January BOE Meeting

The BOE meeting was held on January 14. It opened its session with an athletic achievements ceremony. Some teams were traveling to their games that evening, but majority of teams were present. Since not all team members would fit in the HS library, students were waiting in the hallway. They were called in to receive a certificate and pose for a team picture. After they cleared the room, next team was called in. Continue reading

Parent Academy – Every 15 Years

The parent academy or workshops, as they are also called, take place in the New York State and across the Race to The Top country. They are prescribed to each school district. Districts download the workshop modules located at engageny.org, NYSED website. The parent academies promote the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) which are part of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Continue reading

New York’s Educational Agenda, Part 1

state-of-the-state 2014The SOS Agenda

Governor Cuomo barely finished his State of the State speech on January 8th when the first reactions to his speech started appearing in social media. The following day, there were two petitions drafted regarding the merit pay and $20,000 bonuses for teachers the governor mentioned. Continue reading

Meeting Invitation to BOE Members

meeting invitation iconCurrently, the education system is going through drastic changes. In 2010, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) agreed to proceed (and accept funds) with a federal plan entitled Common Core State Standards Initiative. Yet the implementation of the plan hasn’t been smooth. The interpretation of requirements (mandate) differs from one district to another. The administrators and members of school boards, who rely only on official memos issued by the education department are far less informed than parents, who are doing their own research, share the information across the country and with local residents at public meetings. I am part of a team organizing such a meeting near our district, so I took the initiative and invited the members of Malverne school board. This is the text of the invitation. Continue reading

Data Mining, Part of Common Core

data mininginBloom Testimony Hearing

The NYS legislators, education committee, held a hearing on November 20, 2013. The topic was inBloom, data mining, disclosing personally identifiable information (PII) to third parties, and the security of collected data. The testimony hearing took place in Albany. It was lengthy (5:45 h.) and exhaustive, but well moderated and informative. (Video recording embedded below). It is a must listen to, eventually watch, for any board of education member and curriculum developer. Continue reading

November BOE Meeting

At the November BOE meeting, the audience was presented with a Halloween video clip the staff made using iPads the district recently purchased. It was followed by a slide presentation that dealt with a program entitled K-SAT Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to start preparing students for the test early and encourage as many of them to take the test. Continue reading

Common Core Public Meeting

The Common Core has been on the agenda of schools and parents across the country for quite some time. And it’s still picking up more interest each day, as new facts are being revealed. Parents of several school districts (E. Rockaway, Lynbrook, Malverne, Valley Stream) teamed up and are very excited to be able to invite all residents to an informative meeting about the Common Core Initiative. The meeting takes place at HERJC in East Rockaway and features speakers who were asking questions as soon as the “Initiative” was imposed on the school districts by the NYS Education Department. Continue reading

Consulting with Residents

During the Q&A period at the October board of education (BOE) meeting, a resident asked the board to do something with the ever increasing property taxes. The resident claimed her taxes have increased 400% since 1960s when she moved in. She said her house was already paid, but many of her neighbors, who were also retired, were hurting, as they still had mortgage to pay. She was evidently frustrated. Continue reading

Consolidating School District Administration

Consolidating School Administration One Step at The Time

Consolidating the school administration campaign started in spring. The summer campaign, adjusted for findings gathered in spring, starts now. Flyers are being distributed throughout the school district 12 (MUFSD). You can help. The most important finding—few people understand the role of the board of education and how the 5-member body affects 70%–80% of the property tax. Continue reading

Anti-Common Core Activists Make Strides

This post was updated on 6/25 by the following information:
Secretary Arne Duncan announced that he will allow states to request additional time before using the outcome of new assessments based on the new Common Core State Standards.

Although the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were in development for a long time, the NYS adopted them in 2010 and has been implementing them ever since. State assessment testing — also called high-stakes testing — was implemented to align with federal Common Core standards this year. Starting in April and continuing in June, students and parents felt the full impact of the new “standards”. The tests (field tests) benefiting just the tests developing company were described in the previous post. Parents asked questions about the meaning of excessive testing instead of learning. Continue reading