Beth Fertig

Senior Reporter, WNYC News

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

200 Pack Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The question of whether to renew the law granting Mayor Bloomberg control over city schools brought 200 people to a state assembly committee hearing Friday. WNYC's Beth Fertig reports:

REPORTER: Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told Assembly members that the current system led to a rise in ...


Second Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools

Friday, February 06, 2009

The second of five hearings on mayoral control is being heard by the State Assembly's Education Committee this morning at the State Office Building in Lower Manhattan. The state law putting the mayor in charge of schools expires in June.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, sitting in the ...


Choosing the Direction of New York City Schools

Friday, February 06, 2009

Once again, parents packed a state assembly hearing on whether the mayor should retain control of the city's schools.

About 200 people crowded into a hearing room in Lower Manhattan. Some critics want to reduce the number of mayoral appointees to an educational policy panel, reducing ...


Hearing on Renewing Mayoral Control Packed; Bloomberg Optimistic

Friday, February 06, 2009

A hearing on mayoral control of the public schools continues in lower Manhattan. This is the state assembly education committee's second in a series of hearings about the 2002 law that put Mayor Michael Bloomberg in charge of the public school system, and well over ...


Lawmakers Decide Who Controls City Schools

Friday, February 06, 2009

A second hearing on whether to renew a state law giving the mayor control of the city's schools drew another huge crowd.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told assembly members that the current system led to a rise in test scores and more equity throughout the system. ...


Joel Klein on Schools and Stimulus

Friday, February 06, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg and schools chancellor Joel Klein have threatened to cut up to 15,000 teaching positions unless Albany restores $770 million in proposed cuts with federal stimulus aid. WNYC’s Beth Fertig sat down with Chancellor Klein this week. She asked him if the prospect of ...


Control of the Schools

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The law giving the mayor control of the New York City public schools expires in June. WNYC's Beth Fertig reports on the likelihood that it will be extended.

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NYC Teachers Want Less Mayoral Control

Thursday, February 05, 2009

City teachers are sending a strong message to Albany: They want the law granting Mayor Bloomberg control over city schools to be weakened when it comes up for renewal this June. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.

REPORTER: Delegates to the United Federation of Teachers voted overwhelmingly ...


Feds Can Help Save NYC Teachers

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says there's no need for Mayor Bloomberg to eliminate up to 15 thousand teaching positions in his new budget plan.

Silver says he believes federal aid from the stimulus package will make up for state education cuts to the city.

SILVER: It ...


City Could Cut Thousands of Classroom Jobs in Spite of Stimulus

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg says he's optimistic about the federal stimulus package, but he still may need to cut up to 15,000 classroom positions. WNYC's Beth Fertig reports.

REPORTER: The mayor repeatedly said it's too early to know what will happen. But he said layoffs might be necessary ...


Politics or Theater?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Budget season is always a drama. Every January the mayor proposes cuts that are staunchly opposed by various constituent groups. Public hearings are held in the City Council. Then, by the spring, the mayor issues a revised budget restoring some of the cuts and the Council votes. Some call it the annual "budget dance."

But this year's dance is more like a high-stakes version of "Dancing with the Stars." On one side, there's Mayor Bloomberg saying the city's perilous economy could force him to cut  23,000 jobs from city agencies - 15,000 of which would come from the Department of Education.

On the other side, there's the powerful United Federation of Teachers. Union President Randi Weingarten declared that by proposing so many layoffs in education, the mayor was using her members as "pawns" in a political feud with Albany. She said she hadn't seen such a drastic proposal since the layoffs of the 1970s, and she described the chaos the city went through then as a warning.

So what's going on? If there's new federal money on the way, why is Bloomberg proposing layoffs?


Bloomberg on Wall Street's Bonuses

Friday, January 30, 2009

President Obama may be swift to condemn excessive greed on Wall Street, but don't expect a similar tone from Mayor Bloomberg. The mayor who made his fortune on Wall Street was asked after his austere budget briefing by a reporter about the issue of excessive bonuses and compensation. "You have ...


Hearing on Mayoral Control Spans 7 Hours

Friday, January 30, 2009

A public hearing on whether city schools should continue to be run by the mayor lasted almost eight hours in Queens yesterday. It was the first of five being held by the state assembly's Education Committee.

REPORTER: Queens Democrat Catherine Nolan, who chairs the committee says ...


Chancellor Hopes Feds Can Save NYC Schools

Friday, January 30, 2009

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein says he's optimistic the federal stimulus will be able to avert any layoffs in the public schools.

But he says it'll only be possible if Albany helps out as well, by giving the city more flexibility over how it spends state school ...



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Political oppression, violence, hyper-inflation, plus a recent cholera epidemic have devastated the southern African nation of Zimbabwe. But it's an even more unforgiving place for people with disabilities – who are often shunned for cultural reasons. A band of disabled musicians from Zimbabwe is now touring the United States. WNYC's ...

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Liyana's Music from Zimbabwe

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This is Liyana performing their song "Never Give Up" at Teachers College-Columbia University on January 27th. The band's eight members all have physical disabilities. One is hearing impaired and four rely on wheelchairs.

People with disabilities are often shunned in Zimbabwe. Singer Marvelous Mbulo says some people believe they are under the influence of witchcraft. Mbulo has muscular dystrophy. He's 23 years old and sings backup. Lead singer Prudence Mabhena, who's 21, says her parents wanted nothing to do with her when she was born with arthrogryphosis, which withers the joints. She was raised by a grandmother and says doctors removed three of her limbs to ease her discomfort. Her remaining left arm is twisted, but she is able to manage her motorized wheelchair. Mabhena started singing when she was four years old with her grandmother. Her musical idol is the late South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba, and her voice is often compared to Makeba's. Mabhena also loves the American pop stars Alicia Keyes and Beyonce.

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Disabled Musicians from Zimbabwe Tour the US

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Political oppression, violence, hyper-inflation, plus a recent cholera epidemic have devastated the southern African nation of Zimbabwe. But it’s an even more unforgiving place for people with disabilities – who are often shunned for cultural reasons. A band of disabled musicians from Zimbabwe is now ...


Making School Meals Healthier

Monday, January 26, 2009

Governor Paterson’s plans to tax sugary soft drinks and outlaw trans fats are the latest in a series of anti-obesity measures. New York City banned trans fats in 2006, and encouraged bodegas to sell packs of carrots and apples. The city’s public schools have spent ...


Economic Meltdown Hits Schools

Friday, January 23, 2009

The economy is leading many city parents to take a closer look at their local public schools. But parents aren’t the only ones trying to do more with less. Education funding is also facing major cutbacks. WNYC’s Beth Fertig visited the Upper West Side to ...


Inauguration Day

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Brian Lehrer Show’s special coverage of the presidential inauguration includes:

From Washington, DC: WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein and Siddhartha Mitter; plus The TakeAway’s Femi Oke; and Todd Zwillich of Capitol News Connection;

From New York City: WNYC’s Beth Fertig, Bob Hennelly, Arun Venugopal, Terrance McKnight, and Allison ...

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