GothamSchools In brief

From the notebooks of the journalists who bring you GothamSchools, the independent news organization covering the New York City schools

Senator John Flanagan’s office released a final roster of speakers who will testify tomorrow at a New York State Senate hearing in New York City. 

New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch will be on the hot seat to start off the hearing, the fourth event that Flanagan convened this fall to probe the merits of sweeping policies ushered by Tisch and the State Education Department in recent years. Tisch will be joined by SED Legislative Director Nicolas Storelli-Castro. 

The next two spots go to United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew and city schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, respectively. 

In all, 27 speakers are scheduled to testify. They include parents, advocates, researchers and teachers. The hearing is expected to cover a variety of issues facing schools, from state testing policies, to teacher evaluations, to privacy issues around student data. It will also include John Owens, a publishing executive who taught in a Bronx high schools for a year and wrote a book, Confessions of a Bad Teacher, about the experience.  

Tomorrow’s hearing will take place tomorrow in the Senate Hearing Room at 250 Broadway in downtown Manhattan.

Two rival advocacy groups are planning simultaneous rallies before the hearing gets started at 10:00 a.m. The first is being organized by New York City-based parent groups Class Size Matters and Change the Stakes, which have been critical of the state’s reforms. Starting at around the same time — and not too far away — will be advocates and parents from StudentsFirstNY, which lobbied for tougher state teacher evaluations, and Families for Excellent Schools, which organized a pro-charter school march across the Brooklyn Bridge earlier this month. 

Here is the list of those expected to testify tomorrow, according to Sen. Flanagan’s office: 

New York State Education Department/New York State Board of Regents
        Chancellor Merryl Tisch, New York State Board of Regents
        Nicholas – Storelli-Castro, Governmental Affairs, NYSED

United Federation of Teachers
        Michael Mulgrew, President

NYC Board of Education
      Chancellor Dennis Walcott

Parents
        Lisa Shaw
        Nancy Cauthen
        Karen Sprowal
        Jan Johnson

Specialists
      Deborah Rayow, Vice-President, Core Curriculum and Credit Recovery,
      Edgenuity
        Ms. Nathalie Elivert, StudentsFirstNY
        Ms. Tenicka Boyd, StudentsFirstNY

Advocacy
        Leonie Haimson, Executive Director, Class Size Matters
        Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education

Testing
        Dr. Monty Neill, Ed.D., Executive Director, FairTest
        Marco Battistella, Member of the Steering Committee of Time Out From
Testing

NYC Charter Schools
        James Merriman, CEO of the NYC Charter School Center

Student Privacy
        Sheila Kaplan

Council of School Administrators
        Ernest Logan, President
        Mark Cannizzaro, Executive Vice-President

NY Alliance for Public Education/Save Our Schools
        Tracy Pyper, Co-Chair, NY Alliance for Public Education
        Rosalie Friend, NYS Information Coordinator, Save Our Schools

Teachers/Principals
        John Owens, Teacher and Author
        Fred Smith, Retired Member of NYC Department of Education, Testing
Department
        Nicholas Lawrence, 8th Grade Teacher and Educators 4 Excellence
Member

Special Education
        Stephen Boese, Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Association
of NYS
        Ellen McHugh, Citywide Council on Special Education

Higher Education
      Dr. Ruth Powers Silverberg, Ed.D Associate Professor, Coordinator,
      Post Master’s Advanced Certificate Program for Leadership in
      Education, College of Staten Island, CUNY