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Links of the Day:

– The Class of 2012 will soon graduate from the state’s high schools, but it will be another year before we can see school districts’ graduation rates. The Syracuse Post-Standard took the state to task for not releasing the data sooner in an article about that city’s efforts to improve graduate rates (scroll to bottom of article):

Parents, taxpayers and the public in New York State routinely wait a year or so to learn the high school graduation rates.

The Syracuse district has unofficial graduation numbers but the state asks districts not to release the rates until the state verifies them, a state spokesman said. The state expects to release the 2011 numbers later this month, he said.

The Post-Standard has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get the numbers from the state, but the state has not released the numbers. Robert Freemen, executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government, says the information is public and should be released.

I believe the state’s verification of the data is extremely important, especially in an era the graduation rate is politically sensitive. But there’s no way it should take a year.

– A Virginia teacher made her termination hearing public. Her compelling story makes the case for why tenure and unions can be incredibly important. Her story is the must-read of the day.

– East Rochester wants to demolish its village offices and move next door. Village officials say the move would create more parking for village shops. It’s an expensive proposition to create parking spaces.

– Governor Cuomo wants to decriminalize having small amounts of marijuana in public. Smoking it in public would still be a misdemeanor, but possessing less than 25 grams would be a violation, akin to a traffic ticket.

– New York State’s county clerks can issue their own special license plates. One clerk issues them with her initials. Critics say the little-known plates give the appearance the driver is politically-connected during traffic stops.

– Rochester scared its pesky crows away with firecrackers. A Chicago suburb dealing with pesky pigeons has another solution – gas them.

4 Responses to Why Does It Take a Year?

  1. >> “A Virginia teacher made her termination hearing public. Her compelling story makes the case for why tenure and unions can be incredibly important.”

    Thanks, Rachel. That was an interesting story. On Twitter you wrote: “This is why teacher tenure is important”

    After reading that article, I’m not clear on why tenure is more important for teachers than for any other profession. Every argument I’ve heard to-date for teacher tenure could just as easily be applied to every other job.

  2. June 4, 2012 at 10:00 am susan responds:

    While this situation is disturbing to say the least, justice prevailed in the end, with the safeguards of the panel reviewing the evidence and making the right judgement.I suspect that with or without tenure laws, this teacher would prevail.I am sorry this teacher went through what she did.

    There are two things that trouble me. The lack of humanity and respect for the wisdom of an experienced educator is a sign that too many young people are now administrators. With a little more experience, they would know that that this teacher has a great deal to offer, and they would find ways to capitalize on her strong points, while teaming her with others to make changes where indicated.

    Second, the research is still debatable on pedagogy in the classroom. Direct instruction may still be the best way to engage all students at all times. I personally have found a traditional classroom often offers more learning than the than the small group or computer approaches.. ideally some combination can be the best. In any case, if the test results are the same as other classrooms, the administrators are missing the key ingredient here,that perhaps more than one method does allow for learning.

    Let the teacher retire when ready with dignity, and praise her contributions.. then move on with younger staff if you choose, but don’t be so sure that younger is better, or that different pedagogy is the cure for what ails our inner city schools.

  3. June 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm Eduardo Ricardo responds:

    Nancy is being unfairly treated. Let her be. I think she should be treated like others, say police officers who do wrong.

    And get promoted.

    That’s right. As we see, in cases involving more serious matters, like death, no disciplinary action gets taken. See officer shoot dog story. She wrote love letters. SO WHAT! What’s that got to do with teaching instruction. I actually feel for Nancy. In reading her letters, it is not as sinister as her superiors are making it out to be. Nancy is not a monster.

    As in most districts, especially in the City, the less political you are (and surround yourself with), the WORSE off you are.

  4. June 5, 2012 at 8:43 am lynn e responds:

    Great WaPo article. Re: graduation stats.,a lot of monkeying goes around for those numbers. Right now guidance counselors around the state are attempting to get students not attending school regularly to sign up for district GED classes to get them off the drop out rolls. GED courses are strictly test prep and difficult to complete if you have never had the course before. This group will probably not continue and follow through with it. It is strictly to t lower drop out ratios.

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