Beth Fertig

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Charter Schools: Are They Saving Harlem's Schools or Just Pockets of Success?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New York City is well on track toward Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of having 100 charter schools by the fall. Charters are publicly funded but privately managed. Some parents believe they provide competition that can force the rest of the school system to improve. But others ...

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City Graduation Rates Rise

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The city's graduation rate is up and Mayor Bloomberg is taking credit. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.

REPORTER: The state tracked students who entered ninth grade in 2004. In New York City, 56 percent of them graduated high school four years later. That's an increase of ...

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Fate of Mayoral Control in Senate Uncertain

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Assembly Democrats in Albany have approved a bill to preserve Mayor Bloomberg's control over city schools. But as WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, even if the Senate gets back to business, there's no consensus there on school governance.

REPORTER: Senate Democrats are split. Many support the Assembly's ...

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Divided Dems Toy With Mayoral Control of Schools

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The State Assembly is poised to vote on a bill today preserving Mayor Bloomberg's control of the city schools when the 2002 law expires on June 30th. But even if Republicans and Democrats in the state Senate could bridge their great divide and hold a session, they're a long way from agreeing on mayoral control of the schools.

Today, John Sampson of Brooklyn - who was installed on Monday as co-leader of the Senate Democrats - told a handful of reporters in Albany that he wasn't happy with the Assembly bill. Sampson has been critical of the current system of mayoral control of the schools. In fact, he co-sponsored a bill that would dilute the mayor's power over the Panel for Educational Policy.

"The school governance bill that I sponsored I would like to put forth, or look at their [Assembly] bill and look at our bill and see if there can be some compromises," Sampson said, according to the Daily News and New York Post websites.

But with the clock ticking, Sampson was asked if there was time to get a bill passed in the Senate. "You shouldn’t ask me that question, you should ask Senator Skelos that question," he told the reporters, referring to the Republican who took control last week and refuses to give it up.

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Klein Disputes Graduation Rate Decline

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chancellor Joel Klein is disputing a study that finds attendance and graduation rates declined at many large high schools, after the city phased out some of the most dysfunctional schools and replaced them with small ones.

Klein notes that graduation rates have actually been going up. ...

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Mayoral Control Bill Passes NY Assembly, With Caveats

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Assembly's education committee has approved a bill to renew Mayor Bloomberg's control of city schools, but with minor changes. As WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, some critics are still trying to change the bill before it goes to the full Assembly tomorrow.

REPORTER: The bill keeps ...

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State Assembly Votes on Mayoral Control

Monday, June 15, 2009

The State Assembly's Education Committee is scheduled to vote today on a bill that would preserve the mayor's power over the city schools. The bill keeps the mayor's control over 13-member Panel for Educational Policy which replaced the old Board of Education. But it requires ...

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Bloomberg Uncertain But Optimistic About Keeping School Control

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg says he is uncertain about the fate of mayoral control of the city's schools, now that there's a State Senate leadership battle. The state law granting mayoral control expires on June 30th.

BLOOMBERG: Now the good news is it's the summer. The bad news ...

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Turning Around Failing Schools from Within

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

There’s a common presumption among school reformers that the best way to deal with a failing school is to shut it down and reopen it with a whole new staff. But others believe it’s possible to make change from within. WNYC’s Beth Fertig reports on ...

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Six Days in Breukelen

Saturday, June 06, 2009

This year New Yorkers are celebrating the 400th anniversary year of Henry Hudson’s voyage from Amsterdam to our shores. Some students in Brooklyn are getting a history lesson about the Dutch settlement here that they wouldn’t find in a textbook. They’ve spent the past few ...

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Adding Up

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

WNYC’s Beth Fertig talks about improvements in student math test scores.

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Math Scores Are Up, Raise Your Glass

Monday, June 01, 2009

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Bloomberg at PS/MS 15 in the Bronx announcing rise in math scores. Almost 82 percent of city elementary and middle school students met the statewide standards in 2009, a gain of 7.5 points over last year.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Bloomberg at PS/MS 15 in the Bronx announcing rise in math scores. Almost 82 percent of city elementary and middle school students met the statewide standards in 2009, a gain of 7.5 points over last year.

Mayor Bloomberg looked practically giddy as he announced that almost 82 percent of city students met or exceeded state standards on this year's math tests. This puts city children within shouting distance of their counterparts in the rest of the state. In the rest of the state, not counting the city, about 89 percent of students met the standards. The mayor also noted that the achievement gap had narrowed between both black and Hispanic students and their white counterparts.

But Bloomberg wasn't the only one smiling. As usual at these 'good news' announcements, the mayor was joined by the heads of the United Federation of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators for a press conference at PS/MS 15 in the Bronx. As the mayor shared credit with the teachers and principals for the rising test scores under his watch, they bestowed a little love in return by making some of their strongest statements to date about their support for continuing mayoral control of the city schools. The 2002 state law that put Bloomberg in charge expires at the end of the month and lawmakers are debating whether to renew it. Most support continuing it with a few adjustments.

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Gains in Test Scores Seen Across NYS

Monday, June 01, 2009

New York State's Education Department plans to release the math scores today for this year's tests in grades three through eight. As WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, the results could affect Mayor Bloomberg's bid to retain control of city schools.

REPORTER: The law that put the mayor ...

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New York State's Math Scores Rise

Monday, June 01, 2009

More than 86% of New York's elementary and middle school students met the state standards for math this year. That's an increase of almost six points from last year.

State education commissioner Richard Mills says the gains were incremental and he cites a number of reasons.

MILLS: ...

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State Lawmakers Debate Mayoral Control of City Schools

Sunday, May 24, 2009

There's just a month to go before the expiration of the law that put Mayor Bloomberg in charge of the schools. As WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, state lawmakers are hoping to agree on a bill this week.

REPORTER: Senate Democrats have been wrestling with the matter ...

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Tweaking the Mayor's Control of the Schools

Thursday, May 21, 2009

State Senators Suzi Oppenheimer and Pedro Espada (center, surrounded by aides) were the only lawmakers to attend the Senate Education Committee's hearing on mayoral control of the schools, in the Bronx. Oppenheimer chairs the committee and Espada represents the Bronx.

State Senators Suzi Oppenheimer and Pedro Espada (center, surrounded by aides) were the only lawmakers to attend the Senate Education Committee\'s hearing on mayoral control of the schools, in the Bronx. Oppenheimer chairs the committee and Espada represents the Bronx.

As lawmakers get closer to the deadline for renewing the 2002 legislation that put Mayor Bloomberg in charge of the public schools, you might say there are now two dominant schools of thought on how to change it. And one of them just lost a powerful ally.

Teachers union president Randi Weingarten now favors keeping the mayor in charge of the school system's Panel for Educational Policy (which replaced the old Board of Education). This is a significant, because Weingarten formerly supported a proposal that would have seriously weakened the mayor's role by giving him a minority of the panel members.

In an editorial today in the 'New York Post,' which has been unabashedly in favor of keeping the mayor in charge of the schools, Weingarten acknowledges her proposal to dilute Bloomberg's power was going nowhere. Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver both want to keep Bloomberg in charge of the Panel. So, she writes, 'why not consider other possibilities?' to give the public more input through other channels.

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"A Benevolent Dictatorship"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

school500Students from PS 33 in the Bronx attended the State Senate Education Committee's hearing on mayoral control of the schools, as part of their social studies class. The students didn't seem to know what the debate was about but seemed ...

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State Senate Considers Reduces Mayor's Power Over Schools

Thursday, May 21, 2009

State Senate leaders say they're seriously considering putting more checks on the mayor's power over the city schools. At a Senate Education Committee hearing in the Bronx today, parents from a group called the Campaign for Better Schools asked lawmakers to consider a bill that ...

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Remembering Veteran Queens Educator Mitchell Wiener

Thursday, May 21, 2009

He was the heart and soul of Intermediate School 238. That's how mourners described Mitchell Wiener, the assistant principal who died on Sunday and became the city's first fatality in connection to swine flu. Wiener's wife and three sons spoke at his service, which was ...

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A Memorial for Mitchell Wiener

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seventh grader Jeffery Grey, 13, says Mr. Wiener was always able to help him and other students get tutoring or whatever they needed at I.S. 238.

Seventh grader Jeffery Grey, 13, says Mr. Wiener was always able to help him and other students get tutoring or whatever they needed at I.S. 238.

Funeral services for assistant principal Mitchell Weiner have ended at Sinai Chapel in Queens. The 55-year old was the city's first confirmed death in connection to swine flu. Teachers were still stunned at the loss of such a big personality, somebody who had been at that school for over 30 years and who they loved so much. And there was a bit of anger expressed by some of them that how the city had handled them, they wished that the school had been closed sooner, because they knew that their principal was meeting with the health department about concerns and it took a few days after students were sick before they shut down I.S. 238. One teacher suggested that the best honor would be to name the school after Mitchell Weiner.

Lisa Harrison, a science lab assistant at I.S. 238, says she thinks the school should now be named for Mitchell Wiener.

Lisa Harrison, a science lab assistant at I.S. 238, says she thinks the school should now be named for Mitchell Wiener.

Weiner died Sunday after being hospitalized since May 13. He had been on a ventilator. Wiener's death was the country's sixth from swine flu. Hospital and city officials say complications besides the virus probably played a part in Wiener's death. But his family has said he suffered only from a joint disease. New York City has more than 190 confirmed cases of swine flu.

Eighth graders Natalie Black, 14, and Tyra Stanley, 13 from Intermediate School 238 paid their respects at the funeral of assistant principal Mitchell Wiener. They said he was famous for cracking jokes on the public address system every morning and once made a few students sing as though he was judging them on

Eighth graders Natalie Black, 14, and Tyra Stanley, 13 from Intermediate School 238 paid their respects at the funeral of assistant principal Mitchell Wiener. They said he was famous for cracking jokes on the public address system every morning and once made a few students sing as though he was judging them on 'American Idol.'

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