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April 19, 2018
Can schools encourage students to be more involved citizens? A new study suggests yes they can.
A new study concludes that Democracy Prep, network of charter schools, makes students far more likely to vote once they turn 18.
the day after
November 9, 2016
What we saw and heard in Tennessee schools on the day after Election Day
Educators try to offer a safe space for students to process the stunning Election Day results that will send Donald Trump to the White House.
November 4, 2013
Also on the ballot: a divisive gambling proposal to fund schools
At left, state Senator Liz Krueger with New York State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long (credit: Andrew Goldston); At right, UFT President Michael Mulgrew with Assemblyman Keith Wright and Heather Briccetti, CEO of the New York State Business Council (in red). A gambling proposal up for public approval Tuesday is either a "godsend" for New York City schools, or a "bill of goods" filled with false promises. It just depends on whom you're talking to. The proposed amendment to the state constitution would allow the construction of up to seven Las Vegas-style casinos in New York State beyond those that already operate on American Indian reservations. Much of the tax revenue from the casinos would be funneled into city schools, which state budget officials have estimated could see as much as $94 million in annual revenue. "This will be a godsend and gift for our children in our educational system," Keith Wright, a state assemblyman and co-chair of the state's Democratic party, said last week. But others are lobbying against the proposal, cautioning that the promised dividends to schools might well be exaggerated.
April 25, 2013
UFT President Michael Mulgrew reelected with 84 percent of vote
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew was reelected for a second full term today. Julie Cavanagh, who ran against Mulgrew, toasted other members of the MORE Caucus at a party after the vote. A drop in voter turnout and a stronger showing by an opposition group did not keep United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew from cruising to a second full term as union president today. Mulgrew was reelected with 84 percent of the vote over Julie Cavanagh, a candidate from an opposition group within the union. According to the union, he received 34,919 votes out of 41,681 that the American Arbitration Association counted today, with about 3 percent of ballots remaining to be tallied. In 2010, Mulgrew won his first full term by an even larger margin: 91 percent.
November 6, 2012
Teachers and students use Election Day to aid with Sandy relief
x At Leon Goldstein High School of Sciences in Manhattan Beach, today's professional development day is personal. Perched on the water's edge at the Kingsborough Community College campus, the school narrowly avoided serious flooding when Hurricane Sandy devastated the neighborhood last week. When students returned on Monday, the school surveyed them about their families' needs in the wake of the storm. Today, instead of hosting Election Day teacher training sessions, the school has been transformed into a disaster relief center, according to Kit Wainer, a teacher there. "Teachers are making runs directly to the homes of students who filled out a questionnaire saying that they need food," Wainer said. In other parts of the city, parent associations are converting their usual Election Day bake sales into fundraisers for hurricane relief. And teachers are swapping planned professional development sessions for volunteer service. (What's happening today at your school? Let us know in the comments.)
November 5, 2012
City lifts short-lived ban on letting charters open on Election Day
A screenshot from the website of Future Leaders Institute Charter School shows that the school had planned to hold classes tomorrow even though Department of Education schools are closed. It no longer has permission to remain open, following two back-to-back policy changes by the city. Reversing a decision made late last week, the Department of Education will provide school safety agents and other supports to dozens of charter schools that want to hold class on Tuesday. But the reversal came too late for some schools that had already canceled classes. On Friday, Chancellor Dennis Walcott decreed that no school housed in public space could remain open on Election Day because school safety agents were needed to fill in for other city workers pulled away to help with Hurricane Sandy relief. "For all schools in DOE space, regardless if you have applied/have a permit, no students may be in the building and no classes may be held on Election Day," Sonia Park, head of the department's Charter Schools Office, told school leaders on Friday afternoon. "Because of the storm, significant resources across the City will continued to be deployed for recovery efforts and therefore can not be available for schools in DOE buildings." The decision brought charter schools housed in district buildings into line with the rest of the city's schools, which were already scheduled to have the day off so that 700 schools could serve as polling sites. But it also snatched away a key element of the privately managed schools' autonomy: the right to set their own calendars. Dozens of charter schools were planning to hold classes to avoid a midweek interruption — particularly after Sandy caused them to miss five days of classes.
November 5, 2012
City anticipating turmoil as most students resume classes today
The auditorium at P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach was flooded last Wednesday. Today, the school opened its doors to students and Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott plan to visit and welcome them back. As more than 90 percent of city schoolchildren head to school today for their first day back after Hurricane Sandy, some with extra sweaters to ward off cold, Department of Education officials will have their sights set on the 102 schools that still cannot reopen. The number of school buildings unable to accommodate students fluctuated over the weekend, but by Sunday night, department officials determined that 57 schools were so damaged that they must be relocated and 29 schools still lacked power, down from nearly 200 at the beginning of the weekend. Another 16 schools are housed in eight buildings that have for the last week been used as shelters for New Yorkers displaced from homes and hospitals by the storm. The roughly 73,000 students who attend the schools are expected to return to classes on Wednesday, after the entire city takes another break for Election Day on Tuesday, when many schools will function as polling centers. In the next two days, officials aim for power to be restored to schools that lack it, shelters closed and cleaned, and damaged schools shoehorned into other locations. But Mayor Bloomberg said the transition back to school — coming after students and teachers alike have had their homes and neighborhoods disruption — would likely be rocky. "We just can’t predict who’s going to show up where ... and we’re obviously going to have problems," Bloomberg said during a news conference on Sunday. "We’ll just have to bear it, but we’ll have a day between the first day and the second day of school – namely Tuesday – and we’re going to use that day to straighten things out to the best of our ability."
June 9, 2011
Delayed notice threatens turnout for run-off CEC elections
Add one more snag to the list of woes plaguing this year's community education council elections. Dozens of run-off elections happened this week with such scant notice that several parent leaders said that they weren't aware the election existed until hours after it began. The 48-hour run-off elections began Wednesday after first-round elections in 27 districts yielded either ties or fewer than the nine required council representatives. But information about the run-off was not announced until hours after online ballot boxes opened yesterday. Even then, several of the parent leaders who vote in these elections said that they weren’t notified of the run-offs . The election will decide who will serve two-year terms on the community education councils beginning next school year. Representatives are scheduled to be announced tomorrow. Caroline Hall, PTA co-president at P.S. 151, said she learned about the run-off from another parent yesterday. "We didn't get any official notification," said Hall, whose husband, the PTA treasurer, is also one of the so-called "selector" parent leaders who vote in the elections. "If we weren't the kind of people who were diligent, we would have given up."
April 7, 2010
Michael Mulgrew wins teachers union election in a landslide
Michael Mulgrew has won election to his first full three-year term as the president of the city's teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers announced today. Mulgrew was elected with 91 percent of the vote over James Eterno, a candidate from an opposition group within the union. UFT spokesman Dick Riley said the union was still waiting to hear the final vote tally, which will be released tomorrow. Mulgrew, 44, became union president last year, when the UFT's executive board appointed him to serve the remainder of then-president Randi Weingarten's term after she left to run the national union. A relative newcomer to the union — only five years ago he was a high school teacher in Staten Island — Mulgrew became Weingarten's designated successor after winning an internal run-off race she held. UFT presidents typically win reelection by huge margins, but Mulgrew's win is impressive even compared to his predecessors. In 1999, the first time former UFT president Randi Weingarten ran for office, she won with 74 percent of the vote.
November 4, 2008
Election Day 2008 bake sales update: Cookies selling like hotcakes
Long lines at the polls this morning were a nuisance to voters, but they were a boon to students and parents who set up…
November 3, 2008
PTAs banking on record turnout for Election Day bake sales
Brooklyn elected officials promote Election Day bake sales (via NY Real Estate Law Blog) Record voter turnout projected for tomorrow could have a…
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