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Schoolbook

Pearson Says Its Tests Are 'Valid and Reliable'

Friday, May 04, 2012

Pearson, which has a $32 million contract to develop tests for New York State, defended the quality of its work. In a letter to the State Education Department, it said the answers to a controversial question involving a pineapple and a hare on the eighth-grade English language arts exam could be derived through “evidence” from the text.

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Schoolbook

Pearson Defends Use of Pineapple Story on State Test

Friday, May 04, 2012

Pearson, the testing company, says it stands behind the math and reading tests the company developed for New York State this year and, in a letter to the state Education Department, defended its decision to include a now-notorious passage about a pineapple and a hare on the eighth grade English language-arts exam.

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Schoolbook

State Tests Begin Tuesday, but Some Students Will Sit Them Out

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Public school students throughout the city will be sitting down on Tuesday for a series of federally mandated tests that will be influential in everything from students' promotions to teachers' tenure. A small but determined group of parents who have had their children opt out from taking the tests have been applauded by commenters as "brave" and "pioneers."

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Schoolbook

Plans to Close 26 Schools Will Proceed Regardless of Financing, City Says

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said on Wednesday that the city will close and reopen 26 schools this summer, regardless of whether New York State's education commissioner approves the controversial plans. At stake is nearly $60 million in federal grant money.

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Schoolbook

State Will Overhaul Its Handling of Test-Tampering Complaints

Friday, March 16, 2012

The state Education Department announced on Thursday that it would hire a team of investigators and lawyers to overhaul and modernize the state's handling of test tampering complaints. Among the recommendations: create a new test security unit made up of investigators and lawyers, take over investigations of serious claims of test tampering, increase penalties for school staff members who are found cheating and mandate that any person who learns of test tampering report it to the state.

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Schoolbook

Tutoring Services Providers Must Be Held to Higher Standards

Thursday, March 01, 2012

State education officials should be setting performance standards for private and nonprofit companies that provide tutoring services to children in low-performing schools, instead of trying to get the federal government to let them use tutoring funds for other services, the writer says.

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Schoolbook

Balance Is Key to Success of the New Evaluation System

Friday, February 17, 2012

A professor who has researched the merits of value-added teacher assessments writes: "In their agreement, the state Education Department and teachers’ union struck a delicate balance between a useful -- but imprecise -- measure of student progress under a given teacher, and respect for the professional judgment of educators. State educators should resist the temptation to place more emphasis on tests that are not up to the task.'

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Schoolbook

Principals Protest Tally: 1,088

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The number of principals who have signed a letter objecting to the state's system of teacher evaluations has grown to 1,088, with more New York City public school principals joining the protest.

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Schoolbook

Six Hours of State Tests Coming This Spring

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

With increased emphasis on standardized testing a sore point (to put it mildly) for many parents and educators -- and with this year's test results also factoring into teacher evaluations -- the state's decision to extend the length of the math and language arts for elementary and middle school students was, needless to say, met with some scorn.

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Still More Principals Sign Petition

Monday, December 19, 2011

As of Sunday night, 1,046 principals had signed a letter objecting to New York State’s system of teacher evaluations.

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Schoolbook

State Puts a Precise Cost on Helping Illegal Immigrant Students

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The cost to New York state for its version of a Dream Act was put at $627,428, a number so low when compared with other expenses the state has that the bill’s chief supporters -- the education commissioner, John B. King Jr., and the Board of Regents chancellor, Merryl H. Tisch -- hope it will help mollify some of the opposition the bill is bound to face.

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New York Rated Tops in Nation for School Choice

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A report by the Brookings Institution rates New York No. 1 in the nation when it comes to school choice, finding that it provided the most freedom to students and parents and the most relevant information on educational performance.

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Schoolbook

More Principals Speak Out Against State Evaluation System

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More than 650 principals across New York State have signed a petition objecting to the new state system to evaluate teachers and principals based on student testing. SchoolBook asked them why, and compiled their responses.

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Schoolbook

More Testing Time for Third to Eighth Graders?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is the state proposing to radically expand the reading tests it gives students from grades 3 to 8, growing them to almost three hours over two days? The Daily News reports that such a plan has been floated to school leaders and district superintendents throughout the state.

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Why I Signed: Principals' Objections to the New Evaluation System

Monday, November 28, 2011

Principals across New York State who object to the new state system to evaluate teachers and principals based on student testing have begun circulating a petition against it. A few of the 650 principals who have signed give their reasons.

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Schoolbook

City Must Improve Its Services for English Learners

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More than a year ago, the state informed the city that it would require it to create a plan to improve its performance in serving English language learners, and on Wednesday it released the city’s 31-page pledge. Among other things, the plan spells out the extent to which the city is in violation of state law with the services it does provide.

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Math Do-Over for State Officials on School Safety

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Did state education officials' failure to read all the tabs on an Excel spreadsheet lead to the low count of violent episodes in New York City schools? State officials concede that they listed 20,000 fewer cases than had been reported to them, and say they are now recalculating the total, as well as revising the list of "persistently dangerous schools."

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Schoolbook

State to Revise Its List of 'Dangerous Schools'

Monday, October 10, 2011

The state Education Department left 20,000 violent incidents in city schools undocumented -- likely part of the reason that only 9 of the 19 "most dangerous schools" were from New York City. Now officials are revising their list of the most crime-plagued schools.

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Schoolbook

A New Way to Rate Teachers? We Explain.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The news: The city is considering introducing a slew of new local tests beginning next year, as part of the developing teacher evaluation system, and officials said there will be some kind of new effectiveness ranking linked to those tests. The background: our primer on the evolving teacher evaluation system.

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Schoolbook

Keeping 'Success' in a Success Academy School

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What would the Upper West Success Academy Charter School be without "success?" Thanks to an eleventh-hour save, the latest addition to the Success Charter Network does not have to find out.

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