Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Jersey Jazzman: Dear Reformies: You Got Nothing

Jersey Jazzman: Dear Reformies: You Got Nothing:

You Got Nothing

We haven't played Spot The Pattern™ in quite a while. Who's up for a round [all emphases mine]?


A nonprofit group has begun a public relations campaign to defend Teach for America against critics of the program that places newly minted college graduates in teaching jobs in some of the country’s most challenging classrooms.
The new campaign, called Corps Knowledge, is an offshoot of the New York Campaign for Achievement Now (NYCAN), a network that supports public charter schools and school choice and wants to weaken teacher tenure laws.
Derrell Bradford, NYCAN’s executive director, said the campaign aims to counter attacks on Teach for America’s image, which some people loyal to the program think has been damaged by “a few disgruntled alumni” and other critics. 
Several TFA alumni have written negatively about their experiences, saying that TFA’s five-week training session did not adequately prepare them for teaching in struggling schools and that the two-year commitment that TFA requires adds to the teacher churn in high-needs schools.
“Some of the best people I’ve ever known have worked for TFA — great, caring, smart — and it’s tough to see your friends get dragged through the mud,” said Bradford, who has $500,000 for the campaign and is aiming to raise an additional $1 million to expand it.
[...]
But the new campaign also is answering Teach for America’s harshest critics.
One of them, Gary Rubinstein, writes a blog about education that frequently
- See more at: http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2015/12/dear-reformies-you-got-nothing.html#sthash.pNRkR3Te.dpuf





Cerf finds a “tremendous” job done by his staff in dismal test scores | Bob Braun's Ledger

Cerf finds a “tremendous” job done by his staff in dismal test scores | Bob Braun's Ledger:

Cerf finds a “tremendous” job done by his staff in dismal test scores

Former state testing director, Bari Ehrlichson, now working in Newark talks about the city's PARCC scores.
Former state testing director, Bari Erlichson, right,  now working in Newark,  talks about the city’s PARCC scores.

The scores on the latest round of statewide tests–the so-called PARCC tests–were bad everywhere, but Newark’s fell far behind New Jersey’s statewide averages, according to the state-operated school district’s release of the first round of results Tuesday night.
The high school math scores were especially low–something the district attributes to “lower levels of participation.” In her long and often meandering presentation, Newark’s new testing guru Bari Anhalt Ehrlichson–apparently on loan from the state education department (like Cerf)–said everyone will have to wait to determine why lower levels of participation resulted in only five percent of Newark students meeting or exceeding the standards in second-year algebra and geometry.
“We’ll be digging deeper into that,” said Ehrlichson the former state director of testing, who, last spring, presided over New Jersey’s debacle of allowing Pearson, the publisher of the PARCC test, to spy on students on the days they took the exam and fingered children for possible discipline.
Here’s the breakdown. The figure that follows the test is the percentage of students who met or exceeded “expectations,” a new word for standards. First, the Newark score, followed by the state score, followed by the difference:
Third grade math: Newark, 22 percent; State, 45 percent. 23 points.
Fourth grade math: Newark, 17 percent; State, 40 percent. 23 points.



The College Board under David Coleman: Another Delay– This Time, PSAT Scores | deutsch29

The College Board under David Coleman: Another Delay– This Time, PSAT Scores | deutsch29:

The College Board under David Coleman: Another Delay– This Time, PSAT Scores


David Coleman was at the center of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) development, a position about which he publicly declared post-CCSS that he and others in his Student Achievement Partners (SAP) nonprofit were “unqualified.” (See the video in this post.)
One year later, in 2012, Coleman became president of the College Board, where he thought he would tinker with the SAT “so that it better meets the needs of students, schools, and colleges at all levels.”
Coleman’s tinkering isn’t going so well. In fact, he could well drive the College Board into the ground as his bumbling efforts for an SAT redesign (one that makes the SAT look more like the ACT) results in “updated” messages to test takers and their parents as scores are delayed.
Such was the case for students who took the October 14, 2015, SAT and counted upon the College Board to deliver timely scores for early admissions. Their scores–which were supposed to be delivered using the College Board’s new score reporting system–were delayed for more than three weeks beyond the common November 1st deadline.
And now, students who took the mid-October PSAT are also facing score reporting The College Board under David Coleman: Another Delay– This Time, PSAT Scores | deutsch29:

School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest - The New York Times

School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest - The New York Times:

School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest

At the Margaret Douglas school in Morningside Heights, near Columbia University, the median income in 2014 was $36,000, and the student population was 96 percent black and Hispanic. Credit John Taggart for The New York Times


The segregation in New York City elementary schools is often assumed to be a simple consequence of where people live: If neighborhoods are racially divided, so too will be their neighborhood schools.
But an analysis by a think tank at the New School to be released on Wednesday shows that things might be more complicated. Researchers at the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs mapped the median family income and racial makeup of schools against those of surrounding neighborhoods, and found many of the schools to have markedly less variety.
“We see a lot of areas where income is more mixed, and ethnicity is more mixed, but the schools are not,” said Nicole Mader, an education policy analyst at the center.
The analysts’ maps provide stark evidence of something many New Yorkers know intuitively: Middle-class families, often white, are happy to live in areas where their neighbors are less well-off and are a different color; this is the very tide of gentrification. But they are less willing to send their children to schools where most of their classmates are likely to be poor and either black or Hispanic.
This impulse creates pockets of extremes. More affluent families cluster in particular schools with reputations for good academics. Many middle-class families who are zoned for high-poverty schools choose to send their children to charter schools or gifted and talented programs, rather than to a local school.
Take Public School 36, the Margaret Douglas school in Morningside Heights, right in the backyard of Columbia University and many of its faculty members.
According to the 2014 American Community Survey, the median household income for the school zone was nearly $69,000 a year, and 37 percent of its residents were either black or Hispanic. But at P.S. 36, the New School report said, the median income was $36,000, and the student population was 96 percent black and Hispanic.
“The question is, how do you get families with options to send their kids to these schools,” Douglas Ready, associate professor of education and public policy at Columbia University’s Teachers College, said. “Some of the bad reputations are warranted, but some are not.”
Using data from the city’s Department of Education and the Census Bureau, Ms. Mader and Clara Hemphill, founding editor of the Inside Schools website of the Center for New York City Affairs, arrived at ethnic and socioeconomic estimates for each of the city’s 734 neighborhood elementary schools. At 124 of those schools, serving a population of about 63,000 students, they found the median household income was at least 20 percent lower than the income of the surrounding school zone.
They also found concentrations of extreme racial segregation. At 59 elementary schools in neighborhoods that were at least somewhat racially mixed, student populations were more than 90 percent black and Hispanic.
A report released last year by the Civil Rights Project at the University of School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest - The New York Times:

Tale of two cities – to close or not to close schools? | EdSource

Tale of two cities – to close or not to close schools? | EdSource:

Tale of two cities – to close or not to close schools?



What would you do if you were a superintendent of a school district with hundreds of thousands of children – actually any number of children – and received a bomb threat that you weren’t 100 percent sure was a hoax?
And the threat came less than 10 days after the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11?
In Los Angeles, Superintendent Ramon Cortines chose the “err on the side of caution” route, and shut down the nation’s second-largest school system for a day on Tuesday, despite the inconvenience imposed on tens of thousands of parents and over 600,000 students.
“I am not taking the chance of bringing children any place, into any part of the building, until I know it is safe,” he declared.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, where New York City school officials received a similar threat the same day, they chose to do nothing.
The nation’s largest school system, with more than 1 million students, stayed open.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio said the letter his city received was “so generic, so outlandish, and posed to numerous school systems simultaneously. Kids should be in school today. We will be vigilant. But we are absolutely convinced our schools are safe.”
In a swipe at L.A., New York City police chief William Bratton said the decision to close the L.A. schools was “a significant overreaction.” “We cannot allow ourselves to raise levels of fear,” he said.
Lest anyone think that this was an East Coast-West Coast thing – New York bluster vs. California compassion – Cortines is no stranger to New York: in fact he was once chancellor of the New York City schools. And Bratton was police chief in Los Angeles for nearly a decade.
Maybe Los Angeles officials were understandably more jittery than New York officials after the mass killings in San Bernardino  – which took place less Tale of two cities – to close or not to close schools? | EdSource:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/15/15


CORPORATE ED REFORM





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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/14/15
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