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October 02, 2008 : News Clips

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  • Leonie Haimson
    Mayor s top goal in staying for a third term, according to NY Post, along w/ the economy, is to press Albany mightily to retain mayoral control of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2008

      Mayor’s top goal in staying for a third term, according to NY Post, along w/ the economy, is “to press Albany mightily to retain mayoral control of the public-school system, which was one of his first accomplishments in office and remains one of his signature issues.

       

      That is one of the reasons he will continue trying to help the state Senate GOP retain its majority, several sources said.” http://www.nypost.com/seven/10022008/news/regionalnews/schools__econ_top_agenda_131787.htm

       

      Why?  Because now the State Senate votes in lockstep with the Mayor—and he is their biggest contributor.

       

      According to WS Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122289740557395793.html:

       

      “Mr. Bloomberg's educational legacy likewise stands at a crossroads. He has increased teacher pay and the number of charter schools in the city, among other initiatives. "But that takes time and effort, and we are still in the beginning stages," says Merryl Tisch, vice chancellor for the New York State Board of Regents, which sets policy for state public schools. "Continuity in the area of education reform would be extraordinary."

       

      Clearly Merryl Tisch is back on the Bloomberg/Klein bandwagon.

       

       

       

      Leonie Haimson
      Executive Director
      Class Size Matters
      124 Waverly Pl.
      New York , NY 10011
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      classsizematters@...
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      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/

       

      Please make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

       

       


      From: Feinberg Marge
      Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 10:07 AM
      To: &News Clippings
      Subject: News Clips

       

       

      Thursday, October 02, 2008

       

      INDEX 

       

      Teachers to Be Measured Based on Students’ Standardized Test Scores

      New York Times

      New York City is beginning to measure the performance of thousands of elementary and middle school teachers based on how much their students improve on annual state math and reading tests.

      To avoid a contentious fight with the teachers’ union, the New York City Department of Education has agreed not to make public the reports — which described teachers as average, below average or above average with various types of students — nor let them influence formal job evaluations, pay and promotions.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/education/02teachers.html?ref=education

       

      SCHOOLS, ECON TOP AGENDA

      New York Post

      As he moves to seek a third term, Mayor Bloomberg has his sights fixed on two priorities: retaining mayoral control of the school system and shoring up the city's economy.

      They are the two pieces of his legacy on which he is most focused, several sources said.

      "Schools are a big priority, and he wants to get the city's economy diversified and stable," said one source who has discussed the coming years with Bloomberg.

      http://www.nypost.com/seven/10022008/news/regionalnews/schools__econ_top_agenda_131787.htm

       

      TEACHERS GET HIT ON THE BUTTON

      New York Post

      The teachers union has been handing out thousands of Barack Obama campaign buttons to its members, sparking a clampdown by education brass.

      The Department of Education - which has a long-standing policy barring teachers from wearing campaign buttons in schools - is set to send out an e-mail this week from Schools Chancellor Joel Klein laying down the law.

      http://www.nypost.com/seven/10022008/news/regionalnews/teachers_get_hit_on_the_button_131776.htm

       

      'TEXT AND THE CITY' BOOST FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIES

      New York Post

      School officials yesterday enlisted "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker to encourage people to shop till they drop this week, all to aid school libraries.

      She helped announce Shop for Public Schools week, in which more than 200 retailers will donate a portion of their sales to help school libraries.

      http://www.nypost.com/seven/10022008/news/regionalnews/text_and_the_city_boost_for_school_libra_131793.htm

       

      Schools No More For Scandal

      Forbes Commentary

      School reform is bloody hard--Admiral Rickover compared it to moving a graveyard--and harder still in big cities. Everybody knows why: kids with lots of problems, high student turnover, stubborn bureaucracies, revolving-door superintendents, ill-trained and semi-dedicated employees, obdurate teacher unions and so on. That's why the most promising education reforms come from outside the public-school system and are imposed by governors, business leaders, parents, big philanthropists, even Uncle Sam.

      Once in a while, though, the stars line up, even in big cities with tough unions and scads of low-income, minority pupils, to allow a worthy change in public education to originate within the system itself.

      http://www.forbes.com

       

      HOW GOOD PRINCIPALS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

      New York Post Op-Ed

      THE last four years have seen a quiet revolution in New York City 's public schools, and early evidence suggests that it's bringing major gains for students.

      In large part, this revolution has focused on the city's nearly 1,500 principals. By general agreement, they're the system's most important executives - yet they long had little real executive power, controlling an average of just 6 percent of their schools' budgets.

      http://www.nypost.com/seven/10022008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/how_good_principals_make_a_difference_131759.htm

       

      What’s Behind the Curve

      New York Times Blog

      This week my Advanced Placement students took their first tests. The questions were of the type they will confront on the May A.P. examinations. Most struggled. Students who are used to acing exams saw raw scores of less than 60 percent. As a classroom teacher, I can put this in perspective for them by showing them how they did without crushing their spirits. In other words, the raw percentage is not what I put into the computerized grade program. Let me explain why.

      Imagine this. You are about to ride a two-wheel bicycle for the first time. Should you be riding with no helmet, no training wheels, and be marked as a failure if you fall? Should I hold students to the high standards I want them to eventually achieve the first time they try something new? I think not.

      http://lessonplans.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/whats-behind-the-curve/?ref=opinion

       

      Editorial Observer: A Broader Definition of Merit: The Trouble With College Entry

      New York Times Op-Ed

      Imagine yourself an admissions director of a status-seeking college that wants desperately to move up in the rankings. With next year’s freshman class nearly filled, you are choosing between two applicants. The first has very high SAT scores, but little else to recommend him. The second is an aspiring doctor who tests poorly but graduated near the top of his high school class while volunteering as an emergency medical technician in his rural county.

      This applicant has the kind of background that higher education has always claimed to covet. But the pressures that are driving colleges — and the country as a whole — to give college entry exams more weight than they were ever intended to have would clearly work against him. Those same pressures are distorting the admissions process, corrupting education generally and slanting the field toward students whose families can afford test preparation classes.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/opinion/02thu4.html?ref=opinion

       

      Bank Limits Fund Access by Colleges, Inciting Fears

      New York Times

      In a move suggesting how the credit crisis could disrupt American higher education, Wachovia Bank has limited the access of nearly 1,000 colleges to $9.3 billion the bank has held for them in a short-term investment fund, raising worries on some campuses about meeting payrolls and other obligations.

      Wachovia, the North Carolina bank that agreed this week to sell its banking operations to Citigroup, has held the money in its role as trustee for a fund used by colleges and universities and managed by a Connecticut nonprofit, Commonfund.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/education/02college.html?_r=1&ref=education&oref=slogin

       

      Cousin, 15, arrested in knifing murder of Brooklyn teen Shannon Braithwaite

      Daily News

      As a good Christian woman, Marva Braithwaite opened her home without hesitation to a prodigal cousin - only to find her kindness repaid in blood-soaked cruelty.

      Troubled runaway Tiana Browne, 15, brutally stabbed and slashed Braithwaite's teen daughter to death just two days after finding refuge in the family's Brooklyn apartment, police said Wednesday.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/10/01/2008-10-01_cousin_15_arrested_in_knifing_murder_of_.html

       

      Prospects Brighten for Bloomberg's Green Agenda

      Ambitious Plan to Cut CO2 Emissions Is Likely to Take Deeper Root

      If New York Mayor Succeeds in Bid to Change Term Limits

      Wall Street Journal

      With New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg expected to seek changes in term-limit rules so he can serve four more years, supporters are hoping a third term will allow him to further some of his boldest initiatives, including making the city a greener place to live.

      …Mr. Bloomberg's educational legacy likewise stands at a crossroads. He has increased teacher pay and the number of charter schools in the city, among other initiatives. "But that takes time and effort, and we are still in the beginning stages," says Merryl Tisch, vice chancellor for the New York State Board of Regents, which sets policy for state public schools. "Continuity in the area of education reform would be extraordinary."

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122289740557395793.html

      Mr. Bloomberg's educational legacy likewise stands at a crossroads. He has increased teacher pay and the number of charter schools in the city, among other initiatives. "But that takes time and effort, and we are still in the beginning stages," says Merryl Tisch, vice chancellor for the New York State Board of Regents, which sets policy for state public schools. "Continuity in the area of education reform would be extraordinary."

       

      San Francisco debates keeping JROTC in high schools

      Associated Press

      SAN FRANCISCO - In this city long associated with the peace movement, some teens are taking an unlikely stance - campaigning to keep the armed forces' Junior ROTC program in public schools.

      If a school board decision stands, San Francisco would become the first city to remove a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. But supporters, including many college-bound Asian-American students who make up the majority of cadets here, initiated an advisory measure on the November ballot. They hope it will persuade a new school board to save JROTC.

      http://www.newsday.com/services/newspaper/printedition/thursday/news/ny-usrotc025866576oct02,0,2613242.story

       

      South Bronx off to 4-0 start for first time in program history

      Daily News

      South Bronx was leading Stuyvesant by four touchdowns late in the first half on Friday. But lineman Travis Davis didn't want his teammates to be complacent.

      "We're still hungry!" Davis shouted on the South Bronx sideline at Pier 40.

      http://www.dailynews.com

       

       

      Albany school aid loss warned

      City district official says charter schools growth is siphoning off federal funding

      Albany Times Union

      ALBANY The Albany School District has lost more than $1 million in Title I funding over the last five years and such losses will grow larger as charter schools pull students from its classrooms, the district's top financial officer said Wednesday.

                   

      During the current school year, the district has seen a loss of $468,954, according to district figures. That's up significantly from $277,318 the district missed out on last school year.

      http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=725760

       

      Local stores to help fund school libraries

      Retailers across city will donate a portion of their sales toward the Shop for Public Schools program

      Staten Island Advance

      STATEN ISLAND , N.Y. -- Parents who make purchases at certain Staten Island stores could be contributing to their school libraries without even realizing it.

      As part of an initiative to improve school libraries across the city, more than 200 retail locations will donate a portion of their sales toward the Shop for Public Schools program, which is being run by the Fund for Public Schools. Five of those locations are on Staten Island : Staples in Dongan Hills, Port Richmond and New Springville, Barnes & Noble in New Springville and Borders in the Staten Island Mall, also New Springville.

      http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1222947012304061.xml&coll=1

       

       

      AROUND THE NATION

       

      Needy Students Closing Test Gap Under 'No Child'

      Washington Post

      Since enactment of the No Child Left Behind law, students from poor families in the Washington area have made major gains on reading and math tests and are starting to catch up with those from middle-class and affluent backgrounds, a Washington Post analysis shows.

      The achievement gap between economic groups, long a major frustration for educators, has narrowed in the region's suburban schools since President Bush signed the law in 2002, according to Maryland and Virginia test data.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/01/AR2008100103096.html

       

      In Most School Districts, the Doctor Is in Charge, but Some Question Degree

      Washington Post

      Most top school officials in the Washington area -- and a growing number across the country -- hold doctorates, even though some experts contend the advanced degrees are often too easy to obtain and of questionable value for education leadership.

      Questions about the academic credentials of superintendents arose anew after the University of Louisville began an investigation of a PhD in education it granted four years ago to John E. Deasy, now superintendent in Prince George 's County.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/01/AR2008100102958.html

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Teachers to Be Measured Based on Students’ Standardized Test Scores

      By JENNIFER MEDINA

      New York Times

      October 1, 2008

       

      New York City is beginning to measure the performance of thousands of elementary and middle school teachers based on how much their students improve on annual state math and reading tests.

       

      To avoid a contentious fight with the teachers’ union, the New York City Department of Education has agreed not to make public the reports — which described teachers as average, below average or above average with various types of students — nor let them influence formal job evaluations, pay and promotions.

       

      Rather, according to a memo to principals from Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, sent on Wednesday night, the reports are designed to be guides for the teachers themselves to better understand their achievements and shortcomings.

       

      “They won’t be used in tenure determinations or the annual rating process,” the memo said. “Many of you have told us how useful it would be to better understand how your efforts are influencing student progress.”

       

      Still, even without formal consequences for teachers, the plan is likely to anger teachers and parents who are already critical of the increasing emphasis on standardized test scores as a substitute for judging school quality. It follows the city’s much-debated issuance of report cards labeling individual schools A through F largely on the basis of student improvement on state exams.

       

      The State Legislature this spring prohibited the use of student test scores in teacher tenure decisions. The new measurement system — called “teacher data reports” — is an expansion of a pilot program that the city began in January involving about 2,500 teachers at 140 schools. The pilot program was so controversial that several participating principals did not tell teachers they were being monitored.

       

      Christopher Cerf, the deputy chancellor overseeing the program, said it was important to get teachers “comfortable with the data, in a positive, affirming way.”

       

      “The information in here is a really, really important way to foster change and improvement,” he said. “We don’t want people to be threatened by this.”

       

      In introducing the pilot program, Mr. Cerf said it would be a “powerful step forward” to have the teacher measurements made public, arguing, “If you know as a parent what’s the deal, I think that whole aspect will change behavior.” But this week, he said that for now the reports will be treated as personnel records not subject to public-records laws.

       

      Principals interviewing prospective teachers from other schools would be permitted to ask candidates for their reports, but the candidates would not have to provide them.

       

      Ms. Weingarten said that the assurance that there would not be a public airing of individual teachers’ information made her more comfortable with the idea of the reports, which she said could help teachers identify their strengths and weaknesses.

       

      “This can be used to inform instruction and advance it,” she said in an interview. “If this is something that becomes a ranking facility, opinions will be very, very different. That door has now been closed.”

       

      Still, Ms. Weingarten said the reports answer only “a very narrow question” of how a particular teacher’s students do on tests. She and others have long argued that there are many other criteria on which teachers should be evaluated.

       

      The new reports are part of a broader bid by the city to improve the ways teachers are recruited, trained and measured. Last year, the Education Department began a push to get rid of subpar teachers before they earned tenure, forming a

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