[I hope this post proves interesting. It was written by Edwize blogger natbell and crossposted from Edwize.]
The UFT has begun gathering input from the community about mayoral control of city schools and what it has meant for the city's 1.1 million school children. The law that temporarily authorized centralization of the system has been in place for six years, and is scheduled to sunset in 2009.
A union task force is holding hearings in each of the five boroughs, where parents, community members and other stakeholders are evaluating whether the law should be continued, modified in some way, or allowed to expire. The community's input will help the union develop its own position on the law.
[I hope this post proves interesting. It was written by Edwize blogger Leo Casey, and crossposted from Edwize.]
New York Measuring Teachers by Test Scores: so reads the headline on the front page of the New York Times which announces the NYC Department of Education's secretive pilot project to use value added statistical measures of student standardized test scores to examine the performance of teachers. The teachers and their schools will not be informed that they are the subjects of this study. The DoE's "value added" project is a fundamentally flawed exercise which can not possibly deliver what it promises. It is being pursued, with the full knowledge of its flaws, because technocratic ideology trumps sound educational practice at Tweed. Moving forward with such a flawed project is extraordinarily irresponsible because "value added" -- the idea that one should measure how much academic progress students have made, rather than just their absolute academic standing -- holds promise as an useful tool in the repertoire of schools and educators. But the way in which it is being recklessly pursued by Tweed will cast discredit on the entire enterprise.
[I hope this letter proves interesting. It was sent from UFT President Randi Weingarten to Mayor Bloomberg on Jan. 4 objecting to his inclusion of teachers in his plan to reduce by 20 percent the number of parking permits issued to all city employees.]
Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
It was deeply troubling to learn – through media coverage – of your plan to reduce by 20 percent the number of parking permits issued to all city employees.
On the numerous occasions we have raised the need for more parking for teachers, we have been repeatedly told that this is a collective bargaining issue. If increasing parking availability is a bargaining issue, then clearly, reduction is as well. Now you have apparently chosen, by fiat, to move forward a plan that would penalize the hardworking men and women who teach our city's kids.
I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to what Joe Williams (of the horribly misnamed Democrats for Education Reform) set as his New Year's resolution, but he starts off the year with a post accusing New York City Councilman Robert Jackson of "pimping himself" (Jackson is also Chair of the City Council's Education Committee). Head over to YouTube to see what Jackson said that Joe Williams disagreed with.
[I hope this post proves interesting. It was written by Edwize blogger Leo Casey, and previously posted on Edwize.]
On the Disney Company's corporate website, the reader will find a honor roll of teachers from across the United States who have been recognized by the American Teacher Awards, starting with the first class of 1990 and concluding with the last class of 2006. A close examination will reveal that there is no teacher listed as the 1992 honoree in the category of Social Studies. Two of the three Social Studies finalists are listed, but the teacher who was actually named Social Studies Teacher of the Year is missing.*
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president:
Acting on behalf of its more than 1.4 million members, the AFT executive council on Wednesday endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, citing her proven ability to advance our nation's key priorities, and her bold plans for a stronger America.
"Our members have told us that they want a leader they can trust to strengthen public education, increase access to health care, promote commonsense economic priorities and secure America's place in the world," said AFT president Edward J. McElroy. "Hillary Clinton is that leader."
Chris Bowers at Open Left calls it, "the biggest endorsement of the campaign for me so far." Here's a longer quote:
[I hope this post about the changes to No Child Left Behind proposed by Congress proves interesting. It was originally posted on Edwize and written by Edwize blogger Maisie.]
Lest you think that the debate over reauthorizing No Child Left Behind is hard-to-follow/wonkish/a tempest-in-a-teapot or anything like that, note that Jonathan Kozol today entered his 76th day of a partial hunger strike over NCLB.
[I hope this post about the changes to No Child Left Behind proposed by Congress proves interesting. It was originally posted on Edwize and written by Edwize blogger Jackie Bennett in response to a New York Times editorial.]
Every corner of the educational community has protested the consequences of No Child Left Behind, including that the law has narrowed the curriculum and unfairly penalized schools already making progress.
In spite of that, an editorial in the NY Times defends the status quo. Referring to proposed NCLB revisions, the Times complains that the changes will "allow schools to mask failure in teaching crucial subjects like reading and math by giving them credit for student performance in other subjects."
[I hope this post on the recently-released Learning Environment Survey proves interesting. It was originally posted on Edwize and written by Edwize blogger CitySue.]
. . . those who attempt to explain them often do. The so-called Learning Environment Survey released by the city of New York is a case in point.
For teachers the results were gratifying. Nobody -- not even Mike the Master of Spin -- could do anything to diminish a statistically astounding 90 percent approval rate!
[I hope this post by UFT President Randi Weingarten on Hurricane Katrina and its continuing impact on New Orleans schools proves interesting. It's crossposted from Edwize and Eduwonk, where it originally appeared.]
Today we mark the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The images of widespread destruction and needless suffering and death that flashed across our television screens two years ago remain fresh in our collective memory, if only because they were so stark and terrible. For a moment, the reality of the "other America," living in poverty and shut out of the American dream, became real for all Americans. We were shamed by the knowledge that thousands of people, many of them poor or of color, were left for days and days without essential food, water, shelter, medicine and health care as a result of the catastrophic failure of our government. In the wealthiest and most powerful nation of the world, such a failure was a monumental travesty.
We hear a lot these days about what I call "3-D reform," — data-driven decision making and about using tests to improve teaching and learning. Sadly, in this respect, too often, testing has replaced instruction; data has replaced professional judgment; compliance has replaced excellence; and so-called leadership has replaced teacher professionalism.
28,000 home day care workers in New York City are one step closer to joining the United Federation of Teachers. Home day care workers in New York receive government subsidies to care for children from low-income families. They provide meals and snacks, change diapers, and help educate the children in their care.
Pretty important work, right?
In New York City, home day care workers make an average salary of less than $19,000 a year with no pension, health insurance or paid sick days. That makes them among the lowest-paid workers in the region. Read more to find out what's being done about it.