Beth Fertig

Senior Reporter, WNYC News

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

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.

mcguire

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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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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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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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Governor Paterson Not Sure How to Measure Effective Teachers

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Last week, New York's teachers and political leaders were praising the stimulus package as manna from heaven. With an expected $4.8 billion for New York State over the next two years, this money would go a long way toward preventing devastating cuts to school districts, including the elimination of up ...

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Assessing New York's Teachers

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Governor Paterson says he isn't sure how New York would comply with the Obama administration's requirement for states to measure teacher performance.

The stimulus package encourages states to distribute the best teachers fairly among low and high income districts, and to figure out a way to ...

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Out Takes: How the stimulus package is pushing technology in education

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A $5 billion grant to states is helping schools develop data networks to monitor students’ progress and keep track of tests mandated under the No Child Left Behind legislation. New Yo...

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U.S. Ed Sec: NYS to Get $4.8B Stimulus

Thursday, February 19, 2009

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks with PTA Vice President Sheryl Davis at the Explore charter school in Brooklyn. Duncan announced that New York State should get $4.8B in stimulus funds for education over the next two years. New ...

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MTA's Tunnel Boring Machine

Thursday, February 19, 2009

MTA Chief Executive Elliot Lee Sander and Mayor Bloomberg at the launch of a tunnel boring machine for the 7 train extension, which will open in 2013. The $2.1b project is funded by the city with bonds and is ...

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Funding School Alternatives

Thursday, February 19, 2009

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan paid his first official visit to New York City today, with a stop at the Explore charter school in Brooklyn.

Duncan announced that New York State should receive $4.8 billion in education aid from the federal stimulus package, 40% of which ...

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Controlling New York City Schools

Thursday, February 19, 2009

US Education Secretary Arne Duncan says New York state schools stand to get $4.8 billion from the federal stimulus package. Duncan is also encouraging Mayor Bloomberg's school reforms.

The mayor has yet to convince Albany that he should keep full control over the school system, when ...

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New York's Crowded Classrooms

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Average class sizes have gone up slightly in the city's public schools. Third grade had the biggest gain with almost 22 students on average now, up from 21 per class last year.

The city's Department of Education called the increase unfortunate but understandable. It said principals ...

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Stimulating City Schools

Friday, February 13, 2009

When President Obama signs the stimulus bill next week, Mayor Bloomberg predicts New York will get enough education funding to prevent the city from laying off any teachers.

The stimulus is expected to cover a $770 million cut in state aid to New York City.

But the ...

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"Substantial" Change Needed to Convert Schools

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg has offered to help the Diocese of Brooklyn convert four Catholic schools into charter schools. But as WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, the church and the city are wading into unchartered waters.

REPORTER: State law prohibits a private school from being converted into a charter ...

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