Mamie Till Mobley

"There was an important mission for me, to shape so many...young minds as a teacher. God took away one child but...(gave) me thousands. And I have been grateful for the blessing." Mamie Till Mobley

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Teacher lay off based on merit not seniority Quinnipiac poll revealed

The Quinnipiac poll released Thursday that performance not seniority should be used in teacher lay-off. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No more two Pell Grants in a calendar year hurts talented minority students

 The  federal department  of education "2012 budget calls for ending a three-year experiment that allows students to qualify for two Pell Grants in a calendar year, to allow them to attend college year-round, though the program served a higher number of minority students with higher grade point averages and earned credits in the California two-year college system according to data of 2009-2010."

Secretary of Education Duncan proposes more competitive grants for 2012 budget

"The Education Department budget would eliminate the TEACH Grant program, a several-year-old program aimed at encouraging teachers to work in high-need fields, and replace it with a new competition for states. The $185 million competitive program would let states give $10,000 scholarship to would-be teachers who attend the "most effective" teacher education programs."
 And, "Robert Berdahl, president of the Association of American Universities, said his group is 'concerned that the President's proposal to eliminate the in-school interest subsidy on loans to graduate students as a means of covering some the costs of the Pell program may discourage American students from attending graduate school at a time when the nation needs to "encourage its own best talent."
Also,"Obama budget would also create a new competitive grant program (modeled on the Race to the Top Program for elementary and secondary education) that would reward states that align high school graduation requirements with colleges' entry and placement standards, strengthen transfer and articulation between colleges, and institute performance-based funding for colleges." 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Deceptive education advertising

A Bill is under way in Albany called "last in, first out" law. Although the Mayor of NYC Schools Michael Bloomberg aggressively has pursued the changes in state law,  the others in the 5 big school districts--- Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo with the highest enrollment of minorities students,  jumping on the bandwagon as well. Some fear it deprives children in these schools of veteran teachers. Viewed as racist, the bill exacerbates inequality in educational opportunity.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cathie Black goes to Albany, Cuomo sending "waste reduction teams" to school districts

While Cathie P. Black, NYC  schools chancellor testified in Albany on Tuesday for  changes in the seniority rules and pension system for school employees, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered to send out waste reduction teams to school districts unable to find ways themselves to save money.

Gov of New Jersey unveils plan to deny tenure to teachers

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey proposed new plan to chip away at the tenure system, denying it to ineffective teachers.

New York City Mayor to lay off teachers

Mayor Micheal R. Bloomberg continues to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo to change the state law to allow him to lay off experienced teachers over the newly hired. He called it "merit."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dickson and Woodin acoustic Buffalo, New York group: Book them for your next teacher conference

This is an awesome acoustic band from Buffalo formed six years ago made up of educators and school teachers. They perform again at Cafe Allegro, 1374 Hertel Avenue next month March  and April  from 8 to 11 PM. Dickson and Woodin great to invite to your conference or any program. Contact Jean Dickson on Facebook page.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gov. Como supports competitive grants to schools based on student performance & management efficiencies

Here we go again with competitive grants to school districts in the executive budget  Gov. Andrew  M.  Cuomo released earlier this month.
" his budget Cuomo...outlined two incentive programs he proposed for school districts, each worth $250 million,"  according to Buffalo News reporter Mary B. Pasciak.  
One of  programs would reward districts with grants showing the greatest improvement in student academic achievement,while the other for districts demonstrating the best management efficiencies.
According to Cuomo, "If it's for the students and not about funding the bureaucracy, why not fund increases in student achievement? Incentivize schools that do. Change the culture," Cuomo said. "You don't just sit there and I'll send you a check, and I'll send you a check, and I'll send you a check. You have to actually do something for the money."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cathie Black still might have to step down case going before appellate court in March

NYC Rubber Room Reporter: Deny Waiver Coalition Files An Appeal Of The Dismissal Of Their Lawsuit Against NYC DOE Chief, Cathie Black

"A group of lawmakers and child advocates, the Deny the Waiver Coalition, ...are appealing a lower court's decision on Black's waiver, hoping to push her out of the job." Appellate court decision on the appeal March 15. Cathie Black still might have to step down.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New York City - Looking back at experiments, innovations, smaller schools, and closures: what happened then and what is happening now?

New York City - Sarah Garland

"Michele Cahill was a program officer at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and, at the time, she was running an experiment in New York City funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to replace large, struggling schools with small, more intimate schools. Klein told her he had a job for her in his reorganized education department as his senior counsel. The job came with a monumental assignment: raise New York’s four-year graduation rate by 20 percentage points. His goal was 70 percent—the same as the national average. Klein gave her one main instruction: “Be bold.”

Shortly after, Cahill discovered that not a lot was known about the city’s dropout challenge. Which of the city’s 230 high schools were getting their at-risk students on the right track? Which were failing at that task? Which students were falling through the cracks? She found some useful data stored in an outdated computer system. Often, though, no one could answer her questions."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

NYC schools closure hearings, New Yorkers frustrated with Mayor Bloomberg School Policies

Chancellor Cathie Black losing her cool, jeers at parents, elected officials and community leaders

It appears Chancellor Cathie Black with only four weeks officially on the job as the head of the NYC schools is losing her cool, jeered, mocked at the audience  as reported in the NYPost on Wednesday at what has become the infamous Panel for Education Policy hearings on school closures.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

JUMAANE D. WILLIAMS NYC Council Member letter to Mayor Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg called the parents speaking and protesting at the PEP meeting Thursday an embarrassment.  NYC Council Member Jumaane D. Williams sent the Mayor a letter in response to what he had said about the parents.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Public losing patience with Cathie Black Mayor Bloomberg defends embattled Chancellor

Chancellor Cathie Black is becoming a persona non grata if the Panel for Education Policy (PEP) meeting Thursday night is any sign of her status after an audience numbering over 2000, booed and heckled her mercilessly at the hearing on schools closings. Mayor Bloomberg  defended Black called the heckling a blood sport , saying "if we want to attract good people to come and work for the public, you don't do this..."  The problem is Cathie Black is not viewed as "good People," while Bloomberg persists in believing she can continue to govern without the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Only 14 % of variation in academic achievement attributable to school quality..

"...equality of educational opportunity cannot rely solely on better delivery of the school curriculum for 
disadvantaged groups, but must address multiple aspects of disadvantaged children’s lives. "
These differences do not mean that a student’s background is the only influence on school outcomes. Studies have shown that only around 14 per cent of variation in achievement is attributable to identifiable features of school quality. The much greater amount of variation explained by other factors underlines the need 
to look at the range of children’s experiences, inside and outside school, when seeking to raise achievement among those who perform least well."

The problem with education today

Charter schools to get a windfall increase due to Albany snafu last year

Charter schools in the state getting an increase in spending,  NYDaily News  columnist Juan Gonzalez reported last month as " the result of a legislative screw-up that Albany lawmakers failed to address before they went out of session...," in December.  "The hike affects the entire state. That means urban districts, where most charters are located, are being forced to redirect scarce dollars they had earmarked for traditional public schools."

Whitney Tilson (3rd background)

Whitney Tilson (3rd background)
"Let’s be honest: we need a lot more well-off, well-educated white folks with a personal stake in both charter schools and education reform in general if we’re going to take reform to the next level, both politically and operationally.Whitney Tilson, hedge fund manager and major funding angel for the school privatizing Democrats for Education Reform, thinks there’s not enough rich, educated white folks.( Preaprez) click photo to his blog.

Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education, click photo