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April 17, 2018
Colorado teachers plan more walkouts, and Jeffco canceled classes one day next week
The announcements come after hundreds of teachers marched at the Capitol Monday to protect their retirement benefits and call for more school funding.
March 15, 2017
Nashville high school students stage walkout to protest Trump’s visit
About 100 students at a Nashville charter school organize a walkout less than two miles from the hall where the president is scheduled to speak later in the day.
February 16, 2017
Betsy DeVos’s first week at the U.S. Education Department: What you need to know
She’s having trouble getting into schools, inspired some people to jump into public service, and is still attracting attention far beyond the usual education audience.
October 2, 2014
At rally, charter advocates push de Blasio on low-performing schools
Last year, thousands of charter school parents and advocates ratcheted up pressure on Mayor Bill de Blasio to move quickly to improve the city’s struggling schools.
April 23, 2014
Email to the editor: State budget protest coverage inadequate
Two weeks ago, members of the city’s Community Education Councils protested the state budget deal outside the New York Public Library and then marched to Gov. Andrew…
November 18, 2013
Small rally against the Common Core airs big issues in Albany
ALBANY — In New York, supporters of the Common Core are quick to point out that criticism of the new learning standards has focused on implementation. But the people who showed up at the State Education Department's steps in Albany this afternoon made it clear their opposition is to the standards themselves. They echoed critiques that have been leveled across the country, that the standards are a federal overreach and developmentally inappropriate for children. Hoisting signs that likened the Common Core to "child abuse" and Communism and chanting "No more Common Core," about 40 parents and students from around the state attended the rally. The rally took place on a day that critics of the Common Core, led by an upstate mother and Tea Party activist, had designated on Facebook as "National Don't Send Your Child To School Day."
October 24, 2013
Protest at John Dewey High School against co-location plan
A public hearing Wednesday evening at Brooklyn’s John Dewey High School attracted hundreds of teachers, students, families, and graduates to protest the Department of Education’s…
June 12, 2012
Job interviews—and protests—continue at 'turnaround' schools
Teachers Kevin Kearns, (right) and others protest the turnaround plans in front of Department of Education headquarters. With the 24 turnaround schools deep into the hiring process, a small handful of teachers gathered in front of Tweed this afternoon to show their opposition despite the rain. Protesters from John Dewey High School Lehman High School grimly described their uncertain futures. But they did not renew any pleas to Department of Education officials to stop the turnaround. They were joined by several teachers from Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, which the city placed on its original list of turnaround schools but later removed. Marian Swerdlow, the FDR union chapter leader-elect, said she and several colleagues turned out this afternoon to show their support and register opposition to all school closures. She stood stone-faced in front of the DOE headquarters in a United Federation of Teachers rain poncho, holding a crumpled sign that read, "the turnaround model is all wet." The city cannot make any final hiring decisions at the 24 schools, which are closing this summer and immediately re-opening under the reform model known as 'turnaround.' But hiring committees made up of city and teachers union officials, school administrators and parents in each of the schools have been busily conducting back-to-back interviews with teachers hoping to keep their jobs.
April 3, 2012
At two schools not saved from turnaround, the hearings go on
Grover Cleveland High School students march around the Ridgewood, Queens school's perimeter before the closure hearing. When public hearings about the city's plans to "turn around" two large high schools began last night, few of their supporters had heard that other schools had been spared the aggressive reform process. Herbert H. Lehman High School and Grover Cleveland High School were not among seven top-rated schools that the city announced yesterday would not undergo turnaround after all. The controversial process requires schools to close and reopen with new names and many new teachers. A third school slated for a public hearing Monday night, Brooklyn's School for Global Studies, had its turnaround plans withdrawn. But at Lehman and Cleveland, the hearings went on without interruption — with students, teachers, and graduates at each offering more than three hours of testimony about their schools. Cleveland Diana Rodriguez, the senior class president at Cleveland, saw the surprising news about changes to the turnaround list on her phone during a pre-hearing rally organized by students. “Obviously Cleveland is not on the list. This is very disappointing for us but we will not give up,” she said. “Tonight we will show that we have a voice and will not give in.” That voice grew strained over the course of the afternoon and evening from loud chants and cheers. Before the closure hearing, Rodriguez led a band of students — including one dressed in a tiger costume — on a march around the neighborhood. As they passed the Q54 bus on Metropolitan Avenue, the driver honked repeatedly at the procession and other cars joined the chorus. More students joined when the group returned to the school's entrance on Himrod Street, until the rally swelled to nearly 50.
March 28, 2012
As hearing nears, Sheepshead students indict turnaround plan
In preparation to protest the closure of Sheepshead Bay High School tonight at a public hearing, students interrogated a cardboard cutout of Mayor Michael Bloomberg on video. In the video, a student posing as an attorney stages a mock "cross-examination," of the mayor and his plans, which involve closing and re-opening 33 schools this year under a federal reform model known as "turnaround."
March 15, 2012
UFT protesters create "cemetery" of Manhattan school closures
Present and former teachers from schools around the city that were targeted for closure rallied at Foley Square Thursday afternoon. Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew told teachers to dress for a funeral today. Teachers who worked at schools that the city has closed or is trying to close gathered at "Mayor Bloomberg's Cemetery" — actually Foley Square, in Lower Manhattan — to mourn the Bloomberg administration's school closure policies. Joined by about 60 union members, the teachers displayed pictures of tombstones etched with the names of schools the city has targeted for closure, including Bread and Roses High School, Legacy High School for Integrated Studies, Manhattan Theater Lab School.
March 13, 2012
City officials are short on answers at Brooklyn turnaround forum
Wearing red shirts that read "We Believe in John Dewey," a row of teachers from the South Brooklyn high school give a student's testimony a standing ovation. Teachers and students from Brooklyn schools proposed for turnaround brought protest signs and pointed questions to a Monday night meeting with city officials — and left with few concrete answers. As representatives of most Brooklyn schools proposed for turnaround pled their cases in front of city officials tasked with closing an extra 33 schools this year, members of the overflow audience interrupted with shout-outs, standing ovations, and, at one point, sustained chanting of "Free the 33!" School communities have argued against the turnaround plans in tandem before, at an event in Queens and a meeting of the citywide high schools parent group. But this is the first time schools have been invited to testify in front of city officials masterminding the changes. Officials also heard for the first time from schools that have been almost completely silent about the reform plans. Elaine Gorman, the Department of Education official overseeing turnaround, opened the meeting, organized by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, with an overview of the proposals, which would call for each school to replace at least half its staff and to be closed and re-opened with a new name. Then representatives from the 11 Brooklyn turnaround schools were invited to give testimonies about their schools. John Dewey High School teachers, parents, and students reprised their frequent protests by turning out in full-force; at least 100 of them sat in the audience sporting their cheerleading outfits or T-shirts in the school's signature red, and lept into standing ovations each time a Dewey student or teacher spoke. And a half-dozen William Maxwell High School teachers, unhappy that their A grade on the city's annual progress report would not be enough to protect their school from closure, waved poster-sized versions of the report card and the letter A when it was their turn to speak. They were joined by a slightly more subdued group of parents and teachers from Sheepshead Bay High School, the Cobble Hill School for American Studies, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, and a lone middle school student from the School for Global Studies, who spoke about the school's co-location with a charter school.
March 12, 2012
Principals ramp up evaluations protest with a lobbying effort
Signing on to a petition wasn't enough for some principals across the state who oppose the state's impending teacher evaluation requirements. The Long Island principals who launched a policy paper and signature drive against the teacher evaluation system last fall are ramping up their resistance with a lobbying effort. Bringing together colleagues from across the region, including from New York City, the principals plan to take out an ad in the Legislative Gazette, a small Albany publication, asking lawmakers to revise the framework that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed for new teacher and principal evaluations. The framework that Cuomo proposed was set with the support of the state's main teachers union, NYSUT, but it doesn't become law until legislators sign off on it when they set the new budget. That must happen by the end of this month, and until then, legislators could conceivably make revisions. The principals have broad concerns about the educational value of the evaluation requirements, but they are limiting their ask to three main changes. They want lawmakers to shield teachers' evaluations from being subject to transparency laws; revise the scoring ranges so teachers whose students do not make academic progress are not automatically rated ineffective; and institute a pilot period before the new system goes statewide.
March 9, 2012
Students defend Dewey from closure in afternoon walk-out
Bolstered by the city's unflinching plan to close John Dewey High School this June, students from the South Brooklyn campus added a walk-out to their growing resumé of protest actions this afternoon.
March 8, 2012
At Grady High, desperately seeking an audience and finding one
Teachers from Grady High School during a rally outside the Brighton Beach school on Wednesday. Students and teachers at William Grady Career and Technical High School aren't waiting until next month's closure hearing to share what they think of the city's plan to close the school this summer. Students organized a week of protest last month, and teachers joined them with a rally and candlelight visit outside the school on Wednesday. Evelyn Katz, an English teacher, said teachers began the rally just after school let out at 3:09 p.m. and were joined at 5 p.m. by students who had stayed late for tutoring. The rally came just hours after the school received a visit from a top state official whose assessment could influence whether State Education Commissioner John King endorses the city's "turnaround" plan. Multiple people who work at the school said Merryl Tisch, chancellor of the Board of Regents, spent several hours at Grady Wednesday morning. They said she toured the school's vocational shops, which include culinary arts and automotive repair.
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