david steiner

teacher diversity

New York

City crunches teacher prep data in early bid to assess programs

The city's presentation about new Teacher Preparation Program Reports shows what proportion of training programs' graduates went to work in high-need schools. City officials said they were "pleasantly surprised" by what they learned from their inaugural effort to analyze data about teachers by the programs that trained them. Just one in five of the 10,135 recent graduates of teacher preparation programs hired by the city between 2008 and 2012 left the school system within three years. In contrast, about one in three teachers left their jobs nationally during the same period, according to city Department of Education officials. "New York City is really bucking the trend," Deputy Chancellor David Weiner said today during a press conference to unveil "Teacher Preparation Program Reports" for 12 colleges and universities that together supplied about half of the city's new teachers who came through traditional training pathways. The reports represent a new frontier in the department's accountability efforts. They analyze the teacher preparation programs' graduates by six characteristics, including how long they stay in the classroom, how often they receive poor evaluations, where they work, and how they have fared on measures of their students' growth. City officials warned against making strong conclusions about the preparation programs' quality. Next year, after the city implements a new evaluation system, the training programs will be rated by their graduates' scores, they said, but for now, the reports are meant to spur collaboration with local colleges and universities.
New York

Albanese says he could offer both retroactive raises and pre-K

New York

With less fanfare, Cuomo's education commission revisits NYC

David Steiner, Dean of Hunter College's School of Education, answers a question from state Senator John Flanagan, a member of Cuomo's education commission. For the second summer in a row, the body that's helping Gov. Andrew Cuomo form his education agenda visited New York City. But unlike last year, which drew a crowd and Campbell Brown, Tuesday's meeting happened with little fanfare and much more focus. It's been a little more than a year since Cuomo assembled the Education Reform Commission, a 25-member body made up of businessmen, government officials, union leaders, researchers, lawmakers and nonprofit executives. The commission was created to recommend wholesale reforms to improve the state's expensive school system. It's too soon to measure the commission's impact, but the handful of first-year recommendations that Cuomo adopted — the commission recommended 12 — will only affect a small percentage of schools. Cuomo used an allocated $75 million in the budget to create competitive grants, available by design to limited number of districts, to launch longer school days, expand prekindergarten and create schools that offer more nonacademic services to low-income students. Cuomo also allocated $11 million in stipends for "master teachers," to fulfill another recommendation, which aims to recruit and retain top teachers for in-demand subjects. Cuomo announced that teachers can begin applying for the program this week. It's unclear what the commission will recommend in its second year, but the possibilities seem more narrow. Last summer's meeting resembled more of a City Council hearing, with 17 speaker testimonies and a public comment period that covered a spectrum of education policies. It was also the place where Campbell Brown first launched her cause célèbre, to make it easier to fire teachers who've acted inappropriately in school. By contrast, Tuesday's event, held in a dimly lit performance arts theater inside the Borough of Manhattan Community College, featured lengthy PowerPoint presentations from five people who honed in on a few issues.
New York

Amid sweeping changes, state's testing chief resigns suddenly

The State Education Department official who has supervised the state's testing program since 2004 — through skyrocketing scores, a brutal crash, and the dawn of an overhaul — has resigned. David Abrams, the State Education Department's assistant commissioner for standards, assessment, and reporting since 2004, announced his resignation today. His resignation is effective immediately, shocking some people who had expected to participate in meetings with him this week. Abrams's departure comes at a time of robust efforts to overhaul both state tests and how their scores are used — and of robust criticism of those efforts. Most recently, principals across the state have launched a rebellion against the state's plan to use student test scores in teacher evaluations. This week, a plan to lengthen reading tests to four hours was released prematurely, then rescinded the next day amid backlash. The department has yet to find a replacement for Abrams, according to SED spokesman Dennis Tompkins. He said other department officials would fill in for Abrams for now, as would members of a privately funded group that has been advising SED on implementing Race to the Top commitments, which include redesigning student assessments and teacher evaluations. “Obviously [Abrams] will be missed, but we do have a really strong team that can fill in,” Tompkins said. He declined to comment on the reasons for Abrams's departure. Abrams supervised the state's testing program during a period of controversy and change.
New York

Pioneers in teacher prep chart changes in training landscape

New York

After early win, PS 9 parents lose bid to keep charter school out

New York

Regents give districts choice of tougher teacher evaluation

Deputy Commissioner John King, who will soon become commissioner, said that for a teacher to earn a rating of developing, effective, or highly effective, there should be some evidence of student progress on state tests. Introducing a new option for how to change teacher evaluation, the Board of Regents voted today to allow districts and unions to increase the weight of student test scores on those evaluations to 40 percent. According to the law passed last summer, which changed how teachers in New York State are evaluated and introduced their students' test scores as an element for consideration, state tests would count for 20 out of 100 points. Another 20 points would come from local assessments, which school districts could devise on their own. Yet the set of regulations approved in a vote this evening will allow school districts, with the approval of teachers unions, to count students' progress on state tests for 40 points of a teacher's evaluation score. The board voted 14 to 3 to approve the regulations. Regents Betty Rosa, Roger Tilles, and the board's newest member Kathleen Cashin, voted against the proposal. The increased emphasis on students' progress on standardized tests turned up in the final draft of regulations after Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped into the discussions last week. In a letter to Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, the governor said he believed that students' scores on the annual math and reading tests should carry more weight in the evaluation of their teachers. Mayor Bloomberg agreed, saying that an earlier draft of the regulations did not place enough importance on the tests. Yesterday, a group of 10 prominent education researchers sent the Regents a letter asking them not to place more weight on value-added scores, which measure students' progress on tests against that of similar types of students.
New York

Bloomberg files formal request to make Walcott schools chief

New York

David Steiner, top state ed dep't official, to leave at year's end

David Steiner. Photo courtesy of State Education Department. Yet another top education official is making plans to vacate his position — this time at the State Education Department. SED Commissioner David Steiner will leave the department at the end of the school year, he announced today. Steiner appears to be leaving entirely of his own accord. People close to him described him as less interested in the "nuts and bolts" work of implementing the vision he helped the state set out for education. They said that Steiner, a former education school dean, is considering returning to the quieter and less political territory of academia. The news outdid Mayor Bloomberg's announcement this morning that his deputy mayor, Dennis Walcott, will replace Chancellor Cathie Black — at least in the department of rattling surprises. Even Steiner himself did not know that he would be announcing his departure today, according to people close to him. "The only reason the announcement came today is because there clearly were rumors, and then after the Susan Arbetter show, and she raised those rumors, it felt like we needed to address them because we didn’t want to have rumors continue to percolate and circulate over the next few days," a source at the state education department said. Asked about rumors that Steiner might resign on that show, Capital Pressroom, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said that Steiner was "exploring other options" after less than two years in Albany. Tisch appeared on the show to discuss teacher evaluations but also addressed the resignation of Cathie Black as New York City schools chancellor. Steiner became commissioner in July 2009, replacing 14-year veteran Richard Mills. Steiner had been chair of the School of Education at Hunter College, where he pioneered the practice of videotaping teachers as they worked and then critiquing their performance. Improving teacher evaluation emerged as one of the main themes of Steiner's tenure as commissioner, with the state reaching an agreement with teachers unions on a plan to change how teachers are assessed. That plan has yet to go into action because it requires individual school districts to develop their own assessments and have those assessments approved by local unions. Recommended guidelines for the local assessments were released only this week. "With the anticipated approval of a final teacher evaluation program in the coming months, I have informed Chancellor Tisch and members of the Board of Regents that I intend to leave the State Education Department later this year," Steiner said this afternoon in a statement. "Together we will begin to plan for a seamless transition." People close to Steiner said he had grown disinterested in the job of commissioner.
New York

Black will receive waiver after city vows to promote Suransky

Cathleen Black will receive the state waiver that lets her become the next New York City schools chancellor, following a Thanksgiving deal between the city and the state, an official familiar with the deal confirmed today. PHOTO: GreenleeShael Polakow-Suransky, the man whose promotion allowed Cathie Black to become chancellor The deal calls for Black to give a major promotion to Shael Polakow-Suransky, an education official who has sparred with Chancellor Joel Klein's top deputies, even while working alongside them. Suransky, currently deputy chancellor for "performance and accountability," will now hold two titles: senior deputy chancellor and chief academic officer. Suransky engaged in especially vigorous debates with James Leibman, the official who created Klein's controversial school report cards, according to department officials. He successfully lobbied to give schools the opportunity to create their own assessments rather than follow state tests. The disagreements didn't stop the two men from respecting each other. When Leibman left the Department of Education to return to Columbia University, Klein promoted Suransky to succeed him as head of the accountability office. An official said that Leibman promoted Suransky to the position. Suransky is also one of a small number of top Department of Education officials who regularly refers to "instruction" as the part of education he would like to change — a trait he holds in common with Steiner and his top deputy, John King. Like King, Suransky is also a former teacher and principal. He has worked closely with state education officials on their main project, the reforms they are creating with their federal Race to the Top funding. Suransky has taken an especially prominent role in creating new assessments designed to make it harder for teachers to "teach to the test."
New York

With Race to the Top won, NY's education officals look ahead

Education Commissioner David Steiner and Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch at yesterday's press conference in the governor's office. Why should the Race to the Top grant have a greater effect than previous federal money? And why make New York City's data system statewide if it's not exactly beloved in the city? WNYC reporter Beth Fertig put these questions and others to State Education Commissioner David Steiner and Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch yesterday. Clips from the interview ran on WNYC yesterday, but you can listen to the full conversation below. convertedfile_edited-interview-long-of-fertig-with-steiner-tisch-on-rtt And here's the complete transcript: WNYC:  This money is not supposed to be plugging the gap that we hear about in the state's education expenses. STEINER: That's correct. This money is dedicated to specific education reforms. Primarily the following areas. First, turning around lowest performing schools. Absolutely critical, it's a moral dilemma that we face and we've got to solve for our students. Second, the preparation and support of outstanding teachers and principals, from the moment that they enter their training programs in preparation, to their entire professional careers. Third, providing our teachers and principals and parents and districts with world-class data systems so that we know in real time what is being done in the classroom, what's working, what isn't working, what needs to be changed. And, beyond that, working on our assessments and curriculum, so that the materials that teachers share with children really do prepare them for further education for university, college, and the workplace, and the assessments give us an accurate reading of how those students are doing.
New York

Board of Regents urges state legislature to lift charter cap

New York

David Steiner crib sheet: New schools czar to focus on teaching