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New York Teacher

New York Teacher, Feb. 2, 2012Highlights from the Feb. 2 issue of New York Teacher:

Schools with high-needs students most likely to face ax
Ten years into Bloomberg’s education reforms, the New York City school system has come full circle and is now shutting down new high schools at the same rate as old ones. High schools established by Bloomberg represent about 40 percent of all existing high schools and 38 percent of the high schools on the closing list.

PS 22, Brooklyn: Principal blamed for plummeting enrollment
For more than five years, the Department of Education has turned a deaf ear to the persistent complaints of the staff that PS 22 Principal Carlen Padmore-Gateau has harassed, humiliated and driven teachers out of the Prospect Park school. According to District 17 Representative Rick King, more than 50 staff members and two assistant principals have been forced out.

PS 215, Queens: Crippled by cuts
The staff and parents of Far Rockaway’s PS 215 — one of the 25 schools on the mayor’s original hit list for this year — paint a picture of a school crippled by four years in a row of budget cuts. Like most of the other schools targeted by the mayor, PS 215, located in a historically neglected outlying neighborhood, serves a high-needs population.

Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Manhattan: ‘This is not a lost school’
A Harlem institution with 111 years behind it, Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts may have narrowly escaped being closed outright by the Department of Education this year, but the school must now battle to save its middle grades from the DOE’s ax — and battling it is.

Legacy HS for Integrated Studies, Manhattan: Improvements don’t count
Legacy HS for Integrated Studies appears to have turned the corner under a new principal, but the Department of Education wants to yank the rug out from under the Union Square school before the new principal’s reforms have a chance to take hold, say staff, students and parents from the school.

Manhattan Theatre Lab HS: Poor air quality, bugs just part of problem
It’s a strange education reform policy that opens a school to great fanfare, allows it to founder and then shuts it down, say staff and students of the Manhattan Theatre Lab HS. Opened in 2004 and touted by the Bloomberg administration as one of the new small schools of the future, it is now on the chopping block.

The city can’t get rid of teachers? Attrition numbers tell a different story
With all the mayor’s talk about firing “ineffective” teachers, it seems there must be a big supply of replacements just waiting in the wings, busily perfecting their lesson plans and brushing up on testing metrics. One can only hope so. Because 6,000 teachers and support staff left on their own last year, even more than the year before.

UFTers protest mayor’s ‘Decade of Disaster’
Enraged at the mayor’s threat to close 33 “persistently lowest achieving” schools and remove half the staff in each school, more than 1,000 UFT-represented educators descended on a Jan. 18 meeting of the city’s Panel for Educational Policy at Brooklyn Technical HS, disrupting the proceedings with whistles and chants before walking out in protest.

UFT: Prepare kids for college, not tests
An administration which has “never stopped congratulating itself for ending ‘social promotion’ has created a new program — ‘social graduation,’” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the City Council Committees on Education and Higher Education on Jan. 19.

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1 Comment:

  • 1 Phyllis C. Murray
    · Feb 9, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Reporters should stop blaming teachers for institutionalized failures the teachers did not create. Randi Weingarten’s speech at the National Press Club spoke of how to create a new path forward to great teachers and teaching. It included 4 components. First, Revamp evaluation systems to ensure they really are continuous models for development and evaluation of teachers. Next, come up with models of due process that are aligned and that are fair and fast. Then, give teachers the tools, time and trust they need to be successful. And finally, overhaul the labor management relationship-to ensure collaboration and partnership is what counts, not conflict and combativeness. And Randi Weingarten was correct! “We know that when we all work towards excellence, and take collective responsibility kids will succeed.”