Education Reform in NY and NJ

Thursday, November 05, 2009

President Obama gave a major education speech yesterday that may have implications for how New York runs its school system. Beth Fertig, WNYC education reporter and author of Why Can't You Teach Me 2 Read?, offers analysis and what changes NYC may adopt to get further federal funding. And meanwhile in New Jersey, Chris Christie chose a Newark charter school as the location of his first news conference. And he was talking education reform as well. WNYC senior reporter Bob Hennelly, discusses Christie's speech.


Beth Fertig and Bob Hennelly

Comments [13]

Mary from New Jersey

Attention is brought to the charter schools alot but I would like to bring attention to the fact that charter schools do not service special needs, bilingual students or students with behavior problems. If there are major behavior problems the charter schools are at liberty to remove them from their schools. Public schools do not have the same liberties. We are comparing apples to oranges when we compare charter schools and public schools. It's not the unions that are the problem.

Nov. 07 2009 11:36 AM
hjs from 11211


do u think any factors outside of the class room (which teachers can't control) might effect the ability of a student to learn?

just as an example if there is no food or heat at home and a student doesn't do their homework or study. how can the teacher force a student to learn?

Nov. 05 2009 12:41 PM
jeff from manhattan

On what basis should a teachers performance be based if not on how well they educate their students?

If the students are not learning and testing well, then the teacher is not doing the fundamental basics of the job.

How else can you rate the success of a teacher?

This is not a difficult concept and I am at a complete loss to understand the dissent.

The dropout rate in our schools has never been higher and our kids are failing to merge successfully in to society with solid educations that propel them to college.

Accountability against student achievement is the basis of measuring a teachers performance. Tenure is not a factor. Student achievement is the goal.

Nov. 05 2009 12:06 PM
Roberta from NYC

Paying teachers based on student performance on assessments is extremely complex and ultimately problematic, yet we rarely dig into the deeper implications of the issue. During the past ten years, policy makers have been increasing the expectations for students by generating more mandated assessments and demanding higher scores for pass rates, while simultaneously reducing the qualifications for teacher education, training and certification. The state/city places under-prepared teachers in under-served neighborhoods and then holds press conferences to announce that they're failing our children.

Expectations for high performance continues to increase while school budgets are slashed, training opportunities are cut and fewer people are left to do more with less. And policy makers hold press conferences at charter schools, (who are allowed to reject 9 out of 10 applicants outright) and announce that all schools should function similarly. Education reform is necessary, and it begins with uncovering the political agendas that use our children and schools to win votes.

Nov. 05 2009 11:43 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

I think we need to find a way to get parents involved in education. A child who does not get support at home encouraging him/her to study and emphasizing the importance of education will not do well, even with a very qualified teacher. Accountability is important in reform, but teachers cannot be the only target!!

Nov. 05 2009 10:51 AM
Kat from Brooklyn

Just wondering, was Christie's visit to a Newark school planned before the election, or did it have anything to do with the remarks he made on election night when he seemed to be putting down urban schools (didn't he say something like he moved to a suburb to get a better education?). Sorry for the cynicism, but this seems very conveniently timed...

Nov. 05 2009 10:48 AM
Nitika Nadgar from NYC

Assessments are necessary. Teachers do them everyday by observing and recording there student's progress. Testing is only ONE type of assessment, and unfortunately the easiest and most efficient. We need to broaden our definitions of assessments. I agree with Joel, the assessment movement is killing innovative teaching. That is because the assessment movement is not innovative. Portfolio based assessments are one way of being more innovative. I doubt that anyone wants to spend the time and money to look at student's portfolios.

Nov. 05 2009 10:43 AM
john from office

The teachers union is distructive to the purpose of education. Pu the blame lies with the parents who ignore their children. That is the secret

Nov. 05 2009 10:43 AM
Janny from jersey city

good grief, please don't let the model be a charter school excelling despite only receiving 1/3 less money! Let the model be - provide charters with 100% of the money they deserve!!! Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City receives less than 50% of the funding they deserve...Christie was here campaiging, and let's hope he doesn't forget about us.

Nov. 05 2009 10:42 AM
Alex from Brooklyn

Sounds like we need the education $ to help pay for our banks and bankers.

Nov. 05 2009 10:41 AM
Jennifer Bartlett from Brooklyn

What is the Mayor and UFT doing to resolve situations in schools like IS 126 where both teachers and children are being abused.

Nov. 05 2009 10:35 AM
Joel Shatzky from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I have been an educator for over forty years and my experience with "merit pay" is that it is divisive and destructive to teacher morale. Most teachers that I know do not regard pay increases as a majob motivation for good teaching. Good teaching conditions, especially having the freedom to innovate, are far more motivating and the assessment movement is destructive to innovative teaching, President Obama's intentions notwithwstanding.

Nov. 05 2009 09:57 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

President Obama’s views and policies on education would carry more weight if he sent his own children to public school.

Nov. 05 2009 08:34 AM

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