Streams

Beth Fertig

Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education.  She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.

Beth reported on education on and off during those years.  She began covering education full-time in 2009 to document Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s school reforms.

"If New York City’s public schools were a city, they’d be one of the ten largest cities in the United States," she says.  With over a million students and another couple of hundred thousand employees the Department of Education is a fascinating microcosm or macrocosm.  And with the Obama Administration’s interest in school reform, there is a lot happening in education right now."

Beth is a New York City native who discovered her love for journalism at her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She also has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Her first job after college was as a reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers in the Boston suburbs. Her boss told her she had a flair for quoting people exactly the way they spoke, so she began interning at the former Monitor Radio network to see if she would enjoy working in radio. She did and she hasn’t looked back since.

Beth is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. She’s won many local and national awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism for her series of reports on an effort to privatize some struggling city schools. She also won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation of a subway fire. And she’s won awards from the city's Deadline Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the New York Press Club -- which gave her a special award after the 2001 terrorist attacks for a profile on the friendship of two WTC survivors. Beth was also sent on loan to public radio station KRVS in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2005 to cover the cleanup and recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina.

In 2008, Beth took time off from WNYC to write her first book. It’s called "Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test" and was published in the fall of 2009 by FSG Books. The book grew out of a 2006 WNYC radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students.

Beth is also a regular contributor to Schoolbook.org, WNYC's Web site about K-12 education in New York City. You can follow her on twitter @bethfertig.

Blogs:

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Teachers Union Showcases Community Schools Model in Manhattan

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Union leaders want people to see what a good community school looks like, now that Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to expand the program to 94 struggling schools.
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Focus on Discipline: How One NYC Student Was Suspended for 30 Days

Thursday, November 20, 2014

As New York City's Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña considers changes to the discipline code, we look at one suspension case and all the questions it raises. 
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Comments [4]

New York City Rejects Charter School Requests for Free Space

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Two new charter schools that applied for space in school buildings were sent packing, a sign perhaps of what's to come as more charters seek help from the city.
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Comments [3]

City Pulls Plug on Student Data System

Monday, November 17, 2014

New York City's Department of Education is ending its contract to maintain the controversial — and little used — ARIS computer system that cost the city at least $95 million.
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Parents Urge Mayor to Honor Pledge Against Co-Locations

Friday, November 14, 2014

New York City parent leaders are urging Mayor de Blasio to stick to his word and prevent any more schools from having to share space in the same building.
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School Report Cards Are Out, Now Without Letter Grades

Monday, November 10, 2014

Say goodbye to A's and F's. The city's new school report cards now include the terms "poor" through "excellent," as well as "exceeding target" and "not approaching target."
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City Deal to Fix Two Schools Includes Replacing Staff

Friday, November 07, 2014

New York City is on track to restructure two failing high schools, in part by requiring staff members to reapply for their jobs.
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After a Dip More NYC Teachers Get Tenure

Friday, November 07, 2014

Nearly 60 percent of eligible city teachers received tenure this year, a slight uptick from recent years when the city made it harder for teachers to receive the extra job protections.
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School 'Renewal' Plan Marks Major Shift from Bloomberg

Monday, November 03, 2014

The critics were ready to pounce when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his strategy to help struggling schools, but he insisted it's time for a different approach.
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Comment

To Help Struggling Schools, de Blasio Invests Rather Than Shuts Down

Monday, November 03, 2014

New York City's mayor set a starkly different tone than his predecessor with his $150 million plan to give the city's worst schools help and time to improve. 
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Comment

New York City School Suspensions Remains Flat

Friday, October 31, 2014

Black and Hispanic students received an outsized share of school suspensions last year, prompting the chancellor to acknowledge more work needs to be done.
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Play Nice: NYC Panel Recommends Space-Sharing Tactics for Schools

Friday, October 31, 2014

A panel appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio said the process of siting schools needs to be more transparent from the get go. 
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New York City Comptroller Begins Audit of Four Charter Networks

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The office of the city comptroller is looking at the internal operations of four charter school groups, including the Success network, the city's largest. 
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Chancellor Fariña Says Discipline Code Revisions Still in the Works

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Advocates say under current school guidelines, excessive force is used too often in dealing with "disruptive" students.
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NYC Officials Try to Calm Concerns Over Ebola in Schools

Monday, October 27, 2014

On the same day a five-year-old child was being tested for possible Ebola infection, city officials issued a letter that outlined the low risk of the disease in the schools. 
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Advocates Crave Word from Mayor on Expanding Breakfast in Schools

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A coalition of anti-hunger advocates is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fulfill a campaign pledge to serve breakfast in all schools, not just before the start of class.
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NYC Chancellor Shakes Up School Superintendents

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chancellor Carmen Fariña fulfilled her pledged to strengthen the role of school superintendents, the principals' bosses, by filling seven vacancies and replacing eight others.
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Overcrowded and Overwhelmed: Inside P.S. 176

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How do you fit 22 third graders in a room the size of a Manhattan studio apartment? Ask P.S. 176 in Brooklyn. It's one of hundreds of crowded schools that can't catch a break.
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New York Regents Approve Career-Focused Diploma Requirements

Monday, October 20, 2014

New York high schoolers will be able to swap out a history test required for graduation for an exam of their choice, in subjects such as information technology or culinary arts.
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This Week in Politics: Is Cuomo Pandering?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

WNYC
The Governor gives another reason why there's no campaign finance reform, and wants women and Latinos to know he's on their side.

Comments [2]