Streams

Beth Fertig

Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org.  She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.

"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 1.1 million students hailing from all over the world, and well over 100,000 employees, Beth describes the school system as a fascinating lens through which to see the city. “Every social problem and challenge shows up in the schools,” she says. “And you get to see real people of all ages dealing with these challenges, not just talking about them.”

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. She 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 in 2000 about an effort to privatize some struggling city schools.

Beth also won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation of a subway fire. And she’s won numerous 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.

Blogs:

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Teachers Union Fires First Shot in Battle Over Charter School Cap

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Union leaders say charter schools shouldn't be rewarded by Albany lawmakers until they accept more of the most difficult to teach students. 
Read More

Comment

Report: Special Needs Students Stay Longer at New York City Charter Schools

Thursday, January 29, 2015

WNYC
In a reversal, the Independent Budget Office said students with special needs are less likely to leave charters than their peers at city district schools.
Read More

Comment

Orthodox Jewish Group Presses for More Half Day Pre-K Seats

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

With only so many hours in a day, some orthodox groups want more half-day pre-kindergarten seats so they have enough time to offer religious instruction as well. 
Read More

Comment

Farina Consolidates Power in School Superintendents

Thursday, January 22, 2015

WNYC
Principals were treated as C.E.O.'s of their schools by the previous administration but Chancellor Carmen Fariña wants their bosses, school superintendents, to have more of a say.
Read More

Comment

Cuomo Proposes Tying School Aid to Specific Education Reforms

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WNYC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants changes to the teacher evaluation and disciplinary systems, despite opposition from Democrats and the unions. But he's using school aid for leverage.
Read More

Comments [3]

Brooklyn Principal Selected to Talk Education in DC

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WNYC
A Brooklyn high school principal was among a group of 15 school leaders from around the country brought to D.C. to talk about federal policies and meet the Education Secretary.
Read More

Comment

Cuomo Expected to Tackle Teacher Evaluations, Charter Schools

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WNYC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his State of the State speech will include fixes to the teacher evaluation system so that good teachers are rewarded and bad teachers are shown the door. 
Read More

Comment

Plaintiffs Urge Judge to Let Case Against Teacher Tenure Proceed

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WNYC
An ambitious lawsuit challenging teacher tenure in New York got its first full hearing, as two groups of parents claimed job protections make it too difficult to remove bad teachers.
Read More

Comments [3]

Challenge to New York's Teacher Tenure Law Gets Day in Court

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WNYC
A judge will hear arguments on whether the state's teacher tenure system violates the rights of students. City and state lawyers will argue it's a political issue, not a legal one.
Read More

Comments [2]

Success Charter Network Scales Back 2015 Expansion Plans

Friday, January 09, 2015

WNYC
Success Academy charter network will postpone opening four schools after talks with the city, although the network is on track to have 45 charters in the 2016-17 school year.
Read More

Comment

De Blasio Lifts Cell Phone Ban; Lets Schools Set New Tech Policies

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

WNYC
After a more than decade-long ban, principals will now set their own policies on cell phones on New York City school campuses.
Read More

Comments [9]

Top 8 Items on New York's Education Agenda for 2015

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio greatly expanded pre-kindergarten last year. In 2015, he faces tough negotiations with Albany over charter schools and renewing mayoral control of the schools.
Read More

Comment

Cuomo Vetoes Bill He Drafted to Protect Teachers from Poor Evaluations

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gov. Andrew Cuomo went from saying he wanted to protect teachers from harsh ratings when their students get low test scores, to calling for a new evaluation system that's more rigorous.
Read More

Comment

Somber Christmas At Brooklyn Shrine To Slain Cops

Thursday, December 25, 2014

WNYC
Mourners came from all over the city on Christmas Day to honor officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu at the Bedford Stuyvesant corner where they were killed by a gunman on Saturday.

Comment

NYC Continues Sending Special Ed Students to School with Controversial Treatments

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More than 100 New York City students with intellectual disabilities and behavioral disorders attend a private school that uses electric shocks and mechanical restraints.

Comment

Staten Island Congressman's Future Unclear in the House

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Embattled Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm has said he wants to hang onto his seat, despite pleading guilty to felony tax fraud, but his House colleagues may not be so supportive.

Comment

NYC Rejects 12 Charter School Bids for Public Space, Approves 12

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New York's evolving policy on charter schools led it to reject 12 applications for city space but allow 12 others to proceed, including 10 run by Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy. 
Read More

Comment

King Agrees with Governor on Need to Change Teacher Evaluations

Friday, December 19, 2014

WNYC
Education commissioner John King may have one foot out the door as he departs for a new job in Washington, but he's still calling for further reforms in New York State.
Read More

Comment

Cuomo Letter Outlines 'Aggressive' Education Plans, Seeks Input from State Leaders

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WNYC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo questioned the credibility of the teacher evaluation system, after only 1 percent of teachers received the lowest possible ratings.
Read More

Comment

Success Charter Schools Secure More City Space

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WNYC
Mayor de Blasio's administration avoided another feud with charter school leader Eva Moskowitz by agreeing to site more of her schools inside city public schools.
Read More

Comments [2]