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Monday, August 8, 2011

New York City Department/Board of Education: Administrators Needed

Are you a "network innovation manager"? Do you have experience managing/staffing an office for "central innovation"? If so, then run over to the nearest CFN (Children's First Network) and give out your resume with these important buzz words in there somewhere. Maybe you got a college degree in cup-cake creation. That definitely could go under "innovation manager" - every cupcake is unique, right? The frosting is swirled left on one, right on another, etc., etc. Just leave out the part about the cupcake.

Betsy Combier

Educrats win Race to the Top

By YOAV GONEN Education Reporter, Last Updated: 10:09 AM, August 8, 2011

The city's plan for more than $255 million in federal Race to the Top funds has something for everyone -- especially educrats, data analysts and consultants, a Post review has found.

The 32-page document calls for creating dozens of positions for midlevel managers at a tab of $28 million -- including $5 million to hire "network innovation managers" and "central innovation staff" to create personalized learning programs at just 25 schools.

Another $3.3 million will go toward hiring such experts as operations analysts, to oversee "talent management," which essentially means supporting the staffers who support the schools.

Nearly $6 million in funding is also earmarked for hiring external consultants to analyze, strategize and design several of the new initiatives.

"I see a lot of money going to figuring out how to measure things . . . I don't see anything in here that's for kids," United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said.

The money is part of New York's $696 million share of the $4 billion pot of last year's Race to the Top funds.

City Department of Education officials said federal guidelines dictate that the money be spent in just four categories: standards and assessments, data systems that support instruction, great teachers and principals and turning around low-performing schools.

The guidelines also require 25 percent of the district's funds to be spent on new teacher- and principal-evaluation systems.

Of the $47 million the city has earmarked for developing new assessments and online tests, $32.2 million is needed for tests that are aligned with a new Core Curriculum the state is adopting. The UFT’s parent union has even sued the state to ensure that districts have tests other than the current annual state tests for evaluating teachers.

DOE officials said the goal of Race to the Top wasn’t to introduce a program here or a program there, but to make deeper changes that reform teaching and learning across the board.

Since much of that effort involves training teachers and principals on using new systems or initiatives, as much as $78 million will go toward bulking up staff at networks that directly support schools – including $22.8 million dedicated to special education instruction and data analysis work.

Making grade

By CHUCK BENNETT,  NYPOST, July 16, 2011

Nothing like a $65 million federal grant to get the city Department of Education and teachers union to come together to fix struggling schools.

The two sides announced a deal yesterday to institute wide-ranging reforms on how teachers are evaluated and compensated at 33 low-performing high and intermediate schools to meet the terms of the grant.

Under the agreement, teachers at the 33 schools -- all considered "lowest achieving" -- will use a new state-approved system that rates teachers by four categories: highly effective; effective; developing; and ineffective.

Currently, teachers are ranked only satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Teachers with two years of ineffective ratings could be removed.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew praised the deal, but noted that the new ratings won't spread to other schools.

"Does this mean because of the agreement we are moving towards schoolwide agreement? No, it does not mean that," Mulgrew told The Post.

Sources told The Post that state education officials pressured both sides to reach an agreement to avoid losing the grant.

Yesterday's deal involves other major changes. as well.

The schools will have four models or plans of improvement to follow.

Under those plans, principals of the failing schools will generally be replaced while skilled teachers who take on more responsibility in the schools will get paid more.

"With this agreement, we will be able to bring millions of dollars in federal funding to these struggling schools," Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said.

For instance, "master teachers" are eligible for a 30 percent bump in pay if they mentor other teachers and work an additional 100 hours a year. And nonprofits will consult with schools to boost student achievement.

Granted Under the deal:

* City gets $65 million federal grant to fix 33 low-performing schools.
* Pays for higher teacher salaries, nonprofit consultants.
* Union agrees to a more rigorous teacher-evaluation system.
* Principals can be replaced with new leadership.

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