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Beth Fertig

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.

"If New York City’s public schools were a city, they’d be one of the ten largest cities in the United States," she says.  With 1.1 million students hailing from all over the world, and well over 100,000 employees, Beth describes the school system as a fascinating lens through which to see the city. “Every social problem and challenge shows up in the schools,” she says. “And you get to see real people of all ages dealing with these challenges, not just talking about them.”

Beth is a New York City native who discovered her love for journalism at her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She also has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. She’s won many local and national awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism for her series of reports in 2001 about an effort to privatize some struggling city schools.

Beth also won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation of a subway fire. And she’s won numerous awards from the city's Deadline Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the New York Press Club -- which gave her a special award after the 2001 terrorist attacks for a profile on the friendship of two WTC survivors.

Blogs:

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

NYC Invalidates 3rd Graders' Test Scores Amid Investigation

Monday, July 27, 2015

The principal, 49-year-old Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, killed herself soon after testing was completed at Teachers College Community School.
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Comment

Report: Charters Lose Funding Advantage vs. District Schools

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WNYC
Charter schools housed in New York City buildings still have a slight financial advantage over public schools but the per-student funding edge is lost when they're in private spaces.
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Comment

Report: Too Many NYC Schools Lack College-Prep Science, Math

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WNYC
Thirty nine percent of New York City high schools do not offer standard college-prep courses in math and science, according to a new report.
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Comments [4]

Advice from a Retiring Principal: Hire the Right People

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WNYC
When Brian Rosenbloom took over Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School, less than 50 percent of the kids graduated on time. Now, it's 85 percent.
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Comments [5]

Report: Most NYC Charter Schools Replace Students who Leave

Monday, July 13, 2015

WNYC
Despite charges to the contrary, a report by the Independent Budget Office says charter schools backfill empty seats, most of the time. 
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Comments [4]

Teaching and Race: Tips on Leading Difficult Conversations

Thursday, July 09, 2015

WNYC
Adolescents love pushing boundaries, going for shock value. Here are tips from educators on what to do when their comments cross the line into offensive or racist territory.
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Comment

John Dewey HS Principal Fired For Grade-Fixing Schemes

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

WNYC
A long-awaited report found that students received credits toward graduation with no instruction from teachers, leading the city to start termination proceedings against the principal.
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Comment

On Talking Race to Young Teens, Teachers Say It's Been a Tough Year

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

WNYC
It's hard enough for adults to have honest conversations about race and inequality. Now imagine you are a middle school teacher whose students are grappling with their own identities.
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Comments [1]

New School Offices Open for Business in Each Borough

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

WNYC
After giving more power to local superintendents, Chancellor Carmen Fariña has taken another step toward re-centralizing New York' City's public school system.
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Comment

Being 12: How the Views of Young Teens Changed

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

WNYC
Questions about race and policing reverberated through New York City classrooms all year. Hear what some local 12-year-olds are thinking almost one year after the death of Eric Garner. 
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Comments [2]

With Earlier Release, Teachers Can Discuss Test Questions

Monday, June 29, 2015

WNYC
Teachers in New York State will have a little more freedom to talk about standardized test questions and answers, following legislation approved last week.
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Comments [2]

Edison Series Major Award Winner

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Education series makes difference.
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Comment

Community Schools to Offer Free Vision Screenings and Glasses

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WNYC
The city is spending $10 million to expand free vision screenings in schools and will also provide free glasses to children through a collaboration with the local company Warby Parker.
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Comment

New York City Budget Includes Expanded Breakfast for Students, More P.E. Teachers

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WNYC
Elementary schools will allow breakfast in the classrooms, principals can hire more physical education teachers and so-called Renewal schools will get more funds to help them improve. 
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Comment

When Research Projects Replace State Tests

Monday, June 22, 2015

WNYC
While thousands of teens are slogging their way through state tests required for graduation, a few dozen schools get a pass. Is their approach a glimpse into the future? 
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Comments [5]

As Pre-K Expands, Early Child Care Gets Squeezed

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WNYC
New York City has hundreds of child care centers serving infants through four-year-olds. They've been struggling because they don't get enough money from the city and rents are rising.
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Comments [1]

Chancellor Merges Two Sets of Struggling Schools

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WNYC
Two more sets of low performing schools will be consolidated, as New York City's Chancellor Carmen Fariña demonstrates that she isn't wedded to saving every school that struggles.
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Comments [2]

City Offers Summer 'Bootcamp' for Aspiring CTE Teachers

Thursday, June 11, 2015

WNYC
New York City teachers can use the break to get certified in graphic arts software and the latest automotive tools.
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Comments [2]

City Responds to Complaints About Childcare Funding

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

WNYC
City Hall says that after listening to complaints from early childcare providers, it will change the way they are funded while also giving a raise to employees.
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Comment

City's Denial of Early Childhood Contracts Raises Questions

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

WNYC
City Council members are rallying to save 10 longtime early learning centers whose contracts were not renewed this year, and they question the city's decision process.
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Comments [1]