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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:

City Shuts Down Two Troubled Charter Schools

Thursday, March 05, 2015

WNYC
New York City education officials took the unusual step to close two charters, effective this June, because of persistently low performance and weak leadership.
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Comment

Life After the Ban: Schools Roll Out the New Cell Phone Rules

Monday, March 02, 2015

WNYC
New York City's ban on cell phones in public schools is over. Now, individual schools get to choose a policy that works for them. 
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Comment

In Dig at De Blasio, Cuomo Defends His Plan for Failing Schools

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WNYC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered a vigorous defense of his plan to turnaround failing schools, one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio went to Albany and argued for an alternative.
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Comments [2]

CUNY Program Raises Graduation Rates with Intensive Support

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WNYC
A program aimed at boosting graduation rates among community college students has bucked the trend and managed to retain students, according to an independent research study.
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Comment

Taylor Swift Donates to NYC Schools Music Program

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WNYC
Pop star Taylor Swift is making good on her pledge to give the city schools proceeds from her hit single "Welcome to New York."
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Comments [4]

New York City Schools Chief Outlines Discipline Changes That Scale Back Suspensions

Friday, February 13, 2015

WNYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to reduce student suspensions by making it harder for principals to suspend students for lesser infractions, like being defiant or disrespectful.
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Comments [1]

Report: Discipline at Many Charter Schools Violates Students' Rights

Thursday, February 12, 2015

WNYC
Too many city charter schools have discipline policies that can expel or suspend a student for minor infractions, in violation of state and federal laws, according to a new report.
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Comment

Wanted: A Few Good Parent Candidates

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WNYC
New York City parents interested in seeking an elected office now have their chance. Candidates can submit applications for the 36 local councils.
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Comment

Mayor's Education Budget Boosts Support for Reading Intervention

Monday, February 09, 2015

WNYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio's nearly $78 million city budget holds steady on education, but proposes more money to help young students with reading problems.
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Comment

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. 
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Comments [1]

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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Comments [9]