The big focus of the news on Wednesday is the news that is likely to be made Wednesday night when the Panel for Educational Policy meets in Queens to discuss, among other things, the proposal by the Success Academy charters to expand in Brooklyn.
Everything about the meeting is soaked in controversy, from the decision by the Department of Education to move it to Queens from Manhattan — a location that critics said is meant to discourage attendance — to the proposals by Eva S. Moskowitz's charter school network to move into Cobble Hill.
The News also has two opinion articles about the proposal: one from a mother in Cobble Hill who embraces the option for her children, and one from a mother who objects to the proposal to put the new school in a building with existing schools that some say will be squeezed because of the "co-location."
The News also lays out the proposal and the process that could lead to the school's opening next fall, if approved Wednesday night by the 13-member panel.
The policy panel's meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Newtown High School, 48-01 90th Street, Queens. Expect to see extensive news media coverage on Thursday.
The city's Education Department responded on Tuesday to a Viewpoint post in SchoolBook on Dec. 1 by Peter J. McNally, the executive vice president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators in New York City, about the growing unrest among principals over the state's new teacher evaluation system. You can read the response by David Weiner, deputy chancellor for the division of talent, labor and innovation, in the updated post.
Over the weekend, Reginald Richardson, who writes an Education Watch column for the Bed-Stuy Patch online news site, addressed last week's school closing announcements, noting that the 19 schools listed to be closed deal with high-needs students. Mr. Richardson writes:
We have decided as a society that the schools will be held accountable to correct every societal shortcoming, but we have failed to muster the courage and political will necessary to provide schools with the adequate supports, expertise and funding needed to really tackle the complex and multilayered circumstances that pose barriers to student academic success.
All of our children can learn and all of our schools can be successful if we are honest about what they are really up against. Every time we close a school, we must mourn for our own failure as a society.
And this update appeared last week in the The Local East Village, the online news site of The Times for that neighborhood: As Stephen Rex Brown said in a Twitter post from the meeting of Community Board 3′s Youth and Education Committee, “And the name change to STAR Academy at P.S. 63 gets the green light from C.B. 3." The issue now goes to the full community board, then the District 1 Community Education Council.
The school on East Third Street, Manhattan, now known as William McKinley, has been trying to improve its branding. As one fifth-grade student said at the meeting, the new name “brings out the star inside. William McKinley? It’s just boring … He was assassinated?”
Gotham Schools has a more complete roundup of Wednesday's education news in its Rise and Shine post.
Besides the Panel for Educational Policy meeting, Wednesday's education events include another march by seniors to the post office to send off their college applications — this time by students at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School. Led by Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, the triumphal march will kick off at 12:30 p.m. Good luck, seniors!
At 10 a.m., a publicity sweep of charter schools in the city by elected officials and Miss New York, Kaitlin Mont, will kick off at Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation, 410 East 100th Street, in Manhattan. The focus of the event is cyberbullying prevention, and students will be asked to fill out a survey about their experiences. At 12:30 p.m. the group swings over to the Renaissance Charter School at 35-99 81st Street in Jackson Heights, Queens. And at 2:30 p.m., it lands at the Bedford-Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, 82 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn.
At 7:30 p.m. the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street, will present "Unions and the Future of Our Schools: A Conversation with Randi Weingarten." The conversation will be followed by a reception with the speakers.