With $300 million in state funds on the line, the January deadline for reaching a teacher evaluation agreement in New York City looms large. The United Federation of Teachers and education officials agreed to a framework long ago. Now it’s down to the excruciating details of how to make it work.
Citing statistics showing students do better in school when their parents are actively engaged in their education, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the city will open a new Parent Academy to host training sessions at individual schools and in each of the five boroughs.
School Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Sept. 6 is a day to focus on the anticipation and opportunity implicit in a new school year. Any policy debates or disputes will have to wait until another day.
New York City unveiled a colorful mobile lab dedicated to lessons about recycling amid promises to expand students’ awareness of environmental issues.
The schools chancellor has promised to distribute high-needs students fairly across the school system. This comes after years of complaints from school communities that feel over burdened with high numbers of struggling and special-need students.
A record number of parents, student, and teachers responded to the city’s annual school survey. More students reported that their schoolwork is more rigorous, with 95 percent of students saying they need to work hard to get good grades, up from 93 percent in 2010. Eighty percent of teachers said they received feedback on their teaching practices that helped them integrate the new Common Core standards into classroom instruction.
Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said education officials would meet with the principals of 24 so-called turnaround schools on Tuesday afternoon to go over their budgets and help discern staffing needs, since recent hiring and firing decisions at the schools were reversed in late June by an arbitrator’s ruling. He also said the city would “work in collaboration” with the teachers’ and principals’ unions to make sure schools were ready for September.
The Bloomberg administration plans to tell a state judge on Tuesday that an arbitrator exceeded his authority when he found the city must hire back thousands of teachers at 24 struggling schools. But with less than two months to go before school starts, the city’s decision to appeal means uncertainty and confusion among affected teachers and administrators.
Officials have identified 71 students who they said were involved in cheating during the administering of Regents exams at Stuyvesant High School last month, schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott disclosed on Monday during a radio interview. In all of those cases, the exam results will be invalidated and the students involved will have to retake the tests.
Most of the City Council’s 51 members have signed a letter urging the schools chancellor to lift the city’s ban on cellphones in public schools. The letter calls the current policy “inconsistent and possibly discriminatory” because it’s enforced mostly at schools with metal detectors.
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