Albany, NY, Feb 17, 2012 — Just hours before a deadline imposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, state education officials and the teachers unions came to some agreements on a statewide teacher evaluation plan. In Albany, Karen DeWitt has the story. Go to full article
Canton, MO, Aug 25, 2011 — Schools are getting ready to open for the year. And this fall most have some new obligations. New York was awarded nearly $700 million from the federal government as part of President Obama's Race to the Top education program. Now districts are gearing up to put the new mandates into practice.
Stephen Todd is assistant superintendent of the St. Lawrence and Lewis BOCES, which serves 18 school districts in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. He says there are three major pieces to Race to the Top.
First, changing the core curriculum in math and English classes. "Instead of trying to teach a mile wide and an inch deep, let's teach what's essential and teach it really, really well. Instead of trying to read everything under the sun, let's make sure what we are reading, we are reading carefully and closely and deeply."
Second, says Todd: data analysis. In the past, he says, schools kept statistics about students and classrooms, but the analysis came only after the school year was over.
Todd says that's about to change: "Instead of doing an autopsy, let's do a physical. Part way through the year, we'll look at the patient. The individual student, the collective group, whether it be classroom or building. Let's see what's working, what's not working. Let's make mid course corrections, that allow us if there are problems to fix those and save the patient. So we're not doing an autopsy later, we're treating the patient as it goes along."
The third major piece of race to the top has to do with keeping closer track of teacher performance. Julie Grant visited the Canton Central Schools to find out what's changing with evaluations, and she found that both teachers and administrators are concerned about the cost in time and money. Go to full article