Archive for July, 2010

A Berger commission on schools?

July 16th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Yesterday’s Buffalo News reported on a legislative proposal to institute a “Berger commission” on education.

The reference is to a past New York State commission chaired by veteran public servant Stephen Berger which was empowered to recommend closures, mergers and other reconfigurations of hospitals and other health service agencies.

As the News explains, “Like the Berger Commission’s recommendations, the school panel’s plan would become binding across the state unless the Legislature votes the entire package down.”

I won’t critique the specifics of the proposal now, but I will offer some general reflections on school district consolidation.

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Category: Finance | 1 Comment »

To budget, or not to budget?

July 15th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

New York State has a budget, or part of one.  When the rest of the budget might get done is up in the air.  Where does that leave schools?

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Category: State Budget | Comments Off on To budget, or not to budget?

More on adjusting state tests

July 14th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Last week, we reported on State Education Commissioner David Steiner’s travels to explain plans to adjust “cut scores” on the state’s grade 3 through 8 assessments.

The Commissioner’s travels have continued, to Rochester, Binghamton, the Rural School Association, and perhaps elsewhere.  He also spoke to an assembly of leaders of our organization last week.

New York City papers today are reporting on an analysis done for the State Board of Regents as they prepare to discuss the cut scores at the beginning of next week.  Presumably the analysis will eventually be posted among the materials for the Regents July19, 20 meetings.

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Category: Standards & Assessments | 1 Comment »

Priming for test score drops?

July 7th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Later this month, the State Education Department will release results from the latest round of grades 3 through 8 math and English language arts assessments.

Education Commissioner David Steiner and colleagues have begun traveling the state to forewarn of an expected drop-off in student success rates following state efforts to make the tests less predictable and more demanding.

The Buffalo News reports on the Commissioner’s visit to Western New York yesterday with an article titled, “Flawed tests distort sharp rise in scores by students; State education chief cites ‘grade inflation’” Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Standards & Assessments | 1 Comment »