The New York Post Editorial Board is irate at the newly released draft of accountability rules for New York State public schools. Now that the feds have reauthorized No Child Left Behind as the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA), states are left to their own devices in creating their own definition of school quality and accountability. New York’s plan,… Read more →
Laura was weaned on education and equity issues because her mom was a social worker and her dad was a social studies teacher in New York City public schools. She can no more get this passion out of her blood than she can her New York accent, even though she has lived in Central Jersey now for over 20 years. She and her husband have four children, and her youngest has multiple disabilities. Laura has been on her local school board for 12 years. She keeps education leaders on their toes at NJ Left Behind.
Gov. Christie’s real motive in proposing a radical, untenable school funding plan
In just the last week New York and New Jersey residents were confronted with some hard facts about K-12 student outcomes. StudentsFirstNY issued a report that called the de Blasio Administration’s touting of higher high school graduation rates in New York City a “facade” to cover up signs of “systemic failure” proven by “off the charts” rates of student remediation rates in… Read more →
Can we really give a high school a “fair” grade if only 5% of students are ready for college?
Many New York City parents are familiar with the “renewal school” program which, according to the Department of Education, represents a “call to action” to fix the city’s 94 lowest-performing schools by supplementing them with extra support services and about half a billion dollars. Less well known to families is that a sprawling list of schools, many not on the… Read more →
Is preparing students to be “caring adults” a luxury only the toniest of suburbs can applaud?
“Our schools have never been about passing standardized tests,” said NY State Regent Judith Johnson this past Thursday, June 2nd at the Scarsdale Public Library. Calling that goal “too narrow,” Johnson asserted, “The goal of schools is to prepare students to be effective citizens and caring adults.” That sort of pablum, preserved in this week’s edition of a Scarsdale local… Read more →
The Audacity of Accountability: Shame on Long Island’s ‘Wall of Shame’
Michael Goot in the upstate New York Post Star reports on a website called the Wall of Shame that currently highlights 15 school principals and superintendents, most from Long Island, who have expressed support for standards and assessments. In response, the coalition called High Achievement New York sent a letter to several New York State legislators asking them to “ help us… Read more →
Opt Outs driven by more than just union propaganda—blame suburban status quo too
In a recent piece in The 74 Bill Bennett suggests that the opt-out movement in New York is driven solely by teacher union leaders and allies who have spent millions of dollars on robocalls, emails, forums, and other tactics. Their motivation to increase test refusals this year is engineered to undermine “tough, high-quality standardized exams” that “will hold their members accountable… Read more →
How do we keep our ‘snowflake’ students stress-free? Eschew tests and inflate grades
I don’t consider myself a “tiger mom” and, while I haven’t taken a poll, my kids would probably agree that I’m a soft touch. Yet a column this week in the Wall Street Journal called “Here’s Why Tests Matter” brought me up short as it described a “predictable outcry” by parents against the new SAT — “why do we have to… Read more →
Cue the Eyeroll: Hey First-World Parents, Fighting Tests is Not Like Fighting Slavery
Here’s today’s little opt-out gem in the New York Times. At Public School 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, part of District 15, more than a third of the eligible students did not sit for the tests last year, and the principal, Elizabeth Phillips, has in the past been outspoken in opposing them. At a PTA meeting there last week, Ms.… Read more →
When State Ed Leaders Go Rogue: Dangerous Conspiracy Theories of NY’s Betty Rosa
New Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, queen of the opt-out movement in New York State and heroine to teacher union leaders, is reaping widespread criticism for counseling parents to refuse state standardized tests for their children. Even Long Island’s Newsday dings her unprofessional approach towards accountability, noting that Rosa “threw gas on the fire rather than quelling it” when she said that if… Read more →
‘Not-As-Good-As-You-Think’ Schools: Overcoming NJ Suburban Resistance to Reality
Remember the Hans Christian Anderson story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes?” A vain king hires two swindlers who swear to him that they can sew for him the finest suit of clothes that to wise men will be beautiful but to fools will be invisible. The whole court, fearful of appearing foolish, gush over the ostensibly gorgeous garment. But during… Read more →