Friday, March 28, 2014

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Grade Fixing 768

Education Commissioner’s Charter Rally Appearance Stirs Union(YNN)

Spinning Education Numbers is the New Normal 
The Post writes that the New York City schools’ relaxed promotion policy has led to thousands of students being moved up even when they should have passed summer classes or repeated a grade.*
De Blasio should rethink his city schools better test scores victory lap (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio might want to rethink the wisdom of that victory lap he took after state-test scores showed slight improvements for the city’s public-schoolkids. Especially since Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa on Wednesday dumped a bucket of ice water on his boasts of “progress,” noting that scores this year couldn’t be compared to those from last year because the testing changed so markedly. “The whole idea that we put the asterisk there . . . is that we really didn’t want people taking a victory lap,” she said. Ouch.

EDUCATION Farina 180 Now Cell Phones Out Of At Least One School 
After a spike in violence at a high school in the Bronx, NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña became personally involved in the solution, which included getting cellphones back out of the school.* New York lawmakers picked three new members to serve on the Board of Regents, including a Manhattan educator who was endorsed by groups that promote opting out of standardized tests, the Times Union reports: *  Legislators Seek to Promote Diversity at Elite Public HighSchools (NYT) * Merryl Tisch, Board of Regents Chief Who Set Off Testing Backlash, Reflects on Her Tenure (NYT)  Dr. Tisch, who is stepping down this month, said she tried to do too much, too fast during her time as chancellor, but justified her sense of urgency. *The Success Academy charter school network has filed an appeal to a state Education Department ruling that the network must sign a mandated contract in order to receive public dollars for its pre-K programs.* A high schooladmissions test the city’s failing (NYDN) The eight campuses, which together educate 15,000 of the city’s brightest boys and girls, this year made available a dismaying 10% of slots to black and Latino youngsters. This, in a school system where black and Latino students constitute a two-thirds majority. At Stuyvesant High School, just nine African American applicants received offers of admission out of 950 total kids let in. No Stuy diploma needed to calculate that’s less than 1%. The mayor and chancellor lament basing admissions solely on the test for the lack of racial diversity it creates — but legislation to comprise incoming classes based on a combination of test results, grades, attendance or other factors has languished in the state Legislature for years.  For good reason. The elite city schools that already use alternative admissions measures, such as student portfolios, are whiter and wealthier than the eight that solely rely on the exam. Meanwhile, NYU researchers found that while considering grades or attendance in addition to test scores would bring in a few more Latinos, black students would see no benefit — and Asian admissions would decline. In short, a shift from the test would disadvantage the predominantly working-class Asian students who rely on the selective schools as an expressway to success, without solving the diversity problem.  The city should strive now to make Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech and their sibling schools more diverse without upending the test-in system or diluting the culture of excellence.  The place to start: encouraging far more black and Latino students to take the exam in the first place. Unacceptably, 500 fewer did so this year compared to last. Though black and Latino students who take the test have longshot odds of getting in — roughly 4% do, a substantially lower rate than whites and Asians — they can’t get a seat if they don’t compete. So should reinstatement at Stuyvesant and Bronx Science of the Discovery Program, which enables disadvantaged applicants who fall slightly short of the admissions bar to enter following an intensive summer program.H. Carl McCall,the chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees, writes in The Poughkeepsie Journal that the state Legislature must renew NYSUNY2020, which will allow the board to continue setting tuition:* The Daily News writes that de Blasio and his SchoolsChancellor Carmen Fariña can no longer allow inequities to fester when it comes to the lack of black and Latino students at elite public high schools:* She tried to do too much, too fast. That is Merryl Tisch’s appraisal of her tenure as chancellor of the Board of Regents, the top education post in New York, as she prepares to step down at the end of the month. Her critics agree.* The facts are in:NYC’s charter schools are a smashing success (NYP Ed) Between 2006, the first year for which valid comparisons can be made, and 2015, the city almost completely eliminated the gap in English Language Arts and more than halved it in math.  Leading the way, the IBO reports, are the city’s charter schools. After accounting for school demographics, charters have had even greater success compared to state schools than traditional schools in the city. City charters outperform all schools in the rest of the state, on average, by 18.8 percentage points in ELA and 30.1 percentage points in math, after adjusting for demographics. Compare this to the 13.1-point and 12.5-point advantages of traditional schools in the city. *  Violence spikes at city’s Renewal schools (NYP) With 575 students in pre-K to eighth grade, the Central Harlem school named for gospel singer Mahalia Jackson tallied 58 incidents last year to land on the state’s “persistently dangerous” list. The incidents included 33 assaults causing physical injuries, two of them “serious injuries.” Five injuries involved weapons, Department of Education data show. PS/MS 123 is one of 94 struggling schools targeted for millions of dollars in extra help under Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal Program.  Violent incidents have increased at these schools, an analysis by the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools found. Data show an 8 percent jump in 11 types of incidents used to calculate scores on the state’s School Violence Index.

Another Grade Inflation HS Investigation  
Principal who cost city $500K in settlements now accused offixing grades (NYP) A Queens high-school principal who already has cost the city more than $500,000 in lawsuit settlements is now being probed for allegedly coercing teachers to give passing grades to failing students. Department of Education investigators swarmed John Bowne HS in Flushing last week to question staffers about Principal Howard Kwait and the claims of grade fixing, according to sources. “He puts pressure on the teachers to give passing grades to these kids,” said one staffer. “Some of these students they are pushing through are not college-ready.” Officials confirmed that DOE’s Office of Special Investigation is looking into the accusations.* FBI raids Orthodox Jewish schools’ vendors in corruption probe (NYP) * PACKING FOR SCHOOL: Queens 5th-grader brought loaded .380 semi-automatic in his backpack to class after fight with classmate (NYDN) * Eva Moskowitz Success Academy charter school network to open seven schools across NYC (NYDN)
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrewwrites in the Daily News that while charter school advocates boast that they are superior to public schools, a more nuanced look at testing data tells a different story: 

Chancellor's Imaginary Bullying Stop Election Year Civics lessons In School

EDUCATION: DOE Credit Cards Used for Personal Expenses According to 3 Year Old Investigation

With Cuomo quiet, teachers' union goes back on offense against charters (NYP) *The teachers union’s latest slap at charter schools is hypocrisy (NYP Ed) Give Mike Mulgrew fresh points for chutzpah. In his never-ending quest to crush the competition — public charter schools — the United Federation of Teachers chief is calling on Albany to impose stiff penalties, even closure, on charters that don’t meet quotas for “high-need” students. The big irony? The UFT itself admits that charters are teaching a lot more of these kids than they did just a few years ago. * Probe finds ‘dirty dozen’ used DOE credit cards for personal expenses (NYP) Twelve city Department of Education administrators, including top deputies of Chancellor Carmen Fariña, used their DOE credit cards to throw lavish staff parties, bought expensive goods that couldn’t be found, and failed to document thousands of dollars in purchases, an investigation found. Those slapped for violations include Fariña’s second in command, Dorita Gibson, who had no records to justify $3,574 in private parking charges as business-related. Special schools investigator Richard Condon, in a newly released 2013 report, found the dirty dozen misused their “procurement cards,” or p-cards. Several treated fellow supervisors to dine on the taxpayer’s dime at posh eateries such as the Morton’s Steakhouse in Manhattan, Red Rooster in Harlem, Carmine’s, and the Park Side Restaurant in Queens. The city would not say what discipline, if any, was imposed on the 12 administrators, who all got six-figure paychecks. Four have left the DOE.*  While New York City’s largest charter-school network faces another attack for pushing out special-education students, the real special-education scandal centers on the shameful way traditional public schools fail such children, the Post writes: * More than 200 teachers and principals received erroneous scores from the state on a contentious measurement that ties their performance to how well their students do on tests, according to state documents obtained by The New York Times.* More than 200 teachers and principals received erroneous scores from New York state on a contentious measurement that ties their performance to how well their students do on tests, according to state documents, The New York Times reports:    Twelve New YorkCity Education Department administrators, including top deputies of Chancellor Carmen Fariña, used department credit cards on lavish staff parties and expensive goods and failed to document thousands of dollars spent, a city investigation found,* Teachers union launches attack on charters over special-needs students(NYP)

Failing Schools Avoid Closure By Meeting Lowered Performance Standards 
Failing schools avoid closure by meeting lowered performance standards (NYP) Dozens of low-performing Renewal Schools that are at risk of a state takeover or closure have been given such low improvement targets by the city that they have already met them, a review has found. At 39 of the 94 schools — more than 41 percent — at least one of the benchmarks

After Failed to Run A School System Funded by Billions of Dollars Farina Tells A Parent to Buy Rosetta Stone to Teach Her Child A Foreign Language 
Fariña suggests buying Rosetta Stone to learn foreign languages (NYP) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña offered startling advice to parents upset at cuts to foreign language classes: If you don’t like it, buy a $200 Rosetta Stone program so kids can teach themselves. Fariña shocked parents at a community meeting in Inwood on Dec. 15 with her response to a complaint from the mother of a seventh-grader at Harlem’s Mott Hall School, who griped that her son’s French class had been cut from two days a week to only one.* The U.S. Department of Education notified states including New York of actions it may take, including financial penalties, if the percentage of students taking required tests falls below benchmarks set by federal law, Newsdayreports:  * * New York City  Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña offered startling advice to parents upset at cuts to foreign language classes at a recent community meeting by suggesting they buy the $200 Rosetta Stone program for their children instead, the Post reports:  *  The city has lost a four-year, $1 million battle to fire ateacher arrested in the Occupy Wall Street protests (NYP)

What Do You Do When the Gov Falls for the UFT Who Can Help Him Get Re-Elected?
A MODEST LOBBY DAY - POLITICO New York  In lieu of the massive rallies it has held biannually since 2013, the charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools will hold a modest "lobby day" on Jan. 20 in Albany, POLITICO New York has learned. The influential charter group recently decided to put its rally strategy - which has achieved diminishing returns - on hold. Rather than bus tens of thousands of parents and teachers to Albany, lobby day will put FES' legislative efforts more in line with other advocacy groups - education-related and otherwise - whose members convene at the Capitol each winter. While FES typically held its Albany rallies late in the legislative session, close to final budget negotiations, next month's rally day will be held as other groups are flooding the Capitol to meet with lawmakers in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State on Jan. 13, when he will lay out his legislative agenda. * Newsday writes that the state must convince unions, parents and teachers that they have been accommodated as much as possible, and must get students to take state tests this spring to keep federal funds flowing to the state:

Admissions Quota Proposed in Brooklyn School Rezoning (NYT) The Education Department said that students receiving subsidized lunches would be given admissions priority for half the seats at a Brooklyn school that is the subject of a contested rezoning proposal.* * More than 150 low-performing schools where less than 10 percent of the students passed this year’s state math and English exams claimed high pass rates for class work in the same subjects, according to a StudentsFirstNY study, the Post reports:  * Responding to concerns that a plan to redraw two Brooklyn school zones would fill an elementary school with affluent white children that currently serves mostly low-income minority children, NYC Education Department staff members said students receiving free or reduced-price lunches would be given admissions priority for half the seats in each class at the school.*New York City is rolling out a $16.5 million initiative to recruit and retain nonwhite male teachers so that its teaching staff better reflects its student population. * NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña crowed about the city’s efforts to renew troubled schools at a hearing yesterday before the City Council Education Committee at City Hall. * Fariña said she’s no longer willing to wait three years before closing low-performing public schools that don’t show improvement. “I think one year is crucial to see if we have the right leadership and the right teachers in the building,” she explained. * City Makes New Push to Hire Male Teachers of Color (WSJ) New York City is rolling out a $16.5 million initiative to recruit and retain nonwhite male teachers so that its teaching staff better reflects its student population.

DOE to change low teacher ratings after grade-fixing scam (NYP) The Department of Education is moving to upgrade the ratings of teachers at Brooklyn’s Dewey HS who were rated as “ineffective” after they challenged grade-fixing by then-principal Kathleen Elvin * Bloomberg Is No Longer Mayor, but His Schools Agenda Thrives in Albany (NYT)  A group devoted to continuing the education agenda of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has become a powerful force in the capital through lobbying and exploiting rivalries in state politics.  * The NYC Department of Education is moving to upgrade the ratings of teachers at Brooklyn’s Dewey HS who were rated as “ineffective” after they challenged grade-fixing by then-principal Kathleen Elvin.

* Superintendents said the battle over the Common Core standards is having a negative impact on their schools, though 75 percent said the standards have a positive impact on education, according to a new survey, Gannett Albany reports:

Former state education commissioner John King must recuse himself from decisions directly related to New York, even when he takes over as acting US secretary of education after Arne Duncan steps down, according to a federal official.

A group that is devoted to continuing the education agenda of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has become one of the most powerful forces in Albany by pouring millions into lobbying and adroitly exploiting rivalries in state politics.

  • As the state discusses potential changes to Common Core standards, an official in the Cuomo administration is reacting cooly to a package of preliminary recommendations being made by Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, State of Politics writes:

* Common Core opponents predicted that 500,000 students statewide in grades three through eight would boycott spring tests unless Albany pulls back from new exams and teacher evaluations tied to students' scores, Newsday reports:

The state’s education lobby is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers to allocate an additional $2.2 billion next year for the schools — an increase the groups claim is necessary due to the state’s efforts to constrain property taxes.

Parents, teachers and others across New York now have a chance to register their opinions on the Common Core academic standards that form the underpinning of classroom lessons throughout the state.

Though the first public meeting of Cuomo’s Common Core task force did not include a public comment period, the voices of dozens of parents and teachers who attended yesterday’s session at the College of New Rochelle were anything but silent.

State education officials will soon adopt regulations finalizing a new teacher evaluation system, but because of a statutory deadline imposed by Cuomo and the Legislature, they’ll do so without the formal public comment period that’s typically required by law.

Before her death in April, a Harlem principal said she had forged test answers, the Dept. of Education said today: 

Charter school operator Achievement First receives record 21,000 applications for only 1,000 seats (NYDN)

Under pressure from @WNYC and others, NYC schools fessing up on extent of overcrowding …

  • Three-quarters of school districts in the state have applied for waivers from the new teacher evaluation rules to allow more time to implement the controversial system, New York Now reports:

Parents, teachers and others across New York now have a chance to register their opinions on the Common Core academic standards that form the underpinning of classroom lessons throughout the state.

After losing New York’s business, test publisher Pearson has laid off more than 200 employees in Texas.
Few outsiders knew any
thing about Karen Magee before the head of the state teachers union ousted a predecessor considered too willing to compromise and immediately escalated the public war against Cuomo and state lawmakers. She has raised NYSUT’s public profile and the level of confrontation, blazing an assertive public awareness campaign spanning all mediums, from television ads to social media.

OPTING IN: More than 98 percent of students in New York’s five biggest cities took state standardized tests this spring, despite a push by teachers unions to have parents make their children opt out, City & State reports:

About 98 percent of schoolkids in third through eighth grades in the state’s five largest cities took standardized tests in April, according to a tally of unofficial opt-out counts compiled by the pro-testing group High Achievement New York.

  • The Parental Choice in Education Act is a tax break that will benefit mainly the wealthy and Cuomo should instead be investing the $150 million for the plan back into public schools, The New York Times writes:

Campbell Brown reflects on her evolution from network news anchor to education reform advocate, saying: “Sometimes, you stare at a problem and you have to say, ‘I’m sorry, both sides do not have merit.'”

New NY education commissioner on Common Core and evaluations 

* New state Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia must now bring the warring factions in the education reform fight to agreement to help the students who are casualties of this battle, Newsday writes:

  • The Post says state teacher evaluation negotiations have been a “farce” and that lawmakers need to lift the charter school cap and pass the education investment tax credit instead:
Teachers union leaders in upstate New York say they hope the US Senate’s reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind education program will send a message to the state Legislature about the use of standardized testing.

* The State Education Department announced that 144 underperforming schools, nearly half of which are in New York City, will enter receivership, a new designation that puts pressure on the de Blasio administration to quickly show improvement at the city’s most troubled schools, the Times reports:

  • U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer struck a compromise with other senators on a formula for federal education funding that he said would have cost New York millions of dollars for school districts that have large numbers of students from low-income families, the Times Union reports:

* The Daily News gives credit to de Blasio and New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina for overhauling ineffective teachers at two failing Brooklyn high schools and the city’s worst schools should follow their lead:

  • The State Education Department announced that 144 underperforming schools, nearly half of which are in New York City, will enter receivership, a new designation that puts pressure on the de Blasio administration to quickly show improvement at the city’s most troubled schools, the Times reports:

Bill’s timed exam: De Blasio and Fariña are underpressure to start showing real results in improved student achievement (NYDN Ed) * Carmen Fariña rails against Common Core opt-outs (NYP) Fariña said New York City had the lowest opt-out rate on this year’s state Common Core math and English tests in grades 3-8 — just 1.4 percent, compared with 20 percent of students statewide who boycotted the exams. “I don’t believe in opting out,” Fariña said Tuesday on WNYC radio, adding that boycotting standardized exams sends the wrong message to students.* New principal ready to rid grade-fixing HS of ‘Easy Pass’ culture (NYP) *   De Blasio, Fariña are failing on key school challenges (NYP Ed) * Right on, chancellor: Carmen Fariña speaks the truthabout the Common Core standards (NYDN Ed) * De Blasio touts Common Core scores, but tests made easier (NYP) * Families from low-income neighborhoods are more likely to enroll in New York City pre-kindergarten programs, an analysis of Education Department data shows, theDaily News writes:  * Families from low-income neighborhoods are more likely to enroll in city pre-kindergarten programs, a Daily News analysis of Education Department data shows. Kids from areas with median incomes that are below the city average of $51,865 account for 62 percent of registrants in the free, full-day programs that kicked off last week. Charter School Parent Tells Farina She is Wrong on Who Charters Help Carmen Fariña’s ugly lie about which kids charters help (NYP Ed) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña keeps making accusations that discredit and disparage students who attend charter schools. As a mother of special-needs students in both district and charter schools, I want to finally put this myth to bed. In a radio interview last week, Fariña said: “When you look at the parents who make it their business to enter a lottery, that already predetermines a certain section of the population.” The teachers union and other critics of charter schools often make this charge to imply that the academic gains made by students have nothing to do with the school — and that charters are shutting out disadvantaged students in the process. This couldn’t be further from the truth. * The state Board of Regents, which sets education policy in New York, is expected to vote tomorrow on regulations for New York’s new system for evaluating teachers, which was required as part of the state’s $142 billion budget earlier this year.* Amid ongoing issues with the teacher evaluation system, the state Board of Regents plans to establish a panel in place to let teachers to appeal their ratings, board chancellorMerryl Tisch told WCNY’s Susan Arbetter.* During a radio interview, state Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said New York’s teachers may have more room to appeal their annual evaluations under a set of rules that will be up for consideration Wednesday, Gannett Albany reports:  * Tisch also said the state is “toying with” a possible name change for the Common Core, a set of more stringent education standards that has sparked often-contentious debate in school districts across New York, Gannett Albanyreports:  * A report released by the state Association of SchoolBusiness Officials found the total education spending in New York topped $60 billion during the 2013-14 school year, averaging out to $21,812 for each of the state’s nearly 3 million students: *

DOE Fake Probers Continue the Cover-Up of Grade Fixing 
As DOE Own Investigators Found Fariña Wrongly Suspended A Therapists for Fund-Raising for A Project of a 13 Year Old Student With Cerebral Palsy

fixing probers (NYP) Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon issued a blistering report Monday questioning the competency of the Department of Education’s in-house investigative squad — the same unit looking into allegations of test-rigging uncovered by The Post. In a scathing 19-page letter to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Condon concluded that DOE investigator Wei Liu conducted a shoddy conflicts-of-interest probe of Debra Fisher, a veteran therapist at the ManhattanSchool for Children, which serves special-needs kids. Even more troubling, Condon said, was that Liu’s bosses at the DOE Office of Special Investigations provided almost no supervision and simply rubber-stamped his findings.  Top brass admitted they did little more in some instances than look for grammatical errors in Liu’s reports. “The findings of an investigation which recommends the termination of someone’s employment should be subjected to an oversight and review process that includes more than checking for grammar and punctuation,” Condon wrote.*  The New York City Department of Investigation said that there were major flaws in a city Department of Education inquiry that led to the suspension of a public school therapist, The New York Times’ Jim Dwyerwrites:  Wednesday Public Advocate Letitia James is expected to file suit against the New York City Department of Education today over allegations of excessive heat on school buses that transport disabled children, Politico New York writes:   * The Post writes that new test scores show Success Academy is the best public school system in the state and that de Blasio should stop fighting with the charter school network: * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie didn’t close the door to yet another revision of the state’s teacher evaluation law, though nothing is in the works after lawmakers agreed to link test scores to evaluations earlier this year, State of Politics writes: * Heastie: Test Scores Show ‘We Still Have Work To Do’ (YNN) * Speaking in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticized de Blasio’s universal pre-kindergarten program, accusing the mayor of creating the program to appease teachers’ unions. Thursday  In an interview with the Observer, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina discussed state Sen. John Flanagan’s criticism of her, her problems with standardized testing and how long she plans to stay on:* * Cuomo also said schools with high rates of students opting out of standardized tests shouldn’t be penalized through a withholding of federal funds and refused to criticize parents for having their children skip the tests, State of Politicswrites:  * * Chalkbeat created a database of the more than 160 New York City schools that had significant opt-out rates for the 2015 state tests after more than 7,900 students spread across all five boroughs refused to take them: * * Our Town found outstanding health-code violations, some of them severe, at universal pre-K sites across Manhattan, only days after City Hall put out a press release saying that all of the early education centers were good to go: * New York Schools With Many Students Who Skipped Tests Won’t Lose Money (NYT)education officials ended months of uncertainty over how they would respond to a growing movement against standardized exams.State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, sharply criticized the growing test-boycott movement, saying its supporters do not understand the need for Common Core test data in measuring students’ progress and shining a light on areas in need of improvement.* The education reform group StudentsFirstNY studied exam results for NYC kids in grades three through eight and found dozens of schools targeted for improvement still failed to meet city averages. Sunday Teacher waits 4 years in rubber room before guilty ruling (NYP)*  Fariña keeps school meetings private, despite judge’s ruling (NYP)

NYP Uses NY Observer Interview with Farina to Hit Her As Anti-Student
Friday Carmen Fariña admits students aren’t a priority (NYP Ed) Carmen Fariña just confessed her true priorities — and seeing that the city’s children learn what they need to doesn’t even make the schools chancellor’s list. In an interview with the New York Observer, Fariña says, “To me the most important thing is, what do my constituents think of my work? Are teachers happy? Are principals happy? Are parents happy?” Teachers first, principals second — then come parents. And she thinks of them all as her constituents — as if she were elected to look after their interests. Sorry, Madam Chancellor: It’s not about the adults at all. You’re supposed to put thekids’ needs above all else. * State education commissioner slams teachers that encourage kids to sit out of tests (NYDN) * School districts will not be penalized by the federal government for having large numbers of students refuse to sit for the state standardized tests this year, education officials said, ending months of uncertainty over how they would respond to a growing antitesting movement.  * School districts will not be penalized financially for having large numbers of students refuse to take state standardized tests this year, according to state Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, The New York Timeswrites * The education reform group StudentsFirstNY found that New York kids in grades three through eight at dozens of schools targeted for improvement failed to meet city averages on their 2015 test scores, the Daily News writes: * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is taking the common sense approach, unlike Cuomo, that the Indian Point nuclear facility cannot be shut down because of how much New York City relies on its power, the Post writes:  * The Post argues that New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is placing teachers’ and principals’ needs above parents after a recent interview with the Observer: * New York City Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon’s recent uncoverings show that he must be given more power to investigate the failings occurring in the city’s schools system, the Postwrites

 They done her wrong(NYDN Ed)  The city’s Special Commissioner of Investigation for the schools has found what readers of this page knew to be obvious: That the Department of Education subjected occupational therapist Debra Fisher to gross injustice with a 30-day suspension after she put together fund-raising for a project by a 13-year-old student with cerebral palsy at PS 333. Though Fisher had gone above and beyond with permission of her principal, Chancellor Carmen Fariña upheld the idiotic suspension. Prober Richard Condon found that DOE investigator Wei Liu asked leading questions, reported inaccurate answers and “made statements which were not supported by evidence.” Incredibly, Condon found that a DOE lawyer reviewed Liu’s work only for its “grammar, spelling, punctuation and stylistic errors.”What a sham, and shame, that in a system where real wrongdoing goes unpunished, Fisher needed a special probe to clear her name. An apology from Fariña is in order. * With data showing relatively stagnant levels of student proficiency on Common Core-aligned tests and concerns over the teacher evaluation system rising, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has a more holistic view of the state’s education woes. Speaking to the TU’s editorial board, the speaker said it’s time to look at students’ lives both inside and outside the classroom. * Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon issued a blistering report questioning the competency of the NYC Department of Education’s in-house investigative squad.* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the burgeoning movement to opt out students from state-administered tests shows “frustration” with the state’s system of assessing students and evaluating teachers.

Mayor de Blasio’s war on the best public schools in New York (NYP) The Empire State’s top public-school system is no longer in Scarsdale or any other suburb; it’s right here in New York City — the Success Academy Charter Schools network. With 11,000 students in schools across four boroughs, Success is a system in its own right. And it romped in the latest state exams: 93 percent of Success scholars passed the math test, against 35 percent for the city as a whole and 75 percent for Scarsdale. In English, 68 percent of Success kids passed, vs. 30 percent citywide and 64 percent for Scarsdale. That’s why the unions and their ally, Mayor de Blasio, are at war with the charter network. Funny, that: For all the mayor’s talk of inequality, Success Academy is doing more to raise up the city’s disadvantaged than the entire de Blasio administration.

Just 1% of the Grade Fixing Coplaints Have Been Investigated

‘Quotas’ at city schools pressure teachers to pass failing students (NYP) A city agency that investigates school employee misconduct probed only about 1 % * Just 6,000 high school students gained course credits through the controversial tactic of credit recovery in the 2013-14 school year, out of around 330,000 total students enrolled in those grades, the Daily Newsreports: 

City investigated just 3 — of 300 — school misconduct complaints (NYP) percent of the hundreds of cheating allegations it received. A city agency that investigates school employee misconduct has probed only about 1.  The office of the special commissioner of investigation for city schools, Richard Condon, conducted three probes into alleged test tampering and grade changing — out of about 300 complaints — in 2014.  Instead of probing the allegations of academic fraud, the SCI passed most along to the city Department of Education’s investigative unit, the Office of Special Investigations. The SCI operates under the city Department of Investigation and is independent of the DOE. The SCI’s probers, many of whom are retired NYPD detectives, seem better equipped to get to the bottom of fraud than those at the OSI, who are more likely to be lawyers, experts said. “It feels like a police inquiry” when the SCI is involved, said ColumbiaUniversity education professor Eric Nadelstern.

 Teachers say they feel pressure to meet city’s ‘pass quota’(NYP) City teachers say that they are expected to pass a quota of students, and that the pressure gives rise to academic shortcuts and diplomas for the undeserving. Considering how little learning may be going on, a common term for a teacher’s pass rate is ironic — “scholarship.”Near the end of last school year, a Flushing HS teacher was given a list of 10 students failing her class. The assistant principal told her to come up with a “plan” to pass teens who hadn’t done any work. * Don’t play dumb: Fariña’s witnessed cheating in city schools for years (NYP) For example, in the early years of the Bloomberg administration, Fariña served as a Brooklyn superintendent when a Regents cheating scandal erupted right under her nose at the Cobble Hill High School for American Studies. A few years later, Fariña was deputy chancellor for teaching and learning when PS 33, a poor elementary school in the South Bronx, seemed to have hit the jackpot on the state’s reading test. More than 83% of the school’s fourth-graders scored at or above proficiency (or grade level), up from 43% the previous year. The school’s miraculous test results were just 4 percentage points below the average for the richest suburban districts in the state. But as I and The Post’s Yoav Gonen reported at the time, there was actually no education miracle at the school. It was just another case of test tampering which went unpunished because of a bungled investigation by the Department of Education. * City Says It Is Containing Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak (NY1) * State Sen. Rubén Díaz tells City & State’s GersonBorrero that if New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had done his job, then Gov. Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t have had to step in to help the Bronx battle the Legionnaires’ outbreak:
War: de Blasio vs Cuomo, How the GOP Won the Senate, Education Attack

Even the UFT Thinks DOE's Investigative Unit is A Joke . . . Where is the Council Hearing?
Teachers union boss says DOE’s investigative unit must be probed (NYP) In a rare shot leveled at the de Blasio administration, teachers-union boss Mike Mulgrew on Friday blasted the performance of the Department of Education’s ­in-house investigative unit. It’s the same unit that probes grade-rigging and test-cheating cases exposed by The Post. In a letter sent to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Mulgrew demanded a review of all disciplinary cases handled by rogue investigator Wei Liu. Last week, Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon issued a scathing report questioning the competency of the DOE’s Office of Special Investigations for failing to supervise its probers. The criticism centered on the OSI’s lack of oversight for Liu, who Condon found conducted a shoddy conflict-of-interest probe of Manhattan School for Children therapist Debra Fisher. * A pre-K program was the only charter school turned down in bid for more space (NYP) * Teacher who was late 111 times says he was eating breakfast (NYP) * Late 111 times, teacher keeps his job: It’s never about the kids (NYP Ed) * NYC teachers union urges new discipline process (NYDN) * City’s worst-performing schools are also its most segregated (NYP) * Editorial: Learning to share with charter schools (NYDN ED) Charters — privately run, publicly funded schools open to all by random lottery — first appeared on the scene here in 1999. After years of expansion to keep up with demand, more than 200 now serve a record 95,000 students. Yet even after the spurt, more than 42,000 city students are on waiting lists, beating down the doors to get in. Albany legislators this year cut a welcome deal to make available 50 new charters in New York City — but have yet to eliminate the irrational cap that limits their overall number. Meantime, while the city under Mayor de Blasio has approved some colocations, it is telling many charters — which, remember, are public schools — tough luck. Sunday  If de Blasio had done more to help charter schools findlocations, he wouldn’t have the budget bill for co-location that was handed down to him, the Daily News writes, while also calling for lifting the cap on charters in the city and encouraging sharing space when available: Monday  State Education Commissioner Maryellen Elia worked to downplay fears prompted by her recent comments calling the decision to have students opt out of standardized testing “something that is not reasonable,” the Times Union reports:   New York City schools chancellor Carmen Fariña briefly toured two charter schools today in the Bronx and Queens to underscore the productive working relationship she says she has with charter schools, Politico New York writes: * Headline: Cuomo’s high-stakes Common Core test (NYDN Ed) Tuesday Cuomo’s commitment to lousy teachers is failing our kids (NYT)

Monday True News Reported Farina Was Investigating Herself
Today NYP Reports Farina Appointed A Grade-Fixing Panel With Her Loyalists
Carmen Fariña fills grade-fixing probe panel with DOE loyaists (NYP)  “She picked all the people she knew from the system,” one veteran educator said. “It’s so obvious to anybody in the system that it’s business as usual.” The Regulatory Task Force on Academic Policy will be headed by Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning Phil Weinberg, whom Fariña personally promoted from principal of the HS of Telecommunication Arts and Sciences in Brooklyn following her appointment by Mayor de Blasio last year.  They go back years together,” a source said of Fariña and Weinberg.  Last year, Weinberg had to re-organize his office twice within five months, replacing five of the seven top officials he had appointed. He also rewrote the DOE’s Academic Policy Guide, which was supposed to impose stricter rules on the controversial “credit recovery” program for failing students.  “He sees all the data as it comes in. He should be aware of allegations of fraud and mismanagement,” the veteran educator said. “It’s like the fox guarding the hen house.”   * New York’s grade-fixing scandal was entirely predictable — and predicted (NYP) All but one of six seats on an anti-cheating taskforce convened by New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina will be filled by high-level department officials with ties to the chancellor * New York City Councilmen Alan Maisel and Andy King want to hold public hearings on alleged cheating cases at the city’s public schools, but the speaker did not seem as receptive to this idea, the Post reports: 

The Under Game of Farina Reform Talk is Grade Fixing
Carmen Fariña’s fake fix for New York’s worthless diplomas (NYP Ed) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Tuesday tacitly confessed that she’s been presiding over a monstrous pyramid of fraud — but, rather than resign in shame, she just promised to do better. It was a full damage-control offensive, with a phony fix for the worthless-diploma problem, and a strong dose of fresh excuses and lies thrown in. Instead, the chancellor promises “tough reforms” without ever admitting the real problem. Her press release talks of “sporadic allegations regarding academic integrity” — as if schools across the city hadn’t been caught cheating like mad on her watch.  Big picture: It’s a well-reported fact that only about a quarter of New York City high-school students graduate “college- or career-ready.” Yet Fariña & Co. relentlessly pressure schools to reach 60 percent graduation rates.

Albany Not the City Council Wants to Get to the Bottom of Grade Fixing 
As de Blasio Goes After the GOP Control of the Senate the Mayor Will Be Forced to Explain Social Promotion Before Mayoral Control of Schools Are Extended

Grade Fixing
Grade-fixing scandal could spell end of mayoral school control (NYP) Under “mayoral control” of the city’s school system, only Mayor de Blasio has the power to dump Chancellor Carmen Fariña over the scandalous graduation of a high-school student who all but begged to fail and other instances of grade-fixing. But thanks to courageous teen Melissa Mejia, Gov. Cuomo and state legislators may now have the ammunition they need to deny the mayor continued control when it’s up for renewal next year — if not sooner. State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), who leads a committee with oversight of city schools, has already said de Blasio won’t get an extension without appearing before his panel for a grilling in Albany.* She didn’t go to class, but ‘free pass’ grad is heading to college (NYP) * Fire Carmen Fariña — or be complicit in rampant school fraud (NYP)  

Farina to Investigate Herself?  New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina plans to convene an Academic Integrity Task Force to investigate allegations of academic dishonesty, which will cost about $5 million, the Daily News reports: * Long Island Assemblyman Edward Ra said the Legislature will examine allegations of grade fixing as it considers state funding for city schools and extending the mayor’s control over them, the Post reports:  * The Post writes de Blasio must approve of questionableeducation promotion standards and does not deserve control of city schools if he does not fire Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina:* A grade fixing scandal at a NYC high school has prompted some state lawmakers to suggest de Blasio’s control of the city school system shouldn’t be renewed next year. * City creates new task force on cheating in schools (Capital) Move comes after reports of grade-fixing in some city schools * City creates new task force on cheating in schools (Capital) * New York City Task Force Targets Cheating by Teachers and Principals (NYT) After several reports of cheating by teachers and administrators in city schools came to light this summer, the education department announced it would create a task force to confront the issue.* Even as cases of Legionnaire’s disease have increased across the nation, and experts have called for more safeguards, New York City has done little to address the risks water-cooling towers pose as prime breeding grounds for the illness while they power air-conditioning systems in many large buildings.

Carmine Fariña finally takes action on city’s grade-fixing scandal (NYP) Chancellor Carmine Fariña finally took action on Tuesday to tackle the growing grade-fixing scandal plaguing the city’s schools — after the Post’s reports about a failing Queens student who graduated from high school because her principal pressured teachers to keep graduation rates highFariña announced what officials called “an aggressive new approach to holding schools accountable for adhering to academic policies,” according to a statement.

The chancellor said a task force headed by Phil Weinberg, the deputy chancellor for teaching and learning, will “provide oversight, as well as new training and resources to ensure all schools comply with rigorous policies and standards.”

More Evidence Chancellor Farina Lowering Standards  

E-mail exposes plot by city high school to ‘fix’ failing test scores (NYP) A smoking-gun memo proves that a Queens high school improperly used its own teachers to change Regents test scores in a bid to boost its graduation numbers — despite repeated denials by city officials. “It’s important that this is done quickly so that students will be able to graduate in June if more points are found,” Christine Jordan, an assistant principal at Richmond Hill HS, e-mailed staff. Assistant principal Christine Jordan sent out this email in effort to find teachers who would help her fix students’ Regents exam scores. In April, Jordan wrote that she was assembling a team of three teachers to look at 12 Regents English exams “in need of re-scoring.” The exams were given in January * 62 City Schools in Bottom of Rankings Will Be Put in Steward Program (NYT) Putting pressure on the de Blasio administration to show improvements, new state law gives the New York City schools chancellor temporary authority to make broad changes.
Collapse of summer-school enrollment a clear sign of falling standards (NYP) No, the dropoff in city summer-school enrollment is not a sign of progress. It’s proof that the bad old days of “social promotion” are back: The system is sending children on to the next grade, even though they’re not ready. Any who doubt it need only review Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s own words. If a child hasn’t mastered the basics in one grade before moving on to the next, he or she is at great risk of falling even further behind. But many schools and teachers would rather pass the hard-to-teach kids along, anyway. To stop that, Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s chancellors insisted that kids who failed state English or math tests attend summer school. Those who did well enough would move on — those who didn’t would repeat the grade. But Fariña changed that last year. Instead, “a comprehensive evaluation of student work using multiple measures” decides who moves on. The change, she promised “keeps rigorous standards in place.” To that end, the same Department of Education press release promised, about the same 10 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 would wind up in summer school. (“The DOE anticipates consistent levels of retention with this new approach.”) Oops: When summer-school numbers came out a few months later, enrollment was down 25 percent. Fariña insisted it was an “anomaly” — not a sign of lower standards. * Out for summer because the city is promoting kids who can’t cut it (NYDN) Discouraging news for those concerned with pulling out all stops to help the city’s public school students meet tough new Common Core standards: Principals are sending many fewer kids to summer school, putting attendance at a six-year low. Which will mean thousands of struggling young people will have long interruptions in their educations — and are that much less likely to make up ground. This year, the city recommended that just 19,400 third- through eighth-grade students take summer classes — 6.2% of all eligible kids, down from 7.4% last year and 10% the year before that. And if last year — when just 1.2% of students were held back at the end of summer, half the rate of 2013 — is any indication, that will result in far fewer kids repeating a grade. *  The Post writes that the dip in summer school enrollmentin New York City is not a sign of progress, but rather the result of a new policy that pushes kids through the grades even if they are not prepared to move on: * The drop in summer school numbers is a bad omen for upcoming Common Core testing, as kids struggling in school are hurt by the interruption in schooling over the summer, The Daily News writes:  * Pro-Common Core group wants state to review test quality (Capital) * In The End, Cuomo Didn’t Get It All On Education (YNN) * High Achievement New York, an education reform group, released policy recommendations urging that state to ensure that New York exams align with the Common Core standards, Capital New York reports:  * Progressive groups claim 200 protesters plan to rally at the East Hampton home of a hedge fund manager and charter school advocate who is hosting a July 11 fundraiser for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Capital New York reports: * In The End, Cuomo Didn’t Get It All On Education (YNN)* New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee described a failed education tax credit and changes to the Board of Regents among the union’s victories this legislative session, State of Politicsreports:   * Mayor and DOE redefine passing so few kids fail(editorial) (SI Advance) * As a new state education commissioner is arriving, several top officials in the Education Department are departing. * New York Education Dept. Picks New Company to Develop State Tests (NYT)  Questar Assessments was awarded a five-year, $44 million contract, replacing Pearson, a company that has become a lightning rod in education policy. * Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, and state Sen. Simcha Felder said they are concerned about grade-fixing in the city’s credit recovery program after the dismissal of a Brooklyn principal, the Post reports: * State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who started the job this week, told parents and educators of the Sweet Home district in Amherst that one of her first orders of business will be a review of the controversial Common Core Learning Standards and accompanying assessments, as well as how the state uses those tests to evaluate teachers. * The state Education Department is dropping its supplier of standardized math and English exams, Pearson PLC, in favor of a new firm, Questar Assessment. In making the announcement, education officials stressed they want New York teachers to be more involved in developing the new exams, which are given in grades 3 to 8. *  Questar, a Minnesota-based company, received a five-year, $44 million deal. Pearson’s contract was $32 million.  * The “credit recovery” system ­under which administrators at John Dewey HS in Brooklyn fixed grades to boost graduation rates should be scaled back, if not scrapped, a top state education official said. *   The “credit recovery” system ­under which administrators at John Dewey HS in Brooklyn fixed grades to boost graduation rates should be scaled back, if not scrapped, a top state education official said. * Two of city’s worst-performing schools overhauling staff (NYT) * NYC Education Dept. fires half of staff at two struggling Brooklyn schools (NYDN) * 100 Percent of Black Students Graduate from Brooklyn CollegeAcademy in New York 

Cheating Scandal Principal Loses Job After Post InflationGate Report
Ousting one principal won’t remedy city schools’ grade-fixing (NYP) Now it’s official: John Dewey HS in Brooklyn passed kids who didn’t deserve it. And it may be just the tip of the iceberg for a problem that plagues the schools — and hides the truth from the public. A bombshell report by the city Department of Education’s special investigator just confirmed what The Post’s Carl Campanile was first to report: Dewey students in “credit recovery” programs to make up for failed courses barely had to lift a finger to pass. “Students were not required to receive instruction to obtain credit,” said the report. “No instruction was provided” in the classes, and at least one school official urged grading based on students’ attendance.  * John Dewey High School principal to lose job after cheating scandal investigation (NYDN) * The Post writes that the dismissal of a Brooklynprincipal found to have promoted students without reason is the tip of the iceberg and that a grade-fixing culture permeates public schools: * Brooklyn principal fired in grade fixing scandal (Capital)
Hey NYP Why is This Education News? 
We Thought Fariña  Was Worried About Education Not Selfies

Carmen Fariña is NYC’s latest selfie star(NYP) This celebrity selfie craze is getting out of hand — with even Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña saying she’s being hit up by fans for snapshots. The leader of the nation’s largest school system said she has so many admirers wanting to snap photos with her that she can’t even go to the market without getting all gussied up for the inevitable photo op.* Brooklyn Charter School New Hope Academy Gets a Reprieve (WSJ) New York authorities gave conditional renewal to a school founded by Bishop Orlando Findlayter * Latest Admission Rates Point to Continued Lack of Diversity in City's Specialized High Schools(NY1) * UFT president says schools will ‘suffer’ thanks to Cuomo’s testing * The anti-Common Core movement is getting some support from Assembly Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan, who says she is considering legislation that would “reaffirm a parent’s right to opt out,” State of Politics reports

EDUCATION What is Next Chancellor Farina, Where is the Plan for Poor Preforming Schools? 

The 2013-14 teacher evaluation rating data found 95 percent of the state’s educators were either effective or highly effective.* Cuomo links lawmakers’ names to failing schools *In Report, Cuomo Points To Failing Schools * The Staten Island Advance supports de Blasio in his disagreement with Cuomo over education policy, and calls on local lawmakers to do the same.

In Video, StudentsFirstNY Highlights Education Rally (YNN) * NYSUT Knocks ‘Clueless’ Cuomo On Teacher Evals(YNN)* De Blasio Parts With Cuomo On Testing, School Takeover(YNN) * A federal investigation found that New York City public schools have long denied girls an equal chance to play high school sports and the schools need to add 3,862 more spots for girls to reach fair access, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * It’s time for girls to “gear up,” now that the New York City Department of Education has responded to a Title IX probe by agreeing to survey girls and add sports teams they’re interested in, the DailyNews writes: * Stewart-Cousins Gives Nod To Teachers(YNN)
School chaos ahead: Dropping basic discipline (NYP Ed) * A day after a top Cuomo aide signaled plans to overhaul the state’s education structure, Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz registered her organization as a lobbying entity, State of Politics 
New York’s diplomas leave too many kids out (NYP Ed)* State Education Department officials agree with Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the state should make “a close examination” of how a Massachusetts law allowing for state takeovers of underperforming schools is working there.* City’s new rules make it tough to discipline unruly students (NYP)* Blackboard bungle (NYP Ed) The New York Civil Liberties Union, members of the City Council and the mayor have just found their newest straw man: school suspensions. On Friday, Carmen Fariña made it official. New York’s public schools, she announced, are going to make it more difficult for principals to suspend students. She defended her new approach in part by noting that African-American kids are four times as likely to be suspended as their peers. Leave aside that suspensions are actually down significantly the last two years. The more important point is that suspending an unruly student is an important tool for teachers to maintain enough order in their classrooms so the rest of the class can learn. The numbers tell us nothing by themselves. Nor does the racial breakdown. * Suspension Rules Altered in New York City’s Revision of School Discipline Code (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration on Friday announced long-awaited revisions to school discipline policies, including new suspension procedures. *  Flanagan: Don’t Let Ethics Eclipse Education (YNN)* Most New York City charter schools’ disciplinary codes do not meet either state or federal requirements, according to a report by a children’s advocacy organization to be released today, The New York Times reports: * New York’s diplomas leave too many kids out(NYP ED) While students in New York state struggle with the new Common Core-aligned Regents Exams, the state Board of Regents has another nasty surprise looming on the horizon. By 2022, students will not only have to pass five Regents Exams to graduate, they’ll have to score at least 75 percent on the English exam and 80 percent on the math exam. Get set for graduation rates to fall even further.* Retired New Yorkteachers are raking in SIX-FIGURE pensions(NYP)* Overhauled public school discipline code to cost $5M: officials (NYDN) The money will pay for training in conflict resolution for school staff and other aspects of the changes, which have been praised by Mayor de Blasio.*

The de Blasio administration’s push to reform student disciplinary measures will only disrupt the students who are trying to learn and encourage insubordination and chaos Less supensions, more insubordination in NYC's schools (NYDN Ed) Suspend your disbelief and try to swallow this proposition: Fewer students will disrupt New York public schools if principals suspend fewer disruptive students. That is the line Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña are selling as they limit principals’ ability to remove kids from classrooms when they act out. The mayor and chancellor assert that current disciplinary practices damage students. They also see racial unfairness because the makeup of those suspended doesn’t precisely parallel the composition of the school system. As evidence of bias, advocates point out that blacks make up 26% of the student body but were 53% of those suspended in 2013-14. At the same time, though, Hispanic students make up 40% of the school system and are 35% of those suspended. And boys, who represent half of the school system, are suspended more than twice as frequently as girls.

Carmen Fariña, NYCschools chancellor, has dismantled Bloomberg-era policies without spelling outwhat's next:(NYT)* Carmen the Toreador(NYP Ed) Cuomo’s bid to have student test scores account for half of a teacher’s evaluation, up from the current 20 percent? Forget it, she said. “We need a human touch anytime we evaluate anyone for anything,” says Fariña. What about having 35 percent of an evaluation’s score come from an outside observer — instead of principals? Nope, not that, either. “I am very much aware that we need to hold everyone accountable, but you can’t do it with someone who’s coming from the outside with a checklist,” says Fariña. Funny thing: This is the same woman who just re-centralized the entire management structure to make principals — to whom Mayor Michael Bloomberg had given greater autonomy in exchange for accountability — now report directly to her hand-picked “outside” superintendents. And let’s put this in perspective: Under New York’s existing structure, only 1 percent of teachers are deemed ineffective — in a school system where only 31 percent of their students passed state tests! Fariña also pooh-poohed Cuomo’s call to raise the cap on charter schools on the grounds they take space from traditional public schools. So what? Charters are public schools, and they create a clear apples-to-apples comparison of the abilities to teach kids from identical demographic pools. Charters not only prove these children can be educated, in some cases they compete with some of the best schools in the entire state. In the opera Carmen, the eponymous hero is a fearless lover of freedom. In the real-life office of the New York City chancellor, we could sure use a Carmen with that same fight and spirit, willing to challenge teacher union orthodoxies rather than enforce them.* A lesson inimpotence from Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña (NYDN Ed)  Opposing Cuomo’s smart reforms is a dumb move. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, a staunch opponent of Gov. Cuomo’s education reform agenda, just inadvertently underlined why that agenda must become law forthwith. A profile in Sunday’s New York Times reveals how cozy Mayor de Blasio’s Department of Education, led by Fariña, is getting with teachers union boss Michael Mulgrew — apparently to the poisonous point of giving failing educators a pass. Now, via The Times, comes word that she is not only pooh-poohing the need for new legal authority to identify and fire bad teachers, but failing to use the management tools she already has. Despite an arbitrator’s ruling last year codifying principals’ ability under the current contract to review teachers’ lesson plans — a right any school leader must be able to exercise — she and Mulgrew last year sent a jointly signed email warning principals against routinely collecting teachers’ plans. Two unnamed high school principals “chafed” upon reading the directive. And rather than using the power the law gives her and principals to remove incompetent tenured teachers, the Department of Education initiated nearly one-fourth fewer teacher termination cases in 2014 than it did in 2013. Did the quality of instruction magically get 25% better when de Blasio and Fariña took over? Just one-third of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students are being adequately prepared for college or careers by their schools and teachers. In 40 schools, students have ranked in the bottom 10% of English and math proficiency for five years running.* Kathryn Wylde: Coumo's ed reforms are good for business (NYDN)* Charter school leader Eva Moskowitz writes in the Journalthat teachers unions have perpetrated a big lie in saying charter schools cherry-pick students and push out those who need extra support: * New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is “pooh-poohing” the need for new legal authority to identify and fire bad teachers and failing to use the management tools she already has, the Daily News writes: * Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan predicted that lawmakers would hike next year’s statewide school aid by more than the $1.1 billion offered by Cuomo, and that at least $550 million of that would go toward restoring funds cut in the wake of the Great Recession.* Seven NYS teachers of the year blasted Cuomo in an open letter, saying they’re “deeply hurt” by his proposed education reforms. “This is personal.” (This letter first appeared in the TU, now it’s in the Washington Post).* Charter School Group Needles Teachers Union Leaders (Updated)(YNN)* Nearly 5,000 teachers are cashing in on their six-figurepensions(NYP)

Farina Rearranges Deckchairs on the Education Titanic  


Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is expected to announce today principals will once again report to superintendents and regional centers, a shift from the prior administration’s management philosophy, the Times reports: * Veteran civil servant Christopher Caruso will lead the charge to create 128 new community schools with expanded services under a new division in the New York City Education Department, the Daily News reports: 


The city’s school support networks, which provide services such as teacher training and school budget consulting, had no impact on academic performance, according to a study by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña plans to announce that she will dismantle the city’s 55 school support networks. ** Ahead of an announcement by New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on overhauling citywide school support networks, a report finds the system fails to boost student achievement, the Daily News reports:  *new report says the NYC Education Department’s support networks for public schools fail to boost student achievement, just days ahead of an announcement by city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to overhaul the massive, citywide system. * Voters trust education professionals over politicians to set policy, according to a new Siena College poll.

Queens lawyer joins legal fight to overhaul teacher tenure for his kids(NYDN)* Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos has issued a statement urging @NYGovCuomo to include an education tax credit in his #nybudget proposal* Icahn Charter Schools sue city over space to expand(NYP)

Sunday Update

Friday Update
The de Blasio administration managed to boost enrollment in after-school programs for middle school children this year, but still fell short of its lofty goals, the New York Post writes:  * Because CarmenFariña says so (NYDN)  New York’s schools chancellor continues her troubling history of ignoring educational evidence

Thursday Update 
New York City Education Department to Add or Expand 40 Dual-Language Programs(NYT) Carmen Fariña, the schools chancellor, said the programs for elementary, middle and high school levels would be created or expanded for the 2015-16 school year.De Blasio and Fariña plan to shift power from principals to superintendents (NYP) Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña plan to undo the school governance system put in place by the Bloomberg administration and shift power from principals to district superintendents, The Post has learned. * It’s a terrible idea to allow cellphones in schools(NYP) * DOE names accused racist to ‘school improvement’ post(NYP)  The de Blasio administration promoted a disgraced principal to a top Department of Education post despite multiple charges that she’s racist, The Post has learned.

Farina Charters Dumping Poor Students Before Tests While Her DOE Lose Millions by Not Filing for Federal $$$

Fariña Dumps Also
Fariña’s cherry bomb(NYP)  Remember Carmen Fariña’s false accusation that charter schools do better on performance tests because they rig results by weeding out the bad students — such as kids struggling with English? Turns out Fariña was a practiced cherry-picker herself, during her time as a principal and superintendent. When Fariña served as principal of the Upper East Side’s PS 6, for example, the school enrolled only 1 percent English Language Learners, or ELLs, in a district where the average was 13 percent. A flattering 1999 profile in The New York Times reported that Fariña ruled her public school “by determining who gets in and who doesn’t,” a ruthless process it characterized as “Darwinian selection.” In that same piece, far from denying she was cherry-picking the best students, she boasted to the Times that her school was more selective than Harvard.

* New York City Department of Education officials said Sunday they had matched 45 high-poverty schools with 25 social service partners to create “community schools” in an effort to boost attendance, prevent dropouts and improve achievement, The WallStreet Journal reports:  Fariña criticizes charter schools while city lacks diversity(NYP) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Mayor de Blasio need look no further for educational inequalities than in their own back yards, where they’ll find public schools that are among the best in the city. Fariña is one of those complaining that charter schools — mostly located in the city’s poorest neighborhoods — don’t enroll enough non-English-speaking immigrants and students with disabilities.* Teacher retirements in New York state have increased 10 percent since 2010, while active staff members have fallen 5.5 percent over the same time period, Gannett Albany reports:  Cuomo’s struggle to extend the school day  Arguably governor’s least successful competitive grant program* * Education Commissioner John King said yesterday that classroom observation, including student feedback, will be a “central issue” next year for the Legislature as it seeks to fine tune controversial teacher evaluations, Gannett Albany reports Selective high school entrance exams ‘tested’ by City Council(NYP) * New York’s Deal With Principals’ Union Includes Back Pay(NYT) New York City has reached a tentative contract deal with the union representing school principals that would raise their salaries substantially and give them retroactive pay, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday.* A majority of trainee teachers flunked theirliteracy test (NYP)

New York’s top education official has sent a timely shot across the city’s bow — warning that school renewal plans unveiled by Mayor de Blasio may well fall short of the genuine accountability the state has every right to demand.
Cheers to Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch for clarifying that kids will never be rescued from failing schools if the worst teachers remain in their classrooms.* New York charter school audits reveal $28 million inquestionable expenses (NYDN)  Investigators uncovered probable financial mismanagement in 95% of the schools they examined. It is estimated wasteful spending at charters could cost taxpayers more than $50 million per year. The Center for Popular Democracy’s analysis charter school audits found investigators uncovered probable financial mismanagement in 95% of the schools they examined.

Sunday Update 

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s favorite target. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña — who once said charter-school students were “on their own” — has now spread the incendiary falsehood that the independently run, publicly funded schools inflate test scores by breaking the rules. Coming from the head of the nation’s largest public school system — educating 85,000 kids in charters, with 50,000 more banging on the doors to get in — this is the height of irresponsibility.* Since 1990, city's share of total funds committed to NYC DOE increased from 46% to 57%, per @nycibo. State's 45% to 36%. Federal 9% to 7%.

Fariña Controls Spins Image Carefully   
Fariña micromanaging town-hall meetings with parent groups(NYP)  She’s been accused of micromanaging classroom teachers — and now parents. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is requiring that presidents of community education councils — which help shape school policies — meet with staff to answer, in precise detail, how ongoing, hour-long local town-hall sessions will be run. Questions on a printed template obtained by The Post include: “Who will greet her [Fariña]? Will there be a timekeeper? What will the stage look like? And what will the chancellor see when she arrives?”
Saturday Update 
Chancellor Is Criticized For Remarks on Charters(NYT) Carmen Fariña said at a conference that some charter schools push students out before they take state tests and later replace them with high-scoring children.* Charter advocates demand Farina back up claim schools rig results(NYP) Charter advocates are demanding Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina produce evidence of a startling claim that some charter schools are rigging results by dumping poorly-performing students right before state exams. “The chancellor’s charge that there is a ‘whole movement out of charters the month before the [state] test’ is incorrect and irresponsible,” said Families for Excellent Schools executive director Jeremiah Kittredge. “Unless she can back up this statement with facts, she should withdraw it.”

Chancellor Fariña has the UFT & AQE anti-charter school talking points down pat.New battle betweencharter school advocates, City school boss Carmen Fariña(NYDN) Fariña’s comments at a conference hosted by Crain's New York Business echo longstanding concerns of many city educators who think charter schools serve fewer challenging students. City schools boss Carmen Fariña is in a fresh battle with charter school advocates after she accused the schools of inflating their scores by pushing away needy students. Fariña, who leveled the charges at a conference hosted by Crain's New York Business in Manhattan, had been seeking to soften the city’s relationship with the publicly funded, privately run schools... * .Fariña fibs(NYP Ed) If you can’t beat ’em — make up excuses. And who cares if they’re true? “There shouldn’t be a whole movement [of students] out of charters the month before the test,” Fariña said Thursday, implying charters push out weaker kids to inflate their average test scores. One problem: There’s no evidence for either claim. None. In fact, charters retain students, even lower-performing special-ed ones, at higher rates than traditionals. On top of this, the mayor — Fariña’s boss — is well-known for his anti-charter hostility and on Friday backed up his chancellor. Of course, Fariña’s falsehoods about charters are a backhanded admission that the schools she runs are being outperformed.* Weingarten on de Blasio’s ‘audacious’ community schools(Capital) The U.F.T. hosted an event to introduce politicians to the community school model on Thursday
Stunning ignorance from NYC chancellor - Fariña fibs  via @nypost
Sunny in Philadelphia(NYP Ed)These days, Philly is busy redefining the progressive city. Start with education. Like New York, Philly has a wait-list, 40,000 long, for kids hoping to get into charter public schools. Unlike New York, Philly is working to satisfy that demand.

Does the Daily News Think Principals Will Criticize Chancellor Farina Who Has Replaced 15 Superintendents?  Fuck Meritocracy   
Social Promotion?  7 of the 15 Superintendent Replacements Were From Low Preforming Schools
City principals give overwhelming approval to Schools ChancellorCarmen Fariña(NYDN) EXCLUSIVE: A survey of more than 1,000 school leaders shows a whopping 91% of principals said they were satisfied or very satisfied with Fariña’s oversight of schools in the June survey, according to results obtained by the Daily News.* A survey of more than 1,000 school leaders shows a whopping 91 percent of principals said they were satisfied or very satisfied with New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s oversight of schools, theDaily News reports: 

Council Members Who Come From District That Lack Diversity Demand That Better Performing Schools Increase Diversity 
Council’s craven ‘diversity’ drive(NYP) Lander’s legislation is a Trojan horse: Its “pro-diversity” shell disguises an attack on charter schools and the “disproportionate” number of Asians attending the city’s elite specialized high schools. His bill does the bidding of the UFT, which despises high-achieving charter schools (and their young black and Hispanic scholars). Charters are overwhelmingly minority because the legislative mandate creating them required that they be placed in low-performing districts, which happen to be in racially segregated minority communities. There’s no secret racism at work here. Oddly enough, Lander and his high-minded colleagues represent racially and ethnically drawn districts that reflect our city’s racially segregated neighborhoods (or more politically correct, “ethnic enclaves”). No one has suggested creating racially integrated council districts. * Our public school system shouldn't lower the bar for admission to its best high schools, instead it should move to close the achievement gap by improving the quality of the education in schools serving African-American and Latino children, Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation's Larry Cary writes in am New York

You're Fired: Chancellor Farina Its About Personal Not Bad Schools Performance 
Social Promotion Superintendents
Seven of the 15 new superintendents appointed by New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña led schools that were rated below average
Fariña’s new superintendents led low-grade schools(NYP) Seven of the 15 new superintendents appointed by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña led schools that were rated below average. Superintendents Maria Lopez, Mabel Muñiz-Sarduy, Leticia Rodriguez-Rosario, Danielle Giunta, and Rafaela Espinal were principals at primary schools that received poor ratings on school- progress report cards or whose students scored below city averages on state exams this year. Muñiz-Sarduy, Lopez, and Rodriguez-Rosario all led schools where students struggled on the state’s tough Common Core tests. At the high-school level, former School for International Studies principal Fred Walsh claimed he had no idea his assistant principal dismissed eighth-graders on the last day of school in June 2011 while marking them present. Joining him is Michael Prayor, whose Brooklyn HS for Law and Technology prepared only 12 percent of its students for college and had a graduation rate of merely 49 percent in 2013.New York State will conduct a compliance review of school districts’ enrollment procedures in an effort to eliminate barriers to schooling for undocumented immigrant children, the Times writes:* Finally shred the charter-school cap (NYDN Ed) Why limit the spread of success?

Fariña Moves to Control Superintendents
 New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who has been blasted in recent weeks for failing to roll out a program for citywide school improvement, swapped 15 of 42 city school superintendents, or nearly 36%, in her biggest personnel shakeup since taking office, the Daily Newsreports: The Daily News praises the education reforms championed byRegents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and State Education Commissioner John King as anecessary evolution to prepare students for a changing economy: De Blasio admin underestimated how much city would have topay in contract agreement w teachers union:(Capital)* Skills to pay bills(NYDN Ed) A wise and economically crucial step forward for career and technical education in New York* Parents at one Brooklyn day-care site say their 3-year-olds were unceremoniously dumped to make room for the mayor’s preferred, high-paying pre-kindergarten programs, the Postwrites: 

Fariña fires away(NYDN Ed) Good for the chancellor for replacing many school superintendents. Principals deserve similar authority.* New York Schools Chancellor Replaces 8 Superintendents(NYT) The major personnel reshuffling was the first since Chancellor Carmen Fariña took over in January.* De Blasio has pushed for expanding access and improving quality of pre-K programs, but we still need to help parents, administrators and policy makers see that classrooms that pulse with meaningful play are our smartest investments, Bank Street College’s Shael Polakow-Suransky and Nancy Nager write in the Times: * Schools chancellor welcomes new public schoolsuperintendents: 'You are the anchors of the system'(NYDN)  Carmen Fariña gave a rousing speech to a new crop of superintendents in the wake of firing nearly 36% of the high-ranking officials. She put much of the responsibility of overhauling the city’s public schools in their hands, encouraging them to be ‘on the ground visiting and listening.’* Retired teachers still awaiting back pay(Capital) * Brilliant, Bill (NYDN Ed) The mayor smartly promotes gifted-and-talented entrance exams to all in pre-K

Daily News Farina Education Plan Ineffective But Feel-Good Methodology  

Fariña Took Credit For Education Improvements in Park Slope Which Was Really Caused By Gentrification
Thursday Update 
City schools overcrowding audit only skims the surface — census of schools is kept lower than reality, sources say(NYDN)

Reading Fariña(NYDN Ed) Chancellor should not revive failed curriculum, The sooner Fariña spells out her plans for what’s known as “balanced literacy,” the better. The pressing issue is how extensively she expects to meld the approach with more rigorous means of teaching reading.  The balanced literacy way of coaching children to read has been shown to be an ineffective but feel-good methodology that often fails low-income kids. Rather than sticking their noses in challenging books and absorbing real knowledge, kids would choose their own reading material — frequently works of fiction — and write a great deal about their own lives. Rather than having lessons led by teachers, kids would in many cases guide their own instruction. The well-intended idea: to spark a love of reading and writing. The on-the-ground effect: Students, especially from low-income families, failed to master the basics, and therefore failed to make achievement gains. Turns out, students — especially students who aren’t exposed to many books at home — need structure. Turns out, they need real knowledge. Which is one reason educators shifted to the Common Core, which encourages a different way of teaching reading. * New York City Council members are pushing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to overhaul the discipline code for city public schools and cut down on suspensions, the Daily News reports: 
* An effort is underway to create a statewide anti-Common Core ballot line for the November elections, which, if the 15,000 necessary signatures are gathered, would give voters the opportunity to vote for candidates who have expressed opposition to the new test standards, State of Politics reports: 
City Schools to Try Bending Some Rules This Fall (WSJ)* The New York public school system serves adults at the expense of kids and the recent lawsuit challenging teacher tenure is proof folks are becoming fed up with the way the school system protects bad teachers, the Post writes: As New York City Expands Pre-K, Private Programs Fear Teacher Drain(NYT)* * Vergara v. California, the teacher tenure lawsuit in California, provides a legal road map to better public schools for the rest of the states, Joshua Lipshutz, one of the attorneys in Vergara v. California, writes in the Wall Street Journal: * Ignorance vs. the Common Core (NYDN) * A new labor contract which included an incentive that allowed those who retired before July 1 to collect retroactive raises in a lump sum has led to more retirements of New York City teachers, the Journal reports: * As their political clout fades, teachers unions have been wielding another kind of power: the financial strength of the billions of dollars in their members’ pension funds.* The New York parents who are challenging the state in court have one goal in mind: ensuring that all of our public school children have good teachers, Campbell Brown, founder of the Partnership for Educational Justice, writes in the Daily News:

How Does A City Get Rid of Temporary Classroom When School Buildings Are the Most Overcrowded in Years?
 Far from the educating crowd(NYP) Here’s a riddle: When school enrollment is flat and you’re adding seats, how do you end up with overcrowding? Answer: Have the city’s Department of Education run the joint.This is no joke. A report released last week by the city’s Independent Budget Office shows a spike in the number of students stuck in “overcrowded” buildings — from 403,403 in 2007-2008 to 446,751 last year. That’s a jump of almost 11 percent. In other words, New York is fast approaching the point where half our students will be stuck in overcrowded buildings. *At pre-K event, Silver reminds de Blasio: Don’t forget classroom trailers  

Schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, has vowed to rid the schools of trailers within five years, though, at the same time, she is also trying to find space for thousands more students expected to enter the system as Mayor Bill de Blasio expands prekindergarten. And the state budget deal reached last week is quite likely to make the task even harder, since it compels the city to find room in public school buildings for new charter schools, or help pay for their space costs.* * A new audit by New York City Comptroller Scott Stinger found one-third of the city’s public school buildings were overcrowded during 2012, yet school officials produced no clear plan to deal with the problem, Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez reports:

Schools Chancellor Fariña Spins Generalities About Fixing Schools 
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña talks plans to fix city's most troubled classrooms(NYDN)
When Chancellor Carmen Fariña was chosen about six months ago to lead the nation’s largest school system, she vowed to take a more aggressive approach to overhauling the city’s most troubled classrooms. In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, she unveiled some details of the plan. Fariña said the city’s efforts to target and address troubled schools are driven by her desire to create a more equitable system, with options for high-quality schools available to every New York family.  Daily News Goes After Teacher Tenure A children’s crusade(NYDN) Inspired by an earth-shattering California ruling that struck down teacher tenure laws as damaging to children, a group of families is set to challenge New York statutes that keep incompetent instructors in the classroom.  They are on the side of the angels.* Report Details Diversity of New York City Students(WSJ) The Independent Budget Office Report Also Found That 41% of City School Buildings Were Overcrowded

In Red Hook, a school with a heavy Fariña imprint(Capital)

Fariña helped develop curriculum and taught at P.S. 15 during her retirement

Bad Schools Open, But Losing Students  . . .    .

Poor Schools Not Being Closed . . . But, Parents and Students Closing Them With Their Feet

Wasting Students
City’s worst high school has hundreds of empty seats(NYP)  The troubled Springfield Gardens school is the least popular in the entire city, Department of Education statistics show. It raises the question why August Martin is still in business, considering it had a dismal 39 percent graduation rate in 2013 and got an “F” in student performance and progress. “This school holds students back, especially the ones who are doing well,” one anonymous student posted online. “They treat us and talk to us as if we’re animals.” The school also has a reputation for violence. Students committed at least 72 offenses in the 2011-2012 school year, including eight assaults, two sex offenses and 19 instances of intimidation, state records show.
More On Education and Charter Schools
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña

Farina’s miseducation

Chancellor Carmen Fariña still sees only a few trees and not the forest. At a public appearance, she cited the new pre-K program, arts education and expanded after-school programs as reasons why the city has a “unique opportunity to transform our values into historic gains.”
As I’ve noted, improving classroom performance for the 1.1 million kids already in the system is apparently not one of her values.

Fariña Hugs Over School Suspenions       
Fariña wants ‘emotional connections,’ not school suspensions(NYP)
What ever happened to tough love? City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced Saturday that violent and unruly students would be suspended less often during her tenure, as officials are urged...Suspensions have fallen in the last three years. As of May 5, there have been 44,026 suspensions in city public schools. During the 2011-12 school year, students were suspended 69,643 times. Last school year, it dipped to 53,465.
More on Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña

-- Eliza Shapiro writes up the educational implications, and describes how the deal creates a test-case for the philosophy of schools chancellor Carmen Fariña, here:

Schools chancellor Carmen Fariña fielded questions on racial diversity in public schools and gifted and talented programs from parents in one of the city's wealthiest school districts, Manhattan's district 2, at a town hall meeting on Monday evening.
Fariña, who became well-known and widely respected within education circles for her tenure as principal of Pubic School 6, one of the city's best elementary schools, was questioned by parents and community members who took turns thanking Fariña for her work as chancellor, but pushed her on delicate topics that she does not often address.

Fariña: From Competition to Collaboration
In 2005 Fariña said “impressionable” students could believe their school is identified with a particular religion if services are held on the premises.
Fariña: From Opposition of Religious Services in Schools to Quiet
In a shift from Bloomberg policies that encouraged competition, New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña introduced a plan to pair schools with certain strengths to share practices and establish collaboration, The Wall Street Journal reports: * Despite testifying in 2005 that she was opposed to allowing religious services in public schools, Fariña is quiet on the topic now; though an advocate close to her says the chancellor is expected to follow de Blasio’s lead on the issue, the Daily News writes:* Schools as Allies, Not Rivals(WSJ) * Schools boss Fariña silent now on prayer issue(NYDN) Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would allow religious services in public-school buildings, contradicting statements made in 2005 by current schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who originally opposed the idea but now agrees with the mayor, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * With groups largely coming out against the Common Core standards, Higher Achievement New York has been created to help better explain the standards and how they will benefit students, WNYC reports: 

Moynihan's Defining Deviancy Down Explains Lack of Reaction to Corrupt Politics

As the Mayor Looks to Restore NY's Liberal Tradition He Will Find the City's Political Passion Gone
In 1993, a man from the greatest generation who were  not afraid to say what they believed, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan published one of the most important pieces of social theory entitled "Defining Deviancy Down." Moynihan believed that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can "afford to recognize" The basic idea is that we had moved the bar for what we, as a culture and political behavior, defined as acceptable, down. Moynihan believed “we have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where political  behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”  Moynihan would not be shocked by the fact that voters have continue to reelect their Albany legislatures despite the dysfunctionalism and corruption that has destroyed the economy of the state and sent dozens of elected officials to jail. 

* Despite New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s new initiative to limit the role state exams play in measuring students’ progress, test prep and the anxiety it causes are still robust as ever, The New York Times reports:

DOE Punishes Bad Teachers Who Make News

Press Control A+
DOE charges teachers with causing ‘negative publicity, ridicule’(NYP) The city Department of Education tosses an extra charge at teachers and staffers whose screw-ups make the news — claiming they “caused widespread negative publicity, ridicule and notoriety” for the agency. The DOE’s use of the bad-rep rap has risen with the explosion of social and other online media.The DOE contends bad publicity hinders employees and schools in educating students. Critics say the charge has a chilling effect on free speech. * Bronx teacher thrown in jail after criticizing principal(NYP)School probe finds 104 staff-student flings since 2009(NYP)
Fariña Says Arts Teach Other Skills(WSJ)

NYP Back to the Future Social Promotion?

Monday Education Update
Rating teachers (not)(NYP Ed) Will New York ever be in a position to fire bad teachers? That’s become more unlikely, now that Gov. Cuomo is questioning the new Common Core tests* City will spend $10M to raise starting pay for pre-K teachers (NYDN)

Sunday Education Update
New York City Schools Chancellor Calls for ‘Back-to-Basics Approach’(NYT) New York Chancellor Details Schools Plan At a speech on Saturday, Carmen Fariña said she would aim to reduce class sizes and curb the use of suspensions at the city’s public schools.Here's the full text of Fariña's speech marking her first 100 days * Rating teachers (not)(NYP Ed)
Will New York ever be in a position to fire bad teachers? That’s become more unlikely, now that Gov. Cuomo is questioning the new Common Core tests, which serve as the basis for weeding out ineffective teachers.* Schools boss Fariña hints at 'new ways' to measure city schools(NYDN)Speaking to a crowd at Teachers College, Columbia University, Fariña said that in the coming months, the city Education Department would study how to best give parents information about the quality of schools, without slapping them with an 'often arbitrary' letter grade. Bloomberg-era tests no longer top criteria for student promotion: Fariña(NYP The de Blasio administration Wednesday scrapped the results of standardized exams as the chief measure for determining promotions in grades 3 through 8.  Undoing one of the major policies of the Bloomberg administration, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said teachers and principals would now adopt a more “holistic” approach that relies on everything, including classroom attendance, to determine which students move ahead and which get left back.Test scores would no longer be used as the “primary” or “major factor” in making those decisions, Fariña said.

“This new way forward maintains accountability, but mitigates the unintended consequences of relying solely on a single test,” Fariña said. Education reformers immediately questioned if the city was returning to the days when kids were promoted as they aged, regardless of their ability to make the grade. It also raised red flags because teachers have a stake in promoting students, since their evaluations are based, in part, on how well those students perform.* No child held behind(NYP Ed) * Educators might get to pick which students advance(NYDN) * What kids must learn(NYDN) With assurances galore that the city is not on the brink of returning to the bad old days — when students would be passed from grade to grade while learning squat — Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña rolled out a new policy weakening the role of state test scores in summer-school and student-promotion decisions. * What kids must learn (NYDN Ed) Fariña must avoid backsliding on social promotion in city schools. Carmen Fariña on her first 100 days(Capital) Picture  That Julia Louis-Dreyfus tattoo Rolling Stone cover is completely historically inaccurate! John Hancock didn't sign the Constitution, he signed The Declaration of the Independence

Will Education Changes in Promotion, Common Core and Testing Lead to A Better Education for Students?

Saturday Update
NYC schools protest ‘unfair’ state English tests(NYP)
Bill’s stranded children(NYP Ed) Among the accomplishments Mayor de Blasio cited in his speech Thursday, one was missing: classrooms for 500 charter-school kids whose space he swiped. Because he has yet to find them...* Charter school supporters, thanking Gov. Cuomo via direct mail. 

Friday Update
Common Core Gets Strong Defense From State Education Chief(NYT)
John B. King Jr., the education commissioner, fought back at criticism of the state’s efforts to adopt the standards and said there was no turning back.* The Daily News praised state Education Commissioner John King’s speech on the Common Core, in which he refused to back down from supporting the controversial curriculum:* More Than 2 Dozen NYC Schools Expected To Rally Against Common Core Exams(WINS) * The Daily News praised state Education Commissioner John King’s speech on the Common Core, in which he refused to back down from supporting the controversial curriculum:  *Education Commissioner Pushes Ahead(WSJ)
More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools

reflects, again, on tests and values

Fariña begins shifting promises about collaboration into policy via
Chancellor Farina plays matchmaker in effort to improve schools,

Marie Antoinette Fariña Tin Education Ear
De Blasio Brushes Off Report of Cuomo Trying to Thwart His Pre-K Plans(NYO)
Punish success, reward failure(NYP)
Amid all Bill de Blasio’s woes, let’s acknowledge he’s doing his darndest to make good on one campaign promise: to keep bad public schools open and close down good ones. * Some elected officials are being pressured by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff to pull their support from de Blasio’s universal prekindergarten plan, Capital New York writes:  * Assemblyman Karim Camara said that despite his appearance at a recent charter school rally, charters should not be expanded at the expense of traditional public schools, Politicker writes: * Fariña hints at conflict with U.F.T. over reserve teachers(Capital) Chancellor won’t force sidelined teachers into schools Wednesday‘School of No’ teachers confront schools chancellor(NYP) Frustrated “School of No” teachers pressed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña for a real leader Tuesday after complaints that a handpicked crony was running the show for the embattled Queens principal booted last month after years of alleged mismanagement.* Fariña, scripted, defends co-location decisions(Capital) And reiterates the D.O.E.'s pledge to find alternative space for Success students

IRE IN THE EMPIRE (STATE): New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign pledges at an education forum last year serve as a checklist for how well he keeps his promises, writes Michael Benjamin in City & State:Big education questions in budget talks(Capital) Pre-K, charter schools and Common Core changes to be front and center in negotiations
Tuesday Update
The mayor’s schools chancellor, Carmen Fariñaasked by NY1 what she’s learned so far on the job, quoted a hard-right Oklahoma senator. “I was reading in yesterday’s Times that Tom Coburn said, ‘Sometimes it’s better to lose doing the right thing than to win doing something that’s reprehensible.’ And so I think that’s a really good statement,” she said. Sunday Update Civil Rights LawsuitA civil rights education(NYP) On Monday, representatives for 19 parents and 21 children will head to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to file a civil-rights suit. * Kids count after all (NYDN Ed) Progress in Albany toward fairer treatment of charter schools and state-funded universal pre-K The children are black and Latino. Each had plans to attend an excellent public school, Harlem Central, until they had their school yanked out from under them by Mayor de Blasio and his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña. So 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, these children will make an argument that New York City is violating their own civil rights.

Schools Chancellor Fariña Eats her Own Statement
Charters “On Their Own” 
Then Goes Into Hiding

Flip-Flop Fariña
Saturday Education Updates: New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said she regrets saying that 200 displaced Harlem charter school students were “on their own” and that she would work to find space for themChancellor Says She Regrets Remarks About a Harlem Charter School *Flip-flop Fariña now wants to help charter students(NYP) * Opponents blast de Blasio for not blocking more charter schools(NYP)

De Blasio woos parent bloggers *Pre-K Special Education Contractor Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charge(NYT) In a plea deal, Cheon Park, 47, agreed to pay $2.1 million in restitution to the city’s Education Department and accept a sentence of 51 to 63 months in prison.* City now will help displaced Harlem charter students(NYDN) * Parents, bloggers call for more class space(NYP) They have a collective 640,000 followers in the virtual world of Twitter. But the parent bloggers who met with Mayor de Blasio at City Hall on Friday to talk universal pre-K and expanded after-school programs had concerns centered on the real world: classroom space.*  Fariña has more to fix(NYDN Ed) So, less than 24 hours after staunchly defending their stance, Fariña appeared on TV to say that she would find places for the children, which really was not saying very much. They were in a great school and they needed to stay in their great school, not be scattered. Finally, Fariña pledged to find a new home for Harlem Success 4 in a public school building.That’s a start — and only a start. Fariña and de Blasio must also right the wrong they’ve done to hundreds of kids hoping to attend two additional Success Academy schools whose space-sharing arrangements got nixed.* King Offers Superintendents Guidance On New Round Of Testing(YNN)

More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools

  Fariña channels C. Quinn: MT : Fariña: "We want this to be a city of collaboration, not competition."

After Snow and Charter Mess Farina Tries to Regain Image By Going After A Lesbian Romp

Sex and the Classroom
SHE'S NOT HAVING IT: Carmen Fariña wants to block re-hiring of 'Horndog High' teachers fired for lesbian romp(NYDN)Schools for scandals(NYDN)
Called on the carpet for having after-hours sex with the cleaning lady on his desk, “Seinfeld” pal George Costanza pleaded ignorance: “Was that wrong?” he asked his boss. “Should I not have done that?”
That was a comedy. This is not.
The same brazen logic is now effectively the law in New York State public schools — thanks to an appeals court ruling in the “Horndog High” case. Back in 2009, two female teachers at Brooklyn’s James Madison High School were caught by a janitor getting amorous in a classroom — one naked from the waist up, the other on her knees — on the night of a school singing competition.

More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools 


Marie Antoinette Fariña Flaps Again
Tuesday Update
The mayor’s schools chancellor, Carmen Fariñaasked by NY1 what she’s learned so far on the job, quoted a hard-right Oklahoma senator. “I was reading in yesterday’s Times that Tom Coburn said, ‘Sometimes it’s better to lose doing the right thing than to win doing something that’s reprehensible.’ And so I think that’s a really good statement,” she said.
Sunday Update 
Civil Rights Lawsuit
A civil rights education(NYP)
On Monday, representatives for 19 parents and 21 children will head to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to file a civil-rights suit. * Kids count after all (NYDN Ed) Progress in Albany toward fairer treatment of charter schools and state-funded universal pre-K
The children are black and Latino. Each had plans to attend an excellent public school, Harlem Central, until they had their school yanked out from under them by Mayor de Blasio and his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña. So 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, these children will make an argument that New York City is violating their own civil rights.

NYC's new schools chancellor's failure to meet charter school principal while visiting same building seen as snub
Schools Chancellor Fariña skips charter in school visit(NYP) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña snubbed a charter school Friday during a visit to a controversial Harlem site that also houses two other traditional public schools. Farina toured PS 149 at 41 W. 117 St. after making an outrageous statement last week that charter kids blocked from that facility were “on their own.” The chancellor later backtracked and pledged to find space for the newly homeless Success Academy Central Harlem charter middle school. * Marie Antoinette Fariña 2(NYP Ed) A week ago, Fariña apologized after the firestorm that followed her remarks suggesting the charter-school kids whose schools she and Mayor de Blasio had taken away were not really her concern. “I shouldn’t have said it,” she said. “All these kids” — meaning those at charters and those at traditional schools — “are ours.” Yet only a week after saying this, she visits a building that houses three public schools: two traditional schools and a charter. Guess which one Fariña avoids? Correct: the Success Academy Harlem 1 charter.



No comments:

Post a Comment