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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:

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.
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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.
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Comments [1]

Mayor De Blasio's Charter School Dilemma

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WNYC
With more charter schools seeking space in public school buildings, the mayor of New York City has a week left to announce his policy for choosing the winners and the losers.
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Comment

Most NYC Teachers Get High Ratings in New Evaluation System

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Despite the controversy over the new teacher evaluation system, it did not result in many more city teachers getting bad marks. It's more nuanced than that.
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Comments [1]

City Agrees to Stop Schools from Using 911 for Discipline

Monday, December 15, 2014

WNYC
New York City has settled a lawsuit that claimed the public schools relied too heavily on the 911 emergency number when disciplining disruptive students. 
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Comments [4]

NYC Council Pushes For More Diversity at Top Schools

Thursday, December 11, 2014

There's a range of views on the test for admission to some of the city's best high schools but agreement that there should be more test prep and recruiting in all middle schools.
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Comments [5]

State Education Commissioner Leaves To Join Obama Administration

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WNYC
State Education Commissioner John King is leaving Albany for Washington, where he'll become a senior adviser to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
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Comments [2]

Union: Absentee Homeowners Should Help NYC Schools

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

WNYC
The teachers union believes the buyers in New York City's booming market for luxury apartments may hold the key to lower class sizes.
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Comment

Controversy 101: City Teachers Tackle the Garner Case

Thursday, December 04, 2014

They knew the conversations would be difficult and emotional, but many teachers felt compelled to make their classrooms a safe place to talk about the Eric Garner case.
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Comments [1]

NYC Chancellor Offers Educators Guidance on Garner Case

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Chancellor Carmen Fariña suggested ways to make a "teachable moment" out of the Eric Garner case, and to make a safe space for students to express their feelings.
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Comment

Audit: New York Schools Lost Track of Computers, Tablets

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Department of Education either lost or can't find hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of computers, according to an audit by the New York City comptroller.
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Comment

Clock Ticks Down on Middle and High School Applications

Monday, December 01, 2014

Dec. 2 is the deadline for New York City families to submit their choices for public middle and high schools. It's also when parents have a lot to say about the, um, unique process.
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Comments [2]

Teenage Authors Get Dark and Twisted for Novel Writing Month

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November was National Novel Writing Month. At a Manhattan middle school, students who took part in a writing challenge focused on some pretty twisted stuff.
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Comment

Kids Get In On The Action With NaNoWriMo

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November is national novel writing month and some schools are participating by having students write long-form fiction.

Comment

Bronx Students Test Their Voices on Ferguson Verdict

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The principal of a middle school organized a protest about the grand jury decision because he knew his students would have a lot to say. They also made a video about the shooting.
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Comment

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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Comments [1]

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 [5]

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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Comments [1]

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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Comments [1]