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Public Charter Schools Succeed with Longer Hours and Higher Teacher Pay

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) runs several public charter schools in New York City. Two of these charters, high schools located in Brooklyn and the Bronx, are wildly successful. A third elementary school charter in East New York, however, is failing to adequately teach its students.

At the East New York charter school, only 10% of students passed the state reading exam and 13% passed the math exam, well below the 26% and 30% respectively across New York City.

As the New York Daily News reports, the successful UFT charter schools are succeeding because of longer classroom hours and higher teacher pay:

In both locations, all the teachers are members of the union. In the Bronx, though, they work longer hours than their counterparts at other city schools and are paid 20% more.

The results have been impressive: every member of the class of 2013 graduated in four years, and 20% of those students graduated with an Advanced Regents diploma.

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StudentsFirstNY Weekly Education News Roundup: November 9-15

In this week's education news: a national report card shows education reform is working, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's education agenda could take 16,000 students out of charter schools and teachers show support for the Common Core.

Aggressive Teacher Evaluations Improve Test Results
New York Daily News // November 10, 2013

Recent test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress indicate that states with aggressive teacher evaluation plans outpace the nation.

In an op-ed, the New York Daily News notes that Washington D.C. and Tennessee have seen improvements in teacher performance due to evaluation systems that hold teachers accountable:

In 2009, the school district in the nation’s capital, then led by Michelle Rhee, put in place a bold, mega-controversial teacher evaluation system that systematically rated instructors, rewarded top performers with bonuses of up to $25,000 and gave low performers a year to improve or find another line of work.

The Daily News calls for newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew to implement similar policies in NYC:

The two must not be allowed to rob the city’s kids of the best hope in a generation of getting a high-quality teacher in every classroom.

Education Commissioner Must Deliver Results
New York Post // November 15, 2013

As New York state executes new teacher evaluation plans and Common Core standards, State Education Commissioner John King must improve student performance to reduce criticism from opponents.

In an opinion piece, the New York Post pressures King to deliver results comparable to states who have seen improvements in student performance as a result of the Common Core:

The bottom line is results. If John King hopes to rebut his critics, he will need to deliver gains like those we’ve seen in Tennessee and DC.

The opinion piece referred to the latest National Assessment of Education Progress report, providing evidence on Tennessee’s recent achievements in education:

Take Tennessee. The Volunteer State adopted a fairly reasonable teacher-rating system in 2009. Like New York, it also raised its student-performance standards to match the Common Core.

Guess what: The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress reports — long considered the gold standard in testing — show the scores of Tennessee kids shooting up four to seven points over 2011 on fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading tests. Tennessee achieved these gains, moreover, at a time when scores nation-wide showed little or no improvement.

Study: de Blasio Could Kick 16,000 Students Out of Charter Schools
New York Post // November 9, 2013

Last week, Bill de Blasio was elected mayor of New York City with 74 percent of the vote.

de Blasio has made no secret of his plans for NYC's expanding charter school network: he wants to place a moratorium on their growth and charge rent to charter schools that share space inside a larger public school. The New York Post states that these policies, if enacted, could take up to 16,000 students out of a city charter school:

But we suspect that the roughly one-quarter of New Yorkers who didn't back [de Blasio] include some of the city's most vulnerable people: moms and dads with kids in charter schools.

These people fear de Blasio's campaign promise of a moratorium on new charter-school co-locations. With good reason. According to Families for Excellent Schools, a charter-advocacy group, fully 15,817 city schoolchildren could lose access to a charter school if the moratorium goes through.

Charging Rent to Charter Schools Sets Up Double-Standard
New York Post // November 11, 2013

Why should New York City's cultural institutions be allowed to use city land free of charge while successful charter schools be forced to pay rent?

That's the policy position Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has taken as he comes into office. He believes that the cultural organiztaions boost tourism and generate revenue for the City. But de Blasio's critics argue that charter schools are also benefiting New York City.

The New York Post reports:

The mayor-elect plans to charge rent to well-funded charter schools that serve kids in poor neighborhoods, while 34 top cultural institutions - including museums and music venues with huge endowments and million-dollar CEOs - continue to use city space without paying rent.

New Mayor Under Pressure to Select NYC’s Next Schools Chancellor
New York Daily News // November 10, 2013

One of the biggest decisions newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio will face is selecting the next chancellor for NYC schools.

According to the New York Daily News, observers are paying close attention to who de Blasio selects as well as how he makes his decision:

Insiders, advocates and union leaders said de Blasio is already well-versed in education and has consulted with key players for years on how the public schools should be run.

Contenders, such as New York University Prof. Pedro Noguera and school network leader Bob Hughes lack the state education certification de Blasio has said his eventual pick must possess.

And other possible choices, such as former Baltimore schools boss Andrés Alonso and the city’s academic chief Shael Polakow-Suransky, may be too close to Bloomberg for the job.

Bronx Teacher Supports Common Core and Teacher Evaluation Plans
WNYC // November 12, 2013

Despite common misconceptions, New York teachers support education reforms such as the Common Core and teacher evaluation systems. Recently, Bronx teacher Nick Lawrence testified in front of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Education, voicing his support for change.

In his contributing piece for WNYC, Lawrence describes his testimony, acknowledging that education reforms are advantageous:

From where I stand in front of my classroom, the reforms – specifically, the new teacher evaluation system and Common Core learning standards – have advanced both teaching and learning in New York public schools.

Lawrence goes on to disprove the common notion that teachers do not support the Common Core:

The evaluations of ‘how’ we teach come as we implement the new Common Core State Standards. One would think from the tone of the debate that a few greedy for-profit textbook companies are the only entities on earth that support the new standards. But I have some news for the professional Common Core–haters: it’s just not true. A recent poll conducted by the National Education Association – the country’s largest teachers’ union – found that about 75 percent of teachers favor the new standards.

Common Core: Essential for Educational Justice
Capital New York // November 13, 2013

Transitioning to the Common Core standards has not been easy but it is essential. On Tuesday, Education Commissioner of New York John King gave a speech to teachers at a Common Core training in Albany.

According to Capital New York, King thanked the teachers for their hard work and compared the challenge of adopting Common Core standards to the Civil Rights movement:

“Change is hard,” he continued. “It is challenging, and it is tiring, but the goal, their goal, was to advance the cause of civil rights. Our goal is to advance the cause of civil rights through educational justice, through ensuring that all of our students have access to the richest possible instruction that prepares them to succeed when they graduate from high school, in college and careers, and prepares them to be good citizens.”

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Buffalo News Op-Ed: National Report Card Indicates Slow Progress

The latest results of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) indicated small increases in reading and math scores by fourth and eighth graders. In order to compete globally, the nation needs to do more to better prepare its students.

In an op-ed, The Buffalo News calls for more rigorous education reforms such as early education and the Common Core standards:

For now, the new Common Core standards could go a long way toward improving student scores. One thing about the new guidelines is that they demand more from both students and teachers.

The opinion piece goes on to cite examples from the NAEP where higher standards for students and teachers resulted in better scores:

But consider the handful of states and jurisdictions that showed significant increases in average scores at certain grade levels on either reading or math. Among those were: the District of Columbia, Hawaii and Tennessee and Defense Department schools, which showed gains in both subjects and grade levels over the past two years.

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New York Post Op-Ed: Education Commissioner Must Deliver Results

As New York state executes new teacher evaluation plans and Common Core standards, State Education Commissioner John King must improve student performance to reduce criticism from opponents.

In an opinion piece, the New York Post pressures King to deliver results comparable to states who have seen improvements in student performance as a result of the Common Core:

The bottom line is results. If John King hopes to rebut his critics, he will need to deliver gains like those we’ve seen in Tennessee and DC.

The opinion piece referred to the latest National Assessment of Education Progress report, providing evidence on Tennessee’s recent achievements in education:

Take Tennessee. The Volunteer State adopted a fairly reasonable teacher-rating system in 2009. Like New York, it also raised its student-performance standards to match the Common Core.

Guess what: The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress reports — long considered the gold standard in testing — show the scores of Tennessee kids shooting up four to seven points over 2011 on fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading tests. Tennessee achieved these gains, moreover, at a time when scores nation-wide showed little or no improvement.

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National Results Show Education Reforms Drive Greater Achievement

With his resounding election victory over Joe Lhota, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio seems poised to dismantle many of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's education policies. Bloomberg was a champion for education reform - during his 12 years in office, he closed failing schools and opened smaller schools in their place, he gave each school a report card detailing how well it was performing, and he supported the growth of NYC's charter school network.

de Blasio has publicly stated that he wants to undo each of these three reforms. In an editorial, the Washington Post cautions de Blasio from acting so quickly to scale back these three goals, pointing out that on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, the states with the most aggressive reform policies are seeing the biggest gains in student achievement:

It is those very principles - data-driven accountability, school choice, honest evaluation of teachers and compensation that rewards results - that helped fuel the significant growth in student achievement in the District and Tennessee on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Other states that exhibited progress on the respected "national report card" - Indiana and Florida, for example - also embraced these basic tenets of school reform, which were pioneered in New York by Mr. Bloomberg and his former schools chancellor, Joel Klein.

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Common Core: Essential for Educational Justice

Transitioning to the Common Core standards has not been easy but it is essential. On Tuesday, Education Commissioner of New York John King gave a speech to teachers at a Common Core training in Albany.

According to Capital New York, King thanked the teachers for their hard work and compared the challenge of adopting Common Core standards to the Civil Rights movement:

“Change is hard,” he continued. “It is challenging, and it is tiring, but the goal, their goal, was to advance the cause of civil rights. Our goal is to advance the cause of civil rights through educational justice, through ensuring that all of our students have access to the richest possible instruction that prepares them to succeed when they graduate from high school, in college and careers, and prepares them to be good citizens.”

Share

Bronx Teacher Supports Common Core and Teacher Evaluation Plans

Despite common misconceptions, New York teachers support education reforms such as the Common Core and teacher evaluation systems. Recently, Bronx teacher Nick Lawrence testified in front of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Education, voicing his support for change.

In his contributing piece for WNYC, Lawrence describes his testimony, acknowledging that education reforms are advantageous:

From where I stand in front of my classroom, the reforms – specifically, the new teacher evaluation system and Common Core learning standards – have advanced both teaching and learning in New York public schools.

Lawrence goes on to disprove the common notion that teachers do not support the Common Core:

The evaluations of ‘how’ we teach come as we implement the new Common Core State Standards. One would think from the tone of the debate that a few greedy for-profit textbook companies are the only entities on earth that support the new standards. But I have some news for the professional Common Core–haters: it’s just not true. A recent poll conducted by the National Education Association – the country’s largest teachers’ union – found that about 75 percent of teachers favor the new standards.

Share

Charging Rent to Charter Schools Sets Up Double-Standard

Why should New York City's cultural institutions be allowed to use city land free of charge while successful charter schools be forced to pay rent?

That's the policy position Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has taken as he comes into office. He believes that the cultural organiztaions boost tourism and generate revenue for the City. But de Blasio's critics argue that charter schools are also benefiting New York City.

The New York Post reports:

The mayor-elect plans to charge rent to well-funded charter schools that serve kids in poor neighborhoods, while 34 top cultural institutions - including museums and music venues with huge endowments and million-dollar CEOs - continue to use city space without paying rent.

Share

New York Daily News Op-Ed: Aggressive Teacher Evaluations Improve Test Results

Recent test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress indicate that states with aggressive teacher evaluation plans outpace the nation.

In an op-ed, the New York Daily News notes that Washington D.C. and Tennessee have seen improvements in teacher performance due to evaluation systems that hold teachers accountable:

In 2009, the school district in the nation’s capital, then led by Michelle Rhee, put in place a bold, mega-controversial teacher evaluation system that systematically rated instructors, rewarded top performers with bonuses of up to $25,000 and gave low performers a year to improve or find another line of work.

The Daily News calls for newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew to implement similar policies in NYC:

The two must not be allowed to rob the city’s kids of the best hope in a generation of getting a high-quality teacher in every classroom.

Share

New Mayor Under Pressure to Select NYC’s Next Schools Chancellor

One of the biggest decisions newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio will face is selecting the next chancellor for NYC schools.

According to the New York Daily News, observers are paying close attention to who de Blasio selects as well as how he makes his decision:

Insiders, advocates and union leaders said de Blasio is already well-versed in education and has consulted with key players for years on how the public schools should be run.

Contenders, such as New York University Prof. Pedro Noguera and school network leader Bob Hughes lack the state education certification de Blasio has said his eventual pick must possess.

And other possible choices, such as former Baltimore schools boss Andrés Alonso and the city’s academic chief Shael Polakow-Suransky, may be too close to Bloomberg for the job.

Share

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