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January 14, 2013
Improving Teachers And Principals Go Hand In Hand
The New York City schools’ current administrative structure — with networks, clusters, and community superintendents — results in principals not having an immediate boss with a manageable number of schools and the authority to hold them accountable for the skillful support and evaluation of teachers. ... This must change before teachers will feel safe with the innovative evaluation practices being proposed.
January 11, 2013
Failing The Stuyvesant Test
Use of the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test as the sole criterion for admission to New York's elite high schools perpetuates a political moment long since past.
December 28, 2012
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December 18, 2012
On The Revolving Door Into (And Out Of) The Classroom
Instead of disparaging transient educators, we need to work with them. We can capitalize on the energy of eager, talented college graduates: If we rebuild the system, we could complement — and support, rather than dissolve — the career pipeline towards becoming a full-time educator.
December 12, 2012
Cultivating The Next Generation Of School Leaders
One of the Bloomberg administration’s first big education policy moves was to create a fast-track principal training program that in its early years recruited heavily from outside the school system. Now, in the administration’s final year, that program — which drew fierce criticism and produced mixed results — is smaller and the Department of Education is investing in programs to develop potential principals from within the city's teaching corps. Here, the department’s chief academic officer explains why the department is looking inside itself for future school leaders. By engaging strong educators early in their careers, we can cultivate their leadership skills as they take their first steps toward school leadership.
December 7, 2012
An Embarrassment of Riches (Or Why Comparisons Fail)
The Harvest Collegiate High School that I helped to open in September is the result of an inspirational plan written by a brilliant principal, deep and thoughtful work and planning by a team of passionate and experienced educators, and the incredible courses imagined by our teachers. Our school can be proud about these accomplishments. But Harvest is also equipped with a number of advantages, some born of current school politics and others of luck, that will give us a huge leg up on other schools in New York City.
December 4, 2012
Nurturing The Next Generation Of NYC Bike Advocates
The city already has a budget to provide physical education to teenagers. There’s no reason cycling can’t be part of the curriculum.
December 3, 2012
Researcher: Class divide extends to HS admissions
The Useable Knowledge series brings education research to GothamSchools readers. In this installment, Madeline Pérez presents her research into how families approach the high school admission process. Eighth-graders must submit high school applications by Dec. 10, a week from today. A public high school admissions process that serves mostly low-income people of color but is based on white, middle-class assumptions must be redesigned. Providing school choices — such as by creating more small high schools or welcoming charter schools — is not enough to improve the prospects of students’ high school placements.
November 29, 2012
Losing My Fear Of Having To Handle College Alone
“No one will be there for you. At college you are on your own.” ... Soon, it became my biggest fear for attending college. ... But after the first week of being a freshman at the University at Albany this fear went straight down the drain. I met more than enough people willing to lend a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on.
November 27, 2012
Harvest Collegiate: A Small School Where Nothing’s New
When I meet educators from across the country and tell them about my new school, they ask one question more than any other: “What is new and innovative about Harvest?” I am increasingly comfortable and proud of the following answer: absolutely nothing.
November 20, 2012
What’s Worked & What Hasn’t In Bloomberg’s Schools
A former top Department of Education official says the next mayor should keep some Bloomberg administration school policies but do away with many others. On the hit list: the Innovation Zone, new learning standards, and using the school board as a rubber-stamp for proposed policies. The next mayor and schools chancellor will have their work cut out as they endeavor to provide all of our children with the kind of world-class education required for success in the 21st century. Being able to differentiate between what has worked and what has not would be an excellent place to begin.
November 14, 2012
Common English And Its “Domain-Specific” Vocabulary
Under the Common Core, English teachers are told that for every unit we spend on "The House on Mango Street," we must spend another on texts that are less rich and less complex. We are instructed not to teach the literary elements that make deep, complex writing possible. In the end, we are required to emphasize the most basic and superficial aspect of written communication — the simple transmission of information — at the expense of all the elements that make students want to read "The Hunger Games" rather than watch reality television.
November 12, 2012
Traversing The State To Support New College Students
As a college counselor with Bottom Line, I visit my college students on campus monthly to meet with them one-on-one. Sometimes we problem-solve (think "I don't have my books!" or "My bill is incorrect!"); sometimes we prepare for the future (think “What classes should I take?” or “Can you help me edit my resume?”); and sometimes I'm just a familiar face from home with a handful of Jolly Ranchers, ready to listen.
November 7, 2012
A Teacher’s Argument Against Moving Past Disaster
In my classroom and in many others that were fortunate to survive Sandy unscathed, we had conversations about post-hurricane well-being and then we moved on to the regularly scheduled program. As a teacher, that’s devastating. As a student, it must be baffling.
October 26, 2012
Neuroses Of A Privileged White Educator
Teju Cole, in speaking about “KONY 2012,” controversially coined a term he calls “the white savior industrial complex.” He uses this term to describe when white people expend “big emotions” in helping racial minorities so that they can “validate” their own economic privilege. I can’t help but ask: Does this apply to me?
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