Chalkbeat New York

Chalkbeat New York Chalkbeat New York, part of the nonprofit Chalkbeat network, is a local news website covering schools and school policy in New York City. Read our commenting guidelines here: chalkbeat.org/about/comments/
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More than one in six New York City students are expected to attend summer school this year, an indication of the scale o...
05/25/2020
In a jump, 18% of NYC students will need summer school to be ready for the fall, officials say

More than one in six New York City students are expected to attend summer school this year, an indication of the scale of learning loss officials are bracing for as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

City estimates released Tuesday show that almost 178,000 students — or nearly 18% of the district’s enrollment — are projected to be in summer classes that will be offered remotely starting in July.

¿sᴉɥʇ pɐǝɹ noʎ uɐƆ Probably not easily. What if you had to follow instructions written like this? It would be hard witho...
05/24/2020
Less learning and late guidance: School districts struggle to help English language learners during COVID-19 crisis

¿sᴉɥʇ pɐǝɹ noʎ uɐƆ Probably not easily. What if you had to follow instructions written like this? It would be hard without a teacher or someone in your home who can read and write backward and upside down. But this is a similar reality for 5 million English language learners — and the coronavirus has only made things harder for them.

The rapid shift to remote learning forced by the COVID-19 crisis left the nation’s roughly 5 million English language learners with less language instruction as districts balance competing priorities and struggle to connect with students attending school from home.

Ilana Cohen was disheartened to see her own sister's online education was limited compared to her own. So she decided to...
05/24/2020
In response to coronavirus, this Harvard sophomore created a free tutoring service for low-income NYC students

Ilana Cohen was disheartened to see her own sister's online education was limited compared to her own. So she decided to do something. What started as a Google Form on Facebook has now turned into Edumate NYC, a group of 850 college students providing free tutoring to more than 700 students in grades K-12 across the city.

Since March, the organization has recruited about 850 college students who have signed up to provide free tutoring to over 700 students in grades K-12 across the city.

In the COVID-19 era, students’ brains and bodies are being flooded with chemicals signaling “it’s time to panic” like ne...
05/24/2020
To help our grieving students, we remind them it’s OK not to be OK

In the COVID-19 era, students’ brains and bodies are being flooded with chemicals signaling “it’s time to panic” like never before, hijacking their ability to think clearly and self-motivate, PelotonU co-founder Sarah Saxton-Frump writes. How can educators help? For one, by letting them know you, the helpers, are also not okay.

We want our students to thrive on the other side of this pandemic, so we must equip them with tools and techniques to alleviate the mental health impacts of COVID-19.

Many LGBTQ students have found acceptance from friends and educators at school and in afterschool programs. But as the p...
05/23/2020
For some LGBTQ youth, school buildings were safer spaces than their homes. Now, they have nowhere to go.

Many LGBTQ students have found acceptance from friends and educators at school and in afterschool programs. But as the pandemic has forced the closure of school buildings, these students have lost their only safe space, and are potentially around families who don’t know or support their sexual orientations or gender identities.

As the pandemic has forced the closure of school buildings, some LGBTQ students have lost their only safe space, and are potentially around families who don’t know or support their sexual orientations or gender identities.

“He’s writing huge again — he’s forgetting how to tell time,” says Grisel Cardona, whose 9-year-old son has autism. He's...
05/23/2020
39,000 NYC students with disabilities attend school year-round. Their parents are bracing for the summer.

“He’s writing huge again — he’s forgetting how to tell time,” says Grisel Cardona, whose 9-year-old son has autism. He's one of 39,000 New York City students who receives year-round special education services — and one of the kids at the greatest risk of losing ground over the summer. “Losing that educational time in person is like losing years of memory or work.”

As the chances of reopening school buildings over the summer appear slim, parents are worried that continuing remote education could be disastrous for students with complex disabilities.

For nearly 20 years at Carl Von Linné Elementary School, Mary Kovats learned that “teaching isn’t just opening a book in...
05/23/2020
How one award-winning Illinois teacher has adapted to remote learning

For nearly 20 years at Carl Von Linné Elementary School, Mary Kovats learned that “teaching isn’t just opening a book in the classroom, it’s teaching the whole kid, the neighborhood and their family. That’s what I love about it is that teaching involves the community.” Here's how the Golden Apple winner has adapted to remote learning.

"We did not know what was coming," said Mary Kovats, a Chicago teacher with nearly two decades of experience.

“We feel totally alone,” said Andre Farrell, who has already had to permanently close two of his preschool sites. “Do pe...
05/21/2020
Families will need child care to reopen NYC, but preschools fear they won’t survive the coronavirus shutdown

“We feel totally alone,” said Andre Farrell, who has already had to permanently close two of his preschool sites. “Do people even care? Do people even understand what we do for every neighborhood — not just in New York, but in every neighborhood in America?”

Independent preschools in NYC warn they might not survive the economic fallout of the coronavirus, which could make it harder to reopen the economy.

Higher education institutions dropping admissions testing requirements might help more students with high grade point av...
05/21/2020
The coronavirus is pushing some colleges away from the SAT and ACT. Here’s who might benefit.

Higher education institutions dropping admissions testing requirements might help more students with high grade point averages and low SAT scores — who are especially likely to be low-income — earn college degrees.

The change might help more students with high grade point averages and low SAT scores—who are especially likely to be low-income—earn college degrees.

Schools that have switched to remote learning can’t give up on language services for the roughly 5 million students lear...
05/21/2020
Schools must keep serving English learners during pandemic, federal ed officials say

Schools that have switched to remote learning can’t give up on language services for the roughly 5 million students learning English across the nation, the federal education department reminded school districts this week.

New guidance from the U.S. Department of Education says schools that have switched to remote learning can’t give up on language services for their students learning English.

Because New York City is a universal free lunch district, providing no-cost meals to all 1 million students regardless o...
05/20/2020
All NYC public school families will receive food benefits for coronavirus relief

Because New York City is a universal free lunch district, providing no-cost meals to all 1 million students regardless of need, every child in a city-run public school qualifies for a new pandemic food relief program.

Since NYC provides universal free lunch, families will automatically receive $421 per child while school buildings are closed.

His grandfather helped argue the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in front of the Supreme Court. Now, Stefan La...
05/20/2020
Building bridges: New nationwide school integration initiative to bring together districts, charters, housing experts

His grandfather helped argue the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in front of the Supreme Court. Now, Stefan Lallinger is heading a new initiative from The Century Foundation to address the country’s unfinished business of integrating its schools.

The Building Bridges Collaborative seeks to fill the gap between research showing more diverse schools can improve outcomes for all students, and the political will to pursue integration.

As states decide whether to follow controversial federal guidance that would send additional pandemic-related support to...
05/20/2020
DeVos guidance could shift $38 million in federal relief from NYC’s public schools to private ones, advocates say

As states decide whether to follow controversial federal guidance that would send additional pandemic-related support to private schools, the Education Law Center has asked New York state officials to reject the guidance completely.

If the state follows DeVos’s guidance on how districts should direct money to support private schools, New York City’s public schools could lose an estimated $38 million in federal pandemic relief dollars.

Hundreds of thousands of child maltreatment allegations are going unreported — and thus uninvestigated — while school bu...
05/19/2020
School closures mean an estimated 200K child mistreatment claims have gone unreported

Hundreds of thousands of child maltreatment allegations are going unreported — and thus uninvestigated — while school buildings are closed, a new study estimates. It’s the latest evidence of the toll that COVID-19-induced school closures are taking on children.

It’s the latest evidence of the toll that COVID-19-induced school closures are taking on children.

The Oklahoma City University ceremony drew 650 digital attendees and was upended by a message containing a racial slur a...
05/19/2020
This Virtual Graduation Ceremony Got Zoom-Bombed With A Racist Attack

The Oklahoma City University ceremony drew 650 digital attendees and was upended by a message containing a racial slur and a swastika, according to multiple reports. (via NowThis)

Other online gatherings of college students have been disrupted by messages of hate during the coronavirus outbreak.

Stefan Lallinger taught at a segregated school decades after his own grandfather helped argue Brown v. Board. Now, he's ...
05/18/2020
Building bridges: New nationwide school integration initiative to bring together districts, charters, housing experts

Stefan Lallinger taught at a segregated school decades after his own grandfather helped argue Brown v. Board. Now, he's leading a new effort to address the country's unfinished business of integrating its classrooms.

The Building Bridges Collaborative seeks to fill the gap between research showing more diverse schools can improve outcomes for all students, and the political will to pursue integration.

A prior draft of the CDC document, which was withheld by the Trump administration, told schools only to reopen if they a...
05/18/2020
CDC guidance offers few details for schools on reopening

A prior draft of the CDC document, which was withheld by the Trump administration, told schools only to reopen if they are in communities “no longer requiring significant mitigation.” If they do reopen, the shelved version says, schools should “be ready to close if there are increased cases.” Both points were omitted in the published documents.

It does not offer details about how schools should protect or screen staff and students.

Graduation has become a bleak subject for some seniors due to the coronavirus pandemic. But one father took it upon hims...
05/18/2020
Dad Builds Stage in Driveway to Host a Proper College Graduation for Daughter

Graduation has become a bleak subject for some seniors due to the coronavirus pandemic. But one father took it upon himself to make sure his daughter had a great day, despite being confined to their home. (via Complex)

A father in Tennessee took it upon himself to make sure his daughter had a great celebration after spending four years at the Xavier University of Louisiana.

The decision was groundbreaking: students have a right to literacy, a federal appeals court ruled last month, prompted b...
05/18/2020
What the resolution of Detroit’s literacy case could mean for America

The decision was groundbreaking: students have a right to literacy, a federal appeals court ruled last month, prompted by the dire performance and the sometimes horrific conditions of Detroit’s public schools. Michigan officials settled the case this week. Here's why one education law expert calls it "the most momentous education decision from a court of appeals in decades."

Justin Driver, a Yale Law professor and author of "The Schoolhouse Gate," on the implications of the Detroit decision.

In lieu of suspensions, education department officials have worked to expand “restorative” approaches to student discipl...
05/17/2020
Suspensions plummet 20% in NYC schools during the first half of the school year

In lieu of suspensions, education department officials have worked to expand “restorative” approaches to student discipline, a constellation of practices that favor peer mediation and conflict resolution over ejecting students from their regular schools or classes.

Suspensions have declined by over 50% since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office.

A record 77% of families received an offer for their first-choice Pre-K for All program, the city touted. However, the n...
05/17/2020
As fewer families applied to NYC’s free pre-K programs, more got their top choices

A record 77% of families received an offer for their first-choice Pre-K for All program, the city touted. However, the number of applications has tumbled recently: fewer than 62,000 families submitted applications, down by more than 3,000 from last year.

A record 77% of NYC families received an offer for their first-choice Pre-K for All program for 2020-21. But number of applications has tumbled, partly due to the coronavirus.

WNYC
05/17/2020
WNYC

WNYC

Is this the time to make big structural changes to school?

Chalkbeat New York and WNYC/Gothamist want to hear from NYC students on how they believe schools should work toward reigniting in-person learning in the fall. Take our survey and leave us a message!

On the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to cut over $827 million from the education department, there is no room...
05/17/2020
‘We are at the bone’: Carranza warns that NYC schools have little left to slash as state budget cuts loom

On the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to cut over $827 million from the education department, there is no room for additional cuts without painful effects on classrooms, Chancellor Richard Carranza told City Council members at a budget hearing.

"Students are going to feel bigger class sizes, students are going to feel the reduction in services, the reduction in enrichment activities," Carranza said

The coronavirus pandemic has upended New York City’s ultra-competitive admissions process for middle and high schools ne...
05/16/2020
Report: Eliminate middle school screens, make high school admissions more fair next year

The coronavirus pandemic has upended New York City’s ultra-competitive admissions process for middle and high schools next year. Some parents are fighting to preserve the use of selective “screens” — like grades, test scores and attendance — while advocates for more diverse schools hope the city will finally take action to dismantle the practice.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended New York City’s ultra-competitive admissions process for middle and high schools next year. Some parents are fighting to preserve the use of selective "screens"...

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Chalkbeat launched in 2013 to address an alarming collision: the business model for news was collapsing during a period of dramatic upheaval in American education. Read about what's to come in our next five years here: chalkbeat.org/about/strategic-plan/

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Chalkbeat launched in 2013 to address an alarming collision: the business model for news was collapsing during a period of dramatic upheaval in American education. In particular, local news faced an existential threat just as public education — which is inherently local — was undergoing transformation in how schools were governed, funded, and assigned students.

Six years later, Chalkbeat is one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in America, reporting on the most critical topics in education across seven states. We have published thousands of stories and spurred real-world changes in every state where we operate, from the shuttering of a flagrantly mismanaged virtual school in Indiana to the abolishment of a high-school admissions method in New York City that penalized low-income families. We’ve won 60 local and national journalism awards and mobilized 1,345 donors and sponsors to support our work.

While Chalkbeat has expanded, the local news crisis has accelerated, leaving Chalkbeat with a formidable challenge: We are chasing growing demand for high-quality local education news at a time when resources for news have never been more scarce.

The task is daunting, but our unique model — a nonprofit newsroom covering a single topic in multiple locations — represents a promising path forward. By accepting the economics of the internet and using them to our advantage, we have mobilized new and diverse sources of support for an essential public good. We’ve reimagined what local news can be as we’ve rebuilt it, elevating a subject that was previously a stepping-stone beat for rookie reporters, treating readers as partners, and focusing exclusively on the education story that matters most: the almost 30 million children in America who live near or below the poverty line.

Keep reading Chalkbeat’s strategic plan.

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