Tag Archive: Education

  1. White House honors teachers’ union president

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    New Haven teachers’ union leader David Cicarella was honored at the White House Tuesday for his role in the city’s progress on education reform.

    Cicarella, the president of the New Haven Federation of teachers since 2007, was named a “White House Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama for his efforts in bringing about the ratification of a 2009 teacher’s union contract that has been hailed by some as a model for low-performing school districts nationwide. The contract is most noted for its introduction of a teacher evaluation system that included student learning — considered a breakthrough at a time when many urban school districts remained in gridlock over teacher contracts.

    “This award is a true honor for me and also for the many talented teachers of New Haven Public Schools who face the challenges of urban education by demanding nothing less than the best for our students,” Cicarella said in a statement. “Our teachers had a seat at the table when it came to defining New Haven’s School Change Initiative and they have gone above and beyond in working toward the goal of transforming all of our schools into top learning institutions.”

    Cicarella was honored alongside 11 other educational leaders from around the country Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony in the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building. According to the Champions of Change website, the awards seek to foster collaboration between “ordinary Americans … doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

    In a statement, Stefan Pryor ’93 LAW ’98, Connecticut’s education commissioner and a charter school founder, called Cicarella’s work as union president proof that “the relationship between teachers’ representatives and district management can truly be one that emphasizes collaboration and meaningful reform.”

    Superintendent Reggie Mayo and Mayor John DeStefano Jr., who has made education reform one of his top policy priorities in recent years, also saluted Cicarella’s work in the city’s public schools.

    Before his election to the union’s top post, Cicarella was a classroom teacher and instructional coach in New Haven for 28 years.

    Cicarella is the second New Haven educator to be named a Champion of Change: Tom Cipriano, the district’s food services director, won the award last spring for his efforts in educating children about food and improving the nutritiousness of food served in New Haven school cafeterias.

  2. Foreign Affairs to host baby GS program at Yale

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    This summer, Foreign Affairs will host a two-week American foreign policy camp for high school students right here at Yale.

    Participants will study American foreign policy, play foreign policy war games and visit the United Nations and the Council on Foreign Relations, according to the Washington Post.

    “No issues are more important, no time is too soon to start learning about them, and there is no better way to do so than through this introduction to American foreign policy taught by the staff of Foreign Affairs,” Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, told the Post.

    The camp is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, and will cost $4,275 for tuition, room and board. Can you say Studies in Grand Strategy.

  3. Fair Haven principal on leave after “cinnamon challenge” incident

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    A spoonful of sugar, sure, but cinnamon? That’s a little tougher.

    The principal of Clinton Avenue School, Carmen Ana Rodriguez, has been placed on administrative leave after she saw some students taking the “cinnamon challenge” at lunch, the New Haven Register reported Monday. Apparently the young people are going crazy over the fad, which has gone viral via YouTube videos in which young people try to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon and start coughing violently, gasping for air and sometimes vomiting.

    Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families is investigating the matter, and Assistant Principal Sandra Kaliszewski is in charge of the school while Rodriguez is on leave, Chief Operating Officer William Clark told the Register on Monday.

  4. New Haven announces second year of school tiering

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    Stressing their commitment to increasing test scores and graduation rates, New Haven officials announced the city’s second year of school tiering in a Monday press release.

    The “vast majority” of schools have shown improvement, according to the release. New Haven Public Schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo cited the city’s ongoing school reform campaign as a factor in the district’s progress.

    “The tiering shows that our schools have the momentum of sustained growth over the last few years, and that we are making continuing to make good progress to our school reform goals,” Mayo said. “We talk a great deal about growth, and that is what we are seeing in all key measures and in virtually all of our schools”

    Ten of 12 New Haven high schools got more students on track to graduate following the implementation of tiers, while nine schools increased their graduation rate. In K-8 schools, nearly 80 percent increased the proportion of students performing at the target level.

    School tiering is “the annual process in New Haven’s school reform effort, by which the different schools are categorized according to the performance of students,” according to the release. Schools in Tier I, the highest ranking, have consistently high student performance, whereas Tier II schools offer average student achievement and Tier III schools score poorly on student achievement. Tier III schools are subject to district intervention and requirements that Tier I and Tier II schools are not.