It’s election season and once again the New York State DREAM Act has become a centerpiece for many of the Democratic candidates.
At a press conference held on Saturday in front of the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, the bill’s sponsors, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) touted their latest supporter: lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul.
(BPT) - With more school choices than ever and the evolution of technology, students are redefining their own pathway to a successful K-12 education. More families are building complete, harmonious educational experiences for their children by choosing schools that meet their needs at a point in time – whether the school is traditional brick and mortar, private or charter. Over the past decade, families have added fully online and blended schools to their list of options – making online learning one of the fastest growing forms of education in the U.S. today.
In the final days before Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious — and perhaps signature — first term policy initiative rolls out, the finishing touches were being put on classrooms across the city, and City Hall was dealing with the bumps in the road.
More than 50,000 students, the first class in the mayor’s universal prekindergarten program, were slated to meet their teachers for the first time on Thursday.
For the third year in a row, Vallo Transportation, a school bus and charter service, has sponsored a summer read aloud and crafts program at the Whitestone Library.
The event included a pajama storytime reading session — of “The Wheels on the Bus,” naturally — arts and crafts and refreshments.
Chris Moss, running for lieutenant governor with Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, headlined the list of statewide and Congressional candidates speaking Tuesday night at a meeting of the Queens Village Republican Club.
And the Chemung County sheriff said he and Astorino feel quite at home in New York City.
Bills to change the admissions criteria for the specialized high schools were defeated in the last state legislative session and won’t come up again until January when the next one starts. But that hasn’t stopped advocates on both sides of the issue from pushing their agendas, especially since election season is approaching.
The issue is especially hot in Queens, which sends more students (1,119) than any other borough to these high schools — Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Brooklyn Latin School, the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College and Staten Island Tech — which currently require that admission is based on a single entrance exam, as mandated by the Hecht-Calandra Act of 1971. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Arts is the only specialized high school that does not require that students take the Specialized High School Admissions Test, but rather admits them through auditions.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith’s pending retrial on federal corruption charges were never very far from the surface during an Aug. 14 candidate forum for the 14th Senate District.
But the forum did give Smith (D-Hollis), former Councilman Leroy Comrie and Munir Avery the opportunity for a freewheeling discussion on education, jobs, economic development, funding for the district and a host of issues that will be confronting the person sworn into office in January.
The Department of Education expects construction on a new wing at PS 176 to begin within 30 to 60 days, with the intention to be open in time for the start of school in September 2016.
Fourth- and fifth-graders at the Cambria Heights school have been attending class at IS 59 in Springfield Gardens, nearly two miles away, since September 2013.
The city Department of Education announced last month that it was making changes to its Blue Book — the annual document that outlines school organization and utilization — based on suggestions from a panel created earlier this year by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a.
The Blue Book has been the focus of several education-related debates in the city in recent years, from trailers in schoolyards to co-locations. Critics allege the Bloomberg administration’s Blue Books underestimated how much space schools need and overestimated how much space was available to make co-locations politically palpable.
I would like to know why libraries will be housing universal prekindergarten when there are financial investigations going on.
The Woodhaven branch already has given out UPK applications. I am outraged that library space is being sacrificed for this program and now the Woodhaven community will lose its downstairs space. The UPK space cannot be used for any library programs even when class is not in session or after the school day is over.
Our children will miss out on all the enriching programs: game days, movie making, toddler time, guitar lessons and so many others the library offers. Adults also will lose their programs: ESL, fitness, music book, Zumba classes, etc.
Woodhaven, we must speak up, not only for our community because this is just the beginning of UPK taking over our libraries. Mayor de Blasio didn’t like charter schools taking public school space; what makes it okay to take over community library space?!
Library President Tom Galante stated at the reopening of the Woodhaven Library after upstairs renovations that there will be a phase 2 for downstairs to make that a children/teen space. Well, I guess he meant just 18 children! Maybe he will get a new position to be in charge of the UPK budget.
Other libraries will be taken over if we just bury our heads. The renovation is starting July 11 at the Woodhaven Library. Please speak up!
Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) last week were singing the praises of an agreement on an approximately $75 billion budget.
Now the rest of the city, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, is waiting for the Council to vote on final adoption to see just how the city intends to spend the money, and where it will come from.
After 17 days, the Department of Education said on Monday that coordination — not conspiracy — was to blame for any timing and notification glitches connected with a heated community meeting at IS 59 on June 6.
The meeting, which was not a hearing, was aimed at informing the public about progress toward integrating the Success Academy charter institution that will be opening in the building this coming September.
Many brought heated words and emotions to a public meeting condemning proposed changes to the specialized high school admissions policy at the Flushing Library on Sunday. They support the existing system, under which a student’s score on a single multiple choice test determines his or her ranking and acceptance into one of the eight elite schools.
Two bills, at least one motivated by the desire to address the racial disparity between the students at these schools and the city’s overall population by changing the admissions criteria, were introduced in the state legislative session that just ended. Neither passed, but they could be brought up again in the next session.
Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) said Wednesday that he still had not heard a satisfactory reply from the Department of Education regarding the scheduling and public notice of a June 6 meeting on the co-location of a charter school this fall in PS 59 in Springfield Gardens.
“Absolutely not,” Miller said in a phone conversation. He did say that there appears to have been some feelers from the DOE, but nothing definite.
The architecture of a city or a neighborhood can be like the rings of a tree to the trained eye.
A close examination can uncover history preserved in wood and stone like an insect trapped in amber.
IS 59 parent Marie Adam-Ovide expressed concerns and frustrations on Friday as the Department of Education discussed the charter school that is coming in September.
Community Board 9 member Maria Thomson, a Woodhaven civic leader, opposed sending a letter from the board that she considered too critical of the school.
Parents from IS 59 and local officials are fuming over what they say was less than 48 hours’ notice from the Department of Education about a meeting related to the co-location of a charter school in their building in September.
The meeting, which was not technically a public hearing, was meant to discuss how IS 59, PS 176 and the new Success Academy charter school will coexist and share facilities in the same building for the next two years before 176 returns to its own site.
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a was the guest speaker Tuesday night at the Queens Borough President’s Parents Advisory Board where she said bluntly that the success she envisions for the school system will not be accomplished overnight.
“But we have accomplished a lot in five months,” she said.
Fresh off a political victory that brought it, and other charter schools, strong support from Gov. Cuomo and the state budget, Success Academy announced that it is planning to open 14 new public charter schools across the city, including four in Queens.
“[Schools] Chancellor [Carmen] Fari–a recently noted that it is important to listen to the community. That is what we are doing in applying for these charters because the community is demanding more high quality charter schools,” said Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz. “These families — representing more than a dozen neighborhoods — are desperate for great schools. Even with 14 more schools, we will not make a dent in the demand we are seeing.”
A debate over a proposed charter school in Woodhaven turned somewhat contentious at Community Board 9 Tuesday night.
The Circle Academy Charter School is due to open in a former church at 85-27 91 St. next year, but its application to the New York State Education Department was recently withdrawn.
After at least 26 members of the City Council last week signed a letter telling retail giant Walmart and its owners’ family foundation that donations from them to organizations in the city are not welcome, several charitable groups that receive the contributions were quoted in the media as saying they have no intention of returning the funding.
“We will not give the money back, nor should we,” Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger, told the New York Post. “Our determination of whether we ask for and take money is not how the company earned the money, it’s how they want us to spend it. In this case it’s on progressive values. Never has it been tied to any public-policy agenda.”
The deadline to register a child for public school pre-K may have come and gone, but Mayor de Blasio is still urging parents to sign their children up for UPK programs at community-based early childhood centers.
To make things easier, the mayor unveiled an online application process to help parents choose and enroll their children in UPK programs on Tuesday at PS 239 in Ridgewood.
A slim majority of City Council members have gone off the deep end in their hatred of retail giant Walmart.
In a vicious letter dated Wednesday, 26 of the Council’s 51 members demanded that the company and its charitable arm stop donating to nonprofit organizations in the city. The signatories include Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito of Manhattan and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer of Sunnyside.
Artworks by Abdias Nascimento, works by the Brazilian artist, author, playwright and senator, Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum, 405 Klapper Hall, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, through June 21. Free.