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June 26, 2015
What did you learn this school year?
With the year at an end, we asked some Chalkbeat readers to tell us — and they had some great answers. We'd love to know yours, too.
A New Challenge
September 8, 2014
For unaccompanied minors, the school year begins with uncertainty
Hundreds of minors who have fled violence in Central America will start school this fall with the question of their immigration status looming overhead.
July 1, 2014
As Columbus closes, its last class celebrates a bittersweet graduation
More than 140 under-performing schools have closed since the Bloomberg administration began phasing schools out early in his tenure. Christopher Columbus High School is one of 18 to graduate its last class this year.
August 9, 2013
The Envelope, Please: Checking My Common Core Math
Here’s the dirty little secret: No one truly understands the numbers. We are behaving as though the sorting of students into four proficiency categories based on a couple of days of tests tells us something profound about our schools, our teachers, and our children.
August 2, 2013
Big Schools Questions That Need Candidates’ Answers
New York's school system is too complex, our students too diverse, for yes/no answers to our most pressing problems. In electing someone to govern, rather than merely win, mayoral candidates should be made to answer hard questions to earn their place in City Hall.
July 18, 2013
When My School Failed, Nelson Mandela Re-Inspired Me
On the occasion of Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday and Mandela Day, celebrated worldwide, GothamSchools is collecting tales from New York City schools about the former president of South Africa. Jeniffer Montano met him in 2009 when she was a student at Jill Chaifetz Transfer High School. Nelson Mandela, the man, the leader, the hero, had, for a brief moment, acknowledged me. That simple handshake changed my whole life. If I could do something worthy enough to be placed in front of Mandela, then surely I could achieve anything.
July 18, 2013
Independent Study Spurs Unlikely Meeting With Mandela
On the occasion of Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday and Mandela Day, celebrated worldwide, GothamSchools is collecting tales from New York City schools about the former president of South Africa. Rabih Ahmed is a college student who met Mandela in South Africa when she was a ninth-grader at Bronx Guild High School. Had I not traveled to South Africa during my freshman year of high school, I wouldn’t be the conscious and educated young adult that I am today.
July 15, 2013
Reading Closely For Connection In The Common Core
The Common Core’s reverence for the text as “the master class,” as chief creator David Coleman said in a 2011 speech, means that students’ personal interpretations are deemphasized — and even denounced. That particular pendulum swing has me concerned because, in my experience, students must also bring their own perspectives and experiences to the text if they are to read critically.
June 21, 2013
Toward A Broader Definition Of Teacher Excellence
A few days after a new teacher evaluation system made headlines in New York, I was honored as one of 50 finalists for the Department of Education's Big Apple Awards, designed to “recognize the city’s best teachers and support a system-wide conversation about excellence in the classroom." ... But couldn’t the Department of Education do more to honor not just 50 of “the city’s best” but the great majority of city teachers who work hard for their schools and students every single day?
June 6, 2013
Broker Like a Champion
I’ve been a Doug Lemov devotee for a couple of years now, but I never expected his lessons for teachers would also apply to apartment-hunting until I was racing around Brooklyn with real-estate brokers during a sticky Memorial Day weekend.
May 21, 2013
If NYC’s Common Core Test Scores Mimic Kentucky’s
Until now, only Kentucky has administered state assessments aligned with the new Common Core standards, and the results were frightening. ... I’ve made some projections of New York City’s likely performance on the new state assessments, based on what happened in Kentucky.
May 10, 2013
Having A Dream, And A Dream Director, In High School
It is so easy to feel defeated in high school, so it is incredibly powerful to know that there is someone in my school whose full time job is to support my dreams and believes in me.
April 24, 2013
The Trouble With Not Releasing State Test Items
Discussions about the content and quality of New York State's Common Core-aligned assessments are hamstrung by the state's decision not to release test items to the public.
April 22, 2013
A Principled Defense Of Standardized Testing
Some of the criticism that has been directed toward the latest state tests has been misplaced. Understanding basic principles of test design makes it possible to see that the tests are doing their best to accomplish a steep, socially important task.
April 12, 2013
How Student Work Can Illuminate Teaching
Sometimes, after a discouraging week, I sit down to correct homework and am enlightened, intrigued, and moved by what I read. For this reason, the opportunity to showcase and discuss my students’ work comes as a great treat.
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