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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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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From the Margins to the Mainstream: Responding to Rising Rates of Autism

A fast-growing number of people receiving government-funded developmental disabilities services in New York are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. And in city schools, the number of pupils with autism has increased 72 percent in only five years. How are government, service providers, schools and parents responding?

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Opening the Schoolyard Gates: Reclaiming Urban Community Space

As part of PlaNYC 2030, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed opening 290 city schoolyards to the public during non-school hours. Reclaiming urban community space can strengthen families and neighborhoods, but it's never as easy as "throwing open the gates." What should the city do to ensure that these spaces benefit communities, families, and children?

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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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Working Toward a Common Goal: Safety, Discipline and Teaching Teens in NYC Schools

Students with too few credits, who have discipline problems or who lose interest in school often drop out or are placed in alternative programs. Not surprisingly, young people of color are most likely to leave school without a degree and end up in poverty – and sometimes in prison. How can the city’s schools better engage disconnected students?

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Overhauling Sex Ed: The New Curriculum for NYC Schools

New York City has begun to revamp sex education in the public schools, creating a new health curriculum as well as an HIV/AIDS education program. Are the city schools doing all they can to prepare young New Yorkers for safe sexual lives? What do parents, students and teachers think of the changes? How is our city’s experience in keeping with national trends while bucking others?

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