The story of starting a new school is at the heart of a documentary film airing on PBS Tuesday night called The New Public. It's an unvarnished view into the teachers and students who took a leap, and created a high school from scratch in the heart of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
It's Education Week on the Brian Lehrer Show's election series "30 Issues in 30 Days." See the full 30 Issues schedule and archive here.
During the Bloomberg years, many parents felt cut out of the education system, from decisions around school closings to the rise of testing. Will the next mayor's DOE be different? WNYC associate producer covering education Yasmeen Khan, and Beth Fertig, contributing editor for education at WNYC and Schoolbook.org, discuss the differences between the mayoral candidates when it comes to parental involvement in public schools in NYC.
With three quarters of Democratic voters saying they wanted change, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio just edged over the 40 percent needed to avoid a run-off in the Democratic primary. But former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who came in second with 26 percent, vowed to plow on. The vote was a sharp rebuke to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to City Council Christine Quinn, who ran as a nicer, gentler Bloomberg. Quinn came in a distant third.
New York adopted more stringent standardized tests this year and has the big drop in scores to prove it. Beth Fertig, contributing editor for Education, WNYC Radio and Schoolbook.org, looks at the results, why federal education officials are satisfied with them and what they mean for Bloomberg's legacy and for the next mayor.
It's been a frustrating week for the city's high school teachers and principals because of delays scoring the state Regents exams. The city said a new system was supposed to make scoring faster and easier, but there were software problems. Meanwhile, some students will attend graduation ceremonies not knowing whether they have passed all of their exams.
Bill Thompson, the former head of the Board of Education and son of a public school teacher, won the endorsement of the teachers union in the race for mayor. Union leaders said they were not looking to play it safe this election cycle.
The city's largest labor union is slated to make an endorsement in the mayoral race on Wednesday, after members of the United Federation of Teachers meet to consider the Democratic candidates who have been seeking the UFT stamp of approval.
After seeing high school graduation rates improve under his watch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the slight decline on Monday as a sign that the city is holding steady despite the state's tougher graduation standards.
Gifted and Talented offers were finally sent to families on Friday, and just over half of the applicants received seats - a far lower percentage than in previous years. The Department of Education said that was largely because so many more children were eligible after scoring highly on the screening tests.
Sixth graders at the Scholars' Academy in the Rockaway's now have a permanent record of their experiences following Sandy: a documentary they produced with the help of professional teaching artists.
Screened high schools sometimes take students who don't meet their tough admissions criteria, according to an audit by the City Comptroller which found flaws in the city's matching system.
The principal of the Bronx High School of science plans to retire this year, but the Department of Education says her decision has nothing to do with the controversy over her leadership of the selective school.
The Democrats running for mayor have appeared before the teachers' union and various community groups. On Tuesday, some of them addressed an auditorium of parents organized by a group that supports charter schools.
Dozens of teens presented their research findings after completing a two-year after school science program at the American Museum of Natural History, in which they studied topics ranging from astrophysics to molecular biology.
There is still one round of state exams for elementary and middle school students left in the school year. The 40-minute field tests starting this week may not count but they are infuriating a group of families who have inspired at least one school to decline administering the tests.
The Department of Education won a lawsuit brought by parents who claimed the election process for Community Education Councils was unfair. The suit had prevented the city from announcing the names of the winners.
One of Mayor Bloomberg’s signature policies in education was to replace large, low-performing high schools with small new schools. The schools slated to close usually phase out over time, leaving their students with a shrinking menu of course offerings and programs. Listen to this story from Columbus High School which is straining to carry its last two grades over the finish line.
Anthony Weiner appeared in his first debate since joining the race for mayor last week. The topic was education and the former congressman staked out a position slightly to the right of his fellow Democrats.
In his first broadcast interview since joining the mayor's race, Anthony Weiner outlines his emerging education agenda. The newly-minted Democratic candidate tells WNYC that Mayor Bloomberg made a few "crucial mistakes." but overall made progress with the city schools.
City teachers are considering the candidates before their union makes an endorsement in the mayoral race next month. At a delegates meeting, several said they hope the union backs someone who strongly supports labor, and gives teachers more respect than they feel they get from the current administration.