For the past 50+ years, every mayor has pledged to fix New York City schools, and the current office-holder, Bill de Blasio, is no exception. He is, however, somewhat unique in that whenever a signature initiative has been proven ineffective, his response is to double down and announce its expansion. He has been equally intransigent… Continue reading Why Is the Mayor Expanding School Initiatives That Aren’t Working – And Limiting Those That Do?
Those of us in the education arena argue all the time but here’s something we all agree with: the most important factor in raising student achievement is great teachers. The New York City Department of Education has chosen to ignore this factor by forcing principals from 39 schools to hire 41 teachers from what was… Continue reading The New York City DOE Chooses Cash Over Kids
At I.S. 339 in the Bronx in a science class for English Language Learners, says New York City’s 2017 “Quality Review Report,” during a vocabulary review the teacher gave an answer key to students that included two mistakes. On the most recent state tests, 3.8 percent of 6th-graders reached proficiency in math. At Martin Van… Continue reading Would You Send Your Children to These Schools?
My students and I are reading the novel Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, a series of vignettes about each character’s life woven together to tell the story of how a community garden comes into existence. It came to me that, in my effort to intentionally build a caring classroom community, it would benefit us to start… Continue reading Nurturing My Students – Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit
(This is a guest post from Erika Sanzi, who lives in Rhode Island. She is a former teacher and school administrator, and blogs at Good School Hunting, where this post first appeared.) Years ago a public pool on the south side of Providence was closed during the summer and many of us didn’t feel that… Continue reading Why Aren’t You Standing Up for Black and Brown Children Now, Guys?
(This is a guest post from Pete Cook. It was originally published on his blog, PE & CO.) The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is planning to move as many as 400 teachers out of the district’s Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) and into full-time classroom positions at schools this fall, regardless of whether those schools… Continue reading Willful Blindness: Official Pushing NYC’s ATR Plan Has A History Of Giving A Pass to Bad Teachers
Below is a press release from StudentsFirstNY, which relays reactions of New York City parents to the news that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña will force placements of 400 of the 882 teachers assigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve. The ATR is more popularly known as “the rubber room,” via Steven Brill’s 2009 New… Continue reading Mayor de Blasio Turns His Back on Low-Income Parents Protesting His Forced Placement of 400 Teachers
Earlier this year, I wrote about Dual Language programs in New York City schools, and who really benefits from them. Is it the non-English speakers that Chancellor Carmen Fariña touts, or is it the already English-speaking children whose parents, when shut out of Gifted & Talented programs, use the Dual Language option to secure yet… Continue reading Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?
On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the New York State Legislature voted to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools for two years. The move was heralded by everyone from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who proclaimed it “the best way to provide education,” to former Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who asserted that… Continue reading Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?
The Wall Street Journal and Chalkbeat report today on a new report by Aaron Pallas, an education researcher at Teachers College at Columbia, who finds that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s much-vaunted Renewal Schools Program isn’t actually helping students. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Two and a half years ago, early in his first term, the… Continue reading “No Bad Schools,” Mr. Mayor? Do the Math.