Gregorio Luperon High School students unveiled a poster about a new curriculum devised by El Diario and City College to teach about the history of Latinos in New York City.
Saulio Tuero learned to read his parents’ native language by reading El Diario, the country’s longest-running Spanish daily newspaper.
“I would buy El Diario for my father, and I’d buy myself an English-speaking one, and then we’d switch," he said. “That’s the way I learned to read Spanish.”
Now, Tuero teaches at Gregorio Luperón High School for Science and Mathematics, a school created to serve recent immigrants from Latin America. In his government class last year, he piloted a bilingual curriculum created through a partnership between City College and El Diario. The curriculum, called “Social Justice & Latinos in NYC: 1913-2013” uses El Diario articles from the last century (the newspaper turns 100 this year), along with other resources, to teach students about the history of Latinos in the city.
That’s something Xiomara Pérez says she didn’t learn when she attended public school in Queens. Her parents immigrated from Puerto Rico, and she said she only learned about their history — in Puerto Rico and New York — at home. Now a graduate student at City College, Pérez helped develop the curriculum as part of a course on multicultural education in the college’s Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture.
Adam Feinberg, a high school global studies teacher, posted the most documents of any New York City teacher on ShareMyLesson.com, a new union social media website.
It was more than just altruism that drove Adam Feinberg to post hundreds of instructional materials online for his colleagues around the world to use. There was also, he hoped, a wedding gift waiting for him when he was done.
Feinberg, a global studies teacher at the Secondary School for Law in Brooklyn, was jockeying for a vacation prize that American Federation of Teachers offered to the teacher who posted the most documents to ShareMyLesson.com, the union's new curriculum-sharing website. Feinberg's tally of over 300 worksheets, lesson plans, and slideshows won him $5,000 to pay for his European honeymoon.
The website, which the AFT launched in partnership with the British publishing company TSL Education last year, is part of a growing online ecosystem that has emerged in recent years as educators across the country confront the challenge of transitioning to new Common Core standards. Existing curriculum materials are not aligned to the new standards, which emphasis text skills, non-fiction, and critical thinking.
For the first time since 2003, the Department of Education has revised its curriculum recommendations for schools.
The new recommendations are meant to guide schools through the myriad curriculum options on the market to those that best reflect new learning standards known as the Common Core. Students across the state are set to take math and reading tests aligned to the tougher new standards in April.
After scrutinizing 40 programs produced by 19 companies that met the city's basic standards, teachers and Department of Education officials endorsed elementary and middle school reading and math programs from three of the largest publishing companies, including Pearson, which is also producing the state tests. The city is also encouraging schools to consider adopting literacy curriculums that the state hired two nonprofit organizations, Core Knowledge and Expeditionary Learning, to produce.
Schools don't have to take the department's advice. They can use other curriculum programs, including the ones that they have already been using, or create their own materials. Currently, about 70 percent of schools opt to use the city's recommended curriculums, which for most schools were originally required a decade ago in one of former chancellor Joel Klein's earliest initiatives.
Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew, who has criticized the city and state for holding teachers accountable for adapting to the Common Core without giving them a curriculum based on the standards, said today's announcement represented a major step forward.