Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Voters in 13 states to consider ballot initiatives tied to education this November

You may have noticed a new byline at Chalkbeat New York, which I began overseeing as bureau chief in September. It belongs to Reema Amin, the newest reporter to join our team. She has already been instrumental to our reporting on the teachers contract and has visited Albany, where she will be reporting occasionally on state education matters. And like all members of the New York bureau, she contributed last week to our joint reporting project with ProPublica, exploring whether counselors in New York City schools can really meet students’ needs, especially as student homelessness has reached an all-time high.

Reema grew up outside Chicago and has worked as a breaking-news reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and a statehouse and general-assignment reporter for the Daily Press, a Virginia newspaper serving communities in the southeastern corner of the state. She also co-hosted a weekly political podcast at the paper. In one of her most powerful stories, she reported on how one school district led the region in special education complaints.

As you read about Reema, take a moment to also become reacquainted with the other seasoned, veteran reporters on our New York team and our plans for the year ahead and let us know your thoughts at ny.tips@chalkbeat.org.

Happy Monday!

--Sara, New York bureau chief

TESTED Families talked about the SHSAT, used for admissions decisions at the city’s specialized high schools, prior to taking the test over the weekend, as the exam continues to be the subject of hot debate. Chalkbeat

DISPROPORTIONATE Parents from District 20 in Brooklyn expressed concern at a Community Education Council meeting about the disproportionate impact proposed changes to the admission process at the city’s specialized high schools would have on students in the district, which sends a large number of them to these schools. Bklyner

FAMILY AFFAIR In the days leading up to the specialized high school test, students talked about how they–and their families–helped them prepare for an exam that many regard as all-important. WNYC

ON THE BALLOT In November, voters will consider special ballot initiatives in 13 states that touch on education issues, ranging from education savings accounts in Arizona to whether investment properties can be taxed to raise education funds in Hawaii. The 74

FALLING SHORT The city is struggling to fill positions for special education teachers, especially those who are not given general assignments within this category, but are providing very particular services, such as speech or occupational therapy, to students. City Limits

STATE OF HEALTH Lawmakers in New York State will be reviewing physical education, health and mental health classes to see if they need revamping. U. S. News & World Report

ROLL BACK The Trump administration is looking to define gender as a biological and immutable condition determined by physical characteristics at birth, a move that could have a drastic impact on the rights and recognition of transgender people, including in schools. The New York Times