Gotham Schools

The Battle Over Public Schools Moves to Center Stage in New York City as New Leader Challenges Privatization Agenda

The populist poetry of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s campaign has officially entered prose mode with his appointment of Carmen Fariña as chancellor.

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Thank You, Madiba

Editor's Note: Together with the world, we mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela. To help honor his legacy, we reprint here an essay originally published this past July, in celebration of Mandela's 95th Birthday and Mandela Day. It was written by college student Jennifer Montano, and originally published by Gotham Schools.

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NYC School Officials Agree That Kindergarten Through Second Grade Is Too Young for Standardized Tests

When it comes to getting rid of standardized testing in early grades, the city and the teachers union are on the same page — both want them eliminated from their teacher evaluation plans.

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Students at Elite High School Boycott Teacher Evaluation Tests

For some high-achievers at Stuyvesant High School, flunking their latest test is no big deal.

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Under Pressure, Charter Schools Nix Cash-for-Applicant Tactic

A city charter school network abruptly abandoned a recruiting effort [on Friday] that would have paid families cash rewards for bringing new students to its schools. The retraction happened two and a half hours after I reported the effort on Twitter [late last week].

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Would You Want to Be Graded on Your Co-Workers' Performance?

A Bronx performing arts school’s dance instructor will be judged on students’ English exam scores. Physical education teachers at a transfer school in Brooklyn are going to teach Olympic history lessons to prepare students for the history tests that will help determine their ratings. And teachers in Queens are putting the fate of their evaluations into a final exam that they don’t teach, but yields high pass rates.

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New York City Principals: 'We Won’t Use Test Scores to Screen Students'

Distressed by state tests that they say did not reflect the way they want students to learn, several city principals are pledging not to use the scores to help them pick their students.

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NYC Students Panic and Cry while Rushing to Finish New Standardized Tests on Time

If students post low scores on the sections of the state reading test administered today, it might be in part because many could not finish in the allotted time.

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What Does the Ongoing School Bus Strike Really Mean for NYC Families?

One month into 2013, Maria Uruchima has already used up almost all of her sick and personal days getting her son to school.

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NYC Mayoral Candidate Wants City to Pay College Tuition for Top High School Grads

The city should ease the path to college for top high school students by promising them free tuition at city colleges, Comptroller John Liu said [last week] in a “State of the City” speech, his second in 2012.

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New York City Anticipates Turmoil as Most Students Resume Classes

As more than 90 percent of [New York] city schoolchildren head to school today for their first day back after Hurricane Sandy, some with extra sweaters to ward off cold, Department of Education officials will have their sights set on the 102 schools that still cannot reopen.

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Who Needs Certification? NYC Dept. of Ed. Wants to Train Teachers on the Fly

If the Department of Education gets its way, new teachers won’t have to enroll in local colleges or universities to get certification to work in city schools.

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For Students in Foster Care, A Helping Hand in the High School Admissions Process

Most of the roughly 30,000 students and family members who passed through Brooklyn Technical High School last weekend had to traverse the Citywide High School Fair on their own.

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New York's Plan to Mainstream Special Ed Students Gets Off to a Rocky Start

Two weeks into the school year, fears about the rollout of special education reforms are turning into reality at some schools, according to parents and teachers from Upper Manhattan who met with the Department of Education’s top special education official Thursday evening.

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Want to Fix Education Policy? Ask the Students How

In suits and ties, they’re spending the summer in making speeches before thousands of people, bolstering their online presence, and pushing for changes to state governance.

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Student-Driven Teaching Leads the Way at a New Brooklyn School

In September, sixth graders at a new middle school in Clinton Hill will regularly stand at the front of the class to share a vocabulary word, or how to solve a math problem. And feedback from fellow students will be valued as much as feedback from their teachers.

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Subsidized Child Care Overhaul Shuts the Door on Many Home-Based Providers

On a cool Friday afternoon, 10 bright-eyed toddlers played outdoors, giggling and speaking Russian, before heading inside for a homemade lunch. During the week, they spend more time with Iraida Tkacheva, their child-care provider, than they do with their working parents.

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Will Teacher Bashing Backfire in NYC?

On Friday, the New York City Department of Education lifted its embargo on thousands of Teacher Data Reports, which grade the City's teachers based on progress made by their students on a set of standardized tests. These ratings, which have been acknowledged by the DOE to contain margins of error significant enough to render them unusable as a singular method of evaluation, were nevertheless released by New York's major news agencies when the embargo was lifted -- linking individual teacher names to their scores, and enshrining them in the public record.

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