Rise & Shine: How one teacher inspires students in the face of climate change

Happy Monday!

For Liat Olenick, teaching elementary school science is all about tapping into her students' curiosity about the natural world. But the realities of climate change and environmental degradation complicate that mission. One way she's grappling with that tension is by turning to activism and striking outside the United Nations every Friday.

Also in today's roundup, the education department's bus performance data for the first day of school turned out to be misleading, the New Yorker takes a look at the controversies over various selective admissions programs, and you might need to do more than call 311 to secure a free blood lead test.

—Alex Zimmerman, reporter

FIRST PERSON An elementary school science teacher explains how she inspires students about nature while grappling with climate change. Chalkbeat

MISLEADING NUMBERS The education department initially released data that suggested school bus complaints dropped significantly on the first day of school. That turned out to not be the case. New York Daily News

ZOOMING OUT The current backlash to overhauling admissions at various selective school programs “recalls some of the most fraught moments in the recent history of the system.” New Yorker

LEAD TESTING The education department has encouraged parents to call 311 if they want free testing to see if their children have elevated lead levels in their blood, but 311 operators appear to be in the dark. New York Post

GIFTED AND TALENTED Mayor Bill de Blasio again hinted that he is open to changes to the city’s gifted and talented programs. New York Post

SUCCESS STORY A new book about Success Academy helps explain how the charter network ensures that only the most committed families enroll — one of the keys to their high test scores. New York Post

DIVERSITY IN ADMISSIONS Some schools in Brooklyn’s District 15 are enrolling a different mix of students after admissions changes designed to boost diversity went into effect. NY1

ON THE AGENDA De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza use “starkly different” rhetoric about school improvement. The 74

Opinion: The mayor’s education agenda is unfairly prioritizing equity over excellence. New York Daily News

VACCINATION CONVERSATION Some families are pulling their children out of school because of a new law that eliminates religious exemptions for vaccinations. Wall Street Journal

BAD BEHAVIOR A school safety agent was arrested after allegedly kicking a police officer. New York Post

A community school director was arrested after officials said he solicited sex from a detective who posed as a 14-year-old boy. New York Daily News, NBC4

CHARTER CHATTER Editorial: The New York Post editorial board thinks de Blasio should be more supportive of charter schools.

Opinion: “On the 20th anniversary of New York charter schools, haters should stop hating,” argues the founder of the first charter school in New York state. RealClear Politics