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News Update: N.Y.C. Teachers, School Board Settle Contract Agreement

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New York City teachers have approved a new five-year contract with the city's board of education.

The contract, which was approved last month, is similar to one teachers rejected in December. The contract won approval from 78 percent of the roughly 60,000 United Federation of Teachers members who voted.

Much like the original contract, the new agreement will provide a 13 percent boost in pay and benefits over five years. It would relieve teachers of such duties as cafeteria and hall patrols.

Pay increases are slated to begin in October 1997. (See Education Week, May 22, 1996.)

Redesign Plans

New York state's commissioner of education, Richard P. Mills, has approved redesign plans for six of 13 New York City schools that he placed under corrective action last fall.

The redesign plans were submitted by the city's schools chancellor, Rudy F. Crew. They call for one high school and five elementary schools to hire a principal chosen by the chancellor, increase the number of certified staff members, build on-site professional development centers, and be under continued rigorous monitoring by the school district.

Last October, investigators sent by Mr. Mills found several schools to have wide-ranging problems. (See Education Week, Nov. 1, 1995.)

Benchmarks Set

The New Standards project has approved the final version of its academic standards.

The group's recommendations on what students should know and be able to do in several subjects will be printed and available for the start of the school year in September, said Andy Plattner, a spokesman for the New Standards group.

New Standards--the first wide-scale effort to develop comprehensive student-performance standards and assessments--was started in 1991 as a joint effort of the National Center on Education and the Economy, a private, nonprofit research and policy group in Washington, and the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

The group released draft standards last year. (See Education Week, Jan. 18 and June 21, 1995.)

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