Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

April 21, 2009 : Daily News Clips

Expand Messages
  • Leonie Haimson
    http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1240228825281870.xml
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 21, 2009
    • 1 Attachment
    • 4 KB

     

    http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1240228825281870.xml&coll=1

    Two former Department of Education principals who left their schools more than a year ago continue to earn about $140,000 annually while doing general administrative work. One is assigned to Staten Island's school district; the other formerly worked here, but is now assigned in Queens .

    Jolanta Rohloff and Joseph Parker resigned from their principal positions under pressure from parents and school leaders angry about alleged mismanagement at their respective schools.

     

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

     

     

     

     

    INDEX 

     

     

     

    Charter Schools Weigh Freedom Against the Protection of a Union

     

    New York Times

     

    After months of soul-searching, Kashi Nelson left her career as an assistant principal in North Carolina at the start of 2008 to teach seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at a Brooklyn charter school, convinced that the freedom to innovate would translate into better education for students.

     

    But within a year, she began to feel that the school's independence had created its own frustrations for teachers: suddenly, for example, they were required to attend staff development days but they were not allowed to ask questions; they had to submit daily lesson plans but did not get any feedback.

     

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/education/21kipp.html?_r=1&ref=education <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/education/21kipp.html?_r=1&ref=education>

     

     

     

    Picking the winners: Parents by the thousands make charters their schools of choice

     

    Daily News Editorial

     

    New York City parents are trying to opt out of local public schools in dramatic numbers. Given freedom of choice, they would more than vote with their feet - they would stampede to better educations for their children.

     

    This hunger for achievement becomes screamingly real when you look at admissions applications to charter schools. Citywide, individual charters are drawing more parental interest than traditional schools combined.

     

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/04/21/2009-04-21_picking_the_winners.html <http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/04/21/2009-04-21_picking_the_winners.html>

     

     

     

    POL PUT TENURE REFORM OUT OF 'COMMISSION'

     

    New York Post

     

    An effort to reform the lax state teacher-tenure rules that allow bad-apple educators to stay on the job for years was effectively killed by a low-key politician from Queens .

     

    Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, the chair of the Education Committee, refused to allow the rest of the legislative body to vote on a bill that would have empowered a commission to study how students' standardized test scores can be used.

     

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/news/regionalnews/pol_put_tenure_reform_out_of_commission_165473.htm <http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/news/regionalnews/pol_put_tenure_reform_out_of_commission_165473.htm>

     

     

     

    NEW GIG FOR SILVER AIDE

     

    New York Post

     

    A national advocacy group that backs extending mayoral control of New York City schools has hired a former top aide to powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as its chief state lobbyist, The Post has learned.

     

    Democrats for Education Reform has retained Patricia Lynch, Silver's former communications director, to represent its interests in Albany .

     

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/news/regionalnews/new_gig_for_silver_aide_165462.htm <http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/news/regionalnews/new_gig_for_silver_aide_165462.htm>

     

     

     

    BETSY GOTBAUM'S BOGUS 'TWEAKS'

     

    New York Post Editorial

     

    Here's a stunningly bad idea for govern ing city schools: Make them account able to no one.

     

    That, essentially, is what Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is pushing for this week in Albany -- under the guise of merely wanting to "tweak" mayoral control of the system, which expires in June.

     

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/postopinion/editorials/betsy_gotbaums_bogus_tweaks_165387.htm <http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/postopinion/editorials/betsy_gotbaums_bogus_tweaks_165387.htm>

     

     

     

    OFFICIALS RALLY AROUND PRINCIPAL

     

    New York Post

     

    Education Department officials are backing a Queens middle-school principal despite a monthlong protest against him by parents and teachers.

     

    Officials laud John Murphy's turnaround of MS 8, but some teachers and parents call him an autocrat with little regard for the school community.

     

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/news/regionalnews/officials_rally_around_principal_165466.htm <http://www.nypost.com/seven/04212009/news/regionalnews/officials_rally_around_principal_165466.htm>

     

     

     

    In MTV Style, Mayor Urges New Yorkers to Get Out and Volunteer

     

    New York Times

     

    Heeding President Obama's call for boosting Americans' engagement in civic service, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Monday a sweeping plan to encourage volunteerism among city residents.

     

    The announcement came on the eve of Mr. Obama's signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which over five years will more than triple the size of AmeriCorps, the nation's civilian service force. The legislation would mobilize volunteers to undertake some of the country's most urgent social challenges, like shoring up communities hard-hit by the recession.

     

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/nyregion/21volunteer.html?ref=nyregion <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/nyregion/21volunteer.html?ref=nyregion>

     

     

     

    Mayor Bloomberg to require community service opportunities at public schools

     

    Daily News

     

    Mayor Bloomberg answered President Obama's call to service Monday, with a plea aimed at the city's 1.1 million schoolchildren.

     

    Bloomberg will require every public school principal to provide students with community service opportunities.

     

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2009/04/21/2009-04-21_mayor_bloomberg_to_require_community_service_opportunities_at_public_schools.html <http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2009/04/21/2009-04-21_mayor_bloomberg_to_require_community_service_opportunities_at_public_schools.html>

     

     

     

    Caroline Kennedy, Mayor Bloomberg announce public service project

     

    Associated Press

     

    Caroline Kennedy joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday to launch a public service project aimed at making New York City "the easiest city in America in which to serve."

     

    The mayor's office said the program, NYC Service, was designed to channel the power of volunteers in response to President Barack Obama's nationwide call to service.

     

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-uskenn0421,0,2160491.story <http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-uskenn0421,0,2160491.story>

     

     

     

    City Moves to Encourage Volunteerism

     

    New York Times Blog

     

    From now on, it will be easier for New Yorkers to offer a helping hand.

     

    Heeding President Obama's call for boosting Americans' engagement in civic service, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced a series of programs and partnerships on Monday to encourage volunteerism among city residents.

     

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/city-moves-to-encourage-volunteerism/ <http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/city-moves-to-encourage-volunteerism/>

     

     

     

    Koch makes phone pitch for Ed Dept.

     

    Daily News

     

    Was that Ed Koch on my answering machine, hundreds of thousands of parents were asking themselves Monday.

     

    A group contracted by the city Education Department to remind parents to vote in the Community Education Council elections recorded the familiar voice of the former mayor.

     

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2009/04/20/2009-04-20_koch_makes_phone_pitch_for_ed_dept.html <http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2009/04/20/2009-04-20_koch_makes_phone_pitch_for_ed_dept.html>

     

     

     

    A Lawyer, Some Teens and a Fight Over 'Sexting'

     

    Revealing Images Sent Via Cellphones Prompt District Attorney to Offer Seminars but Threaten Felony Charges

     

    Wall Street Journal

     

    Tunkhannock, Pa. - The group of anxious parents crowded around District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. as he sat behind a table in a courtroom here and presented them with an ultimatum.

     

    Photos of their semi-nude or scantily clad teenage daughters were stacked before him. Mr. Skumanick said the images had been discovered on cellphones confiscated at the local high school. They could either enlist their kids in an education program or have the teens face felony charges of child pornography. "We could have just arrested them but we didn't," said Mr. Skumanick in an interview.

     

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124026115528336397.html <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124026115528336397.html>

     

     

     

    Tossing Out the Bad Apples

     

    Tenure reform is essential to saving the schools.

     

    National Review

     

    Manhattan Institute

     

    President Obama: How long have you been teaching?

     

    Philadelphia teacher: Fifteen years.

     

    President Obama: Fifteen years. Okay, so you've been teaching for 15 years. I'll bet you'll admit that during those 15 years there have been a couple of teachers that you've met - you don't have to say their names - (laughter) - who you would not put your child in their classroom. (Laughter.) See? Right? You're not saying anything. (Laughter) You're taking the Fifth. (Laughter) My point is that if we've done everything we can to improve teacher pay and teacher performance and training and development, some people just aren't meant to be teachers, just like some people aren't meant to be carpenters, some people aren't meant to be nurses. At some point they've got to find a new career.

     

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmI0MGI4Njg4Y2EyNWNkYTgxNWVmNjE3ODQ0ZWMzZDU <http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmI0MGI4Njg4Y2EyNWNkYTgxNWVmNjE3ODQ0ZWMzZDU>

     

     

     

     

     

    2 ex- Staten Island principals get same pay for doing less

     

    2 administrators who resigned still drawing top pay while doing clerical work

     

    Staten Island Advance

     

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Two former Department of Education principals who left their schools more than a year ago continue to earn about $140,000 annually while doing general administrative work. One is assigned to Staten Island's school district; the other formerly worked here, but is now assigned in Queens .

     

    Jolanta Rohloff and Joseph Parker resigned from their principal positions under pressure from parents and school leaders angry about alleged mismanagement at their respective schools.

     

    http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1240228825281870.xml&coll=1 <http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1240228825281870.xml&coll=1>

     

     

     

     

     

    AROUND THE NATION

     

     

     

    Our Endangered Catholic Schools

     

    Washington Post Op-Ed

     

    The positive findings in the Education Department's recent evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program provide more evidence that high-quality private and parochial schools can have invaluable benefits for low-income, minority students. Tragically, however, Catholic schools, long the heart and soul of urban private education, are disappearing. Last year, seven Catholic schools in Washington were converted into charters, and the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Cleveland are considering another round of school closures.

     

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/20/AR2009042002816.html <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/20/AR2009042002816.html>

     

     

     

    Lockdown High

     

    USA Today Op-Ed

     

    Are zero-tolerance policies turning schools into authoritarian fiefdoms? A case today before the Supreme Court challenges how far schools can go.

     

    In Manassas, Va., a 9-year-old student was suspended for giving a friend a Certs breath mint under a policy that not only bans any drugs but also anything that looks like a drug. A girl in Oklahoma was suspended for bringing a prescription hormone tablet to school to deal with her ovarian disease. At least 20 students in four states have been suspended for bringing Alka-Seltzer to their schools. Under zero-tolerance policies, officials across the country have been suspending kids for possession of aspirin, cough medicine and even sunscreen. The question is what lessons are being taught to our children about basic rights of speech, privacy and due process. Even more troubling, what type of citizens are we shaping in this increasingly arbitrary and authoritarian atmosphere?

     

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/04/lockdown-high.html#more <http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/04/lockdown-high.html#more>

     

     

     

    Illinois education reform

     

    Chicago Tribune Letter to the Editor

     

    As noted in the Tribune's recent editorial, "Arne to Illinois : Shape up," (April 17), Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's $5 billion educational innovation fund provides a tremendous challenge and opportunity for Illinois to transform its educational system.

     

    There are five critical elements to achieving this transformation:

     

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/chi-090420steans_briefs,0,2889669.story <http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/chi-090420steans_briefs,0,2889669.story>

     

     

     

    What schools learned about safety since Columbine

     

    Christian Science Monitor

     

    A supportive culture on campus is key, but some schools rely too heavily on security technology.

     

    Schools have become savvier about how to prevent attacks in the decade since the mass killing at Columbine High. They have trained staff to spot the signs of a student carrying a weapon and created teams of police and school officials to respond to potential threats.

     

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0420/p02s04-usgn.html <http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0420/p02s04-usgn.html>

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Charter Schools Weigh Freedom Against the Protection of a Union

     

    By JENNIFER MEDINA

     

    New York Times

     

    April 21, 2009

     

     

     

    After months of soul-searching, Kashi Nelson left her career as an assistant principal in North Carolina at the start of 2008 to teach seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at a Brooklyn charter school, convinced that the freedom to innovate would translate into better education for students.

     

     

     

    But within a year, she began to feel that the school's independence had created its own frustrations for teachers: suddenly, for example, they were required to attend staff development days but they were not allowed to ask questions; they had to submit daily lesson plans but did not get any feedback.

     

     

     

    So this spring Ms. Nelson, 39, once skeptical about unions, helped lead an effort to unionize the teachers at the school, KIPP AMP, thinking that a contract would provide a clearer idea of expectations and consequences.

     

     

     

    But now, with the state's labor board scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to certify a union at the school, Ms. Nelson has changed her mind again, withdrawing her support from a unionization drive that she says is proving to be a distraction and more about power than children.

     

     

     

    "I am a teacher and I can't waste energy - all I want to do is make the school better," she said in an interview. "I saw early on that the union was not, in my opinion, looking to have amicable conversations with the administration. We were being encouraged to be even more miserable, and if I can avoid misery, I want to do that."

     

     

     

    Ms. Nelson's shift from union skeptic to supporter and back again provides a glimpse of the complicated and tense dance between charter schools and unions unfolding across the country.

     

     

     

    As the number of charter schools in New York City and elsewhere swells, unions have become increasingly aggressive in trying to organize their teachers. These two major forces in education politics, having long faced off in ideological opposition, have begun in some places to enter tentative and cautious partnerships, and in others to engage in fierce combat. New York City's teachers' union now runs two charter schools in Brooklyn and workers have organized at many more, including more than a dozen across New York State.

     

     

     

    Some of the most adamant supporters of charter schools say that the teachers' union is simply trying to stymie their growth by increasing the regulations on their operation; union leaders, on the other hand, say they are just trying to ensure that teachers are given fair pay and clear guidelines for how and why they could be dismissed.

     

     

     

    "All these teachers want to do is to create a better school," said Randi Weingarten, who is president of both the New York union, the United Federation of Teachers, and its national parent, the American Federation of Teachers. "Most of the time individuals do not have power, but through collective action that is legally allowed, it creates a group power."

     

     

     

    KIPP AMP, a middle school in Crown Heights , is part of the Knowledge Is Power Program network, one of the most successful and influential charter groups in the nation. There are three other KIPP schools in New York City : KIPP Academy in the South Bronx; KIPP Infinity, on West 133rd Street in Manhattan , and KIPP Star, on West 123rd Street . KIPP teachers generally earn at least $10,000 more a year than their counterparts at the city's traditional public schools, but also typically work longer and more often than other teachers, from 7:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and one or two Saturdays a month.

     

     

     

    Ms. Nelson, who grew up near the school, and 14 other teachers, out of a total of 22, signed cards in January saying they wanted to unionize.

     

     

     

    Besides concerns about the sudden changes in protocol for lesson plans and development days, teachers complained that they did not get advance notice of staff meetings and that an ad-hoc, individualized approach to time off and scheduling had been replaced by written policies that docked pay after three sick days or personal days.

     

     

     

    "There was this sudden rigidity for the sake of being rigid that just made no sense to me," Ms. Nelson said. "It seemed like everyone was uncomfortable with being questioned. I think it stemmed from people wanting to make sure they looked good, and so any time someone asked something, the answer would be 'We need to talk offline about that.' "

     

     

     

    Such practices have long raised eyebrows among union supporters worried that charter schools take advantage of young rookies, whose boundless energy fuels them for a couple of years of long hours at l

    (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.