The teachers’ union claims the Department of Education is violating state Freedom of Information Law by declining to release e-mails between former Chancellor Joel I. Klein, other officials and education groups. The e-mails date back to May 2010, the same year the city was blocked by the union from closing more than 20 low-performing schools.
More than 150 teachers, parents and students showed up at a hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall Monday evening, questioning the mayor’s plan to close and reopen 33 schools. Many were skeptical of the mayor’s motivations. And some said the turnaround plan was unnecessary: “A lot of what they want to do with our new school is what we’ve been doing,” said a teacher at John Dewey High School, one of the affected schools.
School communities are turning yet again to issues of bullying, guns and violence following the shooting rampage two weeks ago at Chardon High School near Cleveland. On WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Monday, Jessie Klein, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Adelphi University, makes the case that bullying, while hardly a new phenomenon, is a growing crisis in American schools that stems from a culture of competition and aggression.
Education officials announced the results for the first round of high school matches Wednesday. With just over 77,000 eighth graders applying, 84 percent of students will be able to attend one of their top five choices. But 10 percent of students did not match at all.
WNYC asks its own Beth Fertig and Rob Gebeloff of The New York Times to analyze the teacher data reports and the impact of their release on “All Things Considered.” They offer a thoughtful but concise summary. Take a listen.
UPDATED | The New York Times, like other news organizations in the city and the Department of Education itself, will soon publish the teacher data reports that were the subject of a prolonged Freedom of Information effort. In SchoolBook’s spirit of conversation and community contribution, we are inviting any teacher who was rated to provide her or his response or explanation. We plan to include those responses alongside the ratings themselves, so readers can consider them together. You can find the response form in this post.
Two of the main parties in the teacher evaluations drama took to the airwaves. They accentuated the positive — a deal on an appeals process for teachers rated as ineffective — and mostly left the remaining open issues for another day. Hear what they had to say.
The Brian Lehrer Show reviews the admissions process for families looking at kindergartens, and previews Thursday’s vote on the latest round of school closings. Take a listen to the conversation.
Church groups and some lawmakers are putting pressure on Albany to pass legislation that would allow them to continue to worship in public schools, an end run around a court-upheld Department of Education policy barring the groups. And in other news, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s preliminary budget did not threaten teachers with layoffs, a notable fact only because for the last two years, he has proposed to cut thousands of teaching jobs.
New York City is moving ahead with plans to significantly change 33 low-performing schools in danger of losing federal grant money. At the same time, the city and teachers’ union are negotiating a new teacher evaluation system, one of the conditions to winning federal aid. Which will happen first: 33 schools get shuttered or a deal is made on how to evaluate teachers and fire the weakest ones?
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