Education Opinion

Miscellany: NYC Teaching Fellows Conundrum, Absenteeism, & Dorn-onomics

By Eduwonkette — October 21, 2008 1 min read
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1) 8% of This Year’s Teaching Fellows to Be Let Go in December: 139 teachers, or 8% of the 1840 teachers who joined the NYC Teaching Fellows June 2008 cohort, will be let go on December 5th because they have not yet been placed in a teaching position. As Gotham Schools reports, they are now organizing. Matthew Rudansky, a teaching fellow speaking for a group of Fellows that have banded together, explains the situation below:

By no fault of our own, we face December 5th dismissal from a program for which many of us have made huge sacrifices. Fellows in the Reserves picked up their lives and shouldered huge expenses to relocate to New York so they could teach children in our neediest public schools. Now these same noble people face uncertain futures and housing costs they possibly cannot afford a short few months into their leases. Others, like me, left stable careers because we bought into the Fellows' pitch that we'll make excellent teachers owing to our impressive professional and life experiences. I personally know three PhDs in the Reserves and another four with Masters degrees. It is strange that these qualified candidates haven't secured permanent jobs. Now the DOE would prefer we simply disappear. And stranger still, that despite a hiring freeze, the Fellows Program continues to recruit even when the ATR and RTR total over 1400 teachers. USA Today reported [last] week that the Wall Street bust will be a NYC Teaching Fellows boon. The Program expects a spike in highly qualified candidates from all those bright people laid off from the shrinking financial sector. And we should simply go quietly into the night? It all smacks of further poor planning; the DOE disregarded the economic realities last spring hiring 1800 Fellows and more Teach for America applicants. And now we suffer not only the fallout from these Fellow Program miscalculations and DOE missteps, but also the humiliation they'll hire a batch of new Fellows while showing us the door.

2) Broader, Bolder Plan to Address Absenteeism?: 20% of New York City elementary schoolers missed more than a month of school last year. I’m sure these kiddos enjoyed the fruits of the accountability revolution in NYC from home. Gotham Schools has a nice map up and the summary.

3) Dorn-onomics: A debate up over at Sherman Dorn’s on educators as rational calculators is worth checking out. The two of us teamed up in this TC Record commentary to dispel local tall-tales about the closing achievement gap in New York City. And in the comments of Dorn’s post, we learn that economist of education Jenn Imazeki has a blog, Economics for Teachers.

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