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Annenberg Institute for School Reform
June 14, 2016
As 12 early community schools face funding cuts, advocates question city’s long-term commitment
In New York City, an unexpected fight has flared up between proponents of social service-filled “community schools” and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio,…
February 19, 2015
New database estimates how much schools are missing from equity settlement
Advocates for school funding equity have launched a new website to show families and the public exactly how much money their school or district is due but not receiving each year under a years-old legal settlement whose terms have yet to be fulfilled.
January 21, 2015
Report: School support networks had little impact on student achievement
The city’s school-support networks have had little overall impact on student achievement, failing to overcome the powerful link between students’ backgrounds and their academic performance, according to a new report. The report comes as Chancellor Carmen Fariña is set to overhaul the school-support system.
challenging the charters
July 31, 2014
City Council members repeat calls for oversight in letter to SUNY charter authorizer
Since de Blasio’s co-location battle with Success Academy last spring, the mayor has backed off on his criticism of charter schools. But the City Council's education committee is pushing ahead in its opposition to the sector.
December 9, 2013
De Blasio must end 'crisis' in Bronx school district, report says
Esperanza Vazquez and other members of the New Settlement Parent Action Committee, which released a new report Friday, at a District 9 rally in 2012. (Photo courtesy of New Settlement PAC.) Michelle Reyes recalls that when her oldest daughter attended school in the South Bronx’s District 9 in the early 90s, many of her classmates learned little and dropped out. Two decades later, when her youngest daughter was a district student, Reyes saw much of the same — many floundering schools and struggling students. By some measures, such as graduation and dropout rates, District 9 has advanced with the rest of the city since Mayor Bloomberg took office. But the district remains stubbornly among the city's very lowest performers, and a new report by a parent-led advocacy group and a think tank argues that the next administration must aggressively attack the district's long-term problems. The report, released Friday by the New Settlement Parent Action Committee and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, suggests several ways the de Blasio administration could do that, beginning by creating a district-level improvement plan with input gathered at public forums.
October 10, 2013
Report illustrates disparities in over-the-counter enrollment
Percentages of over the counter students at schools that began phasing out in 2011 Students who enter city high schools outside of the regular admissions process are disproportionately sent to struggling schools, according to a new analysis of Department of Education data—something advocates for those schools have long asserted. The statistics also illustrate how differently seats are filled in high schools across the city. At the High School for Telecommunication Arts and Technology in 2011, only 7 percent of students were enrolled "over the counter," meaning they were assigned some time after the traditional high school choice process. At Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology, which the city has tried to close, 26 percent of students were enrolled over the counter that year. Christopher Columbus High School, which is closing at the end of this year, had some of the highest rates in the city. Over-the-counter enrollments made up 39 percent of the school's total in 2008, and the pace continued as the school began phasing out, with 37 percent over-the-counter enrollment in 2011.
November 2, 2011
Policy wonk-turned-producer explains new parent activism film
Producers of a new documentary about parent activism say they aim to inspire parents across the country to press for change. The film, "Parent Power," traces the organizing story that emanated from an effort to improve a single Bronx school in the mid-1990s and resulted in the citywide Coalition for Educational Justice. Set to premiere on Thursday, "Parent Power" was produced by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, which has long supported parent activism efforts, in collaboration with FPS Video Productions. (The premiere, at NYU's Cantor Film Center, is open to the public.) Filmmakers Norm Fruchter, an Annenberg Institute policy analyst, and Jose Gonzalez, a parent activist from the South Bronx, gathered 15 years of footage and photography of parent organizing efforts. They also interviewed teachers union president Randi Weingarten, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, parent activist Zakiyah Ansari, and others involved in supporting the parents' efforts. I spoke with Fruchter, who told me about the making of the movie, the origins of its story, and his hope that parent activists across the country tune in. JC: Where does this story begin? NF: [In 1996,] parents at the New Settlement Apartments in the South Bronx were concerned about their local elementary school.
April 23, 2009
Panel: NYC public school grads not starting college prepared
More city public school graduates are enrolling at City University of New York Colleges, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and CUNY President Matt Goldstein boasted at a press conference last month. But whether the students are prepared for the college experience, both in and outside the classroom, is much less clear. Only 7.5% of students take all of the high school courses that CUNY recommends, and more than 70% of the first-year students in CUNY's junior colleges must take remedial courses to catch up on basic skills, according to John Garvey, who was until recently the dean in charge of CUNY's College Now program, which allows high school students to take college-level courses. Garvey presented the information at an event Tuesday held by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, which is developing a set of recommendations for how to boost student achievement. One major problem is that the most advanced high school courses, called Regents courses to match the exit exams students must pass, do not approximate the style or difficulty of college classes, Garvey said. CUNY freshmen are exempted from remedial courses if they score a 75 on the math and English Regents exams. But the tests focus on material that should be learned in middle school and the first years of high school, Garvey said. "They don't align with the real needs of college courses," he said.
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