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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:

Mayor's Budget Adds $100 Million for Physical Education in Schools

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

WNYC
More money for gym teachers and additional resources to help homeless children are among the education items in Mayor Bill de Blasio's revised budget proposal.
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Comments [1]

Parents at 'Progressive' School Call for Principal's Ouster

Thursday, April 21, 2016

WNYC
The principal at a well-known school in East Harlem is feuding with parents, prompting the city's top school leaders to step in. 
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Comments [6]

Time's (Not) Up: Educators on the Pros and Cons of Untimed State Tests

Friday, April 15, 2016

WNYC
New York State removed the time limits for its annual math and reading tests that wrap up this week. Some loved the experience, others not so much.
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Comments [1]

Behind the Scenes with the 'Hamilton' Curriculum

Thursday, April 14, 2016

WNYC
Thousands of New York City public high school students are getting a more rousing introduction to U.S. history through a guide based on the hit musical "Hamilton."
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Comment

Broadway's 'Hamilton' Makes Its Way Into NYC's High School Curriculum

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Broadway hit tells the story of the American Revolution with a multi-racial cast and hip-hop music. The point is to make American history a lot more exciting than how it's often taught in school.

Comment

How One School Under Pressure Resists 'Test Prep'

Monday, April 11, 2016

WNYC
With New York State tests underway, few schools are under as much pressure to show results as M.S. 22. Even so, the principal is not a fan of teaching to the test.
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Comments [1]

Pro-Charter Group Sues City Over School Safety

Thursday, April 07, 2016

WNYC
A group of New York City parents claims the city's public schools don't do enough to protect their children from violence and bullying.
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Comments [1]

Chancellor on State Tests: 'I Don't Believe in Opting Out'

Monday, April 04, 2016

WNYC
In an appeal to New York City parents, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said state tests have improved and she hopes they will allow their kids to take the exams.
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Comments [2]

Fewer Suspensions in City Schools After Discipline Changes

Thursday, March 31, 2016

WNYC
New York City's effort to find punishment alternatives has resulted in a big drop in suspensions for less serious offenses, including insubordination.
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Comment

To Opt Out or Not? Dueling Messages Before Next Week's Tests

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WNYC
A week before elementary and middle school students take their state math and reading tests, there's a debate about whether parents are getting enough information.
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Comments [2]

Study Says Breakfast in Class Has No Impact on Academics or Waist Lines

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WNYC
The NYU study found that serving breakfast in classrooms did not lead to higher test scores or attendance, nor did it contribute to childhood obesity.
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Comments [3]

For Syrian Refugees in New Jersey, a Bumpy Adjustment to School

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WNYC
The warm welcome many Syrian families received in Elizabeth, N.J., didn't always apply to their schools. When a few needed a change, a team of local volunteers stepped in to help. 
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Comments [4]

New Regents Chancellor Says She Wouldn't Want Own Kids to Take State Tests

Monday, March 21, 2016

WNYC
But New York State's newly-elected Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa also wants to improve the assessments.
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Comments [1]

City Schools to See Some Money They're Owed — But Not All

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

WNYC
The city schools are getting more funds next year, but the Department of Education acknowledged they still fall short of what they're owed by the state.
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Comment

NYC Charters Retain Students Better Than Traditional Schools

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

WNYC
But a WNYC analysis shows attrition rates vary between the big charter networks.
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Comments [6]

Success Charter School Sues State Over Pre-K Contract

Thursday, March 10, 2016

WNYC
The Success Academy charter network is taking its dispute over a pre-kindergarten contract to court. Meanwhile, New York City says over 68,000 kids have applied for free pre-k next year.
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Comment

New Members Approved for New York's Board of Regents

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

WNYC
The state assembly approved three new members for the Board of Regents who, along with a new chancellor, may take the education policy-making panel in a new direction.
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Comment

Fewer Black and Latino Students Testing for Specialized High Schools

Friday, March 04, 2016

WNYC
Despite outreach efforts, 521 fewer black and Hispanic students took the test this year to get into New York City's most competitive public high schools compared to last year.
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Comments [6]

As Charter School Climate Changes, Founder's Tactics Remain the Same

Friday, March 04, 2016

WNYC
Success Academy has faced some bumps recently, such as a lawsuit filed by some parents and unfavorable media attention. But Eva Moskowitz says she's not looking to change her approach.
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Comments [3]

Q&A: Local Expert Urges Students to Submit Financial Aid Requests

Thursday, February 25, 2016

WNYC
A New York City official says the sooner students submit their college aid applications the better their chances for generous offers. In other words, get the paperwork in now.
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Comments [1]