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Rise & Shine: It just got easier for students with disabilities to graduate this year

Tuesday, Jun. 14, 2016
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Good morning! There is lots of education news from Albany this week, as the state's Board of Regents meeting overlaps with the end of the legislative session. In a dramatic move, state officials made it possible for students with disabilities to graduate without passing most Regents exams – a change that will immediately affect students. They also passed new rules that will let the city apply for a waiver that will allow it to bypass the requirement that teachers and principals be evaluated by someone who doesn’t work at their school.

Also, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña touted a program designed to offer middle school students an early glimpse into college life Monday, while accompanying some students on a tour at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
— Alex
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Rise & Shine

A roundup of education news and analysis

GETTING TO GRADUATION In a dramatic change, students with disabilities can now graduate high school without passing most Regents exams. Chalkbeat

EVALUATION EVASION Under new rules passed Monday, the city will be able to apply for a waiver that will allow it to bypass the unpopular requirement that teachers and principals be evaluated by someone who doesn’t work at their school. Chalkbeat 

COLLEGE PREP A program designed to offer middle school students an early glimpse into college life will expand to 167 schools in the upcoming school year, growing from the 22 middle schools that participated this spring. Chalkbeat, SchoolBook

TESTING TESTING The ineligibility of some schools to apply for federal grants due to low test participation rates is an “unintended consequence,” not a penalty for test refusals, according to state Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa. Politico New York

MUSICAL CHAIRS After the recent failed attempts to address overcrowding issues at a popular Upper West Side elementary school, P.S. 199, by shifting blocks out of its zone, local education leaders have gone back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that would involve a lot of reshuffling. Community members mostly responded with anger at a meeting Monday evening. SchoolBookDNAinfo

CONTROL FIGHT In the final days of the state's legislative session, extending mayoral control of New York City's schools apparently isn't a top item for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. New York Post

GAME OF THRONES Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz is raising money for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a potential candidate charter school supporters are hoping can unseat Mayor Bill de Blasio. Politico New York

PRINCIPAL CHANGE Jie Zhang, the principal of Stuyvesant High School, will be taking a new job as superintendent of a struggling military academy, a school that once enrolled Donald Trump. New York Times

UNEQUAL TREATMENT New York City Schools mishandled several cases of sexual assaults involving poor women of color, according to three federal complaints. At least one lawyer sees a systemic problem. Huffington Post

SEGREGATION CONVERSATION Learn about one elective at Bronx Academy of Letters that is trying to foster conversations and exchange between students who attend segregated schools with widely varying resources. Huffington Post

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES Meet a homeless student who graduated on time from The Facing History School and won a scholarship to college. New York Daily News

OUT TO LUNCH One senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School is trying to combat the socioeconomic divide of who can afford to leave school for lunch by proposing something that looks a lot like a lunch voucher program. SchoolBook

SCHOOL RESEARCH A new report from the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools claims students who struggle the most with state reading and math tests are unlikely to achieve mastery of the subjects while enrolled in the city schools, and are often segregated by test scores. New York Daily News

LEAD TESTING Public school districts across the state are pushing back on a bill in the New York legislature that would force them to test for lead in their drinking water. WNYC

SHOTS TO SCHOLARSHIPS Rapper Troy Ave, who is accused of fatally shooting his childhood friend, has established a memorial scholarship in his companion's name for student athletes graduating from New Utrecht High School. DNAinfo

LEGAL MATTERS An ex-Queens principal, who was demoted after she was accused of having sex with other staffers during school hours, filed a lawsuit claiming her ex-boyfriend planted evidence that was even discredited by an internal report. New York Post

BATTLING HOMELESSNESS With 83,000 homeless children in New York City public schools alone, will the new federal education law help those students? U.S. News & World Report

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“The point is that we already attend a really good school, and so do the other kids. But we also attend very different schools, and we attend them separately,” said Bronx Academy of Letters student Shania Russell. "And unfortunately, that means there are resources that just aren’t fairly allocated between us, and there are opportunities that are not fairly distributed between us. And there’s something fundamentally wrong with that."

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