A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by these actions and programs. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, people who have been re-assigned from their life and career. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
Christine Quinn, along with city council education chair, Robert Jackson, sent the following through the NYC DOE Outlook email. Sadly, I didn't get it, but a select few did (However, we do believe this was just sent to administrators). Though we here at SBSB are curious. Just how did she get access to Outlook? Only someone more powerful, and much shorter, than God would allow their "heir apparent" such access.
IT'S A TRAP!!!
From: Speaker Christine C. Quinn [email@example.com] Sent: Thu 6/13/2013 5:06 PM Subject: NYC Council Education Update
Dear New Yorker,
As the 2012-2013 school year draws to a close, we wanted to wish all of our students and their families good luck on their end-of-the-school-year activities.
We also wanted to let you know about some of the recent work that we've been doing here at the City Council to help build a stronger, safer school system for our city's students.
If you have any questions or concerns about the information below, please don't hesitate to contact our offices.
Christine C. Quinn Speaker NYC Council
Robert Jackson Chair, Education Committee NYC Council
We have heard from parents and teachers across the City who are concerned about stand-alone field tests. To begin with, many families and educators are growing increasingly frustrated with the national emphasis on standardized testing. They believe that it puts unnecessary pressure on their children and prevents schools from adopting rich, whole child curricula that include social studies, science, physical education, and the arts.
On May 21st, we wrote to State Education Commissioner John King and Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents Meryl Tisch to ask them to immediately cease the practice of stand-alone field testing for the New York State ELA and Math exams. The next day, the City Council passed a resolution calling for the same thing. Copies of our letter and the resolution are available here.
It's imperative that we have a strong, reliable system in place to measure student progress and assess learning. We also understand that the state ELA and math exams are federally mandated. Stand-alone field tests, however, are not. Field tests disrupt instruction and cause students to lose valuable class time. And while they create another source of anxiety for some students, many students know that these tests "don't count" and therefore don't give the exams their full focus. As a result, stand-alone field tests don't provide a reliable source of data.
Pearson, the company that administers the tests, already embeds trial questions during the actual exam. They don't need to try out more questions by making students sit for exams that don't matter. Please join us in asking the State to do away with this practice by signing on to this petition.
Gifted and Talented
On May 7th, we joined Council Members, education advocates and parents to present a plan to reform New York City's gifted and talented system to ensure that the program is more representative of the New York City public school population and that there more seats for children that qualify for the program. We also announced ways to make the application and admissions process easier for all families.
Specifically, we called on the Department of Education to:
Increase the total number of Gifted and Talented seats across the City; Use local norms to assess qualifications for district programs; Align parent notification timing with private/parochial school deposit deadlines; and Move toward multiple measures of assessing giftedness after kindergarten.
You can read more about the plan here.
In early April, the New York Times published an article that examined the rise in both the number of police officers and criminal charges for non-violent student behavior in America's schools.
A student who is subjected to multiple suspensions or arrests is less likely to graduate than his or her peers and could be denied future employment opportunities due to a criminal record. Because of the devastating impact that arrests and suspensions can have on young people, the City Council held a public hearing on April 7th where we discussed possible alternatives that would keep schools safe while at the same time reduce arrests and/or suspensions in schools. Some of these models have already been implemented in City schools, and we'll continue to look closely at these and other models as we seek a more constructive and fair approach to school discipline.
You can read more about our efforts to help address this problem here.
Citywide Public Safety and Education Initiative to Combat Hate Crimes
In response to the recent spate of bias attacks targeted at the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, we recently joined forces with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to launch a citywide public safety and education initiative to combat hate crimes. As part of this initiative, schools across the City have incorporated anti-bullying lessons into end-of-year assemblies, programs, and curricula.
We have also partnered with the United Federation of Teachers, the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators, and numerous LGBTQ organizations to create a series of lessons and resources that teachers and principals can easily incorporate into their end-of-school lessons. That list and copies of our letters to schools and families can be found by clicking on the links below: