Beth Fertig

Senior Reporter, WNYC News

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Bloomberg and Weingarten Lobby for Education

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

As state lawmakers meet on the budget, Mayor Bloomberg and teachers union president Randi Weingarten went to Albany today to lobby for education money. The two met with the governor, as well as Assembly and Senate leaders.

Weingarten called school aid a "lifeline" to city students ...

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Parents Sue Over School Closings

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The teachers union, the New York Civil Liberties Union and several parents have filed a lawsuit against the city's Education Department. They claim the city is closing schools without community input. WNYC's Beth Fertig reports.

REPORTER: The case concerns community education councils, elected parents and residents ...

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State Assembly Holds Final Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hundreds of parents and community leaders turned out for the last state Assembly hearing about mayoral control over city schools. The law that gives Mayor Bloomberg control is up for renewal in June. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.

REPORTER: Patricia Connelly, of a group called the ...

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Final Meeting on Mayoral Control of Schools

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hundreds of people are at a public school in Brooklyn testifying before state lawmakers on whether the mayor of New York should keep control of the city's schools.

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Patricia Connelly and Ellen Raider of the parent commission think the mayor has too much power over school zoning and siting issues, and doesn't listen to communities.

Mayor Bloomberg is hoping the state will re-authorize the law it approved years ago before it expires in June. But as WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, there are several other ideas out there.

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Comptroller Supports Mayoral Control of Schools

Friday, March 20, 2009

City Comptroller Bill Thompson says he supports keeping mayoral control of the schools when the law expires in June. But at the last in a series of hearings on the matter by the assembly's education committee, Thompson called for changing the selection process for members ...

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Business Group Says Mayoral Control Helps Graduates

Friday, March 20, 2009

The president of the pro-business Partnership for New York City says mayoral control has improved the public schools. Kathryn Wylde testified at the city's final state assembly education committee hearing on the matter today. She says employers now have more faith in city graduates. Wylde ...

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Control Issues

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This June the state legislature will decide whether to renew the 2002 law that gave Mayor Michael Bloomberg control of the city’s schools. Supporters and critics of the law are each mounting fierce campaigns. WNYC Senior Reporter Beth Fertig took a look at one controversial group that supports reauthorization of ...

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Bonus Time

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The March 25th deadline looms large for the MTA. Richard Ravitch, head of the Ravitch Commission, talks about why he stands by his MTA rescue plan despite opposition in the State Senate. Also, WNYC's Beth Fertig on the hot-button issues of mayoral control. Plus, March weekly guest Simon Johnson explains ...

About Those Subway Ads for the Schools

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Television ads proved expensive

Television ads proved expensive

'Keep it Going, NYC'

That's the tag line for a series of subway ads about the New York City public schools. The ads tout higher graduation rates, and say 'Because every child deserves a great education, New York City Public Schools are making big improvements.'

Some New Yorkers have wondered whether these ads are at all connected to Mayor Bloomberg's re-election campaign. Some have asked if they're related to an even fiercer campaign right now over whether Albany should renew the law that gave Bloomberg control of the public schools when it expires in June.

For the record, the ads are by the Fund for Public Schools - a non-profit based at the Department of Education, which raises private money for the city schools. That's the same Fund that was headed by Caroline Kennedy.

'It raises flags of 'what is the message?'' says Chris Keeley, Associate Director of Common Cause, New York. 'The success of the schools or success of Mayor Bloomberg? Maybe they’re intertwined.'

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Should the Mayor Control NYC Schools?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This June, the state legislature will decide whether to renew the 2002 law that put Mayor Michael Bloomberg in charge of the city’s schools. It’s a controversial subject, with supporters and critics of the law each mounting fierce campaigns. As WNYC’s Beth Fertig reports, there ...

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Tempers Flare at Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sparks flew in the Bronx today at the State Assembly Education Committee's hearing on mayoral control of the public schools.

Shana Marks-Odinga and Zakiyah Ansari of Campaign for Better Schools at the Assembly Education Committee hearing today in the Bronx. They want more checks and balances on mayoral control when the law comes up for renewal in June.

Shana Marks-Odinga and Zakiyah Ansari of Campaign for Better Schools at the Assembly Education Committee hearing today in the Bronx. They want more checks and balances on mayoral control when the law comes up for renewal in June.

With the law granting Mayor Bloomberg full control over the school system of more than a million students set to expire in June, assembly members peppered Department of Education officials with questions - specifically about programs for English Language Learners. It was an especially relevant issue as the Bronx is now more than 50 percent Hispanic, according to census figures.

Karin Weekes (r) and Jeanette Iglesias (next to her) and Milton Bustamante at the State Assembly Education hearing at Lehman College in the Bronx. They all have children who attend the Family Life Academy charter school and they believe having the mayor in charge has improved the schools.

Milton Bustamante, Jeanette Iglesias, and Karin Weekes at the State Assembly Education hearing at Lehman College in the Bronx. They all have children who attend the Family Life Academy charter school and they believe having the mayor in charge has improved the schools.

Maria Santos, the Education Department's executive director of English Language Learners, testified that there are now more programs for these students. She said the number of English Language Learners performing at the lowest levels has decreased in the Bloomberg years and that the city has created more dual language programs - though she conceded the graduation statistics were less clear. But Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo called her a 'liar' (in Spanish and English) and proposed a collaboration with a University in Puerto Rico to prepare more teachers for working with English Language Learners. And parents and community members in the auditorium at Lehman college erupted with boos as Santos testified.

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Dept. of Ed Says Small Classes Cost Big Money

Friday, March 13, 2009

The city's Department of Education says it can't afford to reduce class sizes as much as many parents would like. At a State Assembly Education Committee hearing today, Deputy Chancellor Chris Cerf laid out what it would cost to reduce average class sizes by 10 ...

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Chancellor Supports Measuring Effective Teachers

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer Show” that he agrees with President Obama’s plan to reward states and districts that can measure which teachers are most effective.

Klein’s stand was not surprising, given that he backed a plan last year that would have linked teacher tenure to student achievement. But the plan died in Albany when the state legislature sided with the teachers union by explicitly banning districts from using student test scores to evaluate teachers.

Now that the Obama Administration is encouraging states to apply for $5 billion worth of stimulus grants that reward states for using data systems and measuring teachers, Klein says he’ll continue to argue that test scores can tell you something about which teachers are most effective. And he’s willing to make that case to the governor. A few weeks ago, Governor Paterson told “The Brian Lehrer” show that he had concerns about such a system because it’s hard to compare teachers in high performing schools to those with more challenging populations. When asked about that comment, Klein said he wants to sit down with Paterson to explain his position.

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Chancellor Klein Supports National Standards

Thursday, March 12, 2009

City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein says he agrees with President Obama's call for national standards. Currently, all the states have their own math and reading tests which are often easier than the national exams used for comparing scores in the US to those of other ...

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Setting Standards on Wall Street in the '80s

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The ongoing recession has many New Yorkers in the financial services industry reflecting on Wall Street. Margo Alexander spent much of her career at Paine Webber. She was eager to take on the business world when she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley ...

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A Look Back at Wall Street in the '70s

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The ups and -- mostly downs -- on Wall Street over the past week have given us even more signs that the economic downturn is far from over. As the Dow continued to plummet, WNYC's Beth Fertig turned to New Yorkers who worked in the ...

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Wall Street Stories

Friday, March 06, 2009

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The ups and - mostly downs - on Wall Street over the past week have given us even more signs that the economic downturn is far from over. As the Dow continues to plummet, we turned to New Yorkers who worked in the finance industry a generation ago to hear what standards were like in THEIR day.

Margo Alexander: Setting Standards on Wall Street

Margo Alexander
(UC Berkeley)

Margo Alexander spent much of her career at Paine Webber. She was eager to take on the business world when she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in the '60s when the women's movement was changing people's lives. She talked to WNYC's Beth Fertig about setting standards on Wall Street in the 1980s

Bob McGuire Remembers Madoff & Co in the Old Days

Bob McGuire was a vice president at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in the 1980s. Before that, the Brooklyn native worked at Pershing and Company where he had a run-in with someone who's been in the headlines lately.

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Fewer NYC Schools on State Watch List

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The number of city schools on a state watch list has dropped in the past year from 32 to 20. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.

REPORTER: 13 schools did well enough to get off the state's dreaded list of Schools Under Registration Review, or SURR. Four ...

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New Computer System Changes NYC Schools

Monday, March 02, 2009

Between e-mail, web sites, blogs and wikis, we're all coping with an information overload. New York City's teachers and principals are also facing this dilemma, now that they're spending more time online. The city has created an $80 million computer network for the public schools. ...

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Clash of Charter and Traditional Schools

Monday, March 02, 2009

Some Harlem parents want the city to stop moving charter schools into traditional public school buildings. The Community Education Council for District 5 has drafted a resolution saying charters create a distraction when they have to share space with regular schools. The Council has advisory ...

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