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urban youth collaborative
July 5, 2017
Students helping students: How free pizza started a Brooklyn teen’s career helping his peers get to college
Growing up in Brooklyn, Jamel Burgess wasn’t sure why some people went to college and others never seemed to make it. Now, he’s well aware…
August 9, 2016
New York City students show up in droves to question school discipline policy
Students shared their personal stories about being disciplined in city schools and urged the city to do more to reduce suspensions for older students.
March 31, 2015
Suspensions down 10 percent this school year as city prepares to apply new policies
Suspensions in city schools over the first seven months of the school year are down 10 percent compared to that period last year, officials said Tuesday.
February 13, 2015
Long-awaited discipline policy changes further restrict suspensions, restraints
The plan includes a new review process for suspensions for insubordination, though advocates say there's more to be done.
October 23, 2013
Urban Youth Collaborative reiterates college-readiness recommendations
A top priority for the next mayor must be to boost the “abysmal” college-readiness rates among black and Hispanic students, according to a citywide student group that rallied outside City Hall Tuesday. The Urban Youth Collaborative released a policy paper during the rally that reiterates the group’s previous recommendations for how to close that college-readiness gap. Just over 11 percent of black students and 12 percent of Hispanic students were prepared for college when they graduated high school last year, according to the state’s metric, which is based on the percentage of students who graduate in four years with a 75 on their English Regents exam and an 80 on their math exam. In contrast, about 39 percent of white students and almost 53 percent of Asian students met those benchmarks.
May 6, 2013
Weiner's proposal to "remove troublesome students" draws fire
Students rallied outside Anthony Weiner's apartment building against the possible mayoral candidate's position on school discipline. (Photo: New Yorkers for Great Public Schools) Anthony Weiner has no campaign office or campaign stops, because he has no mayoral campaign, at least for now. So students are heading to his home on Park Avenue today to protest a centerpiece of his education policy proposals. Students who are part of the Urban Youth Collaborative are rallying outside Weiner's apartment building this afternoon to oppose what they say is a "discriminatory" position on school discipline. The students — who are no newcomers to political theater — say Weiner's proposal to "streamline the process of removing troublesome kids from the classroom" would unfairly target black and Latino students. The proposal topped Weiner's education agenda in a recent policy booklet, "Keys to the City," which was an updated version of a 2009 document by the same name. Weiner's policy proposal says nothing about the race of the students the policy would affect, of course. But the students are pointing to data about who bears the brunt of discipline under the Bloomberg administration to suggest that those trends would likely hold true.
February 24, 2012
Students say new high school policies will require extra support
Student activists call for a greater focus on college readiness in city schools during a rally today. For some city teachers and students, the big news this week wasn't the release of teachers' ratings but a slew of new policies meant to crack down on graduation rate inflation. The new policies, which follow an audit that found errors and evidence of possible cheating at dozens of schools, change the way high school exams will be graded and limit the number of failed courses students can make up without repeating the class. Today, high school students said tougher expectations are a good thing — as long as they are coupled with more support for schools. The students were holding a rally and panel discussion at New York University Friday afternoon to draw attention to a campaign, spearheaded by City Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Robert Jackson, and several advocacy groups including the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Coalition for Educational Justice. For years, students affiliated with those groups have been urging the city to fund "success centers" inside schools where teens could get help preparing for college. And in 2009, CEJ began calling attention to a potential "looming crisis" posed by the state's increasingly tough graduation standards — something a top Department of Education official told GothamSchools this week threatens to roll back graduation rates far more than the policy changes. The students I spoke to had not heard yet about new policies, which the department announced Thursday, and did not know how their schools might be affected. But one said some of the city's new policies could hurt school graduation rates in the short run by making it more difficult for students to make up credits for courses they failed.
February 1, 2012
Students from three boroughs protest planned school closures
Student protesters unfurled a banner listing names of the schools that could close this year. Students from at least five city high schools walked out of classes this afternoon in opposition to the city's school closure proposals.
January 19, 2012
City officials say college readiness rate should double by 2016
Students from the Urban Youth Collaborative present suggestions to boost college readiness before a City Council hearing on the subject. By 2016, the proportion of students who graduate from city high schools ready for college-level work will double, Department of Education officials told skeptical City Council members today. The ambitious projection, made during a hearing on college and career readiness, would require growth that far outstrips even the most liberal assessments of the Department of Education's recent record of improvement. But even then most students would not be considered "college-ready." In 2010, when the city touted a 61 percent four-year graduation rate, just 21 percent of students who had entered high school in four years earlier met the state's college-readiness requirements. A disjuncture has long been visible between what city high schools require for graduation and what the City University of New York expects from new students. Three quarters of the students enrolling in CUNY's two-year colleges must take remedial math or reading classes, and that number has risen along with college attendance rates in recent years, especially as CUNY has toughened its standards. Testifying before members of the council's committees on education and higher education, UFT President Michael Mulgrew accused the city of practicing "social graduation" by giving high school diplomas to students who must repeat high school-level work before starting college classes. But until recently, high school graduation, not college readiness, was considered the gold standard for success testified Shael Polakow-Suransky, the DOE's chief academic officer. He said school officials had been adjusting their priorities to meet rising expectations and were confident that initiatives already underway would substantially change the picture. In particular, he said, new curriculum standards known as the Common Core that are being rolled out this year would push students to develop critical thinking skills required for college-level work.
September 23, 2011
Event aims to teach city to help schools instead of closing them
The city official in charge of closing schools and the union chief who has sued to keep schools open are both set to speak at a conference tomorrow about what can be done to help schools without shuttering them. The conference, "Effective Alternatives to School Closings: Transforming Struggling Schools in NYC," was organized by the Coalition for Educational Justice, the Alliance for Quality Education, and the Urban Youth Collaborative, all advocacy organizations. The event is meant to send a message to city policymakers that there are ways to reform failing schools without shutting them down, according to Ronnette Summers, a parent and CEJ member who helped organize it. The city Department of Education has closed 117 schools since 2002 and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said this week that he plans to close additional schools, particularly middle schools, that do not meet the department's standards. “Every year there’s more and more schools on the closing list and that seems to be the only reform strategy that the Department of Education uses to improve schools,” Summers said. “People in places where they know [closure] is not working felt that it was important to bring it to New York City to let them see that there’s other ways to improve schools.”
June 22, 2011
At 'memorial,' students lament inattention to school closures
Led by Anzhela Mordyga, students leave a "memorial service" for closed schools outside Tweed Courthouse today. Carrying small coffins and wearing mostly black, a group of about 100 high school students held a "memorial service" today for schools the city has closed. The teens were organized by the Urban Youth Collaborative, a coalition of activist groups that is advocating for the city to add new resources for struggling schools instead of closing them. A recent graduate, Anzhela Mordyga, wore a black gown as she conducted the mock funeral service outside Department of Education headquarters. Another student scattered flowers as the group recessed to City Hall Park. "This funeral service represents the damages and pain when schools are closed," said Joseph Duarte, a freshman at Samuel Gompers High School, where students are worried that their school could be next to land on the city's chopping block. Students who spoke at the event said they mourned not only school closures — Mayor Bloomberg has attempted 91 since he took control of schools — but also a lack of public engagement in education. The memorial service drew attention to an issue that is at the heart of the UFT-NAACP lawsuit currently working its way through the courts.
May 25, 2011
A packed agenda for parent and student activists tomorrow
Charter school parents won’t be the only ones taking to the streets tomorrow. Protests are also planned against planned teacher layoffs, a charter school…
June 15, 2010
A student's MTA protest yields to broader education critique
Jaritza Geigel, a student organizer with Make the Road New York and the Urban Youth Collaborative, led a walkout to protest cuts to student subway…
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