Taking the Fear Out of Financial Aid: Making Higher Education Easier to Achieve for NYC Students

Securing college financial aid can be intimidating for NYC students. Aid is crucial for low-income and first generation college students—but they need help, particularly navigating the government’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), finding grants and loans and working with college aid offices.

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The Future of Progressive States: Public Policies to Create Jobs and Expand Opportunity

Progressive state and local governments strive to build economies that create jobs, boost incomes, foster educational opportunity and strengthen government’s fiscal base. With continued congressional gridlock, the progressive agenda for these laboratories of democracy is more important than ever. Maryland Governor and former Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley discusses how states can secure the middle class and promote new and shared prosperity.

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The 2013 Nathan Levin Lecture: The Urban Agenda and the Second Obama Administration

How do cities fit into the current debate in Washington? Are the Obama policies on education, urban development, and social welfare leveraging meaningful improvements for New York and other cities? How will the administration's policies address the social justice issues that were central to the reelection campaign—particularly in terms of making opportunities available to economically and socially disadvantaged Americans?

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Improbable Scholars: What Union City, NJ, Can Teach New York City About Public Education

The striking achievement of Union City, N.J. — bringing very poor, mostly immigrant Latino kids into the educational mainstream — argues for reinventing our public schools into caring, hard-working communities. Author David Kirp’s latest book centers on the remarkable success of a school district five miles and a light year away from Washington Square.

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Stronger Schools for NYC: A conversation with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

How can New York sustain and build on positive changes in public education while fixing what isn’t working in our schools? Council Speaker Quinn discusses her views on building a 21st century school system, including innovations for educational improvement to make sure every child graduates high school ready for college and a good job.

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Beyond Test Scores: Imagining New Ways to Measure NYC's High Schools

What matters most in high school? Graduation rates and Regents test scores? College-oriented academics, supportive teachers - or extra-curricular activities? All of these things matter to students, but inside information is hard to find. There is also intense debate about what makes for a "good" high school and how this can be measured.

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Creating College Ready Communities: Preparing NYC's Precarious New Generation of College Students

The good news is, New York City has seen dramatic increases in students graduating high school and applying to college. The bad news is, most will never get a college degree. This growing generation of college students is frequently stymied by poor academic preparation, financial aid issues or complicated personal lives. Observers say it is not enough to promote college.

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High Stakes Decisions: How NYC Students Have Fared Under High School Choice

New York City’s system of high school choice is the largest in the nation, with students bidding for placement among hundreds of schools. The goal was to let students escape low-performing neighborhood schools, allowing them to compete for a spot in up to 12 schools anywhere in the city. Today, 80 percent of participating students get one of their top five picks. But placement of the city’s most vulnerable students remains controversial.

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Youth in Harm's Way: Marijuana, Law Enforcement and Young New Yorkers

According to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, 70 percent of the 50,383 arrests for possession of marijuana in New York City in 2010 were of young people under 30, and 86 percent of those arrested were black and Latino. The debate on the classification of marijuana possession as a crime is heating up nationwide even as the number of arrests in New York has risen.

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Struggling Schools, Hard Times: Teachers, communities and school improvement in a time of fiscal uncertainty

A conversation with Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers, on turning around struggling public schools and boosting community collaboration. How will educators, parents and the city respond to the state fiscal crisis? And what is the future of school accountability in New York City?

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Putting Principals to the Test: Transforming NYC Schools in the Age of Data-Driven Accountability

The Bloomberg administration has introduced a radical new system of school management, giving principals more freedom in exchange for the promise of better test scores and graduation rates. Crucial to this are new test-based accountability systems, which focus attention on struggling learners. But the traditional oversight by superintendents is gone. Does this strategy build better schools?

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School Food Matters: Hunger, Obesity and Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act

According to advocates, families of at least 1 in 5 New York City children still rely on soup kitchens and food pantries, despite free school breakfast and subsidized school lunches. President Obama pledged to end child hunger in the US by 2015, and the reauthorization of the federal Child Nutrition Act is expected by September.

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Community Schools: Organizing Community Resources Around Student Success

New York City is home to a variety of “community schools,” public schools that provide an array of health services, social supports and enrichment programs for students and families. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has promoted community schools as a strategy for using local resources to improve student success and is encouraging states to expand their numbers.

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Pass or Fail: Whats Next for New York City's High Schools?

New York City’s high schools have undergone a powerful transformation during the Bloomberg years, with more than 200 new small schools and dozens of others closed or reshaped. The city’s education department has introduced school competition, giving families unprecedented choice. But how has all this worked out for the students at-risk of dropping out?

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Regional Solutions to Segregation and Racial Inequity: Can Metro Areas Overcome Inequality?

Suburban growth and development away from central cities have increased segregation and racial inequalities in the U.S. Using the Twin Cities region as a lens, Orfield shows why policy makers must shift from neighborhood-level responses and develop regional solutions that promote equity and integration for housing, jobs, and schools.

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Crime, Justice and the Economic Crisis

Like New York, most states face deepening budget gaps and are slashing education and human services. Nationwide, states pour $50 billion a year into incarceration. New York led the way in expanding its prison system more than 25 years ago; should it lead the way in the other direction today? Will the federal government take a new approach to criminal justice in an Obama administration?

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Class Struggles: Strengthening Schools by Strengthening Families

New York City’s public schools are held accountable for their students’ educational progress. But what happens when problems at home hold students back, or when young children aren’t coming to school? Could the city create a school-based safety net in the lowest-income neighborhoods?

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Who Rules the Schools? Mayoral Control After Bloomberg

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office one of his top priorities was to repair the city’s ailing public schools. The state gave him control of the school system five years ago and must soon decide whether to extend that power to future administrations. Are the schools more accountable today? Students and teachers more successful?

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Same News Different Views, Bridging the Gap Between Ethnic and Mainstream Media

The federal immigration policy debate may soon reach its climactic moment, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Meanwhile, our city’s immigrant communities face unique—and not so unique—local challenges related to schools, poverty, housing and more. If you read or listen to the mainstream English-language press, what are you missing?

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