Written by Matthew Ern, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00
Common core state testing standards dominated the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education held a work session meeting on Monday, Oct. 21. The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the standards and the methods of evaluating teachers as “effective” or not. The common core functions in conjunction with the Federal Race to the Top reform efforts and were implemented to establish a “common core of standards that are internationally benchmarked.”
Not all schools have found the CCSS effectively. Many of the tests were put in place before teachers had a full year to prepare students for the new curriculum’s, according to district officials.
“I am not against the Common Core; I’m against the implementation of it,” says board trustee Joan Romagnoli.
District Superintendent Robert Katulak also weighed in on the issue of standardized testing, stating “We can’t say tests don’t mean anything, but it’s tricky. As long as I’ve been here we’ve had standardized tests.” The board expressed concerns at the way the test results are impacting teachers.
According to Katulak, the most proficient teachers are now often rewarded with the best students to continue their positive rankings. But this results in the struggling students getting passed off to new and inexperienced teachers when they really deserve the attention of the better educators. He says this is a nation-wide problem.
The common core is also indirectly tied to new Annual Professsional Performance Review Plan (APPR), the new teacher ranking system. Under the new APPR plan, 60 percent of teacher ratings would be based on classroom observations, 20 percent on students’ scores on state standardized tests, and 20 percent on a list of three scoring options.
That could include locally developed tests, exams offered by third parties or a simple doubling of the value placed on the state tests. School boards in Nassau County had to negotiate the final 20 percent with their local unions.
Katulak offered an explanation of how the point-based ranking system functions. Each district decides on an instrument to measure teacher effectiveness, the Danielson method is common on Long Island but is not a universal standard. The bulk of the points come from this, he say, “although other factors such as growth from year-to-year are also considered.”
Should the CCSS resolution pass in all schools, Katulak would like a provision included that the results of the tests be made public to educators. That way teachers can be better prepared for the types of questions that tripped up their students.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:08) Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
The first-grade classes at Hillside Grade School recently held its Thanksgiving Feast. The students made “apple turkeys,” recited poetry, sang songs, and made butter for their corn muffins. During class, they learned about the first Thanksgiving and how children long ago lived.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:03) Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A cold windy day did not stop the Manor Oaks School students from running in the Second Annual Turkey Trot recently. Gym Teacher Ms. Innella coordinated the event. In order to take part in the run, students were asked to bring in canned food. The food was donated to local families in need, so they can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.
The kids had fun running the race. Some students dressed up as Pilgrims, Indians and even turkeys for the costume contest.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park recently participated in the studios 33nd Black Belt Graduation.
“Our goal at Charles Water’s Karate & Fitness is to facilitate mental growth enabling our students to reach their highest potential as human beings,” says Grandmaster Charles Water owner and director of the school. “Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The foundation for character building and success starts at home. The schools and role models that impact your child’s life assist in reinforcing the aspirations that you have for your child’s development and future.
Children learn this is Karatatot, a unique program offered by Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. Karatatot is a combination of exercise and karate in a format specifically designed for children ages 4½ and up. In a fun filled and nurturing setting your children learn concentration, discipline, respect, as well as an understanding of self defense at his or her own level. Children learn child safety and stranger training. They are becoming better students at school and better listeners at home.