Posts tagged "planning ahead"
November 13, 2012
The city’s teachers union has been clamoring for more time for teachers to prepare for the elementary and middle school state tests, which will be aligned to new curriculum standards this spring. Not so for the city’s high school teachers, who have another year to prepare for new tests.
The Department of Education is requiring high school teachers to align two units each semester this year to the Common Core. But beyond that, some teachers have said that without assessments to plan backwards from, they are at a loss about how to proceed, while others view the extra year as license to delay making more substantive changes.
But some high school teachers are seeking out help with the Common Core now, reasoning that it’s smart to work with the new standards while there’s still time to troubleshoot before students face tests based on them.
For math teachers at 14 Bronx schools, support is coming from the network hired to support their schools, New Visions for Public Schools. With a $13 million, five-year innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the help of the Silicon Valley Math Initiative, New Visions is piloting a Common Core-aligned ninth-grade algebra curriculum in the hopes that it will challenge students more and build teachers’ skills. (more…)
October 17, 2012
Most education policy wonks in the city are focused on 2013, when New Yorkers will elect a replacement for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But in a new report, a teacher advocacy group suggests that 2015 might be more important.
That’s when mayoral control, the city’s school governance system since 2003, is set to expire. Bloomberg convinced lawmakers to grant him control over the city’s schools early in his tenure, but they built a sunset clause into the law so they would have to reconsider the governance structure every six years.
By the time of the first sunset in 2009, criticism that Bloomberg’s school policies had marginalized communities had grown loud enough to derail a first effort to renew the governance law by the June 30 deadline. Mayoral control technically ended then, although a hastily constituted Board of Education effectively extended it in a nine-minute meeting, its first in six years. But lawmakers reinstated the law, with some tweaks, a month later. It is next due to sunset on June 30, 2015.
August 16, 2012
As of today, school districts across New York State have in hand the first piece of data they would need to calculate some teachers’ ratings: their “growth scores” for last year.
The State Education Department today distributed scores to districts for 36,685 educators who teach reading and math in grades 4-8 or supervise those teachers. The scores — which calculate students’ growth on state math and reading tests, adjusting for the students’ past performance, the performance of similar students, and the reliability of the exams — would count for 20 percent of educators’ ratings under the state’s evaluation law.
Two consecutive “ineffective” ratings would automatically trigger termination proceedings under the law. But the data released today suggest that the state’s current formula for measuring student growth would be unlikely to place many teachers’ jobs at risk.
Nearly 85 percent of the 36,685 educators who received a score fell into the “highly effective” or “effective” ranges. Just 6 percent of them had scores in the “ineffective” range.
Few of the scores issued today will actually be used to evaluate teachers. Most of the state’s 715 school districts, including New York City, have not yet adopted evaluation systems that comply with the state’s evaluation law, and many that have adopted new evaluations won’t use them until next year. (more…)
June 24, 2010
The city’s move to delay the first day of school rather than interrupt the first week back with a religious holiday comes after weeks of a sustained email campaign by parents.
Since late May, parents have been circulating an email to Chancellor Klein calling on the city to begin the school year on Sept. 13. The current plan is for the first day of school to be Sept. 8, the Wednesday after Labor Day. But because Thursday and Friday are Rosh Hashanah, a major Jewish holiday, the schools will be closed. Students wouldn’t see their new teachers and classmates again until Monday.
Michelle Chiulla Lipkin, the PTA president at PS 199 on the Upper West Side, drafted the letter to the chancellor after realizing what she had to look forward to in September.
“I can imagine it now. Summer is over. My kids are ready with their backpacks and new haircuts and they go to school excited and nervous about the year ahead. And then they come home and stay there for four days until they go back to school and do it all over again,” she said. “We all know they won’t remember anything that their teacher said on Wednesday.” (more…)
Mayor Bloomberg might have delivered his ninth “State of the City” address at a public school, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, but he made little education news.
Rather than touting his administration’s accomplishments, as he has done during past addresses, Bloomberg focused on the future — in particular, how the city can help its residents weather the economic recession. According to the prepared speech, those plans include launching low-fee bank accounts for city residents, curbing home foreclosures, and helping new businesses get up and running faster.
But Bloomberg didn’t leave schools out entirely. He announced smaller-scale initiatives to send public school parents text messages when their children are absent from school, put tracking devices on school buses, and make it easier for students to get contraceptives from their schools.
Bloomberg also announced that a former city principal would help lead efforts to boost city services for teenagers. (more…)