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:

School Year Underway at Most NYC Charters Schools

Monday, August 25, 2014

A wave of charter schools welcomed thousands of students to the first day of school on Monday, ahead of the city's regular district schools which open next week.
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Reporter's Notebook: Robin Williams in 1996

Friday, August 22, 2014

WNYC's Contributing Editor for Education, Beth Fertig, recalls spending time with Robin Williams in 1996 when he visited children in a hospital. His joy can be heard in the clips.

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School Bus Drivers To Get Salary Boost

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The City Council voted to give bus companies $42 million — which makes some worried about setting a bad precedent.
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It's Not Just About the Test: A Teacher Talks About the Classroom

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jose Vilson wants the public to hear more from teachers. That's why he wrote a book.
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NYC's Special Ed Reform Moving Slowly

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Special needs kids are supposed to be integrated with the whole school population. It's federal law. But so far, the city is behind.
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A New High Tech Charter Gets an Early Start

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A new charter school is hoping to make the most of Downtown Brooklyn's position as a center of the city's technology sector.
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Five Things You Need to Know About NYC Scores on State Tests

Friday, August 15, 2014

The city showed more gains than other school districts in the state because it started training teachers and principals early on the Common Core standards, plus 4 other takeaways.
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State Tests Show NYC Made Bigger Gains in Reading than Average

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Year Two of Common Core-aligned state tests in New York did not see a big change in scores from last year. But New York City students saw gains -- see how your school scored. 

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Putting Power Tools In The Hands Of 5-Year-Olds

Monday, August 11, 2014

To move kids away from computer screens, a new wave of learning programs is emphasizing hands-on activities. Like building stuff.

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Few Teachers Bite at Buyouts

Thursday, August 07, 2014

WNYC

Less than 10 percent of teachers and other staffers without permanent assignments opted for buyouts this fall, under a new agreement negotiated between the union and the city's Department of Education.

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Just How Hard Are Common Core Tests? See For Yourself

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

WNYC

See for yourself.

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Did the Right Kids Go to Summer School? One NYC School Says Yes.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Instead of relying solely on test scores to determine which students needed summer school, education officials told school districts to let teachers and principals decide.

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Union Claims Weak Teachers Are Shown the Door

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

With teacher tenure under scrutiny, the New York City teachers union claimed more teachers leave the system because of disciplinary action than previously reported, even if few teachers are actually fired.

 

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Teacher Tenure Fight Spills Into N.Y., Where A New Lawsuit Brews

Monday, July 28, 2014

A new salvo has been fired in the fight over teacher tenure. A group led by former TV anchor Campbell Brown filed a complaint in New York state court, arguing that tenure laws are preventing the state from providing every child with the "sound, basic education" its constitution guarantees.

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Tales Of Migration Explore Modern-Day Odysseys And 'Hyphenated Identities'

Monday, July 28, 2014

The transition from one part of the world to another is filled with anticipation, conflict and drama. These trips can herald life-changing transformations for families seeking out better lives.

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Teacher Tenure Lawsuits Spread From California To New York

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.? That question is at the center of the heated debate about tenure protections and who gets them.

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Medicare's Costs Stabilize, But Its Problems Are Far From Fixed

Monday, July 28, 2014

Medicare's trust fund is projected to have money until 2030, four years longer than predicted last year. But the fund that pays for disability benefits could run dry just two years from now.

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Teacher Tenure Fight Comes to New York City

Monday, July 28, 2014

WNYC

A group of New York City parents said they joined in a lawsuit over the state's tenure rules on Monday because they think their children are not getting what they deserve at school. 

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Council Passes Limited School Door Alarm Bill

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Schools with vulnerable or troubled students should be getting more door alarms installed next year as a way to prevent them from leaving the building undetected.

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Pro-Charter School Group Spent Nearly $6 Million in Media Blitz

Friday, July 18, 2014

The lobbying group that urged the state to support charter schools spent almost $6 million on advertisements this spring. Backers of the city's pre-k expansion were also heavy spenders.

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