Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

‘Miracle Child’ of Public Drinker Earns a Full Scholarship to MIT
July 16, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN—July 17, 2006

OFF TO COLLEGE Cristen Blair Chinea, 18, and her mother, Belinda Chinea

OFF TO COLLEGE Cristen Blair Chinea, 18, and her mother, Belinda Chinea

If you’ve ever walked through Union Square Park, you probably noticed Belinda and Joey. On most days, you could find them there getting drunk. Not the falling down kind of drunk, but drunk enough. Belinda started the day with a bottle of vodka, Joey a bottle of something else. On some days the cops would ask them to keep it down. On others, Joey took a trip to the emergency room with a case of the shakes.
At 50, Belinda, who wears her black hair tied back tight, lives with her mother in the same apartment where she grew up, in the Bernard Baruch housing projects on the Lower East Side. (more…)

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City Adds Funds For Catholic, Jewish Schools
July 10, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN — July 10, 2006

[Brian Leher at WNYC did a segment based on this exclusive story]

The New York City government is starting quietly to fund local parochial schools.

The City Council is allocating $1 million of taxpayer money in this year’s budget to purchase school buses for Jewish schools. Last year, the City Council paid $2.5 million to put computers in Jewish and Catholic schools.

Because the money is tucked into the council’s thick budget, and because the amounts are small relative to the $15 billion a year spent on the city’s public schools, most public school advocates and education experts said that they had not heard about the funding.

Critics call the money pork-barrel spending and argue that any available dollars should go to the public schools, which a New York judge, Leland DeGrasse, has ruled are $23 billion short of the funding they need to provide a sound basic education. Religious school officials argue that they are saving the state money by keeping children out of the public school system, and that it is to the city’s benefit to ensure that that the religious schools continue to operate. Jewish schools have long complained that because their school day starts earlier and finishes later than public schools they need additional transportation. (more…)

Tweed Courthouse’s Math Problem: Graduation Rate Actually Increases
June 30, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN — June 30, 2006

If the city’s Department of Education received a report card, it would get an “F” in math.

The schools chancellor, Joel Klein, said yesterday that his staff had drastically miscalculated the city’s high school graduation rate – a disclosure that, had it been made months earlier, could have saved Mayor Bloomberg serious embarrassment.

Rather than decreasing slightly, as the city previously reported, the percentage of students graduating on time actually soared to 58% – the highest graduation rate since the department started tracking the number 20 years ago, Mr. Klein said. (more…)

N.Y.’s ‘Survivor’: Getting Into Private Schools
June 19, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN — June 19, 2006

Perhaps it was only a matter of time before television producers and documentary filmmakers aimed their cameras at what some New York City parents consider a real life version of “Survivor” – getting their children into private schools.

While there are no indigenous bugs or barbecued rats on the path to victory, parents on the island of Manhattan do go to extremes while trying to insure their children get spots at the city’s top schools.

Competing film crews are swooping in to document such extremes in a world where some parents pay advisers thousands of dollars to write essays to get their 3-year-olds into preschool – and then pay upward of $30,000 a year in tuition to keep them there. (more…)

Ichan Quietly Emerges as Force for Improved Education in City
May 30, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN — May 30, 2006

The billionaire investor and famed corporate raider Carl Icahn, best known recently for his attempt to shake up Time Warner, has quietly opened one of the most successful charter schools in the city and plans to open several more.

Nestled into a quiet street in the South Bronx, the Carl C. Icahn Charter School serves 252 children in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Inside, the building is peppered with inspirational signs reminding students that college is a requirement, not an option, and that students are expected to attend a top city high school.

“Success doesn’t just happen, it happens one day at a time. Read every night,” a sign posted in the school hallway reminds students. (more…)

Is This the ‘Biggest Self-Righteous Arrogant Traitor’ Ever in School?
May 19, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN — May 19, 2006

[This story was the first to be published about Trees’ book. It was later quoted in a number of other newspapers including The New York Times.]

Students aren’t the only ones working on research projects at some of the city’s elite private schools.

A history teacher at Horace Mann School in Riverdale has used his intimate view of the city’s movers and shakers to pen a novel about a leafy campus in New York City where 17-year olds drive Mercedes cars, take prescription drugs to boost their academic performance, and turn to seduction and plagiarism to guarantee a slot in the Ivy League.

“Academy X” is hitting bookstores this week and some parents are calling its author, Andrew Trees, a regular Benedict Arnold.

“I think this is the biggest self-righteous, arrogant traitor walking the face of the earth,” a member of the board of trustees at the nearby Riverdale Country School, Victoria Goldman, said. “He’s sending up the entire community that he works with, and that takes nerve.” (more…)

Joy, Dashed Hopes At Harlem Lottery For Charter School
March 23, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN—March 23, 2006

getimage-1When Fatou Gueye and her husband arrived in New York from their native Senegal, they possessed little education and big hopes for their children.
Yesterday, those hopes were somewhat dashed when their 6-year-old son, Abdoulaye, was shut out of a lottery for the new Harlem Success Charter School to open in the fall.
“This is the new generation, we want him to have a better life, but he has to go to a good school,” Ms. Gueye, whose husband drives a yellow taxi, said.
She was among the hundreds of hopeful parents who packed into the basement of the Salem United Methodist Church last night, where children’s names were pulled from a box to determine who would win slots for the kindergarten and first-grade classes. (more…)