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New Jersey News

Why Students ... and Teachers Aren't All in Class by the First Day of School

Friday, September 06, 2013

WNYC

On the first day of school at Weequahic High School in Newark just 300 of the school's 600 students showed up. And about 30 classrooms throughout the district did not have a teacher. The district still hasn't hired those positions. 

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New Jersey News

68% of Newark High School Students Chronic to Severely-Chronically Absent

Thursday, September 05, 2013

WNYC

The average student in New Jersey’s largest city was absent more than 15 days last year, according to a new report by Newark Public Schools.

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Schoolbook

Walcott Prepares for Transition to New Mayor

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is paving the way for the next mayor by setting up a transition team. As the Daily News reports, Walcott said Thursday that he had appointed Senior Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg to head up the prep work.

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Schoolbook

Controversial Queens Principal Under Investigation

Monday, July 01, 2013

Editor's Note: This article has been corrected to clarify the circumstances under which one teacher left the school in question. Lisa-Erika James transferred to teach at another school.


The Department of Education said it is investigating allegations against a Queens high school principal, including claims that she made racially disparaging remarks about two African-American teachers. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Inside One of America's Failing Schools

Monday, June 24, 2013

Journalist Ron Berler discusses spending a year at Brookside Elementary in Norwalk, Connecticut, sitting in on classes, strategy sessions, and even faculty meetings as teachers look for the chance to improve the school’s failing scores on the annual statewide standardized test known as the CMT. In Raising the Curve: A Year Inside one of America’s 45,000 Failing Schools, he looks at why the school is classified as failing—like so many others across the country—and how the faculty is working to turn the school around.

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WNYC News

Newtown: Six Months Later

Friday, June 14, 2013

There was a subdued mood in Newtown, Conn. Friday, six months after six educators and 20 children were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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New Jersey News

Why 41 Districts Want to Keep Separate April School Board Elections

Monday, April 15, 2013

WNYC

Only 41 New Jersey districts will hold school board elections Tuesday now that most -- 501 districts -- have chosen to move their elections to November

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Transportation Nation

Traffic Fatalities Up in NYC, Speeding Top Culprit, DOT Says

Monday, March 18, 2013

(Click text below title to see additional charts)

 

Traffic fatalities rose 12 percent in 2012 in New York City, driven by a 46 percent jump in the number of motor vehicle occupants who were killed in crashes. Speeding, the city says, was the top contributing factor. Pedestrians and cyclist fatalities remained at or near historic lows.

The number of cyclists who were killed dropped 18 percent compared to 2011 (from 22 to 18) while the number of pedestrians struck and killed rose by 5 percent in 2012 (from 141 to 148) according to figures released by the NYC Department of Transportation.

In total 274 people died in traffic collisions, 108 of them in vehicles (including on motorcycles) and 166 of them while walking or riding a bike. The DOT had previously cited 237 as the number of fatalities for 2011 but amended that to 245 in today's release.

The DOT calculates "speeding was the greatest single factor in traffic deaths, contributing to 81 fatal traffic crashes—about 30 percent of all traffic fatalities." Fatal hit-and-runs are also on the rise, the DOT said. Other contributing factors were "disregard of red lights or stop signs, driver inattention and/or alcohol."

“One thousand New Yorkers are alive today who would not be if we simply sustained the city’s fatality rate just one decade ago,” said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. She stressed efforts the city is making to reduce speeding near schools (see graphic below) and long term positive safety trends.

New York remains safe by national standards. Traffic fatalities remain near all time lows following an aggressive program installing about 200 safety improvements in the past five years including street and intersection redesigns, protected bike lanes, slow zones and special attention to schools. NYC traffic fatality rates are less than one third of the national average on a per capita basis, and about half the rates of many other big cities.

To address the dangers of speeding, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and several members of the City Council want to install speed cameras. Last week the City Council called on state legislators -- whose approval is needed -- to permit the city to install cameras.

The NYPD supported the idea in a statement along with the official release of the 2012 fatality numbers. “Just as red light cameras reduced infractions at intersections where they were installed, we anticipate that speed cameras will result in greater compliance with posted speed limits,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

The Police union, however, has come out against the speed cameras, telling the NY Daily News, "What we need are the actual police officers on the street ... Cops on the street are what slows people down.”

Last month, Kelly announced a considerable expansion of NYPD staffing its Collision Investigation Squad (formerly the Accident Investigation Squad) as part of a wider effort to focus more on preventing and investigating traffic collisions, which kill almost as many New Yorkers as gun homicides.

The NYPD issued one million moving violations last year, 71,000 of them for speeding, a figure advocates say is not enough. (By comparison, about 51,000 tickets went to cyclists in 2011. To see the latest breakdown of what summonses were issued by the NYPD, see this chart from January ). Police point out issuing speeding summonses requires special equipment, while other tickets can be written by every officer on the street. That could be why the NYPD supports speed cameras.

If today's announcement is any indication, the initial focus of speed cameras, if approved, could be around schools.

Speeding near schools in NYC. (Image: NYC DOT)

Speeding is alarmingly common near schools. The DOT measured the percentage of vehicles that were speeding when passing NYC schools. Outside three schools, 100 percent of the cars were speeding: P.S. 60 Alice Austen in Staten Island, P.S. 233 Langston Hughes in Brooklyn and P.S. 54 Hillside in Queens.

At the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety, 75 percent of cars were going above the legal limit. In all, the DOT released a list of 100 schools where 75 percent or more of vehicles were speeding. Cameras, the city says, can help.

"The streets around our city’s schools are the real speed traps, and we can’t play it safe when it comes to doing everything we can to protect New Yorkers on our streets—and especially seniors and school kids,” said Sadik-Khan.

The DOT also pointed out, no pedestrians were killed in crashes with cyclists.

High-Speed School List

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New Jersey News

Why Poverty, Disability Are Baked into Student Test Scores

Monday, March 18, 2013

WNYC

Starting next year teachers in New Jersey are going to be held accountable for how much their students learn, as part of Governor Chris Christie’s teacher tenure reform plan. At least a third of their evaluation will be based on how much they raise test scores on the NJ ASK – New Jersey’s standardized test. But some question whether the use of standardized tests fairly reflects how well teachers are doing their job.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Education in New Orleans

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sarah Carr paints vivid and sobering portrait of education in 21st-century America. In Hope Against Hope, she talk about three individuals involved with the New Orleans education system: a 14-year-old student displaced from her school by Hurricane Katrina; a Harvard grad hoping to bring change; and a veteran educator who becomes principal of one of the first public high schools to reopen after Katrina.

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WNYC News

NYC School Bus Strike Ends After a Month

Friday, February 15, 2013

The month-long school bus strike that affected tens of thousands of children in the nation's largest school district ended Friday, after union leaders were assured by prospective New York City mayoral candidates that their concerns would be heard after this year's election.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Guest Picks: Michelle Rhee

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Education advocate Michelle Rhee was on the Leonard Lopate Show recently to talk about her experience as former chancellor of Washington, DC's public schools. She also told us what she's been reading and listening to these days!

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The Brian Lehrer Show

School Bus Strike Update

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Many New York City school bus routes were shuttered today as drivers went on strike. Schoolbook reporters Beth Fertig and Yasmeen Khan update the latest. Then, Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, discusses how the city should approach negotiations with the union and the bus companies.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

All's Faire

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The White House has been trying to codify drone strike policy. Scott Shane of The New York Times talks about his reporting on why the Obama administration has recently been keen on creating a rule book. Plus: Neil Barofsky on the change of leadership at the SEC; what’s behind a spike in traffic-related deaths in New York City; WNYC’s Beth Fertig on this year’s report cards for NYC high schools; Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics; and a new book examines American culture at the Renaissance Faire.

WNYC News

NY Appeals Court Hesitant to Let Church in School

Monday, November 19, 2012

A New York appeals panel has heard fresh arguments on an old subject - worship services in public schools - and seems hesitant to let them continue.

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WNYC News

First Parent Academy Held In Brooklyn

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The first Parent Academy took place Saturday, kicking off a NYC Department of Education program designed to foster partnerships between parents and schools.

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WNYC News

Teachers, Students and Evacuees Co-Exist as Schools Set to Resume

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Teachers were back in school Friday, preparing for Monday’s reopening.  But eight public schools are still doing double duty as shelters for those displaced by flooding from Sandy. At Brooklyn Tech, the borough's most sought after public high school, students will share their building with the elderly and people with mental and physical disabilities. Some are apprehensive.

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WNYC News

Schools Closed To Students Until Monday; Staff Returns Friday

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New York City students likely will return to school on Monday, making it at least a full week off of school because of damage and clean-up efforts from superstorm Sandy.

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The Takeaway

Takeaway Listeners Respond to Education Series

Friday, September 28, 2012

Takeaway listeners from Vancouver to New Jersey have been responding to this week's series on education with stories about their favorite educators, testimonials about their own schools, and observations about public education in the United States.

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The Takeaway

The Biggest Issues Facing Public Schools According to Teachers

Friday, September 28, 2012

After hearing from public education experts, scholars, and advocates, The Takeaway invited teachers from around the country to describe the students they worry about the most and the issues that are of the biggest concern to them.

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