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A New Education Mayor | Editorial | NYTimes.com

A New Education Mayor | Editorial | NYTimes.com | Charter Schools | Scoop.it

The next mayor of New York City will assume control of the country’s largest school system at an especially challenging moment. That person will oversee installation of the rigorous new Common Core learning standards. This ambitious set of academic goals, which has been adopted by all but a handful of states, is intended to move schools away from rote learning and memorization toward a writing-intensive curriculum that cultivates reasoning skills required by the new economy.

 

In addition to a new curriculum, this transformation will require new tests, and, most important, a high-quality professional development system that helps teachers master a whole new approach to instruction.

 

And that’s not all. The next mayor will have to negotiate a new contract with teachers and install a new teacher evaluation system while managing a system that consists of 1.1 million students, 75,000 teachers and about 1,800 schools. One huge challenge is that only about 22 percent of students who started ninth grade in 2008 were college-ready by state measures when they graduated in 2012. Improving on that distressingly low figure has to be a high priority.

 

Nearly all of the candidates speak passionately about education. And some — notably Bill de Blasio, Christine Quinn and William Thompson Jr. — have been thoughtful and specific in terms of what they would do to move the system forward. But emotional flash points in this campaign have centered on three issues: mayoral control, specifically whether the State Legislature gave Mayor Michael Bloomberg too much power when it consolidated authority over the schools in City Hall in 2002; failing schools and when to close them; and the role of charter schools, which receive public money but are exempt from some state regulations.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Getting rich off of schoolchildren

Getting rich off of schoolchildren | Charter Schools | Scoop.it
Stop pretending wealthy CEOs pushing for charter schools are altruistic "reformers." They're raking in billions

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Ana Cristina Pratas's curator insight, March 20, 2013 10:39 PM

You know how it goes: The pervasive media mythology tells us that the fight over the schoolhouse is supposedly a battle between greedy self-interested teachers who don’t care about children and benevolent billionaire “reformers” whose political activism is solely focused on the welfare of kids. Epitomizing the media narrative, the Wall Street Journal casts the latter in sanitized terms, reimagining the billionaires as philanthropic altruists “pushing for big changes they say will improve public schools.”


The first reason to scoff at this mythology should be obvious: It simply strains credulity to insist that pedagogues who get paid middling wages but nonetheless devote their lives to educating kids care less about those kids than do the Wall Street hedge funders and billionaire CEOs who finance the so-called reform movement. Indeed, to state that pervasive assumption out loud is to reveal how utterly idiotic it really is, and yet it is baked into almost all of today’s coverage of education politics.


That, of course, is not all that shocking; after all, plenty of inane narratives are regularly depicted as assumed fact in the political press. What’s shocking is that the other reason to scoff at the Greedy Teachers versus Altruistic Billionaire tale is also ignored. It is ignored even though it involves the most hard-to-ignore facts of all — the ones involving vested financial interests.

Deborah Weaver's curator insight, July 11, 2013 6:26 PM

No kidding.

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Charter Operator Stunned at 2013 National Charter Schools Conference | CloakingInequity.com

Charter Operator Stunned at 2013 National Charter Schools Conference | CloakingInequity.com | Charter Schools | Scoop.it

As I am sitting here at the National Charter Schools Conference in DC, I am stunned at the lack of experience on many of the “expert” panels.

 

As a charter school leader, I am starting my 15th year working with a charter that was started in 15 years ago. Having worked in top leadership at the charter as an Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent for almost a decade, I see that the experiences and knowledge that I have found to be invaluable.

 

I am in shock that a vast majority of the “expert” charter operators here at the 2013 National Charter Schools Conference have so little experience and expertise. If our children are our future, then who are we entrusting to lead charters into our future?

 

I believe that there is a state of urgency in charter school leadership training and accountability for governance needs. According to a study of national charter schools in 2012 by Center for Reinventing Public Education, if charters continue to grow, we will need 14,000 new leaders for running them. 61%  of charters have actually slowed their plans for expansion because of the need for new leadership is so dire in these positions.

 

However, from observing my peer charters in a large, urban area, there is an incredible turnover in leadership positions.This turnover may be fatal for the the long term sustainability and success of charters. What are is the charter movement doing to identify new leaders? Most charters are scrambling week to week, and semester to semester basis.  They are not looking for who can help to lead next year or in 5 years.

 

Bringing outsiders with limited experience in education into charter schools is risky business. New-bees have to understand the vision and the clientele of charter schools. They have to begin with the concept of being able to accept a school being OUR VISION and not as MY VISION.  

 

A charter leader needs to have a shared understanding of the community and what the board’s understanding of what the lead sees their role to be.  A leader must also be able to have frank and productive conversations with the board and the charter schools leadership with stakeholders.  One of the biggest scandals in charters today is that this is not happening.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Charter School Study: Much Ado About Tiny Differences | Brookings ...

Charter School Study: Much Ado About Tiny Differences | Brookings ... | Charter Schools | Scoop.it
Tom Loveless takes a look at the reaction to the latest charter school study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes. He cautions that claims that the study demonstrates the success or failure of the charter sector ...
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