Saturday, September 3, 2011

Math Applied to the NYC DOE

This came via email and no source. Thanks to Loretta Prisco.

There is discussion of eliminating algebra, trigonometry
and calculus and replacing it with “applied math”.

My suggestions for a new, and more useful test.

1)     The Dept.of Ed. (DOE) notified Principals that they could obtain waivers on the hiring freeze for new Math, SS and English teachers.  This, in spite of the fact that there are still over a 1000 ATR (those excessed from closing/closed schools) yet to be placed.
(a)   How much will the DOE spend to hire 1,000 new teachers at approximately $50,000 per teacher?
(b)   How much will the DOE spend to keep 1,000 experienced teachers at approximately 70,000 per teacher?
(c)   Explain the statement:  I don’t want the DOE managing my money.

2)     The Regents issued rules that (1) Districts could raise teacher ratings based on state tests from 20% to 40%, and (2) If the teacher were “Ineffective” in the rating based on student data, the overall rating be “Ineffective”, regardless of how well the teacher did on the 60% of the rating on other measures. The judge overturned the second rule, and said the first rule was subject to collective bargaining. The State is appealing.
(a)   Who’s on first?
(b)   Construct an evaluation system for at least 2 of the following: Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man,thief.

3)     Verizon was implicated, by Condon’s office, in a probe of consultant Willard Lanham accused of stealing $3.6 million. Lanham was to wire public schools for high-speed Internet. He was arrested and accused of overbilling the city for millions. Verizon’s direct profits from this deal were $800,000.
(a)   How long will it take you to run to check your Verizon bill?
(b)   How many positions could be saved if Verizon paid the city the $800,000 that it owes?
(c)   When was the last time you heard the phrase “your dime, start talking”?

4)     The DOE cut 737 school aides paid between $11,000- $27,000 each including benefits.  The city said that it was done because the union wouldn’t agree to concessions.
a)     Using an average salary, how much is the total savings from layoffs of school aides?
b)     How much more will the DOE spend to use Assistant Principals (salary approx. $110,000) to do lunch and bus duty?  Run off materials?   Take inventory?

5)     Since 2004, DOE contracts to outside consultants has soared 450% or more than $800,000.
a)     Develop a persuasive essay:  All contracts should be made with corrupt US companies that overcharge rather than foreign countries that do the same.

6)     British tabloid "News of the World" was shuttered amid a phone hacking and police bribery scandal.
NYS entered into a $27 million (to be paid with from the state’s $700 million award from Race to the Top) contract with Wireless Generation, a News Corp. affiliate, headed by Rupert Murdoch. They were to develop software to track student test scores.
(a)   If allowed to sign off on the $27 million contract, how much of the $700 million would remain to improve teaching and learning?
(b)   Would you trust a Rupert Murdoch subsidiary with your child’s personal data?
(c)   Do they have no shame?
7)     NYC  scores on English Language Arts (ELA) barely budged, and only 1/3 of Black and Latino children can read and write at state standards. More than 234,000 students failed to meet state standards in ELA – more students than in the entire Philly district. 8th grade scores fell. In the 100 lowest-performing schools, ELA scores were completely stagnant. This year, as last year, 15% of students in those schools met standards in ELA. Out of the 27,726 children in those 100 schools, only 4,235 are proficient in reading and writing. Some of the least progress, 1 in 4 students, are meeting standards in some of the lowest-performing districts. And in these districts, boys are having the most trouble. In one district 10% of 8th grade boys can read and write at state standards.  
(a)   What percentage increase would be achieved if we converted the lowest performing districts to all girls schools?
(b)   Restate the statistics above as the Mayor and Chancellor does to announce that the schools are doing better.


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