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Rise & Shine: In finale, a struggling school finds success as a 'community school'

Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2015

Rise & Shine

a chance for renewal

In Chalkbeat's last installment of a look inside the city's Renewal program, students and staff at Brooklyn Generation School are beginning see the returns on becoming a "community school" thanks to new funds that have been used for bonding field trips to boxing gyms for boys and to start an African dance club for girls.

who rules the schools

Mayoral control of city schools will be extended by just one year and the number of charter schools available to open in the city will double, from 25 to 50, under a "big ugly" agreement announced by legislative leaders on Tuesday.

De Blasio emerged as a clear loser in the deal, a result that his administration quickly blamed on Albany's dysfunction and Cuomo's poor leadership, prompting a harsh personal rebuttal about de Blasio's competence.

a new day

City officials are nixing two half-days dedicated to staff planning in order to close schools for full day in recognition of the Lunar New Year as an official school holiday.

De Blasio said the Lunar New York would be the last official holiday that he would add to the school calendar, angering Hindu and Sikh communities that were hoping for recognition of the Diwali festival.

exit interview

After four years as Newark's school superintendent, Cami Anderson said she quit because the political debate around her tenure had become too toxic and she acknowledged she could have done more to communicate to parents about the changes she was trying to bring to the school system.

gym time

A budget deal between de Blasio and the City Council adds money to hire 50 extra physical education teachers, start a free breakfast program for elementary schools and to support an extended learning time initiative in the city's Renewal schools.

Advocates who had asked for the school lunch and physical education initiatives praised de Blasio for agreeing to add funding for them.

one-sided stories

Former CNN host Campbell Brown announced the coming launch of an education news web site that will be an extension of advocacy work that has made her a lightening rod in education debates.

opting out of NCLB

New York was among eight states and Washington, D.C. that received renewed exemptions from some of No Child Left Behind's most onerous testing requirements, the Obama administration announced.

As the mercury rises in the school year's waning days, about than one in four classrooms are without functioning air conditioners and educators say the cost is student learning.

needs assessment

Two researchers write that their latest study on special education suggests that black students are less likely to be identified as having disabilities than their white peers, bucking a popular perception.

"coping" with adversity

French students are petitioning online against an exit exam they must pass to graduate high schools because they say it was too difficult.

In an op-ed, Republican presidential nominee Jeb Bush weighs in favorably on New York City's charter schools and criticizes Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton for not more publicly pushing back against Mayor de Blasio on his education policies.

red flagging risk

The Department of Education is expanding a program that aims to keep students at risk of homelessness out of shelters.

creeping suspect

A man parked outside an elementary school on the Upper West Side tried unsuccessfully to use candy to lure two young students to his SUV, the school's principal told parents in an email.

2016 watch

In an op-ed, Republican presidential nominee Jeb Bush weighs in favorably on New York City's charter schools and criticizes Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton for not more publicly pushing back against Mayor de Blasio on his education policies.

On Chalkbeat NY

In Chalkbeat's third and final installment of its look at the city's school improvement initiative, new funds to help convert Brooklyn Generation School in a community school are starting to take flight. BGS has used grant money to form a brotherhood group to rope in the boys, who were falling behind in class and skipping school, before they strayed any farther off course. Staffers also took the boys to a nearby boxing gym to help them bond and build self-discipline. A “sisterhood” group was learning African dance as a form of therapy.

Get caught up on the entire "A Chance for Renewal" series at the project's homepage, where you can read each story and watch interviews of students who attend Brooklyn Generation. 

State lawmakers have agreed to a deal that would extend mayoral control of city schools by just one year and would allow more charter schools to open in New York City. The one-year extension of mayoral control is a significant blow to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had requested a permanent, and then a three-year, extension of the law, arguing that it would provide needed stability as he continued his efforts to improve the city’s schools. READ MORE

Physical education and the de Blasio administration’s school-turnaround program got a late boost in a budget deal announced Monday night by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The $78.5 billion spending plan includes $6.6 million to hire physical education teachers and help the city fully comply with state regulations, and $17.9 million to phase in a program that will allow elementary school students to eat free breakfast in class. READ MORE

To make Lunar New Year an official New York City school holiday, the city will do away with two half-days previously dedicated to staff planning on June 8 and 14 in exchange for a full day off earlier in the year. READ MORE

Extra Credit

Read Chalkbeat's third and final installment of its inside look at the city's high-profile school improvement initiative. Also be sure to tune in to NY1's Inside City Hall tonight to hear from Chalkbeat's Patrick Wall and Sarah Darville about how the project came together. 

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