This is the last full week of school for NYC student and teachers. Congrats to graduates and to their teachers.
This is also the last week of the NY legislative season. The kerfuffle is over mayoral control of NYC schools. Lost in the kerfuffle is legislative action on segregation.
Success Academy release some of its curriculum publicly
One of my biggest criticisms of Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz has been that she makes a big deal about terming her schools “public” schools, yet keeps her curriculum private.
Now I can’t level that criticism any longer. She has released some of SA’s curriculum, with more to come. Right now there’s only K – 4.
It’s also important to note that this material is not openly licensed.
Success Academy Education Institute (requires registration) http://successacademies.org/edinstitute/
Robert Pondiscio suggests that the strength of SA’s curriculum is that it’s based around rich knowledge and texts.
Though from my (admittedly cursory) glance at a unit, SA literacy looks pretty darn similar to the “balanced literacy” approach that has been utilized for years across NYC.
So what’s the difference? There are firm guidelines for how a classroom must look and the practices that accompany the curriculum. And the units do seem to be firmly oriented around text sets that can build knowledge.
To my mind, the key differentiator in SA’s favor here is coherency and consistency.
Questions to ask about charter schools
In his new seat at Chalkbeat, Matt Barnum compiles a useful list of questions that need to be asked about charter school for further research.
The differences between De Blasio’s and Farina’s leadership
“With Bloomberg, it was like running a hamburger joint, but it was my own hamburger joint,” Hoogenboom said. “And with de Blasio, I’m running a McDonald’s and I have to serve the Big Mac.”
Doesn’t matter, really, who’s on Devos’s staff
“They could bring John Dewey back from the dead, slap a MAGA hat on him, give him one of the myriad open roles, and he’d still get rolled.”
Most college students can’t make a cohesive argument because they lack knowledge
“Some of the biggest gains occur at smaller colleges where students are less accomplished at arrival but soak up a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum.”
Well, yeah, chaos isn’t good for any kid
“The theory here is that chaotic schools — a loud hallway, a messy class — simply reproduce the stress that children may bring from home. Rules should be the same across the school, so students know what to expect. And students should be met with understanding and patience.”
CMOs, on average, are more effective than independent and for-profit charters
My guess is this is because a CMO provides greater knowledge sharing and network effects.
“Students attending a school run by a charter management organization seem to benefit the most. CMOs lead to small but statistically significant annual gains in math and reading, relative to both traditional public schools and other types of charters.”
Mike Antonucci: Keep your employees happy
“I’ve had charter school people call me lots of times over the years and ask for my advice on how they keep the union out of their schools. My advice has always been the same and it’s not what they want to hear. You don’t keep the union out, your employees keep the union out because they’re happy. Happy people don’t say *we really need a union here.* They form unions because they’re unhappy and they need protection and the unions provide that.”
He also has some good advice for NEA and AFT union heads worth heeding.
Rolling back accountability is NYSUT’s gameplan
NYSUT, unsurprisingly, heralded the NY Board of Regent’s recent move to limit testing from 3 days to 2.
As a next step, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta stated, “NYSUT will be strongly advocating that the new benchmarks be age appropriate, fair, and accurate in order to ensure that students and public schools are not unfairly labeled.”
So. . . All kids should get an achievement award! Woohoo!
NCTQs Kate Walsh on recent moves to jettison teacher tests and credentialing requirements
“While there is good research describing the benefits of matching teacher and student race, let’s remember that those benefits are based on studies involving black and white teachers of otherwise comparable ability. Any benefits from matching race are erased when we no longer make our first priority the effectiveness of a teacher or our best estimates about who will be effective. While it’s uncomfortable to push back for fear of appearing insensitive to real problems of educational inequity, we must insist on prioritizing what’s best for students—having the most skilled teacher”
I’ve written about Hochman’s writing method before. New book out
Here’s an article for American Educator based on the book: https://www.aft.org/ae/summer2017/hochman-wexler
Link to the book: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1119364914.html
Healthier lunches don’t decrease obesity–but they increase test scores!
“In this paper, we test whether offering healthier lunches affects student achievement as measured by test scores. Our sample includes all California (CA) public schools over a five-year period. We estimate difference-in-difference style regressions using variation that takes advantage of frequent lunch vendor contract turnover. Students at schools that contract with a healthy school lunch vendor score higher on CA state achievement tests, with larger test score increases for students who are eligible for reduced price or free school lunches. We do not find any evidence that healthier school lunches lead to a decrease in obesity rates.”