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Board of Education
July 25, 2018
Chicago schools pass $7.5 billion budget despite calls to halt vote
On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education voted to pass Chicago Public Schools’ $7.5 billion budget for the 2018-2019 school year, despite calls…
Student & School Performance
June 3, 2015
With a five-day sprint, state panel begins reviewing thousands of Common Core public comments
After more than a year of debate and a six-month public review of Tennessee's academic standards, a 42-member committee of educators from across the state sets to work.
Leadership & Management
February 3, 2015
Rhodes College president named to state Board of Education
William Troutt, president of Rhodes College in Memphis and former president of Belmont University in Nashville, is appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to the nine-member State Board of Education.
September 25, 2009
At the Board of Ed, Thompson neither innovated nor obstructed
In a feature today, Anna Phillips reports on what Thompson was really like while president of the Board of Education: …That was Thompson the…
July 16, 2009
Fernandez: More city grads lacked basic skills under Bloomberg
Dolores Fernandez, the Bronx's appointee to the re-formed Board of Education, appearing on BronxTalk. Graduates of the city's public high schools are falling so behind in reading and math that a community college remediation program doubled in size between 1998 and 2008, the college's former president said this week. Dolores Fernandez, who resigned from Hostos Community College last year is now serving as the Bronx borough president's appointee to the re-formed Board of Education, made the remarks in an interview on a Bronx television news program, BronxTalk. "I would have loved for the New York City public schools to put my remediation programs out of business, because that would mean that every kid graduating out of the schools could read, write, and do math," Fernandez said. Fernandez said that a hiking up of standards at CUNY's four-year colleges played some part in the growth of Hostos's remediation program. "But then you still have the regular group of kids who just are coming to us in need of a GED diploma, because they haven't graduated from the public schools, and when we get them, we're basically teaching them reading, writing, and math — I mean, basic levels," she said. The gloomy picture challenges Bloomberg's own claims about the public schools, which state figures show now graduate far more students since 2002. But Fernandez said she does not trust these figures as a fair picture of what is really happening, especially for the poor Latino community she served at Hostos Community College. You can watch the interview in the full two parts below. UPDATE: Department of Education spokesman Andrew Jacob points out in the comments section that a growing remediation program does not mean that more city students are struggling. His argument: the size of the program doesn’t tell you anything about the percentage of graduates who required remediation, because the number of public school graduates enrolling at CUNY community colleges has risen dramatically in recent years–70% between 2002 and 2008. Among Hispanic public school graduates, enrollment doubled over that same time period. With this many more students enrolling, of course the remediation program would expand, even if the percentage of graduates needing remediation fell. And, in fact, that percentage has fallen across all CUNY community colleges, from 82 percent in 2002 to 74 percent in 2008. Among all CUNY colleges, the remediation rate for public school graduates has fallen from 58% to 51%.
July 9, 2009
To serve on new Board of Ed, deputy mayors needed waivers
The mayor's signature from one of the waivers he signed. The newly reconstituted Board of Education is stacked with three deputy mayors — but before the officials could serve on the board, they had to get waivers from Mayor Bloomberg. That's because of a statute in the city charter that prevents people from holding two city jobs without receiving a waiver from the mayor. Bloomberg wrote letters (read them here) authorizing Patricia Harris, his first deputy mayor; Dennis Walcott, his deputy mayor for education; and Ed Skyler, his deputy for operations to serve on the Board of Education on the same day that it met for the first time in seven years. A deputy mayor sat on the school board as recently as the Giuliani administration, when Giuliani appointed a board member, Ninfa Segarra, as his deputy mayor. But it's not clear to me whether three deputy mayors have ever served on the board simultaneously. (Knowledgeable readers?) In each letter, Bloomberg explains he is waiving the prohibition because the deputy mayors won't be compensated for their service on the board. (State law outlines $15,000 salaries for board members and $20,000 salaries for the board president, but all board members right now are waiving the salaries.) Bloomberg appointed two of the deputies to the board, Harris and Skyler. The Queens borough president, Helen Marshall, appointed Walcott, who is now president of the board. In other new-world-order developments, Chancellor Joel Klein is declining to transform a second parent council into a community school board.
July 7, 2009
Charles Barron: Chancellor Klein is illegally occupying Tweed
City Council member Charles Barron outside Tweed Courthouse yesterday. (GothamSchools Flickr) City Councilman Charles Barron tried to haul Schools Chancellor Joel Klein off to jail yesterday but left Tweed Courthouse empty-handed. His attempted citizen's arrest came during a rally yesterday to protest Mayor Bloomberg's continued school control even after mayoral control legally expired last week. Midway through event, Barron took the microphone and ascended Tweed's steps, some of the crowd following him. "They are in there illegally," he said when he got to the doors, which were closed. "They should have to leave. This is the people's building now." The doors had been open earlier during the event. "This is a citizen's arrest," he declared, ostensibly because Klein did not vacate his offices after mayoral control technically ended. (In fact, the newly convened Board of Education voted the next day to rehire Klein as chancellor and give him the same authority he had before the mayoral control law expired.) "Is the chancellor in there?" he asked the security guards on the other side of the glass doors. "No? Tell him I'm looking for him." Barron, who has called for Klein to be fired before, said a longtime community activist, Jitu Weusi, should be the chancellor. Weusi was a lead organizer of yesterday's event, which attracted about 100 people from across the city. (View more pictures from the rally.)
July 1, 2009
Klein urges CECs to keep meeting, though they don't legally exist
A day after mayoral control's expiration, the Board of Education has been resurrected, but there are no signs of life for community school boards. Instead, the Department of Education is planning to continue the Community Education Councils — despite the fact that they no longer legally exist. These parent councils replaced school boards in 2003 and, with the law's expiration, have been legally stripped of their authority and responsibilities. Chancellor Joel Klein, who was voted back into office unanimously today by the new Board of Education, sent a memo to principals today outlining his plans for the CECs. He said he is urging the CECs to continue meeting "at least until September when we hope to have more clarity." "If the Councils decide not to continue their work, we've asked them to notify us immediately," Klein wrote. The decision to create of a Board of Education and vote in a chancellor while leaving the rest of the power structure as it was under mayoral control has divided the system into old and new. The school system's top half is in compliance with pre-2002 law, while its lower quarters legally don't exist.
July 1, 2009
BOE on tape: The most productive 4 minutes you'll ever see
The speedy pace and the unnervingly scripted feeling of today's Board of Education meeting is captured in this video I took, which at four minutes documents almost half of the meeting. The video starts just as board members are voting for Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott as president. Walcott leads the rest of the meeting. After he takes over, you'll see the group vote to elect the Department of Education's chief lawyer, Michael Best, as its secretary and hear the resolution proposed that would make Joel Klein chancellor. We all know how that vote turned out: 7-0 in support of extending to Klein "all powers under law ... that may lawfully be delegated to the chancellor." The board members, from left to right: Jimmy Yan, Patricia Harris, Carlo Scissura, Walcott, Edward Burke, Edward Skyler, and Fernandez. Sitting just behind the board on their left (our right) was Klein, who looked on but never said a word during the proceedings or the press conference that followed. The full text of the resolution to rehire Klein is below:
everything old is new again
July 1, 2009
In 9-minute meeting, reborn Board of Ed endorses Klein and mayoral control, and is gone ’til September
This piece was reported by Philissa Cramer and Anna Phillips. The mayor’s top education aide is the new president of the Board of Education, Joel…
July 1, 2009
Board of Education meeting today for first time in 7 years
It's all happening: The newly recreated Board of Education is meeting today at noon, inside Tweed Courthouse, the headquarters of the city schools administration. As we reported last night, convening the board is the first step to getting the new, post-mayoral control governance system up and running. The media advisory I received underscores the confusion that is sure to rule today: The event is billed as an emergency meeting of the Board of Education, but the logo in the e-mail is the multi-colored one used by the Department of Education. We know three of the seven people who will be sitting on the board when it meets: We reported yesterday that Dolores Fernandez, a former college president and critic of the mayor's policies, is Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr's pick. Scott Stringer of Manhattan is appointing his counsel, Jimmy Yan, on an interim basis and Brooklyn's Marty Markowitz picked his chief of staff, Carlo Scissura, according to the New York Times. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is announcing her pick right now and Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro will name his nominee at noon. Mayor Bloomberg hasn't yet said who he'll choose to fill the two seats he controls. Update: The DOE just sent out the full line up and there are some interesting choices. First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris (Mayoral appointee) Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler (Mayoral appointee) Dr. Dolores Fernandez (Bronx appointee) Carlo Scissura (Brooklyn appointee) Jimmy Yan (Manhattan appointee) Deputy Borough President Edward Burke (Staten Island appointee) Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott (Queens appointee) Here's the announcement that just came from the communications office at "NYC DOE":
June 30, 2009
Theoretical Board of Ed that may exist tomorrow gets 1st member
<em>Courtesy of the Bronx borough president's office</em> No one can accuse Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. of being unprepared for the possibility that mayoral control will expire tonight. Diaz just named his potential appointee to the theoretical Board of Education. That person is Dr. Dolores Fernandez, a professor of urban education at CUNY's Graduate Center who retired as president of Hostos Community College in 2008. Fernandez's appointment will become effective at midnight tonight if the 2002 mayoral control law expires and the Senate does not pass a law to replace it. Diaz said in a statement today that he is "a supporter of some form of mayoral control." Asked if Diaz would recommend that his appointee to the board vote to retain Joel Klein as chancellor, John DeSio, a spokesman for the borough president, would not comment yesterday. "He has mixed opinions on the chancellor," DeSio said. Fernandez could not immediately be reached for comment. In a release put out by Diaz's office, she said: "For me, it is an honor to be thought of by Borough President Diaz to represent The Bronx on the Board of Education. I look forward to serving our borough, and its children, in an admirable and professional way." Between 1988 and 1990, Fernandez was deputy chancellor for instruction and development for the Board of Education. She served under chancellor Richard Green, the system's first black chancellor, who died suddenly a year into his tenure of an asthma attack, leaving the school system in disarray. Fernandez has a Master's in Education and a professional diploma in Educational Administration. The full press release follows.
March 17, 2009
To challenge mayor on schools, Thompson cites Diane Ravitch
Comptroller and mayoral candidate William Thompson Jr. (Via Azi's Flickr.) Comptroller Bill Thompson, who is also a candidate for mayor, ended his appearance on NY1's "Road to City Hall" last night with the clearest preview yet of how he will challenge Mayor Bloomberg on the schools front. He will quote Diane Ravitch. Thompson cited Ravitch, the NYU education historian who has emerged as a prime critic of the mayor's education efforts, after host Dominic Carter painted a picture of how Bloomberg is likely to portray the comptroller in campaign ads. Carter imagined ads that would single out the comptroller's tenure as president of the Board of Education, in a pitch to associate Thompson with the days before mayoral control of the schools, which the mayor has characterized as dismal. Thompson replied by challenging Bloomberg's portrait of the city schools' progress since 2002. He said that the "eminent" Ravitch has shown that test scores went up just as much before Bloomberg took office as they did when Thompson served as Board of Education president. (He served in that role from 1996 to 2001.) A spokesman for Thompson today sent me to this Ravitch quotation as evidence. The key sentence: The gains under Crew and Levy from 1999-2002 were larger on the state tests in both reading and math than under Klein from 2003-2007. I reached Ravitch by telephone today. She told me that she was surprised to hear herself cited by Thompson. (Like me, she happened to be watching NY1 at just the right moment last night — though probably unlike me, in her case the timing of "Gossip Girl" had little to do with that.) "I’m not involved in his campaign or anyone else’s campaign," Ravitch told me. "I don’t do politics. I haven’t been politically active since the Hubert Humphrey campaign in 1968."
March 5, 2009
3 things we know about Thompson's schools view; more we don't
Comptroller Bill Thompson. (Via ##http://flickr.com/photos/azipaybarah/2376506857/##Azi's Flickr##.) My former colleague Jacob Gershman is very good at raising subjects everyone is talking about but nobody says in print. He did so with today's piece on Comptroller William Thompson Jr., who is making school issues a big part of his mayoral campaign — without clarifying his positions on some of the main school issues of the day. Gershman argues Thompson possesses a "carefully cultivated irrelevance." But there is stuff we do know about where Thompson stands on education issues, though much of the facts raise more questions than they answer. First, we know that he's said he favors retaining control of the school system if he becomes mayor. It's unclear exactly how much control he'd like to give himself (a big empty space, as we pointed out), but he's said repeatedly that he supports the mayor having primary authority. "I may be in a shrinking group of those who support it," he told a committee in testimony that was supposed to be off the record but which I obtained when I was at the New York Sun. We also know the two main points of attack Thompson has selected for criticizing Bloomberg's school efforts: He criticizes the mayor on transparency, which he says is so poor that even his office struggles to understand the school system's finances, and parental involvement. Both of these are safe issues; they're exactly the points conceded by one of the most prominent mayoral allies on schools, Geoffrey Canada, and they avoid the nastier battlegrounds of school closings, accountability, and charter schools.
February 11, 2009
New public advocate contender used to battle the school board
Betsy Gotbaum, the current public advocate, has routinely directed her scrutiny toward the Department of Education. This week, the city’s first public advocate, Mark Green,…
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