Rise & Shine: City's college-readiness rate still under 30 percent

  • The city gave slightly higher grades to high schools this year. (GothamSchools, SchoolBook, Post, NY1)
  • The college-readiness rate rose slightly but is still below 30 percent, according to city data. (Daily News)
  • The city shortlisted 23 high schools for possible closure based on the grades. (GothamSchoolsWSJ)
  • At the top school, It Takes A Village Academy, 11.3 percent of students graduate college-ready. (Post)
  • DeWitt Clinton HS, one of few remaining large high schools in the Bronx, got its second straight F. (Post)
  • The principal of another school with two F’s, Boys and Girls HS, says he’s not at fault. (GothamSchools)
  • EBC HS for Public Service posted one of the biggest gains, and students credit the new principal. (Post)
  • City officials said they might make it harder for schools to earn top grades next year. (GothamSchools)
  • Eric Nadelstern: Next, the city should rate schools by graduates’ performance in college. (Daily News)
  • P.S./M.S. 114 in Belle Harbor is one of two schools shut since Sandy to reopen today. (TimesNY1)
  • The Archdiocese of New York said 27 Catholic schools could close for financial reasons. (Daily News)
  • A former Memphis school official was indicted for running a teacher-certification cheating ring. (Times)
  • St. Louis’s schools regained provisional accreditation after making slow but steady gains for years. (WSJ)
  • A former N.J. schools official says Newark’s new contract is exciting — and high-stakes. (Daily News)

Betsy DeVos

‘Underperformer,’ ‘bully,’ and a ‘mermaid with legs’: NYMag story slams Betsy DeVos

PHOTO: New York Magazine
A drawing of DeVos commissioned by an 8-year-old starts the New York Magazine article.

A new article detailing Betsy DeVos’s first six months as U.S. education secretary concludes that she’s “a mermaid with legs: clumsy, conspicuous, and unable to move forward.”

That’s just one of several brutal critiques of DeVos’s leadership and effectiveness in the New York Magazine story, by Lisa Miller, who has previously covered efforts to overhaul high schools, New York City’s pre-kindergarten push, and the apocalypse. Here are some highlights:

  • Bipartisan befuddlement: The story summarizes the left’s well known opposition to DeVos’s school choice agenda. But her political allies also say she’s making unnecessary mistakes: “Most mystifying to those invested in her success is why DeVos hasn’t found herself some better help.”
  • A friend’s defense: DeVos is “muzzled” by the Trump administration, said her friend and frequent defender Kevin Chavous, a school choice activist.
  • The department reacts: “More often than not press statements are being written by career staff,” a spokesperson told Miller, rejecting claims that politics are trumping policy concerns.
  • D.C. colleagues speak: “When you talk to her, it’s a blank stare,” said Charles Doolittle, who quit the Department of Education in June. A current education department employee says: “It’s not clear that the secretary is making decisions or really capable of understanding the elements of a good decision.”
  • Kids critique: The magazine commissioned six portraits of DeVos drawn by grade-schoolers.
  • Special Olympics flip-flop: DeVos started out saying she was proud to partner with the athletics competition for people with disabilities — and quickly turned to defending a budget that cuts the program’s funding.
  • In conclusion: DeVos is an underperformer,” a “bully” and “ineffective,” Miller found based on her reporting.

We’ve reached out for reaction from DeVos’s team and will update when we hear back.

home sweet home

‘Finally! Something useful’ or a dangerous mistake? Detroiters respond to city’s housing deal for teachers

PHOTO: Detroit Land Bank Authority
This home on Harvard Road was up for auction the week after Detroit announced a half-off-on-city-owned housing deal for teachers.

Friday’s announcement that all Detroit school employees — whether they work for district, charter, or parochial schools — will get a 50 percent discount on houses auctioned through the Detroit Land Bank Authority stirred a lot of discussion.

Some of our commenters on Facebook had high hopes for the deal:

But one commenter wondered if it’s the city of Detroit that’s actually getting the best deal, not the employees — or other people seeking to buy homes in the city:

And others argued that people who already live in Detroit won’t benefit from this deal:

Still, some readers appear to be ready to move — and have even picked homes to bid on (though not necessarily from the Land Bank Authority)!