, 2013
State and local education officials are preparing to work through the weekend on a teacher evaluation system that will be imposed on New York City, an outcome that resulted from years of failed labor talks between the city and its teachers union.
State Education Commissioner John King gets the final say on how city teachers will be evaluated using a process outlined earlier this month. He’ll formally start that process on Thursday, when officials from the Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers each have four hours to present their cases during arbitration hearings. The Council on School Supervisors and Superintendents, which represents principals, is slotted to present during a four-hour block on Friday morning.
King plans to release his plan, which is likely to borrow from each group’s proposal but does not have to, by Saturday afternoon.
City and union officials — and reporters — will then go into high gear to understand the process that King has devised, which will go into effect immediately for next year. (more…)
May 20, 2013
City principals who heard Chancellor Dennis Walcott deliver a stemwinding political speech on Saturday will get an extra day of summer vacation to make up for it.
This year, for the first time, the Department of Education told principals that they could take a day off during the summer to compensate for attending the citywide principals conference, held Saturday at Brooklyn Technical High School.
“To encourage attendance, any principal who attends the conference will receive one compensation day that can be used between June 27 and August 30,” the department’s weekly bulletin to principals said for at least the last two weeks.
The tradeoff isn’t sitting right with some, including UFT President Michael Mulgrew, whose union frequently battles the department to ensure that teachers are paid for time they spend working outside of the regular school day. Mulgrew cited the prohibition on city workers participating in political activity on the job.
“You’re using taxpayer dollars to pay New York City workers to come in and listen to you do a political rant,” Mulgrew said. ”It’s at least inappropriate, but it really borders on questionable ethics.” (more…)