Monthly Archives: February 2012

New York City Teacher Data Reports Are Released


7:17 p.m. | Updated After a long legal battle and amid much anguish by teachers and other educators, the New York City Education Department released individual performance rankings of 18,000 public school teachers on Friday, while admonishing the news media not to use the scores to label or pillory teachers.

The reports, which name teachers as well as their schools, rank teachers based on their students’ gains on the state’s math and English exams over five years and up until the 2009-10 school year. The city released the reports after the United Federation of Teachers exhausted all legal remedies to block their public disclosure.

The reports are now available on SchoolBook, posted on the individual pages for the elementary and middle schools whose teachers’ ratings were released. You can search for a school by using the search module on the left.

At a briefing on Friday morning, an Education Department official said that over the five years, 521 teachers were rated in the bottom 5 percent for two or more years, and 696 were repeatedly in the top 5 percent.

Click here to read the full article…


Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who’s Doing It Best


“Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence,” sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it’s closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.

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5 Free Event to do with Kids this Weekend!


A creative outlet for children ages 6-13 to express themselves through art.

This event repeats every week on Saturday between 1/7/2011 and 2/25/2012.

Repeats every week every Saturday until Sat Feb 25 2012 .

Sat, 2012-01-07 10:30 – 13:30

Jackie Robinson Recreation Center 85 Bradhurst Avenue, New York NY


2. Bilingual Birdies 

A foreign language program for children ages newborn to 5 with parent/caregiver.  The bilingual musicians teach through live music, movement, puppetry and games. Each session ends with a lively bubble dance party! Children learn basic vocabulary and short phrases while playing with instruments and fun props.

Repeats every week until Sat Feb 25 2012

Sat, 2011-12-10 11:00 – 12:00

Ottendorfer Public Library 135 Second Avenue, New York NY 10009


3. Arts and Recreation at the Audubon Center 

Naturalists at the Prospect Park Audubon Center lead structured, fun and engaging arts activities combined with active play that will have kids up and moving like an animal or pretending to be a bat!

Repeats every week every Sunday and every Saturday until Sun Feb 26 2012 .

Sat, 2012-02-04 13:00 – 15:00

Audubon Center at the Boathouse Near the Lincoln Road/Ocean 

Avenue entrance, New York NY


4. Sundae Sermon 

Sundae Sermon and El Museo Del Barrio are teaming up to keep us dancing all winter with the launch of its first annual Sundae Sermon Indoor Series.

Sundae Sermon, a wildly popular free afternoon dance party, is traditionally held throughout the summer in Morningside Park from June through September and attracts families from all parts of the city. With this partnership, Harlem’s renown El Museo Del Barrio will host Sundae Sermon as an extension of the outdoor music and film festival, creating a Winter/Spring 2012 edition that will connect family, community and commerce through dance, leisure, laughter and artist exhibits.

Sun, 2012-02-26 15:00 – 19:00

El Museo del Barrio 1230 5th Avenue, New York NY 10029


5. Family Bingo

Come eat, drink and play! Little Prizes for the Little Kids! Kids Eat Free with any purchase of a Dinner Entree or Dinner Special!

Repeats every week until Sun May 12 2013 except Sat Dec 24 2011, 

Sun Dec 25 2011, Sun Jan 01 2012.

Sun, 2011-05-15 18:00 – 21:00

The Moxie Spot 81 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11201


Importance of the Visual Arts in Education

By M. LoParco by Dryden Art School. 

Importance of the Visual Arts in Education

Today more than ever the arts are needed by our young people as a forum for safe expression, communication, exploration, imagination, and cultural and historical understanding. See how Arts to Grow aligns with this statement. 
Below are a list of reasons why the visual arts are so important at each grade level:

· Brain research confirms that Arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement, school success, and preparation for the work world.
· Art classes provide students a chance to develop cognitive and creative skills, and to develop their imaginations.
· For some students Art is their motivation for coming to school and an area where they have success or excel, providing an important balance in their total educational experience.
· The arts teach our students to be more tolerant and open through multicultural and historical perspectives and through their involvement in the creative process itself.

See Visual Art Class slide show with Arts to Grow. 

Click here to read the full article…

What’s to Gain with a Longer School Day?

By Hannah Boyd in 

It’s no secret that American schools are in trouble. Forget foreign languages, physics and art; many struggle just to teach kids the three R’s. In a bid to get students up to speed on standardized exams, many schools have cut P.E. and recess. 50% of kids do no after-school activities at all, leaving them bored and often unsupervised when the bell rings at 2:30. But all of these problems have a simple solution, according to Christopher Gabrieli and Warren Goldstein, the authors of Time to Learn: How A New School Schedule is Making Smarter Kids, Happier Parents, and Safer Neighborhoods. The answer? More school.

Goldstein and Gabrieli argue that adding about two hours to the traditional six hour day would:

  • Narrow the achievement gap. While affluent families supplement their children’s educations with private classes, camps, and tutors, low-income students fall further and further behind. “Adding to the school day allows schools to give them the same individualized attention, the same added homework help and tutoring and the same opportunities to develop their musical, arts, drama, athletic and other dimensions,” say the authors. In the year after Massachusetts tested the Expanded Learning Time Initiative, which added about two hours to the school day, participating schools narrowed the achievement gap in English by 35% and science by almost 

Click here to read full article…

Design the 2012 Lights On Afterschool Poster

Calling all afterschool artists!  

From Aftershool Allience:

We want your artwork for our 2012 Lights On Afterschool poster.  The deadline

 for submissions is May 1, 2012.  

Posters are sent to afterschool programs from coast to coast for Lights On Afterschoolcelebrations.  The artist and/or program will be credited on the poster, and the image will be featured on our website. The winning image will be printed on 70,000 posters displayed nationwide!

Get inspired:  Learn more about our 2011 poster contest winner Nicole Tanner and check out our  2010 gallery of poster submissions.

Guidelines for creating artwork (download guidelines.pdf): 

Read more …  

Expanded Learning: A Vision Built on the Afterschool Approach

Principles of Effective Expanded Learning Programs: A Vision Built on the Afterschool Approach by Aftershool Allience 

A Key Issue in ESEA Reauthorization and Beyond

Expanded learning time (ELT)—adding time to the school day, week or year—is a relatively new approach to expanding learning opportunities.  Like quality afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs, there are essential principles of these programs that increase the likelihood of success.  At a minimum, expanded learning time programs should go beyond simply adding additional time to the school day and incorporate successful afterschool practices: engaging students in their own education by providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities through community partnerships that build on—but do not replicate—learning that happens during the school day.   

The Afterschool Alliance has created a publication to define and outline the eight principles of afterschool best practices key to developing successful expanded learning programs.  Below, we’ve also compiled a variety of additional perspectives, evaluations and analysis from our own resources as well as from outside sources to provide you with a comprehensive guide to this model of expanded learning.
Eight Principles of Effective 

Expanded Learning Programs

Click here to read more …