By Eliza Shapiro and Keshia Clukey | 10/11/2017 09:59 AM EDT
TISCH IS BACK, WILL HAVE SAY IN CHARTER TEACHER CERT — POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey: Merryl Tisch, the former chancellor of the state Board of Regents, isn't done with state education policymaking just yet. Tisch, who championed higher learning standards and ushered in the controversial Common Core during her tenure, is now taking part in the debate over the certification of charter school teachers as a member of the SUNY Charter Schools Committee. She once again will find herself at the center of a contentious issue, as the committee is scheduled to vote on a proposal today that would allow charter schools to create their own in-house teacher certification programs. "She still wants to be a player in New York," said David Bloomfield, an educational leadership professor at Brooklyn College and at the CUNY Graduate Center. "It's interesting that the route that she's taking and is being welcomed into is the charter school world."
Tisch declined to comment on her appointment and the charter regulations. She stepped down from her role as head of the Regents in March 2016 after 20 years on the state's education policymaking board. Last June, the state Senate appointed her to the SUNY board of trustees. Her first SUNY board meeting was in September, after which she was selected to serve on the Charter Schools, Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Community Colleges committees, according to SUNY. Tisch has supported charter schools in the past, touting school choice and the need for increased access to quality education, as well as healthy competition for public schools. It's unclear how she will vote on the teacher certification proposal. Her successor, Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, has strongly opposed the measure. Read more here.
— What to watch for at the SUNY Charter Schools Committee meeting today: The committee is likely to approve a revised version of a controversial proposal that will allow SUNY-authorized charters (meaning mostly networks rather than independent charters) to create their own in-house teacher certification programs. Look out for more news on the vote later this morning, and in the meantime get caught up to speed on the certification proposal here and here. Read more on the revised proposal, via The Wall Street Journal, here.
— Read the committee agenda and watch live here.
GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING. The SUNY Board of Trustees Charter Schools Committee will meet in Manhattan. The New York City Council's education and general welfare committees will hold a hearing on support for homeless students. Carmen Fariña will attend a town hall meeting in the Bronx. MaryEllen Elia and Betty Rosa did not release public schedules.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The only good thing he ever did was -- I like that pre-K stuff." — Bo Dietl during Tuesday night's mayoral debate
STAT OF THE DAY: "The number of [New York City] students taking at least one Advanced Placement exam in 2017 rose 9.9 percent, from 44,906 students to a record 49,364 students. The number of students passing at least one Advanced Placement exam rose 7.5 percent, nearly keeping pace with the increase in participation. The number of students taking and passing AP exams increased in every borough, and across all ethnic groups." — Department of Education press office
NYC'S HOMELESS STUDENT CRISIS GROWS — The New York Times' Elizabeth Harris: "The number of homeless students in the New York City public school system rose again last year, according to state data expected to be released on Tuesday. The increase pushed the city over a sober milestone: One in every 10 public school students was homeless at some point during the 2016-17 school year. More than 111,500 students in New York City schools were homeless during the last academic year, a 6 percent increase over the year before and enough people to populate a small city. Of the overall figure, 104,000 students attended regular district public schools, while the rest were in charter schools. Statewide, 148,000 students were homeless, or about five percent of the state's public school population... Not all students who are considered homeless live in shelters. Students in temporary housing includes families living in their cars or in hotels, or those "doubled up" with family or friends. An analysis of the state data, conducted by Coalition for the Homeless, found that families living with relatives or friends drove last year's increase, with about 4,400 more students living in such situations than the year before. The number of students in shelters increased by roughly 1,900.
The New York City Council is scheduled to hold a hearing on Wednesday about students in temporary housing and discuss three related bills, one of which would ensure that families receive school information while they are applying for shelter. At the hearing, Liza Pappas, an education policy analyst at the city's Independent Budget Office, plans to share data on how housing impacts absentee rates." Read more here. Read about how the de Blasio administration is struggling to contain the crisis here.
EDUCATION MOVES: Brain Fessler has been promoted to the position of deputy director of governmental relations for the New York State School Boards Association. Fessler, who has been with NYSSBA for nearly four years, most recently served as senior governmental relations representative.
AROUND NEW YORK:
— "Nearly 97 percent of New York City teachers were rated 'effective' or 'highly effective' last school year, compared to 93 percent the previous year, the city teachers union president said at a recent meeting." — Chalkbeat's Monica Disare. Read more here.
— "Success Academy is now pushing its belief in parent engagement to a level that may be unprecedented in U.S. public education. With little fanfare, the network has in the past week begun sending home 'Parent Investment Cards' evaluating how well—or how poorly—parents are fulfilling their promise to honor Success Academy's 'parent responsibilities' in three areas: 'school readiness,' 'homework supervision,' and 'parent responsiveness and investment.'" — Robert Pondiscio for Fordham. Read more here.
— The number of New York high schoolers using e-cigarettes continued to increase in 2016 despite a slight decline nationally for the first time. More than one in five New York high school students used e-cigarettes last year, according to survey data presented Tuesday at the state's Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Board. ... That number has doubled since 2014 and is now appreciably higher than the national average of 11.3 percent in 2016. — POLITICO New York's Nick Niedzwiadek. Read more here.
ACROSS THE RIVER:
— Senate President Stephen Sweeney [on] Tuesday ... announced a new initiative ... [that] will bring together representatives from vocational-technical schools, county colleges and four-year institutions of higher education to work with business and industry leaders to develop "stackable credential" programs. — POLITICO New Jersey's Linh Tat. Read more here.
STUDY UP: One of the first major assessments of New York City's community schools program by the RAND Corporation finds mostly good but preliminary news: "We found compelling evidence that the six core structures and services of the NYC-CS are being implemented across virtually all community schools in the study, and the schools have shown a marked increase over time in the prevalence of these components since the onset of the initiative in 2014." Read more here.
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