Posts tagged "rick hess"
September 14, 2011
A Bank of America employee, a fashion industry veteran, and a 311 operator are among the newest additions to the city’s teaching corps.
They are among 26 people being eased into the classroom through a new city program designed to train – and retain – high-quality teachers specifically for the city’s worst-performing schools.
Launched with little fanfare this summer, the NYC Teaching Residency for School Turnaround is the city’s latest effort to attract talent using an alternative certification program. But unlike the city’s NYC Teaching Fellows program, the residency isn’t throwing its trainees straight into the classroom. Nor is it quickly relieving them from their obligation to the city.
Instead, the program requires them to make a lengthier commitment, but only after they’ve spent a year working as assistants to in the classroom.
The teachers-in-training have been dispersed into two schools undergoing federally-funded “transformation” — Queens Vocational and Technical High School and J.H.S. 22 Jordan L. Mott — and are part of an experimental effort to overhaul schools deemed “persistently low-achieving” by the state.
Borrowing heavily from models that preceeded it in recent years, the program comes amid a growing nationwide focus on improving both the teacher quality and retention rates in high-needs urban schools. (more…)
August 15, 2011
When David Steiner announced his resignation as commissioner of the State Education Department, people close to him speculated that he was burnt out by trying to push his agenda through.
In an interview posted today with Rick Hess, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Steiner describes the thoughts that led to his decision.
“There is an enormous investment in the status quo, even from those you would think have an incentive for change,” Steiner told Hess. “… Sometimes, I would look out from the offices in Albany and ask where the allies were.”
Steiner’s complaint reflects divisions among state education officials documented by Michael Winerip in today’s New York Times. Some officials — such as Steiner’s successor, John King, and Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch — favor speedy policy changes in line with federal priorities. Others are urging a more cautious pace.
Now returning to Hunter College’s School of Education, Steiner told Hess that his biggest accomplishment as commissioner was to change certification requirements for new teachers. And he also said he is not confident that plans to boost test quality will pay off. “It’s still an open question whether the next generation of assessments will really match our aspiration to encourage rigorous, deep thinking rather than the rote-like product from the testing regime,” Steiner said.
November 4, 2009
Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a victory speech last night promising, among other things, that the city’s schools would see even more changes in his third term.
“If you think you’ve seen progress over the last eight years, I’ve got news for you, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” the mayor whooped, his face flush with triumph.
Despite these declarations, many observers wonder if the mayor’s greatest overhaul of the city’s schools isn’t already behind him. The last eight years have seen Bloomberg win mayoral control of schools, wrestle work rule concessions out of the teachers union in 2005, and give principals power over how they apportion their budgets. The mayor has staked his claim to a third term on the idea that he needs more time to transform the schools, but whether he’ll add a few touch-ups or knock down walls is the subject of intense speculation.
Some, like executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, Joe Williams, believe the mayor will make good on his promise of delivering more of the same, and therein lies the problem. (more…)