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New York Times
Week In Review
September 8, 2017
Week in review: Charter wars ramp up as kids return to school
This week not only marked the start of the new school year in Detroit. It also brought an escalation of the city’s ongoing charter school wars.
August 26, 2017
The NY Times tried to fact-check the mayor’s claims about Renewal test scores. Researchers say its analysis fell short.
“The Times really didn’t do anything to ensure that their comparison to other schools was really comparable."
May 30, 2017
New York City’s high school applicant stats paint a misleading picture, Columbia researcher says
To some, the directory, released last week, paints an incomplete picture — one that might cause needless stress or discourage students from applying to schools.
barriers to entry
May 5, 2017
The New York Times calls high school admissions ‘broken.’ Here is Chalkbeat’s in-depth look at why that’s true
The New York Times released an in-depth look at high school admissions. Chalkbeat also uncovered several stories about admissions this fall.
June 27, 2016
Colorado education reformer makes New York Times list of young Democrats worth watching
Columnist Frank Bruni called Johnston "one of the most authoritative and impassioned advocates of education reform."
October 30, 2015
Eva Moskowitz calls ‘Got to Go’ list an anomaly as Success principal gives tearful apology
Following a report detailing Success Academy schools trying to remove unruly students, Eva Moskowitz denied any systematic effort to push students out of her schools.
October 29, 2015
Moskowitz to face tough questions after reports of schools pushing out kids
Success’ leader said Thursday afternoon that “mistakes are sometimes made.”
maintaining the spotlight
April 6, 2015
Success Academy: A guide to the city’s largest, most controversial charter-school network
There has been an ongoing fascination with the city’s largest and most polarizing charter school network as it grows in size and in scope within the education landscape.
August 19, 2014
Colorado senator talks “the trouble with tenure”
In an opinion piece titled “The Trouble with Tenure,” New York Times columnist Frank Bruni talked with Colorado’s loudest champion of education reform about teacher…
February 7, 2013
A possible key to curing students' test anxiety? More stress
According to this weekend's lead New York Times Magazine story, teachers would probably be doing students a favor by pitting them against each other more often. The story, "Why Can Some Kids Handle Pressure While Others Fall Apart?", surveys neuroscience research to try to figure out why top students sometimes freeze up on high-stakes exams. One answer, researchers say, is that people who usually have an optimal level of a neurotransmitter called dopamine go into overload in stressful settings, while others only reach the optimal level in those settings. Simply put, one researcher told the Times, "The people who perform best in normal conditions may not be the same people who perform best under stress." It's a lesson educators know through experience, confirmed through cutting-edge neuroscience. Critics of high-stakes tests tend to argue that when schools prepare students for tests by giving practice exams and emphasizing the exams’ importance, they stress students out even more. But researchers say there's value in test prep:
November 12, 2010
Bloomberg defends his private search and choice for chancellor
Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought against growing opposition to his selection of magazine publisher Cathie Black this morning, saying that he and Chancellor Joel Klein had "spent a lot of time finding the right person." Bloomberg said he had been discussing Klein's departure with him "for months" and only began to search for a successor in earnest once he "slowly...became convinced" that Klein truly intended to leave. His remarks, on the John Gambling radio show this morning, described the search process: Anybody that comes in wants to have a chance to really get up to speed and make a difference and stick with that difference and implement it and show that it works earlier rather than later. And we'd been talking about it for months, and I've been looking — at the beginning I wasn't sure he [Klein] was serious, but slowly as I became convinced he was, I started looking — and he and I together spent a lot of time finding the right person. The description follows a report in the New York Times that Klein himself only learned who his successor would be on Monday. Black told the New York Post this week that the mayor offered her the job after approaching her a "couple of weeks ago on a Monday." Black's account, as reported in the Post, suggested that the mayor offered her the job at their first meeting: "Monday the mayor called," she told me. "We know each other a long time. I didn't know what he wanted. He only told me this was a personal call and he wanted to meet. I couldn't exactly say, 'Sorry, Mr. Mayor, but I'm busy,' but the fact is I had back-to-back meetings at Hearst, so I said I couldn't today but could tomorrow.' "He said, 'How's 7 a.m. tomorrow?' I said, 'Fine.' We met in his foundation offices. The offer came out of left field, and my stomach did a flip-flop. The opportunity made me feel fantastic." In her Post interview, Black described meeting with Klein for an hour and a half.
August 3, 2009
State standardized tests scores are up, but what does that mean?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein's emphasis on standardized test scores appears to be working: an analysis of state test scores before and after mayoral control reveals "a broad and steady march upward," the Times' Elissa Gootman and Robert Gebeloff report. The rates of New York City students passing standardized English and math tests have risen at a faster pace than statewide passing rates overall, and Queens and Staten Island have gone from among the lowest-scoring counties in the state to among the best, according to the Times' report. The story mentions in passing that the results of the 2007 federal National Association of Educational Progress showed no significant progress among New York City's eighth-grade students during Mayor Bloomberg's tenure. Some experts claim that NAEP scores may be a better measure of overall student performance because it's more difficult to engage in direct test preparation and thus less vulnerable to score inflation. But Klein dismissed those concerns, telling the Times that the state tests are a valid measure of learning:
May 18, 2009
Weingarten: Stimulus money should fund community schools
The special pot of federal stimulus dollars for schools known as the “Race to the Top” money should go toward extra services outside of education,…
April 21, 2009
After Web criticism, Fort Greene principal requests public meeting
A public school principal in Fort Greene is asking for a public, face-to-face meeting with concerned community members after Internet and newspaper reports described dissatisfaction with his leadership. One report, in the Brooklyn Paper, said unhappiness with the principal, Sean Keaton, of the Clinton Hill School, P.S. 20, is behind a surge of interest in the nearby Community Roots charter school. Another report, at Insideschools.org, includes a parent describing Keaton as "authoritarian," "hostile," and "abusive." The frustration comes as a flood of middle class families are moving to the Brooklyn neighborhood – and often searching for options outside P.S. 20, their zoned school. The Brooklyn Paper reported that only 27% of kindergarten-aged students zoned for P.S. 20 attend it. Parents posting in the comments sections of the Times blog and at Insideschools said they feel Keaton shuts them out of the school. One said that he has a "closed door policy to the parents."
March 6, 2009
How much distance is there between Bloomberg and Klein?
The sign-off on the November 2002 letter in which Mayor Bloomberg hired Joel Klein as schools chancellor. There's an argument raised in Elissa Gootman's long-anticipated profile of Chancellor Joel Klein that deserves more reporting. That's the idea that Klein, though he was hired by Mayor Bloomberg and serves at the mayor's pleasure, is actually different from the mayor in terms of personality and policies. The most vociferous spokeswoman for this view is Randi Weingarten, who for several years now has been differentiating between Bloomberg, the good-guy pragmatist she can work with, and Klein, the ideologue who alienates teachers. She uses the distinction to illustrate a larger point she makes on the national stage, about the importance of finding a "third way" in which so-called reformers, who often criticize teachers unions, work collaboratively with unions to improve public schools. Weingarten's distinction became most prominent when the mayor announced he'd seek a third term. While many of the teachers, parents, and education advocates opposed to Bloomberg's school reforms were enraged by this possibility, Weingarten was softer on the mayor. She reserved her raised-voice fury for Klein. "The discussion on mayoral control has changed significantly with the prospect of Joel Klein being the chancellor for the next four years," she told me the next month, adding: I’ve heard a lot of debate and conversations about this, and it has actually changed the debate on mayoral control, when people think about who will be the chancellor for the next four years. And when they think it’s going to be Joel Klein as chancellor, I’ve heard lots of people talk about the need to have far more stringent checks and balances. But is there really much distance between Klein and Bloomberg? Maybe Bloomberg strikes a somewhat more conciliatory public persona, or at least is more polite during his meetings with Weingarten. But how does he act privately? Does he ever pull the reins on Klein's more radical proposals?
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