The city distributed $5.7 million in performance bonuses to principals and assistant principals this year, based on rankings of their students' test scores and graduation rates, the same criteria used to assign letter grades to schools. Principals at 17 schools that ranked in the top one percent received the maximum bonus of $25,000.
New York City education officials are preparing to publicly release the ratings of 12,700 teachers in the coming weeks, following a court's denial of the city teachers' union's appeal. The union on Tuesday lost what what officials said was probably the final round in its battle to keep the ratings private.
It was nearly midnight by the time a city board voted last week to close 18 schools and eliminate the middle grades at five others. And by that hour, most of the parents and students in those schools had left, tired and frustrated, and with unanswered questions. We put some of those questions to the city's Department of Education.
Following the arrest last week of a teacher's aide at a prestigious Upper West Side elementary school on charges that he sexually abused a child, Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said the city is examining its policies to close any gaps that might have prevented the incident. Though the aide had previously been accused of inappropriate behavior toward a middle school student, it remains unclear whether Public School 87's principal was informed of his history.
To bolster student performance at some of the city’s lowest-performing middle schools, New York City is concentrating on boosting students’ reading and writing skills.The Education Department and City Council have embarked on a plan to train teachers in literacy instruction for adolescents who read at a third- or fourth-grade level.
A city board voted to close 18 poor-performing schools and eliminate the middle school grades at five others, drawing howls of opposition from hundreds of teachers’ union members, parents and students.
UPDATED | The Panel for Educational Policy voted Thursday night to close 18 city schools and remove the middle school grades from 5 more. SchoolBook was there, providing updates throughout the evening.
Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation returned to a Brooklyn elementary school Wednesday to continue an investigation of a teacher’s aide who was arrested on charges of sexually molesting children inside the school, and to search for more victims, law enforcement officials said.
Meanwhile, New York City education officials met with parents at the school, Public School 243 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and sent home a letter alerting parents to the aide’s arrest and providing a hotline number they could call to speak to investigators.
UPDATED | A teacher's aide at P.S. 243 in Crown Heights was arrested by the F.B.I. Monday night on charges that he sexually abused and videotaped students at the school, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the case. The chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, visited the school to meet with staff and teachers, and issued a statement expressing his horror and disgust upon learning of the allegations.
The new Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem, which is modeling itself on the Department of Education's popular program for high-functioning autistic students, called ASD Nest, has given itself the ambitious task of seeking out families who may not know their children have a disorder on the autism spectrum.
For the first time in three years, New York City teachers are not being threatened with layoffs, "unless something dramatic happens," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, announcing his preliminary budget on Thursday.
UPDATED | Pedro Noguera, a State University of New York trustee who oversaw the creation of new charter schools, has resigned, citing concerns that the institute has a political agenda to increase the number of charters, rather than a mission to develop experimental schools.
A report released by the city's Department of Education on Wednesday sheds some light on what happens to students who remain once a failing school begins the process of closing down. Four city high schools shut their doors last summer, graduating an average of 58 percent of the students who remained until the final days, according to the department's report.
Principals of public schools in Chinatown say they see an influx of new students in the weeks and months after the Lunar New Year holiday, which took place last week and is the most important day in the traditional Chinese calendar. Not only do children disappear for days or weeks to return to their hometowns in China for the holiday, but many families also come back with additional children.
Public Prep, a charter school network in New York City, said a senior member of the finance and operations staff used the organization's credit card to spend tens of thousands of dollars on personal items. The staff member has resigned, and the network said all but $1,000 should be recouped through insurance.
An increase in the number of students who qualify for free tutoring this year has led New York City to narrow its eligibility requirements, cutting off services to more than 3,500 students and offering them exclusively to those in the poorest households. Currently about 54,000 city students take part in federally funded tutoring because they attend schools that have failed for two years to make adequate progress under the No Child Left Behind law.
Teachers at some of the 33 so-called struggling schools that are engaged in improvement efforts sent a letter last week to Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and the teachers union president, Michael Mulgrew. The teachers petitioned the city and union to reach an agreement on a new teacher evaluation system that would fulfill the requirements of a federal grant and free up $58 million that the state has been withholding. Meanwhile, the city and union have resumed informal talks.
The principal of a troubled Bronx high school will resign at the end of this week amid accusations that she gave some students credit for classes they never took. City officials said on Thursday that Sharron Smalls, the principal of Jane Addams High School for Academic Careers, will step down as principal on Friday, leaving her $140,000 job to become an assistant principal at another school. The school is slated to be phased out.
Many New York City teachers and principals are not using the city's $80 million student information database, according to an audit by the city comptroller, John C. Liu, released on Monday. Many teachers have not even logged into the ARIS system, the audit shows.
Responding to an informal survey conducted by a teacher who is the union chapter leader, about half the staff members at a Lower Manhattan high school indicated concerns about school safety and the integrity of the school's academics.