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ask the mayor
June 7, 2019
This Brooklyn teen keeps pressing de Blasio on school segregation during his weekly radio appearance
That thorn in de Blasio’s side: Tiffani Torres, a 16-year-old junior at Pace High School in Manhattan.
December 10, 2018
A new law is helping undocumented students in New Jersey attend college, but challenges remain
Thanks to a New Jersey law passed in May, undocumented immigrant students are now eligible to receive state financial aid to attend college. But questions and challenges remain, as many schools and families don't yet know about the program, and some students fear that applying may lead to scrutiny that could result in deportation.
July 7, 2016
What role should parents play in promoting integration? Nikole Hannah-Jones and two other public school parents weigh in
"This problem will never be fixed on a school-by-school basis. You need leadership from the top, it has to be systemic."
stay the (common) course
November 4, 2015
Tisch urges Cuomo to stick with the Common Core despite the backlash
A week after announcing her plans to step down as Board of Regents chancellor, Merryl Tisch urged the governor to stand by the Common Core standards and exams.
September 16, 2014
Fariña says she has high hopes for parent involvement as conferences begin
On the day of the year’s first parent-teacher conferences, Chancellor Carmen Fariña told WNYC‘s Brian Lehrer that she was confident in her strategies to increase…
June 17, 2013
Every city high school’s graduation rate, charted over time
December 9, 2011
After panel on school choice, critique of city’s system of schools
Chancellor Dennis Walcott is interviewed by WNYC's Brian Lehrer at a forum on public school options. Many of the parents and teachers attending a forum last night about school choice said it was their first time hearing Chancellor Dennis Walcott talk about the Bloomberg administration's school policies. Walcott defended the school choice model that has developed during Bloomberg's tenure at the event, which was organized by the New York Times and WNYC in conjunction with their SchoolBook reporting project. (Listen to WNYC's coverage of the event.) The event took place against the backdrop of a spate of school closures announced by the Department of Education earlier in the day. The city's closure strategy, meant to clear space for better school options, has in large part fueled the increasing number of choices that families face, especially when applying in middle and high school. Parents and teachers we spoke to said the apparent options could be dizzying, even for the most involved families. educators, some parents said they didn't think Walcott's answers got to the root of their concerns. "It's very confusing. The whole process reminds me of voting. People don't engage because there's too much information out there. They don't know how to process all of it," said Tania Cade, who has a child in third grade at P.S. 278 and another in seventh-grade at a gifted-and-talented program in Washington Heights. "I don't think that [Walcott] addressed that issue at all. It's all up to the parents, and God bless those parents who don't have the time or don't speak the language."
October 18, 2010
One principal's "war board" strategy to get to graduation
For the principal of Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School, getting his seniors to graduation may require keeping track of them all, one by…
October 15, 2010
In the Bronx, an embattled school tries to do more with less
This school year, GothamSchools and WNYC reporters will follow three New York City high schools as they try to improve. The following is an introduction to one of those schools: Christopher Columbus High School. Christopher Columbus High School sits on a quiet street in the Bronx that's actually a no man's land in the middle of a policy war. The city's Department of Education has been threatening to close Columbus since 2003. Mayor Bloomberg has called it, and other schools like it, "failures" and warned parents against enrolling their children there, saying the students would "probably never recover from it." About 300 ninth-graders enrolled in the school regardless, but the school's future is still precarious. Caught in a fight between the city and the teachers union, it is being starved while other struggling schools are getting help. Among the changes at Columbus this year are a freshman class that has shrunk by more than a hundred students, a budget that is down by more than $1 million, and widespread uncertainty over whether the city will succeed in closing the school on its second try. But unlike some of the other 18 schools saved from closure by a union lawsuit, Columbus is still fighting. Its principal of eight years, Lisa Fuentes, applied to convert Columbus into a charter school focused on serving high-needs students. Its teachers and students are already planning rallies in the school's defense.
March 12, 2009
Stimulus dollars don't force judging teachers based on tests
In his interview with Chancellor Joel Klein this morning, Brian Lehrer of WNYC repeatedly described the $115 billion federal stimulus package for education as being available to states only if they met a steep demand: evaluating teachers based on their students' test scores. Klein agreed, calling the evaluations "a general requirement for states to get the stimulus money." Pressed for specifics on how that would affect the city schools, the chancellor hedged, saying he's waiting for more details from the Obama administration. In fact, a spokesman from the U.S. Department of Education told me that states will receive the stimulus funds regardless of their willingness to evaluate teachers using student test scores. "We’re encouraging states to do merit pay," he said. "But to get all of the stimulus money you don’t have to do merit pay." The notion that there are strings in the main pot of the stimulus money is not entirely off base. The federal DOE is asking states to pledge to do a list of four things with the money before they get it (an occurrence that's scheduled to happen next month, a spokesman told me). Two points on that list also seem to add up to merit pay, or at least provide the ingredients to make it possible — one asking states to improve "teacher effectiveness" and another asking them to create data systems to track students' progress. And President Obama did, just this week, signal his interest in seeing federally funded merit-pay programs expand to 150 districts from a measly 34. Finally, there's another $5 billion pot of money in the stimulus, the "race to the top" fund, that states will have to apply for the use of — and which is dedicated to "innovative" programs that could include performance-based pay. Here are the four criteria states will have to promise their stimulus funds will meet, cribbed from these federal DOE stimulus guidelines:
February 5, 2009
Teacher: Cash-strapped private school families flood my school
A teacher named Mandy Kwan submitted this entry to Brian Lehrer’s Uncommon Economic Indicators project: In the elementary school where I am teaching, I’m…
December 17, 2008
Remainders: Are we being mis-informed about Arne Duncan?
Rick Kahlenberg urges Arne Duncan to think about magnet schools in addition to charters. Russo files a must-read on misinformation he says is…
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