Insight

Insight | June 5, 2014 >>

Part of the answer to New York City’s ELA debacle was not a lack of process in developing the tests so much as a profound lack of oversight. The State Education Department rushed something that needed care and time.

Insight | April 17, 2014 >>

Early childhood educators want to see rigorous, high-quality programs. That doesn’t mean they want a little workbook culture — far from it. But it does mean they want to see a huge push on literacy skill-building.

Insight | March 6, 2014 >>

Good pre-K teachers are like magicians to the rest of us, not just keeping kids safe, but teaching them how to feel safe. Not just showing them how the world works but giving them a role in creating it.

Insight | January 16, 2014 >>

New York City’s newly released NAEP results, though, may not please the former mayor. They show that between 2003 and 2013 the city’s 4th- and 8th-graders did not improve as much in math or reading as their peers in other cities. New York City students score relatively high and they have unquestionably made progress. They just haven’t made as much progress on average as students in other large urban school districts.

Insight | November 14, 2013 >>

Bill de Blasio was hounded throughout his mayoral campaign for his signature proposal: universal, full-day prekindergarten, funded by a tax on the rich. Many criticized the proposal as pie-in-the-sky. But early childhood education insiders say otherwise.

Insight | September 26, 2013 >>

Want to be a skilled, successful teacher? Of course. Who doesn’t?But how do you get there: Is perfecting lessons late into the night? Keeping more binders, entering more data, even if you are exhausted and sick by December? If all your colleagues work as hard as you, isn’t that what makes a great school? Rather than driving yourself harder and harder, possibly without getting where you want to be, consider flipping this around. Maybe what makes a good teacher is an effective school.

Insight | June 13, 2013 >>

A strong school community is an essential foundation for learning. Communities create commitment, teach manners and rules, and offer understanding and second chances, so the people in them can live with each other and thrive.

Insight | May 16, 2013 >>

The public education system in Union City, New Jersey, a mostly immigrant, Hispanic, working-class town that long ago lost its industrial base, has been celebrated for two decades as an astounding turnaround success. What worked?

Insight | April 11, 2013 >>

Every year, politicians' promises to invest in early education seem to bloom like daffodils, then fade. Can a hard look at costs vs. benefits help us break this cycle?

Insight | February 28, 2013 >>

The coming of new tests aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards signals a radical change of expectations for American students and mean a radical reset in instruction.

Insight | January 31, 2013 >>

Teachers are voting with their feet again. Though the 2008 recession and its aftermath reduced attrition among city teachers, it seems to be on the move now. According to new UFT data, teachers and other pedagogues are leaving the school system in much higher numbers than they were two years ago, even as the city has bumped up hiring.

Insight | December 20, 2012 >>

The Common Core Learning Standards, adopted by 46 states, are being introduced to New York City teachers this year. Ultimately, they culminate in two tests, and with the inclusion of Common Core-aligned questions, both the English language arts and math state exams are going to be harder — by a whole lot, if early examples are any guide.

Insight | December 6, 2012 >>

Policy advisers are calling on Obama to actually grapple with child poverty and its effects on students instead of tinkering with accountability measurement.

Insight | October 18, 2012 >>

The research has been out there for years: Students’ course grades are far better predictors of high school and college performance than standardized test scores, even SAT scores. A grade reflects the less measurable qualities: work habits, motivation, social and emotional intelligence, and perseverance in the face of failure.

Insight | September 6, 2012 >>

There are two ways to look at the state tests. The 2012 results, released over the summer, show New York City’s 3rd- to 8th-graders making steady improvement. But as a test of the last decade of education reform, the scores reflect a surprisingly stagnant system.

Insight | June 28, 2012 >>

Announcing the latest high school graduation rates on June 11, Mayor Bloomberg said the Class of 2011 “can smile again today,” while the chancellor congratulated a mayor who “changed lives.” No one else was that upbeat.

Insight | May 24, 2012 >>

The Oyler School in Cincinnati, with 650 pre-K through 12th-grade students, used to average 120 emergency-room trips a year for mental health crises. Students would act up to the point that no one at the school could handle them.

Insight | May 10, 2012 >>

What teachers have been saying for years about the content on state ELA tests has finally resonated with journalists, professors and even the state education commissioner. After 8th-graders voiced their bewilderment over the questions on this year’s infamous “Hare and the Pineapple” passage, Commissioner John King struck it from the test. The irony here is that the new state tests, launched to fix the problems with the old discredited tests, so far seem no better, maybe worse.

Insight | April 5, 2012 >>

After five rounds of budget cuts and a reduction in force of more than 5,000 teachers over the last three years, class sizes may have reached a tipping point. Teachers surveyed by the UFT last fall said their classes were so packed that students were suffering.

Insight | March 8, 2012 >>

Bullying may not be new. Its causes may be unclear. Its treatment may be controversial. But its impact has been shown to be very far-reaching indeed. What’s more, the impact is not only social and emotional but academic. Aside from the pain of seeing their students hurt or belittled, educators are finding that bullying has especially insidious effects on student achievement.

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