December, 2013


St. John’s professor releases new book on Kazakhstan

For most American tourists, Kazakhstan is probably not high on their list of places to see, but for St. John’s University professor Jay Nathan, the central Asian country provides endless fascination. Comments (1)

DOE inflates the city’s graduation rate

Mayor Michael Bloomberg claims that our educational system has made “incredible progress” under his reforms. His evidence is the increase in the graduation rate. Comments (2)

Inform people of school hearing

It was disconcerting to read that Mandingo Tshaka still believes I supported construction of a new school at the Keil Brother’s site (“Community deserved say in planned school,” Dec. 6-12). Comments (2)
Long Island City

Mayor makes final speech in Queens on school gains

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made what will likely be his final speech in Queens before leaving office Dec. 31. Comment

Some school lessons must remain

While the emphasis today for our students is to be more technologically savvy, what is equally important is that cursive writing still needs to be taught in our schools. Comments (1)
The Civic Scene

Testing, constant changes ruin education for students

With the arrival of 2014, a new city administration will take over our city. One of the issues it will face is the revitalizing of the city school system. For the past 12 years, there have been changes in our schools that have left the staff stressed out and dispirited. Morale is low. Comment

Charter schools not all that great

A charter school recently made headlines for punishing a mischievous student by throwing him into the quarantine of a padded cell in the expectation that the trauma would build his character. Comments (1)
Long Island City

JetBlue gives $50K to two boro schools

A pair of borough schools will receive $25,000 each to help turn out Queens’ future leaders in the aviation industry. Comment

City teachers need a new contract

It has now been nearly four years since the contract has expired, and New York city public school teachers are still without a new, fair and decent contract. Comment

New Flushing program teaches Korean culture

School officials and students launched a new program Tuesday at Veritas Academy, which provides opportunities to youth from low-income neighborhoods in Queens and the Bronx to explore Korean culture. Comments (3)

P-Tech program will sow seeds of pupils’ future success

I am writing this rejoinder to state Sen. Tony Avella’s Nov. 22-28 response to Bob Friedrich’s Nov. 8-14 column “P-Tech program will serve as boon to Martin Van Buren.” Comments (2)
New Voices

Tutorial center helps students in need prepare for college

A nascent local foundation aims to facilitate better pathways to college for local students through awareness and community empowerment for the students who need it most. The Khan Foundation, the brainchild of Dr. Ivan Khan, seeks not only to mentor and inform low-income and female students, but also to cultivate leadership and develop well-rounded individuals who make appealing candidates for top universities. Comments (1)

Test students sparingly but carefully

Test mania does not translate into quality education — just the opposite. Comment

Walcott says he has left plan to overcome crowded classes

Outgoing city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said he has left a blueprint for the incoming de Blasio administration that includes a capital plan to address overcrowding in western Queens. Comments (3)

Common Core needs a revamp

The newly implemented Common Core standards are not doing well. They have caused nothing but educational Armageddon in classrooms throughout the country and stressed out students, teachers, administrators and parents. Comments (1)

Community deserved say in planned school

In a democracy, the voice of the people must be heard regarding projects planned in a community. Recently, the City Council voted to construct a school on the Keil Bros. property in Bayside, the neighborhood that I have known for more than 82 years. Comments (4)

DOE mustn’t shove parents under bus

We are looking for people to give our cause a voice. Our gifted and talented class, in its fifth year at PS 203, were given our eviction notice. The city Department of Education had a meeting with school principals, guidance counselors and the Community Education Council Nov. 12, minus the parents, to inform them of a new policy. Comments (23)

DOE needs to gets its act together

Posting on their website the answers to an exam that students had not taken yet and being defensive about it while still demanding that the job security of teachers be linked to the worthless results of discredited tests, qualifies the city Department of Education for a Nobel Prize in Audacity. Comments (1)

November, 2013


P-tech plan needs more study

In his Nov. 8-14 TimesLedger Newspapers column, Bob Friedrich discussed the recent city Department of Education decision to co-locate a P-tech high school within the Martin Van Buren High School building. Friedrich spoke in favor of the P-tech concept and also said the co-location of a separate high school was the best method to administer this new program. Comment

Officials break ground at Woodside school site

Officials broke ground last week for the first new public school to be built in Woodside in more than 60 years, and the construction will bring relief to a crushing overcrowding problem that has plagued School District 30 for decades. Comment

Avella takes Friedrich to task over Van Buren

I am writing in response to Bob Friedrich’s Nov. 8-14 column “P-Tech program will serve as boon to Martin Van Buren.” In his column, Friedrich advocates for the city Department of Education’s proposal to co-locate the P-Tech program at Martin Van Buren High School while at the same time attacking my integrity for opposing the co-location. Comments (8)
Long Island City

High school for adults celebrates new LIC digs

A school with an adult student body celebrated its new home with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Long Island City Monday. Comment
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s conference cracks down on cyberbullying

Concerns over online bullying have become so prevalent in some circles that St. John’s University authored its own policy on the matter and dedicated an entire day to exploring its effects. Comment

Council passes plan to build Bayside school

Nearby neighbors in Bayside have made their opposition to a new elementary school on 48th Avenue loud and clear, but that did not stop the City Council from passing it with flying colors. Comments (8)

City teachers need their autonomy

Queens has a superior track record with many of the finest educators in the city, but they are being pushed around in all sorts of ways for reasons that have nothing to do with quality of instruction or service to students. Comment

City using eminent domain to build Corona school

The city is planning to use eminent domain to clear the way for a 796-seat elementary/middle school in Corona, one of the most overcrowded neighborhoods in the five boroughs. Comments (3)

Alumnus gives back to York College radio

York College’s student radio station, which beams across the Internet from Jamaica to all corners of the globe, recently got a facelift, thanks to the alumnus who founded it almost 30 years ago. Comments (1)
On Point

P-Tech program will serve as boon to Martin Van Buren

The forces of stagnation and inertia were on display recently at a city Department of Education public hearing on the Martin Van Buren High School P-Tech colocation proposal. This program, modeled after a similar school program in Brooklyn, was visited last week by President Barack Obama and is being touted as a model for the nation. Comments (3)
Long Island City

De Blasio win may weigh on boro school co-locations

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s victory in Tuesday’s mayoral race may prove to be a reprieve for a handful of Queens schools facing co-locations next year. Comment

Do not be quick to blame Van Buren for failures

In response to a column written by Bob Friedrich in TimesLedger Newspapers Oct. 4-10: “There may be light at the end of the tunnel for the nightmare faced by families zoned for Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village. MVB evokes wonderful memories for its alumni, but while its former reputation as a community school with high graduation rates is well-known, it has since fallen on hard times and by any objective measure of success is a failed school.” Comments (1)

Down with all standardized tests

State Education Commissioner John King is getting rid of some standardized tests. Did this maven of multiple choice feel the pressure or did he see the light? Enlightenment is a long shot, but miracles happen. Comments (1)

City’s new high schools help pupils early in college: Study

Students who attend the small high schools opened by the Bloomberg administration — such as the East-West School of International Studies in Flushing and the High School of Applied Communication at LaGuardia Community College — are more likely to make it through the first year of college than their peers at larger high schools, a new study shows. Comment

Strong voices speak out to halt new tech school inside LIC high

Hundreds of students and parents packed the auditorium of Long Island City High School last week to protest a plan proposed by the city Department of Education to co-locate a new career and technical education school inside the building next year. Comment

October, 2013


Ed panel votes to open five new schools in Queens

The city early Thursday morning approved a slate of new-school openings and co-locations, including several in Queens. Comment
Queens Village

Parents support Van Buren

The community’s opposition to the co-location of another school at Queens Village’s Martin Van Buren High could not be more clear as everyone readied themselves for Wednesday’s official vote on the plan. Comments (1)
Queens Village

Van Buren co-location battle hits boiling point

A chaotic news conference confirmed just how opposed the community is to a plan that would co-locate a new high school at Queens Village’s Martin Van Buren HS. Comment

New school campus named for Geraldine Ferraro

Civic leaders from around Queens and beyond gathered in Ridgewood Tuesday to name the campus of a new public school after the late congresswoman and activist Geraldine Ferraro. Comments (1)

Class size problem needs answer

Recently, near the start of the school year, the United Federation of Teachers documented a huge number of illegally oversized classes. The city Department of Education insists this easily verifiable truth is inaccurate. Comments (1)
New Voices

Film documents students taking special high school test

With the Specialized High School Admission Test happening in a matter of weeks, parents of children across Queens are pushing to squeeze in last-minute test prep as well as motivate their children to do well on what is arguably the most important test they will take until the SAT. Comment
I Sit and Look Out

Children need exposure to the arts and culture while in school

It seems generally agreed that music and the arts in our schools have suffered from a lack of support for many years. Comments (2)
Middle Village

Caruana, teachers want to hold off on evaluations

Student test scores fell this year citywide after the state implemented the new tougher guidelines of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, and a group of teachers rallied in Middle Village Friday to ask that the new scores not affect their evaluations. Comment
College Point

City to install new principal in College Pt.

The city has responded to a call for change at one College Point elementary school after members of the community demanded its principal get a pink slip. Comment
Middle Village

Middle Village school extension to reduce crowding at PS/IS 87

Students, parents and other members of the PS/IS 87 community celebrated the opening of a $20 million extension to the campus Tuesday. Comment

St. Mary’s launches new preschool for Bayside residents

It was only fitting that outgoing Queens Borough President Helen Marshall cut the ceremonial ribbon for a new preschool that bears her name in Bayside. Comments (1)

DOE Needs Early Community Input

For decades, a 6-acre lot in Whitestone has sat vacant, but now education officials are considering the location as a spot to build a new high school. Comments (1)

Community rallies against possibility of new school at Whitestone lot

Tensions are high in Whitestone as community leaders and residents are condemning rumors of the city eyeing a 6-acre lot in the northern Queens community as a site for a new school. Comments (45)

Cardozo cracks UFT survey on crowded classes

Hillcrest High School and Oakland Gardens’ Benjamin N. Cardozo High School were listed as two of the city’s top offenders when it comes to overcrowded classrooms, a United Federation of Teachers survey said. Comments (4)
Kew Gardens

Queens pols call on Bloomy to drop co-location plans

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is moving full steam ahead with his educational agenda in the waning days of his administration, and a coalition of Queens leaders Tuesday denounced his efforts as an attempt to impose his policies on his successor. Comments (1)

Officials celebrate Veritas Academy opening

A new era in education was ushered onto the campus of Flushing High School last Thursday as Veritas Academy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Comment
Kew Gardens Hills

Queens College president resigns after 12 years on job

Queens College President James Muyskens will be stepping down from his position at the end of this year. Comments (1)
On Point

Martin Van Buren High School may get new lease on life

There may be light at the end of the tunnel for the nightmare faced by families zoned for Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village. MVB evokes wonderful memories for its alumni, but while its former reputation as a community school with high graduation rates is well-known, it has since fallen on hard times and by any objective measure of success is a failed school. Comments (1)
South Jamaica

Charter school bids focus on SE Queens

Of the dozen charter schools already open in Queens, more than half are in the western part of the borough, but the proposals so far for new charters in the 2014 school year are focusing on neighborhoods in the southeast. Comment
Queens Village

Hearing set for Van Buren

A joint public hearing later this month will allow residents to weigh in on the city’s proposal to co-locate a school at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village. Comment

Cardozo kids protest class cuts

There were hundreds of voices shouting but one unified message coming out of a crowded protest against class cuts Wednesday at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Oakland Gardens. Comments (1)

Protest planned against Cardozo HS cuts

Hundreds were expected to attend a protest in Bayside opposing the city’s cutting of budget money for Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, officials said. Comments (5)

Educator visits Astoria school to review curriculum

The head of the state Education Department visited the Albert Shanker school in Astoria last week and said he is looking for students to make slow-and-steady gains this year on the state Common Core exams. Comment

September, 2013


Our children’s education is in crisis

There are many reasons why our education system is in crisis. Prospective educators are subjected to a trendy oppression-obsessed, feel-good and esteem-ridden curriculum with little emphasis on mastery of subject matter. Note some college courses offered to prospective educators: Social Diversity in Education, Oppression of the Disabled, Diversity and Change, Lesbian/Gay Oppression and Multicultural Education. Comments (4)

Walcott blasted in Maspeth over school co-location vote

City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott got an earful at a routine policy meeting in Maspeth last week when students, parents and educators sounded off on the city Department of Education’s upcoming plans to co-locate a number of schools in Queens. Comment
Oakland Gardens

Three boro schools claim National Blue Ribbon titles

Public schools in Little Neck, Oakland Gardens and Richmond Hill landed national Blue Ribbon honors this week along with three others citywide, the U.S. Department of Education said. Comments (1)

DOE proposal to rezone PS 12, PS 229 rescinded

Despite a former proposal to rezone them, PS 12 and PS 229 will remain in their current zones, according to School District 24 officials. Comment

Administrator sued in sexual abuse case at Long Island school

The city Department of Education said it was unaware of the fact that the new principal of Flushing High School had been accused of sexual harassment and racist remarks when he headed a Long Island middle school. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Prep grad identified in sex suit vs. school

A St. Francis Preparatory School graduate has revealed her name to the public in the midst of a $17 million sexual abuse lawsuit against her former school. Comments (7)

Corona Library one of city’s top five

Queens prides itself on having some of the best libraries in the city, and now the borough’s got the proof to back it up. Comment

DOE gives county 13 new district schools

At a borough board meeting earlier this week, the Bloomberg administration gave a presentation on the 13 district schools it opened this year that it said will provide high-quality options to thousands of students by the time they are enrolled at full scale in the coming years. Comment
Queens Village

Pol bashes Van Buren plan

The city Department of Education is inching along with a proposal to co-locate a new school at Martin Van Buren High School next year despite the opposition coming from elected officials and community leaders. Comment
Oakland Gardens

Three boro schools crack state’s top-25

A blue school rolled out the red carpet this week when city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott made a pit stop in Oakland Gardens to congratulate its students and teachers as some of the best in the state. Comments (2)

Pre-K seats still available: DOE

School districts in Queens still have pre-kindergarten seats available for the current school year, the city Education Department said. Comment
No Holds Barred

Why can’t New York City kids master the English language?

There has been more and more discussion recently about the sad state of English usage by American students. This apparently is not just a matter of elementary, middle or high schools. Students are entering college without the necessary tools to handle the language. Comments (12)

SJU pupils need to respect area

Years ago, when St. John’s University decided to build dormitories in an already-crowded neighborhood, many of us warned that this would result in our streets being inundated with hundreds of drunken students. That prediction has sadly come to pass many times over, with loud, disruptive and sometimes destructive behavior. Comment
The Civic Scene

Students must be taught new standards before being tested

The new Common Core standards were tested in New York state, although teachers had not been given the curriculum and students had not been taught the material. Common Core is the latest in a series of philosophies designed to raise the knowledge of students and their ability to function in our modern hi-tech world and be prepared for college. Comments (2)

SE Queens schools open their doors to fathers Tuesday

A number of southeast Queens schools will open their doors Tuesday to fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, foster fathers, godfathers, uncles, big brothers and any other father figure you can think of who want to show their young students that dad is there for them. Comments (1)
College Point

Cluster of Catholic schools close across Queens

Queens has been closing and merging several Catholic schools, with at least three shuttered in the last two years, the Brooklyn Diocese said, underscoring an ongoing battle to boost enrollment figures. Comments (2)

Whitestone firm aims to end school bus bullying

A borough transit company is participating in a national campaign to tackle bullying at one of its many sources: the school bus. Comment
Cambria Heights

Changes abound as students head back to school

Queens students headed back to school Monday morning for the first day of classes in the final school year of the Bloomberg administration. Comment

NYC school lunch menus serve up healthy eats

When New York City children shuffle into the cafeteria on Sept. 9 most probably won’t notice any changes at that first back-to-school lunch until they roll their trays up to the cash register. Comment

Teachers need a contract now

As the new school year nears, the teachers of our public school system still do not have a new, fair and affordable contract. Comments (1)

Blame mayoral control for bad teachers

Do not blame public school teachers for the drop in test scores. They have no control over curriculum and education policy. Almost every detail of their professional experiences is dictated to them. Comments (2)

August, 2013

Cambria Heights

Campus Magnet gets new HS

Educators are hoping the third time is a charm for the institution some in southeast Queens still refer to as Andrew Jackson High School. Comments (9)
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s prez clears name

An independent law firm’s investigation into the case of a late St. John’s University dean and fund-raiser who killed herself during her embezzlement trial found former President the Rev. Donald J. Harrington and Chief of Staff Rob Wile made “errors in judgment,” which “led to conflicts of interest,” but no criminal wrongdoing. Comments (1)
St. Albans

DOE plans new elementary school for St. Albans

The city Department of Education’s math does not add up, parents in southeast Queens say. Comment
New Voices

Elmhurst group helps South Asians get ready for college

Many immigrant families face anxiety when preparing their children for college. Some families, which have children who will be the first in their family to pursue higher education, are woefully unaware of the process. Comment

Return Auburndale’s PS 130 to District 26

The city School Construction Authority says that if residents do not want a new elementary school on the Keil Bros. property in Bayside, an alternate site should be recommended. Comments (1)

Borough’s education schools mold best city teachers: Report

Teachers in Queens public schools may not overwhelming choose to live in the borough, but they would be well-advised to study here. Comment
Mayoral Spin Cycle

Education reforms little more than the latest fads

New York City’s education system, like the rest of America’s, has been hijacked by politicians who are eager to tout their success at making much-needed gains. Comments (1)

Older students sit at the head of the class

Many older students returning to the classroom discover the experience is similar to accepting additional work as a weekend sales clerk or evening bartender. Comment

Hail to the Students

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. recently honored PS 122 students for their scores on New York state’s standardized tests. Pupils at the school in Astoria scored 71 percent at or above proficient in math and 69.7 percent at or above proficient in ELA – roughly 40 percent higher than both the city and state averages, Vallone said. Comment

Stars visit Queens College

Celebrity judges from “America’s Got Talent” visit the Queens College campus. Comment

Queens’ scores plunge on new state tests

As educators have been warning for some time, third-through-eighth-graders’ scores on the state’s English and math tests fell precipitously this year as New York implemented tougher standards, and Queens was no different. But while overall scores declined in the borough, data released by the state Department of Education show Queens outperformed statewide averages. Comments (1)

Council members from county give $29M to district schools

The 14 members of the borough’s City Council delegation gave almost half of their combined $66.4 million in capital budget member items to schools this year, although the way that money was spent varied from district to district. Comments (3)
College Point

College Point calls for new PS 29 head

Parents, teachers and a state lawmaker called for the ouster of a College Point elementary school principal last week. Comment
Springfield Gardens

State nixes liquor store

Springfield Gardens is two-for-two when it comes to fighting unwanted businesses near the neighborhood high school after the state rejected an application for a liquor store across the street. Comment
Queens Village

Van Buren gets $4 million

The state Education Department has set aside more than $4 million in federal money for a Queens Village high school on the mend. Comment

CB 11 deserves say on school site

On July 17, the Community Board 11 staff read, in the City Record, that the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses was, much to our surprise, holding the hearing July 22 for the location of the 416-seat elementary school in Bayside. Comment

CB 11 blasts city’s proposal for new school

Community Board 11 accused the city Education Department of trying to sneak through a proposal to build a primary school in Bayside despite widespread opposition. Comments (3)

July, 2013


Vallone city grant funds PS 17 academic program for summer

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and Astoria nonprofit Zone 126 teamed up in early July to fund PS 17’s summer learning program for students, the organization said. Comments (5)

Bayside protests proposed school on 48th Avenue

The city was days away from pushing forward a widely unpopular plan to build a new primary school in Bayside when political opposition put the vote on hold, officials said. Comments (3)
Queens Village

Van Buren faces co-location

The city is considering the co-location of a charter school at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village that could cut 500 seats, a city Education Department spokesman said, despite borough leaders’ concerns. Comment
The Civic Scene

Common Core standards will do more harm than good

Hurricane Sandy devastated whole communities throughout New York City. Schools in these areas that were not damaged became community centers for people displaced by the storm. Even today, some homes have not been rebuilt. Comment
Jamaica Estates

Former Niagara president to take helm at St. John’s

St. John’s board of trustees said the Rev. Joseph Levesque, the former president of Niagara University, has been elected interim president of the nation’s second-largest Catholic University to replace the Rev. Donald Harrington, who announced his retirement in May. Comments (1)

Teachers accuse Elmhurst principal of racism

The city Department of Education is investigating the principal of an Elmhurst high school who allegedly made racist remarks about two teachers who were later fired, a DOE spokesman said. Comment
The Civic Scene

Queens high school students win many awards, scholarships

With the ending of the 2012-13 school year, it is time to recount some of the good things going on in our Queens high schools. Comment

June, 2013


Grad Rates Still Lag

Queens got its annual report card and a passing grade last week on the number of students graduating from high school after four years, which was achieved despite tougher Regents exams. Comment

Free lunches available for pupils at boro sites

Children from Queens and the rest of the city can get free, healthy food all summer starting this week. Comments (1)

Jamaica HS gets poor grade

Newly released figures by the state show Jamaica High School saw its graduation rate drop almost 40 percent the year the city started phasing out the troubled institution, and supporters of the school said the numbers are proof the school has been left to fail. Comment

HS grad rate falls in Queens in 2012

The graduation rate for Queens high schoolers dropped about 2 percent last year as changes were made to diploma requirements, but the percentage of pupils leaving college-ready climbed, with Hispanic students making gains on closing the education gap. Comment
Long Island City

Blankfein attends LCC graduation

LaGuardia Community College, which seems to operate under the motto Ad Astra Per Aspera — “To the stars despite adversity” — last week heard commencement speakers who understand that concept. Comment

QCC gets new prez at 2013 graduation

This year’s 52nd Queensborough Community College commencement ceremony was a last hurrah for more than 2,000 graduates, but also a new beginning for its first female president. Comments (2)

State Ed Dept. imposes teacher evaluation sytem

After the city and the teachers union failed to reach an agreement earlier this year on a new teacher evaluation system, state education officials last week came out with a plan. Comment

Do not stress pupils with tests

There must be no more additional state testing mandated for our students. What there must be is more teaching of subject matter so students can learn in classrooms and not be so overwhelmed with preparing for state tests. Comment

York sends off Class of ‘13

The commencement speaker at York College’s 43rd graduation counseled a class of predominantly minority women students not to let the obstacles of racism, sexism and prejudice get in the way of their career goals. Comment

Queens College lauds 2013 graduates

Queens College’s class of 2013 sweated through their graduation ceremony last week while receiving some parting advice from a distinguished alumnus who got his start in the borough. Comment
Bayside Hills

Spelling champion has Bayside abuzz

Oakland Gardens’ Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School has been buzzing with excitement on the news that one of its own was crowned a national spelling bee champion. Comment

Townsend leads boro’s stars

Two Bayside high schools, along with eight others from across the borough landed in the annual Top 2,000 list put out by Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Comment

Return PS 130 to District 26

PS 130, at 200-01 42nd Ave. in Bayside, currently mainly serves District 25 students. The school, however, is geographically in District 26 and historically was a K-6 and K-8 school for students living on the Auburndale-Bayside border. Comment

Queens Tomorrow: Student enrollment on the rise

With more than 290,000 students attending the borough’s public schools last year, Queens had the second-highest enrollment across the city. Comment

May, 2013

Bayside Hills

Bayside Hills eighth-grader aces national spelling bee

A Bayside Hills eighth-grader spelled his way to a national championship in his fourth and final crack at the competition, beating out 280 other spellers from across the country. Comments (2)
Long Island City

Innocent man talks about justice delayed at LaGuardia CC

Students at LaGuardia Community College Tuesday heard the firsthand account of a man who was freed from prison with help from another wrongly convicted man as well as his views on the criminal justice system that sent him to jail for nearly a quarter of a century for a murder he did not commit. Comments (1)
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s grads welcome future challenges

St. John’s University class of 2013 student speaker Kevin Lee Grover summed it up with three words when asked what his generation had the potential to do in the years ahead: Change the world. Comments (3)
Long Island City

LaGuardia unveils trove of City Council records online

Scores of legislative documents, photos and other records that recount the sometimes mundane but other times controversial history of the City Council are now available in an online database LaGuardia Community College unveiled last week. Comment

Bayside board wants PS 130 back in district

After hearing the city proposal to address overcrowding with a new elementary school in the heart of Bayside, Community Board 11 members renewed an old battle to bring back a school in Auburndale their district once had. Comments (1)
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s students prepare for graduation this weekend

Thousands of guests and graduates are expected to pack the Great Lawn at St. John’s University in Jamaica Estates this Sunday during the school’s 143rd commencement. Comment

Israel, Meng co-sponsor bill on student loan rates

The clock is ticking for Congress to act on what U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville) called a time bomb on college affordability for more than 7 million students. Comment

DOE proposes boro school to broaden gifted program

For years Queens parents whose youngsters won a coveted spot in the city’s most competitive gifted programs have had to look outside the borough once their children reached middle school, but now the city Department of Education has plans to expand the offerings in Astoria. Comments (2)

Hillcrest school program faces ax after 13 years

The city has spared one Hillcrest after-school program from the budget dance for 13 years, but is now planning to completely cut off its funding, program directors said at a Tuesday rally. Comment

CB 11 opposes Bayside school site

A city proposal to build an elementary school in the heart of Bayside has Community Board 11 members on the edge of their seats with concerns over congestion and traffic trouble. Comments (2)
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s University president resigns

The Rev. Donald J. Harrington was praised for his accomplishments reforming St. John’s University during his tenure as president following the surprise announcement that he was retiring Friday in the wake of two New York Magazine articles accusing him of taking gifts and vacations from a powerful school fund-raiser who killed herself during her fraud trial. Comment

CB 11 opposes potential site for new school

A heated and sometimes contentious Community Board 11 meeting Monday night ended with a unified opposition to a proposal to install an elementary school in the footprint of 83-year Bayside mainstay Keil Bros. Garden Center. Comments (1)
South Ozone Park

Borough college students visit Resorts World career day

Life after college is often filled with odd jobs, student loan payments and massive debt, and even if a student lands a job in his or her chosen career, it does not guarantee a substantial payday or even a living wage. Comment
Queens Village

Martin Van Buren principal launches pre-med program

The launching of a new pre-med program has helped lift Martin Van Buren High School onto a steady path to recovery, administrators said. Comments (1)

Beloved pol’s name set for Ridgewood school

A school in Ridgewood will bear the name of a glass ceiling-shattering congresswoman from Queens when it opens this fall. Comment

Task force to tackle overcrowded schools in western Qns.

To address overcrowding in western Queens, the city Department of Education opened PS 307 in Corona in 2008, but it soon became evident more was needed. Comment

April, 2013


MoMI, Taft Institute plan teaching seminar

The Taft Institute for Government at Queens College is teaming up with The Museum of the Moving Image to present a seminar for teachers on the topics of immigration and the city’s upcoming elections. Comment

Qns students tackle Common Core tests

As students in Queens and across the city last week began taking the state’s new, tougher English and math exams, parents and teachers expressed concerns that their students would be graded on tests for which they were not adequately prepared. Comment

Engineering floats students’ boats at Jamaica HS campus

More than two dozen teams of excited students attempted with varying degrees of success to traverse the pool at the Jamaica High School campus last week in cardboard boats held together with duct tape. Comment
Jackson Heights

Liu discusses education platform at boro meeting

City Comptroller John Liu, a Democratic mayoral candidate, told a small crowd in Jackson Heights earlier this week his educational policy is not set in stone, but he did offer up some pretty strong opinions on career and technical training programs as an alternative to college. Comment

PS 122 parents, staff save gifted program from cuts

A cherished gifted and talented program at PS 122 in Astoria that the city Department of Education had slated for a massive scaling back will remain unchanged after all, several area legislators said this week. Comment

New high schools set for Flushing building

The principals of two new high schools are eager to open within the walls of Flushing HS this fall as part of a controversial co-location program at the troubled institution. Comment

Holocaust survivors share stories with Bayside students

A Cardozo High School English teacher in Bayside took a page out of the history book when she corralled nearly 800 students into an auditorium to hear the story of Holocaust survivors. Comments (3)

Pols push for Bayside Beacon funding

Fighting to save Bayside’s Beacon program has become all too routine for leaders in northeast Queens, but this year’s battle comes with a twist. Comment
Long Island City

Laguardia Community College offers career options workshop

LaGuardia Community College plans to offer a workshop featuring career options. Comment
Long Island City

Laguardia Community College offers free college prep workshop

A free college workshop is scheduled to be held at LaGuardia Community College. Comment
Richmond Hill

Rich Hill elementary tops for Latino pupils

Richmond Hill’s Jackie Kennedy-Onassis school was named one of the best elementary schools in the state for helping Latino, low-income and English-language learners get a leg up, according to a recent analysis of New York’s 4,000-plus public schools by a nonprofit educational-advocacy group. Comment
Long Island City

Bloomberg to open 15 new schools in boro

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced 78 new schools will open across the city in September — including 15 in Queens — at a news conference Tuesday held at a Long Island City school that is the future home of a new technical academy. Comment

Youth learn to succeed at Eagle Week

Eagle Week is back! Comment

Keep gifted program in boro school

On March 6, the PTA of PS 122 held a rally that filled the school’s auditorium with concerned parents, teachers, kids, educators and legislators. The reason: the city Department of Education’s proposed changes to a gifted and talented academy that has been a successful model for similar programs for the past 25 years. Comment

March, 2013


UFT, city need to settle on a contract

This October will be four years since the United Federation of Teachers contract expired. Comments (5)
Glen Oaks

PS 115 students donate $1,000 to help veterans

Dozens of youngsters enrolled in a Glen Oaks elementary after-school program learned the meaning of community service last week in more ways than one. Comment

Renaissance Middle School inaugurates clubs and officers

The Renaissance Middle School in St. Albans recently held an inauguration ceremony for its clubs and officers. Comment
Jackson Heights

Coalition creates bus for education reform

School buses bring kids to places where they can get information and learn, but a bus tour that came to Queens Monday brought information to their parents. Comment
Cambria Heights

Ed panel OKs schools inside of Flushing HS

It was just after 1 a.m. Tuesday — inside a Brooklyn high school auditorium that seemed all the more cavernous due to its mostly empty seats — that a city education panel approved what most presumed had been decided months ago. Comment

Honoring America’s History at East-West School

The East-West School of International Studies recently held aribbon-cutting for its Civil Rights Wall, which features prominent figures in the the civil rights movement. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Teens tackle tough issues at St. John’s youth conference

Scott Fried did not have the room’s undivided attention as he told a group of teenagers his story about going to a near-stranger’s home in Manhattan 25 years ago for a hook-up. Comment
Cambria Heights

City panel votes to close two Queens high schools

A city panel voted in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday to approve the closures of two high schools at the Campus Magnet complex in Cambria Heights and place new schools in the buildings currently occupied by Newtown and Flushing high schools. Comments (1)

City and UFT need to work together

The failure of the city and the United Federation of Teachers to reach an agreement regarding new teacher evaluations is a disgrace. Comment

City panel to vote on fate of four Queens high schools

The city Panel for Educational Policy will vote in Brooklyn Monday night on proposals to either co-locate or phase out four Queens high schools. Comment
The Civic Scene

Boro high school student embodies success, hard work

Brandon Newell is a respected student by Principal Lynn C. Callender, of the Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School in the Campus Complex in Cambria Heights. She said when she assumed the leadership of the school last September, Brandon was one of the first students who came to her with suggestions on how to help the school move forward. Comment

Competition for pre-K seats promises to be fierce

Queens public schools will have 216 more free, pre-kindergarten seats available next year, and if the demand for this year’s seats is any indication, there will still be more than four applications for every open slot across the borough. Comments (1)

Boro education rep to oppose altering schools at panel vote

The Queens representative on the city Panel for Education Policy said he intends to vote against proposals to co-locate and phase out borough high schools at the panel’s meeting next week. Comments (1)
Glen Oaks

Weprin unlocks groups ban

Despite a recent uproar over the validity of civic-minded groups such as co-op and condominium organizations being allowed to meet in public schools, the city Department of Education assured them that the doors would remain open. Comment

Maspeth High celebrates new 74th Street building

After a controversial first year of incubation at Queens Metropolitan High School, Maspeth HS cut the ribbon Monday on its new building. Comment
Rockaway Park

Mayor’s Fund dedicates $2M to academic support

Queens schools that were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy are among 39 citywide learning centers set to receive a boost of relief funds. Comment
Howard Beach

Walcott reveals concerns about PS 207 at hearing

PS 207 in Howard Beach was so badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy that the city Department of Education was initially concerned it would have to be demolished, according to testimony from the department’s chancellor at a City Council oversight hearing on storm preparedness Tuesday. Comment

February, 2013


Student arrests drop 41 percent in boro schools

The number of students arrested in Queens public schools during the last three months of 2012 dropped 41 percent, although minority students in the southern part of the borough continued to account for the majority of the arrests, city Police Department records showed. Comment

Bus drivers’ strike comes to halt, ending costly commute in Queens

Thousands of students in Queens and the other boroughs boarded their school buses for the first time in more than a month Wednesday after union leaders gave drivers the green light, putting the brakes on a controversial strike. Comment

Bus companies bid for routes amid drivers’ strike

The city Department of Education started reviewing bids from various bus companies for the 1,100 routes that initially went out to bid in December in the latest chapter of the now month-long union bus drivers’ strike. Comment

Flour babies in Bayside tackle teen pregnancy

A sociology teacher at Bayside’s Benjamin N. Cardozo High School got a rise out of her students when she chose to fight teenage pregnancy with sacks of flour. Comments (6)

Boro braces for another Beacon battle in Bayside

Battle cries to save Bayside’s beloved Beacon program echoed throughout the community last year, but not for the last time. Comment

Construction starts on new Sunnyside school

In what is happily becoming a more common occurrence in the overcrowded school districts of western Queens, elected and school officials met in Sunnyside last week to break ground on a new kindergarten-to-fifth-grade school. Comment

Lawmakers renew call for Lunar New Year school holiday

A group of lawmakers is calling for the Lunar New Year to be made a school holiday in the city, but the message has fallen on deaf ears in the state Legislature many times before. Comments (2)

State must find funding in budget for early education

I am writing to request that you hold the funding levels for Early Intervention Programs and preschool services at the same levels that were enacted in the 2012-13 state budget in your executive budget proposal for fiscal year 2013-14 and commit to doing so in future budgets. Comment

School bus drivers’ strike puts brakes on APEC programs

It has been a bumpy ride for Douglaston’s Alley Pond Environmental Center. Comments (2)
Little Neck

Weprin, Liu propose changes to city’s education panel

State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and city Comptroller John Liu each have a proposal on the table to reform the controversial Panel for Educational Policy, which has been criticized as a rubber stamp for the mayor’s school-closing policy. Comments (3)

Walcott vows to end teacher review impasse

City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has had his hands full since union bus drivers went on strike just days before Mayor Michael Bloomberg failed to reach a deal with the teachers’ union, leading to the loss of nearly $450 million in state and federal assistance. Comments (2)

Interns learn of comfort women in Queensboro program

The crimes were committed decades ago, but elected officials and college students still grappled with the harsh realities faced by Korean comfort women as Queensborough Community College capped off its first East Asia history internships. Comment

City proposes two new schools located inside of Flushing HS

The city Department of Education is proposing to slash enrollment at Flushing High School over the next four years and locate two additional high schools within its walls. Comments (1)

January, 2013

Ozone Park

Ozone Park HS gets $5K for engineering

An influx of money will help an Ozone Park school engineer some higher learning. Comment

Bus Drivers Are Not Selfish Thugs

Since they went on strike just over a week ago, the city’s school bus drivers have been vilified by the media and political leaders who said the “selfish drivers” were “holding the children hostage.” Comment

Cuomo’s Arbitrary Deadline

At a time when the city Department of Education is faced with overcrowded classrooms, outdated textbooks and a shortage of basic supplies, the city has lost out on up to $450 million in state education funds. Comment

Teacher grading stalls city

Leaders throughout the city and state gave a resounding F to the Bloomberg administration and city teachers’ union after both sides failed to reach an agreement on a new evaluation system to oversee more than 75,000 public school teachers. Comments (1)

Union walks the line as bus strike persists

City bus drivers who feel the mayor left them out in the cold took to the picket line in Ridgewood Friday. Comments (2)
College Point

St. Fidelis School to close in June

A storied Catholic school in College Point is set to close in the spring, ending more than 150 years of providing education for the area, but a College Point civic association is trying to turn the site into a public school. Comments (8)

DOE rejects armed guards in District 24

City officials said they do not intend to recognize a Community Education Council resolution seeking to place armed, retired police officers in schools across the city. Comment
Fresh Meadows

St. Francis Prep has boro’s only Intel semi-finalist

Several students who live in Queens were named as semi-finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest pre-college science competition that recognizes outstanding research. Comments (1)
Howard Beach

Life regains some normalcy for PS 207 students

After two months of being displaced from their school due to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, parents and children say they are thrilled classes have once again started at PS 207 in Howard Beach. Comment

Education in

We congratulate Cardozo High School Principal Gerald Martori for recognizing just how important it is that students in the 21st century understand China and the Asian culture. Comments (6)

Macchiarola will be sorely missed

Last month, New York City lost one of its most respected and effective schools chancellor when Frank Macchiarola died. His service as chancellor coincided with the period of my husband Leonard’s service as chairman of the state Assembly Education Committee. Comment

DOE Doesn’t Learn

What will it take to convince the city Department of Education that its shoot-first, ask-questions-later approach to improving schools isn’t working? Comment
The Civic Scene

DOE must be more understanding of autistic students

When one reads that the city Department of Education suspended dozens of special needs 4- and 5-year-olds last year, one has to suspect the DOE is failing some of our most fragile children. This revelation comes on the heels of new policies for special needs students just initiated this school year. Comment

City bus drivers stage strike

Parents throughout Queens geared up for a dramatic change to their daily routines after union bus drivers enacted a strike with hopes of retaining certain job guarantees. Comments (2)

Bus drivers’ strike strands Queens students

Union bus drivers’ decision to go on strike Wednesday morning marked the beginning of a new reality for more than 152,000 city students who were left without rides to school. Comment
Education UPDATED

School bus drivers’ union calls Wednesday strike

City officials prepared for the worst as union bus drivers said they would strike Wednesday morning, leaving more than 150,000 students without rides to school, the Department of Education said. Comment

Cardozo principal pledges to improve Chinese program

A northeast Queens educator has taken his own learning experience abroad to expand his teaching opportunities at home. Comments (5)

New 350-seat annex set for overcrowded PS 11

After a decade and a half of waiting, Woodside’s PS 11 will at last be getting an annex to replace its worn-out modular units. Comment
Cambria Heights

City plans to close three struggling boro schools

The city earlier this week announced it plans to phase out and replace three Queens schools. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Students back teacher fired from St. Francis

A Fresh Meadows Catholic prep school teacher who told the media he was pressured to resign because he is transgender is being supported by droves of former students, fellow teachers and others in an online petition demanding the school apologize for its behavior. Comments (22)

City’s schools brace for bus driver strike

A looming threat to strike by city school bus drivers could strand as many as 150,000 students, including thousands with special needs, if the union gives workers the green light, the city Department of Education said this week. Comments (2)

City teachers need a contract in 2013

As this year draws to a close, city public schools teachers will start 2013 without a new contract. Comments (1)

Labor dispute threatens city’s school bus service

A threat to strike could leave more than 150,000 students stranded in the coming days as the city grapples with union bus drivers to agree on job security, the union leadership said this week. Comment


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