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October 24, 2016
Michael Kraft replaces Insideschools’ Laura Zingmond on the Panel for Educational Policy
Michael Kraft, president of Art and Design High School’s Parent Teacher Association, was appointed Monday to the New York City Panel for Educational Policy.
Mergers and acquisitions
November 13, 2014
Fariña: When small schools stumble, city may merge them with others
“There’s such a thing as schools that are too small, because you don’t have enough support services,” Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in November.
June 30, 2014
Brewer: Some arts funding set for improvements at co-located schools
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer gave arts education more attention outside of City Hall Monday, as she pushed for the city to re-evaluate how it tracks schools' arts programs.
April 8, 2013
Advocate's council race starts at school, without PTA's support
Noah Gotbaum formally launches his campaign for City Council at P.S. 199 on Saturday. (Credit: Gotbaum campaign) Noah Gotbaum's City Council campaign got off to a bumpy start this weekend, when parents charged him with seeking to politicize their school's involvement in a redevelopment proposal. Gotbaum, a seasoned education advocate hoping to distinguish himself in the crowded Upper West Side race to fill Gale Brewer's seat, held his campaign launch event on Saturday at P.S. 199, a popular neighborhood elementary school. It is one of three schools whose property the city may use for a luxury residential development, a controversial plan that was first discovered by parents when they saw advertisements about it. As part of any development deal, the new luxury towers would have to include space on the ground floors to house the school that they displaced during construction. Gotbaum, who opposes the plan, said he picked P.S. 199 because it was symbolic of what he believed would be a crucial issue in the election. He said he is the only candidate in the race who has called for an immediate halt to the plan.
April 30, 2012
City Council members call on city to make school food healthier
Chancellor Dennis Walcott with students in the garden at Brooklyn's P.S. 295, which is participating in the "Garden to Cafe" program, on the first day of school. The Department of Education has done an admirable job of adding more healthy school lunch options. But more changes — and faster ones — are needed to keep children healthy, according to two City Council members who are sponsoring a resolution to improve school food. In the last few years, the Office of SchoolFood has added more vegetarian options and swapped out some ingredients for healthier alternatives. But Brad Lander and Gale Brewer, City Council members from Park Slope and the Upper West Side, think more could be done. "Despite these improvements, critics note that school meals still contain too many “processed” food items, such as breaded chicken nuggets, as well as foods that contain less healthy ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring and saturated fats, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," says their resolution, which they are formally proposing today. Lander and Brewer want the city to adopt recommendations made recently by the Brooklyn Food Coalition, a group of food and food justice organizations. Among other things, they want 10 percent of food served in schools to be produced locally and schools to go meatless at least one day a week. They also want the city to be required to publish ingredient lists for food served in schools — something that the department has not always done. When nutrition facts were inadvertently published in 2010, they showed that some food served in cafeterias did not meet the city’s own nutrition guidelines for school bake sale snacks.
August 19, 2011
Calling DOE 'cheap,' councilwoman demands bedbug answers
With school doors set to open in just weeks, City Councilwoman Gale Brewer wants to know why the education department hasn't hired a contractor to handle the resurgence of bedbugs in its classrooms. “I ask that you immediately initiate a bedbug treatment contract to deal with this issue before the start of the school year,” Brewer wrote to Chancellor Dennis Walcott last month. Brewer penned the letter in response to a GothamSchools report that showed a tripling in the number of bedbugs cases found in schools last year, to 3,590. The surge of cases has placed strain on the Department of Education's pest management division, which is required to treat every case of bedbugs. Normally, that work is handled by a private pest management company, but schools have been without a specialized contractor for nearly a year. Bidding on the new contract began nine months ago, but the DOE has yet to award it, spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said. Feinberg said that the city planned to respond to the letter, which also requested a list of the schools that were treated for bedbugs, but had not yet done so.
November 13, 2009
McCourt HS planners hunt for the perfect admissions policy
Hoping to bring a diverse mix of students to a new Upper West Side high school, parents and neighborhood activists are jumping at the chance to write rewrite its admissions rules. Frank McCourt High School, which will have a writing and communications focus, is highly anticipated by middle and upper-middle class families on the Upper West Side who want a selective school close to home. But McCourt is also one of the small schools replacing Brandeis High School, a large school that has served needy students from Harlem. Some advocates fear these students will be displaced as the school phases out. The challenge, those who've been involved in the school's development say, is building a school that attracts both sets of students.
July 21, 2009
Parent coalition begins writing checks for Council races
A group of parents is forming its own political action committee and donating small amounts of money to candidates who share their educational views. Members of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, a group that focuses on educational barriers facing low-income and minority students, will debut their new PAC tomorrow on the steps of City Hall. At this point in the campaign season, the group is supporting four challengers and nine incumbents — among them Speaker Christine Quinn and Education Committee chair Robert Jackson — for City Council. The PAC is "really designed to support those candidates who we have goals in common with," said Victoria Bousquet, a coalition parent member. The PAC is technically independent from CEJ. "It's really a matter of when we interviewed them, the general feedback - how they felt about English Language Learners, about middle schools, about the new Regents requirements, and parental involvement," she said, adding, "No one's perfect. We know that none of them are going to be infallible." The list includes incumbents Helen Diane Foster, Gale Brewer, Charles Barron, Julissa Ferreras, Letitia James, Rosie Mendez, and Melissa Mark Viverito.
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