Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
City Sets Aside $10 Million for Struggling Students
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
City officials have announced a $10 million program to help struggling students pass state exams in math and English. The 532 schools where more than two-thirds of students failed to pass those tests will be able to use the money for after-school classes, tutoring and to buy computer programs to help students.
The schools will receive between $6,000 and $65,000 depending on need. But Schools Chancellor Cathie Black said the program shouldn't be taken as a sign that money is the answer to all problems in city schools.
"Our best schools are already doing more with less and leveraging resources in a way that benefits our children," she said. "But we also recognize that some of those schools need extra help right now."
Test scores fell by double digits last year after the state toughened standards. The announcement Tuesday follows and agreement with the teachers' union, City Council and parent groups.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he doesn't believe the program is a "panacea." But, he said, it is a step.
"I think more than anything else, that we are not walking away from our obligation to educate our kids."