Author Archives: Meghan E. Murphy

How do big donors influence education policy?

The Education Optimists blog is hosting interesting guest posts from researcher Robin Rogers on philanthro-policymaking. Rogers writes about how the very wealthy can influence the direction of education with donations. In New York, a handful of millionaires recently saved the January Regents with a big donation, among other donations. She specifically discusses Facebook founder Mark […]

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State ed. official resigns after testing misfire

State Education Department Assistant Commissioner David Abrams resigned abruptly Tuesday, shortly after reports that the state pre-emptively released details on the spring math and English exams, according to the Daily News and The New York Times. The state had to recall guidance documents on the tests, saying they were released before they were finalized. Educators […]

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School data quality report: NY has elements, needs action

When it comes to using data to inform school strategies and instruction, New York has much of the infrastructure in place, but needs more training and regulations. For the last seven years, the Data Quality Campaign has surveyed states on ten elements the organization believes are essential for using data to improve education. In recent […]

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Special education costs: What do researchers say?

I wrote inĀ  my column this week about the balancing act with budget cuts between special education programs and the general education classroom. Each Tuesday, I crash my computer by 3 p.m. by overloading my web browser with tabs on research, studies, blogs and news articles. Here, I’ll share some more of what I found. […]

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State flip-flopping on 2012 school tests – again

The State Education Department has flip-flopped at least twice now on the plan for this spring’s state 3-8 Math and English tests, sending out memos to administrators statewide – only to retract them. On Monday, the state sent a memo to districts with changes and a guide to the testing program. Deputy Commissioner Ken Slenz […]

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Will more effective teachers solve achievement gap?

With policy-makers calling for improvements to teacher quality as the panacea for schools, a new paper looks at the difference in teacher effectiveness between schools in poor and wealthy communities. What did they find? Well, overall the difference in teacher quality wasn’t as drastic as others have made it out to be. In fact, schools […]

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Students to ed. commish: Redistribute school aid

Education Commissioner John King Jr. this week visited with students in the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, who told him how school cuts are hurting their educational opportunities. The exchange included King challenging the students to come up with solutions on how to avoid cuts in an economic recession. The students knew their stuff, according to […]

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Meet TED: Top teachers union offers districts evaluation system

On Wednesday, the New York State United Teachers announced the Teacher Evaluation and Development system, also known as “TED.” TED is the result of several years of piloting a new model that both holds teachers accountable while helping them improve. The model was funded by an American Federation of Teachers grant. The Marlboro school district […]

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Research: King’s call for large district consolidation produces least savings

The Times Union is reporting that education Commissioner John King Jr. Monday wants to see “larger districts in more densely populated, and wealthiest, parts of the state explore consolidation to save money.” Municipalities and school districts have long explored the complex issue of consolidation. Locally, Warwick, Greenwood Lake and Tuxedo recently had talks that haven’t […]

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The uncertain future of special ed. diplomas

I’ve been following with interest the state education department’s slow but steady shift away from the IEP diploma. IEP – or individualized education plan – diplomas are alternative pathways to graduation for students with disabilities. Students who currently receive IEP diplomas don’t count toward a district’s graduation rate. And in 2013, state ed. wants to […]

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