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Shael Polakow Suransky

Schoolbook

Deputy Chancellor Leaves to Head Bank Street Education School

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weeks after the city got a new schools chancellor, the number two at the Department of Education is leaving for academia. Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky has been named president of Bank Street College of Education. He insists he was not forced out.

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Schoolbook

City Teachers, Principals Brace for Low Test Scores

Monday, August 05, 2013

Principals started getting test scores for their schools Monday, but they are not allowed to discuss the results before the state and city release them publicly on Wednesday. Nonetheless, word is spreading among anxious teachers and principals that the scores really did go down. One person close to the school system called it a "bloodbath."

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Schoolbook

Fury Continues over Regents Scoring Problems

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's been a frustrating week for the city's high school teachers and principals because of delays scoring the state Regents exams. The city said a new system was supposed to make scoring faster and easier, but there were software problems. Meanwhile, some students will attend graduation ceremonies not knowing whether they have passed all of their exams.

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Schoolbook

City: Grad Rates Show More Students Staying in School

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New York City's Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky talks with WNYC about the trends in the high school graduation rates, and how increased standards will affect graduation numbers going forward. Listen to the full interview here.

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Schoolbook

City Picks New Common Core Materials

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Educators now can choose from a city-approved list when buying materials that adhere to the Common Core standards in math and English. Schools won't get the new materials until September though, months after students take the first Common Core-aligned exams.

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Schoolbook

Panel Debates Bloomberg's School Reforms

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A frank assessment of the Bloomberg legacy and what awaits the next mayor were the highlights of a breakfast panel hosted by City & State and SchoolBook. You can hear it here.

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Schoolbook

Families Struggle With New Special Education Rules

Monday, September 03, 2012

As the city expands its special education reforms across the city, the new policy has run into a few speed bumps. Families and schools are struggling to understand and meet the requirement that neighborhood schools serve almost all the students in its community even if that means adding staff and providing services the school has never provided before.

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Schoolbook

City Sees Special Ed Reforms as Costly but Necessary

Monday, July 30, 2012

Speaking on WNYC, the city's chief academic officer, Shael Polakow-Suransky, said the city was opening its hot line this week for parents of special education students ahead of this fall's overhaul of special education programs. Listen to the conversation, and share your comments.

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Schoolbook

Proposed Change May Ease Promotion Ban

Monday, June 04, 2012

The city is proposing to give a small number of students who have been held back at least once a chance of moving ahead to the next grade if they fail their state exams again this summer. But the students' principals will have to prove they are making progress on at least two measures of performance.

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Schoolbook

Scoring of State Math and Reading Tests Is Almost Complete

Monday, May 14, 2012

More than 5,000 New York City teachers have been assigned to score the state math and reading exams. The work happens at several sites around the city during the school day, which means students are without their regular classroom teachers for several days at a time.

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Schoolbook

City Instructs Schools to Expand Common Core Introduction

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

In an effort to expand the introduction of a new set of learning standards into the city's public schools, officials are asking science and social studies teachers to introduce more reading and writing into students' classwork. This school year, English and math teachers have already begun to adapt their lessons to the new requirements.

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Schoolbook

Two Similar Schools, Two Very Different Assessments

Monday, April 30, 2012

School progress reports, standardized testing and legal battles over private school tuition were all in the news over the weekend, with Michael Winerip comparing two South Bronx schools, Gail Collins examining "A Very Pricey Pineapple," and Jenny Anderson looking at what happened when some parents tried to withdraw their child from private school.

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Schoolbook

A Final Decision for 24 City Schools

Friday, April 27, 2012

At a bit before midnight, more than three months after the idea was first proposed, the Panel for Educational Policy voted to reconstitute two dozen city schools by closing them, replacing most of their staff members and reopening them with new names. The vote was the end of a prolonged process, a day of drama and a very long, emotional night.

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Schoolbook

Plea for Bushwick High: Give Last-Chance School Another Chance

Monday, April 23, 2012

The president of the principals' union makes a case to save Bushwick Community High School, a transfer high school that is slated to be closed. Ernest Logan writes: "Not one student I encountered on my recent visit could figure out how losing their principal, teachers and cherished school name was going to help them."

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Schoolbook

With Test Week Here, Parents Consider the Option of Opting Out

Monday, April 16, 2012

While thousands of New York public school students will sit for mandated standardized tests this week, only a handful will be deliberately kept from picking up their No. 2 pencils to fill in the test sheet bubbles. That doesn't mean more parents aren't thinking about keeping their children home.

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Schoolbook

A Turnaround on Turnaround for Seven Schools

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Like a roller coaster on its final descent, the city's "turnaround" push for 33 "struggling schools" seemed to be picking up speed and heading toward an inevitable conclusion. But in an unexpected twist, the Education Department decided to give seven schools a reprieve, acknowledging that they were on the ascent and should be given more time to continue to improve.

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Schoolbook

City Revokes Testing Word Ban

Monday, April 02, 2012

Why should pressure groups who won battles a generation ago in other states and regions determine what appears on the tests of New York City?

New York City Department of Education officials said late Monday that they were pulling back on a clause in contracts for testing companies that list 50 words and topics that they should avoid in creating new tests.

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Schoolbook

Test Results You Can't Rely On

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Almost everybody who is interested in education can agree that accountability is a good thing. But many people are growing angry that testing used by many school systems is flawed or at best imprecise, a parent writes.

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Schoolbook

Are There Lessons in the Trayvon Martin Tragedy?

Friday, March 23, 2012

As the days go on, reaction has been building nationwide to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was killed by a self-anointed neighborhood watchdog in Sanford, Fla. Surely the case is playing out in classrooms and over dinner tables in New York City. So parents, teachers: what impact has the shooting had on you, and what lessons, if any, can be taught out of this unspeakable tragedy?

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Schoolbook

Doubts About High-Stakes Tests and Their Effect on Teachers

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

At a panel discussion on high-stakes testing Monday night, the chief academic officer of New York City's public schools said that principals were not alone in being concerned about the state's new teacher evaluation system. He also has qualms.

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