By midday Wednesday the school year officially will be out for summer. And, while educators say each year has its highs and lows, many concede the 2012-2013 year was especially packed with challenges.
Nearly 200 high school grads received special recognition Monday night for overcoming exceptional adversity while completing high school, with plans to go to college. As one award recipient said: "If you’re struggling, be an active struggler; do everything you can to improve your situation."
June 21 is the last day of school for students at Sandy Hook Elementary. The year is finishing with four first-grade classes, down from five, after a gunman killed 20 students in December. One Sandy Hook family, whose daughter just finished first grade at the school, describes their recovery as taking "two steps forward and two steps back."
There was a subdued mood in Newtown, Conn. Friday, six months after six educators and 20 children were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Critics of Mayor Bloomberg's education policies are calling on the next mayor to put less reliance on standardized test scores. Five Democratic candidates have expressed support for the plan, which comes out less than a week ahead of when the teachers' union plans to endorse a candidate.
Children's advocates argue that cuts to after-school and childcare programs hurt not only the children they serve, but the city's working parents. They surveyed nearly 6,000 parents who said they rely on the programs to stay employed. The proposed cuts are part of budget talks underway between City Hall and the City Council.
Advocates and students want to require restorative approaches to discipline first, before a school is able to suspend a student. They also say students should no longer be suspended under broad terms like "defying authority," or for minor offenses such as writing graffiti.
Now that the evaluation plan is set, training and implementation come next. Many teachers say they are worried that the complex plan will not be carried out correctly, especially with the increased demands the plan places on principals.
School suspensions in New York City are on the decline, a new trend. But many critics say the numbers are still too high at a time when the thinking around school discipline has evolved. They say that suspensions fail to solve the behavior problem in the first place, since there's very little opportunity for the school and the student’s family to work together. We get a glimpse of this communication divide through the story of one Queens family.
After delays and much drama, New York City officially has a new evaluation system in place for teachers and principals. It replaces a more simplistic system that's been the model since the 1930s, and incorporates the controversial element of student test scores.
A panel of children's advocates, educators, and attorneys is urging the next New York City mayor to revamp the way many students are disciplined at school. Led by New York's former chief judge, the panel warned that students who are suspended or arrested at school are more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system down the line.
By June 1 there will be a new evaluation system for New York CIty teachers and principals. State Education Commissioner John King is stepping in to impose a plan since New York City and its unions failed to negotiate one. But even with no final plan in place, principals have been training for the new evaluation system all spring. Teacher training comes next.
Over the course of the past few months, students have turned cafeteria tables into works of art focused on contemporary social issues, such as gun violence or bullying. The tables will be on display in 10 city parks this summer.
New York City will remove light fixtures containing the toxic PCBs over the next 3.5 years, well ahead of its original end date of 2021. More than 600 school buildings still have the old fixtures.
SchoolBook is hosting a forum on STEM education on Tuesday, May 21. Join us any way you can, in person, via our live webstream or on Twitter (hashtag #StemNYC.) To whet your appetite for the topic take a listen to our recent story about the city's efforts to seed science, technology, engineering and math programs in the school system.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor told a large gathering of parents of English language learners to speak up and ask for help navigating the massive school system, and to remember this mantra: "I am not stupid. I am ignorant. Help me figure it out."
Will the next Mark Zuckerberg graduate from a New York City public school? Just ask the students at the Academy for Software Engineering in Manhattan. They start coding as freshmen and are learning the skills to be web developers and internet entrepreneurs. As summer nears for the first freshman class, New Tech City checks in with students about what they've learned so far. "I built a data center in my bedroom," said Gio Rascigno.
Whether you're 18 or 85, keeping up with new technology is increasingly important for success and even well-being. Meet a teenager and an octogenarian learning new tech skills as we tour the city's first software engineering high school and a senior center where bridge and canasta make way for a course called "Beginner iPad."
For the second time in three weeks, Pearson apologized for errors made when scoring the test for admission to the city's gifted and talented programs. The latest round of errors affects the eligibility of 146 test takers and changes the scores - but not the status - of 159 others. The deadline to apply to G&T; programs has been extended, again.
After the city's law department said the D.O.E. would replace old light fixtures containing PCBs "well before" its original deadline of 2021, frustrated parents, advocates and elected officials said they want details.