Join Chalkbeat’s mission
Education news. In context.
Building Better Schools
From the Statehouse
Beyond High School
Funding & Finance
In the Classroom
Politics & Policy
Sorting the Students
Rise & Shine
Building Better Teachers
Care about early childhood coverage? Support our reporting.
September 18, 2017
In year three of New York City’s massive school turnaround program, the big question is: What’s next?
“Lots of people are experiencing it as the last of the three years.”
August 26, 2017
The NY Times tried to fact-check the mayor’s claims about Renewal test scores. Researchers say its analysis fell short.
“The Times really didn’t do anything to ensure that their comparison to other schools was really comparable."
good news bad news
August 17, 2017
New York City is sending fewer latecomer students to Renewal schools, but questions remain
It’s unclear if that policy change is making a significant difference on the ground.
eyes on NYC
July 19, 2017
New York City’s community schools guru on the program’s massive expansion and why the schools are ‘here to stay’
Starting this September, over 100,000 students will be in New York City's community schools.
July 11, 2017
Conservative think tank finds ‘meaningful’ academic progress at New York City’s Renewal schools
The report estimates Renewal boosted student achievement by the equivalent of about 93 days of extra instruction in reading and 65 days in math.
inputs and outcomes
June 30, 2017
Are we expecting too much from community schools? Former U.S. Education Secretary John King weighs in
We asked King whether community schools should produce clear academic gains or if improving access to social services is enough to justify the approach.
An education U-turn
June 21, 2017
Do struggling schools in New York City’s Renewal turnaround program outperform those left out? A new analysis suggests no
“The scale of resources for the system to intervene in poverty is a very hard thing to do and it’s likely you won’t soon see the results you want.”
June 8, 2017
Longtime principals union president Ernest Logan announces his retirement
Logan has served as president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators for nearly 11 years.
June 5, 2017
New York City has doubled down on its approach to high-need schools. A new study says that bet could pay off
"In the long run you’re going to get a payoff of all different kinds."
April 4, 2017
Students were allowed to enroll in some of the city’s lowest-performing schools — even after they were slated for closure
In total, 25 students were allowed to enroll across the six closing Renewal schools after January 1.
March 27, 2017
Does closing a Bronx Renewal school violate state law? Public advocate thinks so, but legal argument is murky
A 2009 lawsuit argued that closing certain zoned schools requires approval from local education councils.
March 22, 2017
As vote on Renewal school closures nears, the city has vowed to find students better schools. Can it keep that promise?
“I think every parent should have a right to send their child to a top performing school. Not to another neighborhood school which is doing marginally better.”
March 6, 2017
These meetings are your chance to weigh in on New York City’s plan to close or merge nine Renewal schools
The vast majority of the meetings are scheduled over the next two weeks.
Save our school
March 1, 2017
Educators and parents say the city has abandoned their Bronx Renewal school — and now wants to close it
"Instead of extra resources, we’ve struggled to get the basic resources to survive."
Behind the numbers
February 22, 2017
New York City is touting grad rates at its lowest-performing high schools, but far fewer students are graduating from them
"It can almost be framed as a marketing problem."
January 12, 2017
Three big questions as de Blasio’s school turnaround program approaches the three-year mark
"What’s the threshold for deciding if the growth is sufficient?"
January 8, 2017
Report: New York City poised to close or merge nine ‘Renewal’ schools
The program was designed to spare low-performing schools from closure.
December 15, 2016
Chronic absenteeism is lower in New York City charter schools than in district schools, report finds
“I think attendance is a measure of school culture and school quality more than anything else."
December 5, 2016
At some Renewal schools, the city’s new ‘challenge’ targets require only tiny improvements
Thirty schools only have to improve average math or reading scores by .01 points.
At the halfway mark
November 22, 2016
Half full or half empty? New data shows mixed results for city’s Renewal turnaround program
Nearly half of the schools in the city’s high-profile turnaround program did not meet even half their goals last year.
October 25, 2016
‘Turning a kid’s lights back on doesn’t make their test scores go up’: one principal on social services in schools
"The thing I’m nervous about is the speed at which they’re going to expect to see results."
August 22, 2016
Chancellor Fariña: ‘Kids aren’t supermarket items that you can move around’
When Chalkbeat interviewed the chancellor last week, she was proud of her efforts thus far, but mindful of the need to show concrete results.
August 17, 2016
Chancellor Rosa: New York’s state test scores are no cause for a ‘victory lap’
Chancellor Rosa said it is "very clear" this year's state exams cannot be compared to last year's.
August 15, 2016
What I learned from cobbling together my own community school
"Too often, the loudest voices in the public discourse suggest a false distinction between teaching and the barriers to learning our students face."
August 1, 2016
City’s top education officials claim victory after big increases in English test scores
The city’s top education officials celebrated historic gains on state tests Monday.
Summer in the city
June 30, 2016
One in five students at struggling schools forced to attend summer school
About 19 percent of students in the city's low-performing "Renewal" schools must attend summer schools, compared to 6 percent citywide.
May 31, 2016
Principal of troubled Boys and Girls High vying for Long Island job, throwing city’s plans into question
The move would be an embarrassing turn of events for top city officials who pinned their transformation plans on the principal, Michael Wiltshire.
May 25, 2016
Despite major city investment, struggling ‘Renewal’ schools shed another 6,300 students
The low-performing schools serve about 6,270 fewer students now than in 2014, as many families continue to shun them despite the city's expensive intervention.
February 22, 2016
Fist bumps and a war room: A day in the life of a community school director
Community school directors like M.S. 50's Fiorella Guevara play a key role in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to revitalize 94 of New York City's low-performing schools.
the first draft
January 21, 2016
De Blasio’s spending plan would hike budgets at more than 650 schools
His $82.1 billion city budget proposal, released Thursday, shows how the city plans to achieve the education goals de Blasio laid out last fall.
January 14, 2016
Officials defend ‘Renewal’ program after attack by principals union
The mayor and schools chief came to the defense of the expensive program for struggling schools after the principals union chief called it a “recipe for disaster.”
rhetoric and realism
December 3, 2015
Renewal schools get three years to meet one-year goals, clashing with mayor’s rhetoric
The goals raise questions about the extent and pace of change that education officials expect to result from the nearly $400 million turnaround program.
By the numbers
December 1, 2015
Often cited by officials, ‘Renewal’ school goals are hard to find
The city has refused to release one-page goal lists that it gave 94 struggling schools this spring. Instead, it has pointed parents to lengthy improvement plans online.
November 11, 2015
How the city is using Google Drive to revamp its struggling schools
The city is hoping that an easy-to-use tool built with Google Drive will enable struggling schools to make new use of student data.
October 1, 2015
City Council quizzes DOE on details of Fariña’s system restructuring
Council members wanted to know: Who's really in charge? What if a high-needs school is not a Renewal school? And how do parents fit in?
the bigger picture
September 30, 2015
Q&A with Automotive High’s principal: ‘There’s always pressure in this building’
Automotive students "suffer from a tremendous degree of ambivalence about what school has to offer them," Principal Caterina Lafergola says.
September 22, 2015
At public hearings on state takeover, few parents and a glimpse of challenges ahead
Low turnout and confusion at two Bronx hearings about state receivership reflect the hasty launch of the new program and possible challenges with getting public input.
September 21, 2015
Schools under threat of outside takeover still waiting to hear how they will be judged
This latest round of goal-setting adds to a long period of improvement planning and uncertainty for the schools.
a five-borough tour
September 9, 2015
On her 50th first day, New York City chancellor tours schools carrying out her vision
Chancellor Carmen Fariña stopped at “community schools,” dual-language programs, pre-kindergarten sites, and her old school on Wednesday.
September 9, 2015
Five big questions facing New York City schools as a new year begins
Will the “Renewal” program make inroads? What will come of the push for more family engagement? And how will the de Blasio administration campaign for mayoral control?
August 25, 2015
New principal to lead Lehman HS, the troubled Bronx school in state crosshairs
An assistant principal at the prestigious Bronx High School of Science will take over Lehman High School, one of the city's lowest-performing schools.
August 24, 2015
To keep top teachers, principals of struggling schools offer bigger paychecks
City officials won't yet release hiring data for the $4.9 million leadership program, but people at Renewal schools say it's working, with some limitations.
August 13, 2015
Test scores highlight the challenge ahead for city’s ‘Renewal’ turnaround program
Many Renewal schools made minor gains, and some pulled many students out of the lowest score bracket. But scores remain low, and the state is watching closely.
July 16, 2015
Here are the 62 New York City schools that could be taken over by outside groups
Most, but not all, of the schools are a part of the city's own high-profile turnaround initiative.
July 15, 2015
At two high-profile Renewal schools, rehiring process ends in dramatic staff shakeups
A majority of teachers are leaving Boys and Girls High and Automotive High, according to data released last week.
June 24, 2015
City announces free eyeglasses for community school students
The city will spend $10 million over the next four years for the screenings, and the eyewear company Warby Parker will supply glasses to every student who needs a pair.
a chance for renewal
June 24, 2015
A school community grows stronger
As the year winds down, Brooklyn Generation School — part of the city's "Renewal" program — has found new ways to help students deal with trauma. Part three of Chalkbeat's series.
a chance for renewal
June 23, 2015
Waiting for help and worn out by the status quo
By March, Brooklyn Generation was undergoing a series of high-stakes reviews, each one concluding that academics must improve. Part two of Chalkbeat's three-part series.
June 22, 2015
Best of 2015: A behind-the-scenes look at one school’s struggle to improve
In a three-part series, Chalkbeat explores the start of the de Blasio administration's turnaround program at Brooklyn Generation School in Canarsie.
June 22, 2015
A pivotal moment for a school and the program designed to improve it
As the Renewal program rolled out in February, Brooklyn Generation’s leaders and teachers got a sense of the tests ahead. Part one of Chalkbeat's three-part series.
RISE & SHINE
You are now subscribed!