"Schools will have an incentive to place struggling students in lower-level classes without standardized assessments School systems may hesitate placing students in Regents classes beyond the basic five needed for graduation so that their performance on Advanced Regents examinations will not negatively impact evaluations. If schools use advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores, as Commissioner King suggested, schools might be more reluctant to challenge students upward for fear that poor test performance might result in teachers being unfairly penalized." And teachers will subtly but surely be incentivised to avoid students with health issues, students with disabilities, English Language Learners or students suffering form emotional issues. Research has shown that no model yet developed can adequately account for all these ongoing factors."
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Eight principals from Buffalo Schools sign open letter of concern on Annual Professional Performance Review
Monday, January 30, 2012
"...children deserve good lives, even if school doesn't lead to a better job..." Deborah meier
Saturday, January 28, 2012
There were few if any from the public present at this historic event except for three and only this blogger stayed until the end when it concluded the interviews at 2 PM.
The consultants were Vincent Coppola from SUNY Buffalo , followed by Proact, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates and Cascade Consulting.
Dr. Copppola is associated with the Western New York Educational Services Council office located at SUNY Buffalo and Cascade Consulting with Say Yes.
Rosalyn Taylor, East District served as a moderator for the group asked the opening questions: How to involve the community and stakeholders in the superintendent search? What steps taken to keep board informed of process? Confidentiality, open or closed, what works?
And Ruth Kapsiak, Central district asked Hazard, Young...how many of its searches involved urban school districts? The response was they have done 200 searches out of 1000 or more.
Florence Johnson, at-large asked what team was working with Buffalo district?
Dr. Coppola and Cascade Consulting presented in person, while the other two through Skype. Cascade Consultants is collaborating in the search with the organization Say Yes that will be working with the Buffalo Schools similar to the Syracuse City School District. The group did an excellent presentation the best, but there were questions regarding Cascade's association to Say Yes. Cascade asked the board to pay its consulting fees and Say Yes to pay for the other expenses involving the superintendent search. There were questions from three board members, Ralph Hernandez, West District, Lou Petrucci, Park District and newly appointed Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold about the relationship of Cascade to the Say Yes group soon to be involved with the Buffalo Schools.
In a school district with 75% minority children, the consulting groups were not as diverse except for the Cascade group that had an African-American psychologist.
The other question was the one concerning the internal candidate whether interim Superintendent Amber Dixon announcement in the media of her interest in the post made it more challenging to interview prospective external candidates.
Friday, January 27, 2012
A report to be released next month by the Center on Education Policy, based on interviews with officials in 46 states whose worst schools have been receiving the grants, concludes there are widespread doubts on whether changes resulting from the grants can be sustained. The center's president, John F. Jennings, said these concerns were based on fear that there would be no money to pay for the added services once the grants expired, as well as on "a history of low expectations for kids" in those schools. "Just injecting money for three years isn't going to immunize them forever," Mr. Jennings said.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
"And we will safeguard America's own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests. Look at Iran. Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program now stands as one. The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent. Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations."
"I'm a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more. That's why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and States."
We also know that when students aren't allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. So tonight, I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen.
Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let's offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn.
"At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced States to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies – just to make a difference."
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
"Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let's offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn."
How much is it costing districts to comply and implement State and feds Race To the Top mandates...is it worth it?
In 2006-07, education spending in NY was about 30 billion. In 2007-08, education spending in NY was about 33 Billion. In 2011-12 educational spending will grow to about 42 Billion. The growth rate remains pretty consistent, a 6% jump year over year. But now King is telling us that educational spending in NY will just about double in 4 years? 80 million in 2016? A 25% annual growth rate over 4 years? I know healthcare, pensions and other benefits are inflating the budget but are they really capable of driving things up this much? I have a feeling King is either inflating his estimates to support his political agenda or there are other factors at play here... To be more specific, exactly what are the long-term costs of implementing the federal mandates associated with Race-To-The-Top? Many states like Virginia and Texas are choosing not to participate. The main reason given by their Governors was the fear and uncertainty surrounding the price tag. I think Kings testimony today may give credence to these concerns. I would like to know one thing, what exactly are New Yorks long term costs toward implementing Race-To-Top? Can someone at The News ask the question? calvados on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
So what's all the fuss about...is it really about the kids or are public schools under seige by politicians and government officials elected to safeguard them?
Commissioner John B. King, appointed less than 8 months ago stopped SIG funding to several financially struggling school districts earlier this month. Then, Arne Duncan, the top ed dog in the U.S Department of Ed Office threatened to withhold billions in Rttt grants. Now it's the governor of New York threatening to withhold state funds to public school or to reduce their budgets if contract talks are not settled in 30 days on a teacher evaluation system favorable to the state education commissioner and governor.
But what is it that they really want? Many believe it's unfair to pressure NY State Teachers United union to withdraw its successful lawsuit the state education folks are appealing. It's what causing the mess and the kids are caught in the middle of the conflict. And teachers have had enough?
Thursday, January 19, 2012
New York first in spending 38th in results? Hmm? Is it true?
$250 million again for competitive grants, yet no data available on what happened with the last round of grants.
Many experts in the educational arena question why Gov. Como did not provide the funds to the neediest districts?
This ruling makes sense. For those of you who don't understand this, read the NYTimes article "When The Numbers Lie" by Michael Winerip. It follows a very dedicated and excellent teacher's journey with her class. Not only did the principal admire her, but so did the parents and staff. Yet, do to a mere less of a tenth percentage point under the evaluation system called VAM, the city deemed her ineffective. Editors and some people from their comments here don't understand how these tests are evaluated under a system called VAM. Studies have proven this system to be skewed. Because of it, a truly excellent teacher may now leave teaching forever. This ruling states that if under VAM a teacher is found "ineffective" and the other 60% of the rating found that teacher effective, you cannot still rate the teacher as being ineffective. This is a ruling that makes sense.
The statewide teachers union successfully sued the state Department of Education to block their standards on the teachers ratings. The state Department of Education is appealing the ruling. New York State Teachers United president Richard Iannuzzi rejected the governor’s accusation that the union was the obstacle, noting in 90 of the state’s school districts, the local unions have already agreed to the new ratings. “The evidence certainly contradicts the rhetoric coming from both the governor and the [state education\] commissioner,” Iannuzzi said, noting the state union has already conceded on two key issues. Teachers who score a zero or minimal points on the student test scores will not be considered effective, Iannuzzi said, but he won’t fold on the issues where courts have already determined the state rules violated the Race to the Top law. “The only thing that’s preventing the full implementation of the law is the State Ed Deparment’s appeal,” said Iannuzzi. Cuomo has called on the two sides to settle the lawsuit within 30 days — or else he will write his own teacher evaluation standards and put them in his budget submission to the legislature.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Commissioner John B. King suspended the SIG funds of several public school districts in New York that included Buffalo City School District. Never mind Buffalo had already fronted some of the money hired nearly 70 to work in the six struggling schools including attendance teachers.
"That children's education rights cannot be temporarily suspended is not only a matter of law but also of common sense: A child who misses her opportunity to learn to read during the critical early school years forever falls behind. A teenager who drops out of high school rarely will return to complete his education. This is especially true for the low-income and minority-group students whose educational needs are the greatest and who tend to be the most detrimentally affected by service reductions.” Michael Rebell
"To support the new initiatives, the Gates Foundation had already invested almost $2.2 million to create The Turnaround Challenge, the authoritative how-to guide on turnaround. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called it “the bible” for school restructuring. He’s incorporated it into federal policy, and reformers around the country use it. Mass Insight Education, the consulting company that produced it, claims the document has been downloaded 200,000 times since 2007. Meanwhile, Gates also invested $90 million in one of the largest implementations of the turnaround strategy—Chicago’s Renaissance 2010. Ren10 gave Chicago public schools CEO Arne Duncan a national name and ticket to Washington; he took along the reform strategy. Shortly after he arrived, studies showing weak results for Ren10 began circulating, but the Chicago Tribune still caused a stir on January 17, 2010, with an article entitled “Daley School Plan Fails to Make Grade.”
UFT forcing NYC chancellor back to negotiating table on teacher evaluation talks after filing impasse with PERB
UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Jan. 13 announced that the union has filed an impasse petition with the state’s Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). If PERB finds that an impasse exists, it will appoint a mediator and force the city to participate in attempts to reach a new agreement on the teacher evaluation process.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
The Tennessee First to the Top Act requires, beginning in Fiscal Year 2011, annual evaluation of all teachers and principals and that personnel decisions – including promotion, retention, tenure and compensation – be based in part on these evaluations. Fifty percent of the new evaluation must consist of student achievement data, of which 35 percent will be Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) data or some other comparable measure of student growth. The remaining 15 percent will be other measures of student achievement as determined by the committee.
He's young, gifted and black. His name is Stephon Wright, a student at Emerson High School, a Buffalo City School District premier culinary school.
He told the Buffalo school board they should serve food as a way to bring people together.
What else does he want?
He submitted a proposal to the board to appoint a student as a non-voting member on the school board. Stephon was a candidate to fill the at-large seat Chris Jacobs vacated recently to become Erie County Clerk.
Although not appointed, his proposal merits consideration and the school board should develop a process to appoint a student to serve on the board.
There are student reps on school boards across the nation. And their voices are needed now to provide a student perspective on educational policies that impact them.
Photo credit: Buffalo News
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Boasberg, you see, refuses to live in the district that he governs. Though having no background in education administration, this longtime telecom executive used his connections to get appointed Denver superintendent, and he now acts like a king. From the confines of his distant castle in Boulder, he issues edicts to his low-income fiefdom — decrees demonizing teachers, shutting down neighborhood schools over community objections and promoting privately administered charter schools. Meanwhile, he makes sure his own royal family is insulated in a wealthy district that doesn’t experience his destructive policies.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
He said they have to redo the teacher evaluation they had worked on in 2010 after State Education Commissioner Dr. John B. King's decision to suspend grants to school districts this week.
Cuomo cited problems with school management and efficiency and announced the formation of a bipartisan commission to overhaul public education.
Yet, clandestinely Cuomo's educational allegiance some say is to the privateers of public education such as the group Democrats for Education Reform. Their website is collecting donations for him, while he appointed a former development employee Katie Campos from Democrats for Education Reform as his secretary of education last year. Campos was the director also of the Buffalo based group Buffalo ReformEd.
"Transforming Public Education: New York spends more money on education than any other state, yet places 38th in graduation rates. To reform the state's education system, Governor Cuomo announced that he will appoint a bipartisan education commission to work with the Legislature to recommend reforms in key areas including teacher accountability, student achievement, and management efficiency."
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The carrot has now become a big stick after NYS Education Commissioner Dr. John B. King Jr suspended the SIG Funds of several school districts in the state. Some say he was the real grinch who stole Christmas, expecting school districts and union leaders to work out a teacher and principal evaluation system before a December 31 deadline, during a traditional school holiday break in the nation.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the School District Performance Improvement Awards program that is designed to transform New York State's education system by incentivizing student achievement and encouraging school districts to implement innovative reforms to improve student performance. The performance awards will be granted to school districts in the state that have demonstrated the most success in increasing student performance, narrowing the achievement gap, and increasing academic performance among students with the greatest educational needs. The awards will also be available to school districts that exhibit the greatest potential for continued improvements in student performance. Up to $75 million in grants will be distributed over the next three years, with additional awards to be distributed in future years. Districts that do not receive awards are eligible to reapply.