December, 2014


Koo calls for better security in non-public schools

City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) introduced legislation last week that would require the NYPD to provide some security measures for non-public schools. Comments (2)

No school on Diwali, Lunar New Year

Starting next year, school holidays will be allowed on Lunar New Year, Diwali and Eid. Comments (6)
Kew Gardens

Farina discusses dual langauge push

Surrounded by community and ethnic news outlets, city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced plans to open 40 dual language programs across the city next fall. Comments (2)

High school graduation rate rises in Queens

Queens’ public high schools have seen a modest increase in the number of students who graduated in August, according to data released by the city Department of Education. Comments (1)

Stavisky: Keep specialized HS test

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) says she supports keeping the specialized high school admissions test as the sole factor for admission to the city’s specialized high schools. Comments (5)

Elmhurst kid center of media storm after stock market fib

An Elmhurst teenager is apologizing for a fib that swept him, and a buddy, into a media firestorm this week. Mohammed Islam, 17, is admitting that he made up a story about making $72 million trading stocks at school, but not before a magazine article generated headlines around the world with the release of its issue Sunday. Comments (1)

SUNY combats sexual attacks on campus with new policy

In an effort to reduce sexual assaults on its 64 campuses, the State University of New York announced a “yes means yes” uniformed policy requiring “clear, unambiguous, informed, and voluntary agreement” between partners. Comment
Kew Gardens

Boro schools lose track of computers: Stringer

A total of 35 computers and iPads were missing and 125 such devices sat unused when an audit of the city school system’s tech contracts reviewed four campuses across the borough, city Comptroller Scott Stringer said earlier this month. Comments (2)
Kew Gardens

Strong PTA key to strengthening schools

About two dozen concerned parents, PTA officers and parent advocates met to discuss the ever-increasing need for enhanced parent and school involvement in Queens’ public schools and the positive impact this would have on their children’s education last week at Queens Borough Hall. Comments (3)
St. Albans

Banks writes book on his Eagle schools’ success

Parents get upset when their kids are not admitted into an Eagle Academy school’s sixth grade class due to a lack of seats. After all, the all-boys public school network has an excellent reputation and a high school graduation rate of more than 80 percent. College acceptance for the graduates is 100 percent. Comment

Molloy teacher to take part in Holocaust Remembrance at Auschwitz

A Briarwood teacher was one of only 25 educators from around the world chosen to participate in a unique professional development program in Poland as part of “Auschwitz: The Past is Present.” The program is part of the official observance of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp. Comments (3)

Flushing principal faces sexual harassment suit

A former teacher at John Bowne High School in Flushing filed a federal lawsuit against the principal, Howard Kwait, over sexual harassment and pressure to inflate grades Monday, court documents show. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Francis Lewis HS JROTC gets perfect score

The Francis Lewis High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in Fresh Meadows is the first and only school in its brigade to receive a U.S. Defense Department honor with distinction award with a perfect score for the 2014-15 academic year. Comment
Forest Hills

Meng says she saved college from closure

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) said Monday she saved Bramson ORT College from shutting its doors, but she and the Forest Hills college would not discuss details of the school’s trajectory. Comment

A mission to give a voice to all victims

Arthur Flug retired at the turn of the century after 40 years of work, first at the city’s Board of Education and then with a Queens lawmaker because “I wanted time for myself.” Comment

November, 2014


Braunstein announces essay contest winners

More than 600 students participated in the latest edition of Assemblyman Ed Braunstein’s (D-Bayside) Halloween Essay and Drawing Contest. Last year, the number of entries totaled only about 300. Comment
Fresh Meadows

RoboMindTech teams to compete at robot Olympiad in Russia

Six students from the RoboMindTech Science and Technology Learning Center in Fresh Meadows will represent the United States this Friday in the 11th World Robot Olympiad in Sochi, Russia, one of the world’s largest robotics competitions. Comment
Jackson Heights

Smart Schools Bond Act passes

Western Queens lawmakers are applauding the overwhelming approval of the Smart Schools Bond Act by voters statewide on Election Day. Comments (1)

Embrace diversity in city schools

Several of my council colleagues have introduced legislation calling for measures to address the problem of segregation in the city school system. Representing the most diverse district in New York City, I share my colleagues’ enthusiasm for the tremendous benefits of integrated learning environments, as well as their concerns about de facto diversity in our schools. At the same time, I have deep misgivings about any attempts to eliminate school zones. Comments (3)
Richmond Hill

Rich Hill HS trailers slated for removal: DOE

Richmond Hill High is slated to shake off the trailers languishing in its yard and make room for an outdoor athletic space, the city said. Comment
East Elmhurst

Vaughn College installs new president

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology inaugurated its first female president in its 82-year history last week. Comment

Chilean educators learn from Bayside school

Chilean educators got a taste of the American educational system. Actually, they got a taste of Oakland Garden’s PS 203, where students put on a show to welcome the South American professionals. Comment

Mayor’s education plan targets 12 boro schools

Queens elected officials cheered Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to transform 94 of the city’s — and 12 of Queens’ — worst performing schools by adding an hour of instruction, bolstering professional development and boosting mental health and social services at the campuses. Comment

Stringer audits Merrick Academy in Laurelton

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has launched an audit of a Laurelton charter school along with three others. Comments (1)

York College honors longest-serving president with performing arts building

Donald Vernon graduated from York College in 1990. Long before he moved his tassel from right to left, he led a group of students to lock the school campus down to protest tuition hikes. Comment

October, 2014


Townsend Harris ranked best high school in Queens

This is a tough final examination, one that students don’t have to memorize to be ready for it but need to do lots of research to make the right choice. Comments (1)
Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights middle school opens much needed annex

Relief has come for one school in District 30, one of most overcrowded in the city. Comments (1)
South Jamaica

Four new charter schools coming to Queens

The SUNY board of trustees has approved four new charter schools that will open in Queens. Comments (2)

Bayside middle school blows out candles on 60th

Bayside’s Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74 is turning 60. Comments (1)

City Council gives proclamation to Queens College Greek center

City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) presented Queens College Center for Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies with a proclamation last week to honor the Flushing school’s Greek programs. Comment

Sacred Heart celebrates 90th birthday

Sacred Heart School came together in a street fair last Friday in an effort to raise money to renovate its 90-year-old boy’s bathroom. Comment

Queens schools honored

The U.S. Secretary of Education announced this week two Queens schools will be honored with the National Blue Ribbon. Comment
Ozone Park

City plans primary school for 500 pupils in Ozone Pk

The city is hoping to alleviate crowded classrooms in Ozone Park by building a primary school on Albert Road, but some say that could leave more than students squeezed for space. Comment

Laurelton students reunite 44 years later

They moved out of Laurelton back in the 1970s, leaving their beloved neighborhood physically behind. Comments (10)

September, 2014

Forest Hills

Plaza College’s heart pumps again

Plaza College went from the agonizing tears of the fire that ripped through its campus in Jackson Heights in April to the tears of joy for inaugurating its state-of-the-art educational facility in Forest Hills. Comment

Some students not receiving free lunches

A mix-up surrounding the city’s new free lunch program for middle school students was misinterpreted by districts around the city, resulting in some students being sent to school without a lunch. Comments (1)
Springfield Gardens

Miller welcomes community to St. Albans office

This open house included hotdogs and burgers, but the house was not for sale. Comments (1)
Jamaica Hills

Students protests scheduling concerns

Gateway students made a ruckus to rival the morning bell last Friday. Comments (17)
Springfield Gardens

Community rallies for students at IS 59

It was not your typical morning school bell ring at IS 9 in Springfield Gardens Monday. Comment
Springfield Gardens

Parents and pols rally in support of students and IS 59

Dozens of parents, neighbors and elected officials rallied Monday morning at IS 59 in Springfield Gardens to show their support for the children, the school and their education. Comment

PS 101 teacher protested

The city has pulled a PS 101 teacher with a history of using corporal punishment from the classroom and given him administrative duties in the Forest Hills Gardens school after parents protested last week, the city Department of Education said. Comment

Pre-K Prognosis

Mayor Bill de Blasio came to Queens last week on a whirlwind tour of the five boroughs to usher in his pre-K program for 51,500 children. He and his entourage visited the Home Sweet Home pre-K center in Fresh Meadows, which has been in need of programs for its growing population of 4-year-olds. Comments (2)
Jamaica Hills

Staff leave Gateway amid investigation

At least two administrators and one teacher have departed from Queens Gateway as the city investigates students’ and parents’ allegations of mismanagement at the Jamaica Hills school. Comments (60)

McDonald’s manager’s life story inspires young workers

Hugo Zenerato is a busy young man. Comments (3)

City applauds pay raise for school bus drivers

City officials celebrated the recent passage of a resolution signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio last week that will raise the pay of school bus drivers across New York City. Comments (1)

Pols celebrate pre-K grants from state at Elmhurst site

Elected officials and educators gathered in Elmhurst this week to celebrate the implementation of $340 million in state grant money for universal pre-kindergarten and to call for more funding to continue expanding the program across New York. Comment
The Civic Scene

Help out public schools before criticizing their performances

As a new school year starts in New York City, the city Department of Education has several problems, some of which are endemic, but one should not dwell on negative things when we have so many positive things going on in our schools. But the media loves negative things so that is what we see. Comment
Jamaica Hills

Jamaica bookbags donated

It’s time to hit the books — again. Comments (1)

Queensborough awards 90-year-old long-awaited degree

It took him nearly 50 years, but former Queensborough Community College student Alexander Phillips has finally received his college degree. Comments (1)

Queens College greets new prez as classes begin

Queens College welcomed a number of new faces last week as students flowed into campus for the upcoming school year. Comments (1)

York College honors late President Bassin with building

York College, one of 11 senior colleges of the City University of New York, is honoring its longest-serving president in an eternal way. Comment

August, 2014


Finish renovating PS 162 now

Children are looking forward to the upcoming school year: new backpacks, school supplies and clothes. Teachers are hard at work decorating classrooms to create a positive experience for their students. Comment

Pols tout college savings bill

In an effort to combat what many middle-class families say is a becoming a growing financial burden, two Queens lawmakers have written legislation that would reduce the cost of applying for college. Comment
New Voices

Blacks, Hispanics lag behind whites, Asians on tests

In a report released Aug. 14, city students made modest gains on state English and math examinations. The boost was touted by the de Blasio administration as a reflection of the city’s successful implementation of Common Core standards, now in its second year since its inception in New York state. Comments (8)

SE Queens men petition city for more class time

They are incensed by the reception at the 113th Precinct, disturbed by the unemployment among young black men and concerned about health disparities. Comment
Mayoral Spin Cycle

City needs to work hard so pre-K’s success is ensured

When my children were enrolled in a private pre-K program more than a decade ago, I used to jokingly — but nervously — wonder out loud why I had to pay more than $15,000 to have my kids learn finger painting. Comment

Test scores improve in boro

New York City school students posted some of the most significant improvements in the most recent round of Common Core state testing scores, the state Education Department reported last week. Comment

Queensborough singled out for $11.5M in state grants

Queensborough Community College was awarded more than $11 million in CUNY grants last week that will be used to update facilities and programs throughout the campus. Comment

Liu announces plan to reform education

State Senate hopeful John Liu met with parents and educators in Bayside last week to unveil a comprehensive plan aimed at reforming public education. Comments (24)
Little Neck

‘Dangerous’ schools named

Three Queens institutions were among a slew of city public schools named as the most persistently dangerous schools in New York, according to the state Education Department. Comments (5)

School to start earlier

The city Department of Education is expected to move up the start time for hundreds of schools starting this fall. Comments (7)

Central Library to close for day

The Queens Central Library will close its doors for a day Aug. 11 to complete work to renovate the customer service and circulation areas. Comment

Bring back corporal punishment

With so many students in high school who are constantly misbehaving, which severely disrupts the learning process and causes many teachers to leave the profession, perhaps it is time once again to consider reinstating corporal punishment in the high schools, both public and private. Comments (6)

July, 2014


Hollis scholarships send a dozen students to college

Jeff Oyo is enjoying his last vacation days. Comment

Civic needs to meet chancellor

On Feb. 28, the Auburndale Improvement Association Inc. sent city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña a letter requesting to meet with her regarding PS 130, at 200-01 42nd Ave. in Bayside. Comment

Let teachers evaluate principals

Should teachers evaluate the performance of their principals? Comment
Rochdale Village

Rochdale Library to get new roof in summer

The Rochdale Village Library is expected to temporarily close the book Aug. 2 to undergo a $4.1 million renovation project that includes a new roof. Comment

Boro home to third of crowded city schools

Roughly one-third of the city’s most overcrowded schools are in Queens, a recent report from city Comptroller Scott Stringer said. Comments (3)

Hostos president tapped to lead Queens College

Queens College has a new president. Comments (1)
The Civic Scene

Boro high school students impress with their accomplishments

Valedictorians achieve the highest grades in a graduating class, and they are often active students. Comment
Jamaica Hills

Jamaica High hands out last batch of diplomas to 25

School’s out. Forever. Comments (3)

Woodhaven school honors alum killed by remote-controlled helicopter

High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture teachers hope an inaugural scholarship commemorating alumnus Roman Pirozek will help the late Woodhaven teen’s spirit and skills live on in the tools of a future tradesman. Comment

June, 2014


Bayside street named for late PS 41 teacher

Queens officially named its first street in honor of a teacher when dozens gathered to pay tribute to Geraldine “Geri” Cilmi beside PS 41 last Friday afternoon. Comments (1)
Springfield Gardens

Parents disapprove of charter school at PS 15

Parents and community activists from southeast Queens expressed their concerns about the project to co-locate a Success Academy school at the IS 59 building in Springfield Gardens during a meeting with the city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Comment
Jamaica Hills

Last grads close door forever at Jamaica HS

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola wandered the Jamaica High School halls in the mid-1950s. Comments (3)

A dozen public high schools place among elite in state, U.S. rankings

One of the many perks about living in Queens is having easy access to several public high schools that are often credited as being some of the best in the country. Comments (3)
The Civic Scene

Charters must accept problem students like public schools

Regretfully, many schools are considered failures due to conditions beyond the control of teachers and administrators. Comment

Change entrance criteria for elite schools: Kim

A bill which would change test criteria for the city’s specialized high school entrance exams has been smothered by racially charged debate, state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) said. Comments (19)

Council vows to bring back Peter F. Vallone Scholarship

City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) has launched an initiative aimed at restoring the Peter F. Vallone Academic Scholarship in honor of his father that was cut from the Council’s funding in 2011. Comment
Long Island City

Protesters want Bryant principal gone

The principal at William Cullen Bryant High School has come under fire in Long Island City. Comment
St. Albans

Collecting cans turns trash into scholarships

Growing up as a kid in Jamaica in the 1980s, chemistry professor Kwesi Amoa collected cans and plastic bottles to buy clothes for the next school year. Comments (1)
Jamaica Estates

Union fights SJU for painting jobs

After weeks of protests and a lack of negotiations, the painters union that claims St. John’s University shut them out of dozens of summer jobs is prepared to continue the fight. Comment

Charter schools eye 14 new spots in city

Success Academy Charter Schools announced this week it planned to submit applications to open more than a dozen new locations in four of the five boroughs, including four schools in Queens, in response to what the organization said is an “all-time high” in demand for charter school seats. Comment

Schools chancellor pushes pre-K in local-based centers

City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña wants to make sure every parent in every neighborhood in the city knows about the city Department of Education’s initiatives, especially the free pre-kindergarten program being offered at community-based organizations. Comments (2)

Student artists address social issues in works

Learning through an Expanded Arts Program, student artists have created artwork that speaks to major social issues in their communities. Comments (1)
Rego Park

Student from Romania wins transfer scholarship at LaGuardia

An international LaGuardia Community College student and a 40-year-old single mother of two, Cristina Mihailescu defeated all the odds when she was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship, the most prestigious available for community college students. Comments (1)

Education better under de Blasio

Faith in our public school frontline educators has not only survived the lies, schemes and indecencies of a bygone Gracie Mansion absentee resident, sundry media rogues and other accomplices in full retreat, but has strengthened ever since a pro-education mayor, not prone to insulting the intelligence of New Yorkers, took office after a dozen years of mindless antagonism. Comments (3)
Long Island City

Restore scholarships: Vallone Sr.

Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. is urging the Committee on Higher Education to restore the NYC Academic Scholarship Program that was abolished in 2012. Comment
Long Island City

LaGuardia CC grads told never to stand still in life

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez implored more than 1,000 LaGuardia Community College graduates never to give in to adversity while television newsman Ray Suarez said their need for more education was infinite. Comment

York College graduates face challenges of the future

York College valedictorian Katsiaryna Hud revealed the secret to success to her fellow 1,069 graduates at the 44th commencement ceremony of the Jamaica campus. Comment
Jamaica Hills

Disabled kids in limbo

Her son was struggling at Queens Gateway, but Sandra Williams put off requesting a hearing with the city, hoping the special education certificate she was told his instructor had would materialize and his lessons would improve. Comments (2)
Jackson Heights

Queens Community House and Plaza College struggle

Administrators of Queens Community House still face logistical nightmares after their main headquarters in Jackson Heights was destroyed in a massive five-alarm blaze April 21. Comment

Thousands celebrate graduation from Queensborough

More than 2,000 students celebrated the end of a chapter of their lives while also preparing to begin a new one as the Queensborough Community College Class of 2014 walked across the stage last Friday. Comments (3)

Teachers union approves 9-yr contract with DOE

The United Federation of Teachers approved a ground-breaking contract this week that will implement several changes to improve education and increase the influence teachers have in the decision-making process inside schools. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

Francis Lewis JROTC departs for Normandy

Nineteen members of the storied Junior ROTC program at Francis Lewis High School embarked on the trip of a lifetime this week as they headed to Europe to participate in the anniversary celebration of D-Day, the same week that City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) launched a fight to remove the programs from schools. Comment
Long Island City

U.S. labor secretary tells LaGuardia CC grads to never give up

More than 1,000 members of LaGuardia Community College’s Class of 2014 expressed its exultation with traditional screams of joy Thursday after two speakers urged them to seize the day in their quest for success. Comment

Queens Academy operating without permanent principal since January

Weeks after allegations surfaced that the city was not upholding hiring rules at Queens Gateway to Health Sciences, teachers at a Flushing school supervised by the same superintendant said they are facing similar problems. Comments (2)
Queens Village

Pre-K application results ready as city adds 10,000 more seats

Mayor Bill de Blasio made two trips to Queens in the past week to discuss the next steps in providing pre-kindergarten for tens of thousands of children across the five boroughs. Comments (2)

Queens College hails 90th graduation

More than 2,500 Queens College students huddled under gray skies last week to receive their degrees at the Flushing school’s 90th commencement ceremony. Comment
No Holds Barred

American education has been dumbed down

I don’t know much about science except what I read. I took general science at JHS 73 in Maspeth. Somehow I got through Newtown High School without taking any science courses, but since I have an academic diploma and a Regents diploma and was elected to Arista, I guess I wasn’t cheating. Comments (9)
New Voices

Boro group works to prepare young women for college

Sometimes old traditions die hard in Queens’ immigrant communities. Despite the best efforts of educators, as well as spiritual and community leaders, some young women face difficulties in asserting themselves, building their identities and receiving equal and fair treatment within their families. Comments (2)

Be wary of DOE suspension rates

The city Department of Education recently released student suspension data. Do not read too much into it. Your child’s school is not necessarily better or worse for the numbers. Comments (2)

May, 2014

Richmond Hill

DOE backtracks on changes at Rich Hill High

The city said it reached a compromise with Richmond Hill High School over space changes, but school leaders contend the city schools chancellor should have come and extended the olive branch herself. Comment

Whitestone bully unlikely to face charges

A Whitestone cyberbully who school officials are still trying to identify will likely escape criminal charges as recent cyberbullying legislation passed in the state Legislature fell short of criminalizing online harassment. Comment
Forest Hills Gardens

PS 101 celebrates century in Forest Hills Gardens

Charlie Chaplain and the Model T assembly line live on at Primary School 101. Comment

City did right by its teachers

The new contract between the city and the United Federation of Teachers is a monumental achievement for all New Yorkers because it is a milestone of reconciliation between management and labor. Comments (2)

Youngsters compete in Douglaston chess tournament

About two dozen students took part in a chess tournament at PS 98 in Douglaston Monday evening. Participants each faced four opponents in the competition, which was organized in conjunction with NY Chess Kids. Comments (1)
Jamaica Hills

Jamaica Hills school flouts hiring regulation: Parents

Queens Gateway parents say the city skirted administrative hiring practices when appointing a principal in 2012, but they are not going to let similar violations slide this time. Comments (17)
Jamaica Estates

1,900 earn degrees in SJU Class of ‘14

St. John’s University held its 144th commencement ceremony on the Great Lawn Sunday with nearly 1,900 undergraduate students receiving their degrees and close to 10,000 family, friends and faculty in attendance. Comments (1)

Cyberbully hits Whitestone students

A Whitestone school is still trying to figure out the identity of an anonymous cyberbully who lashed out at several of its students last weekend on Instagram. Comment
I Sit and Look Out

Parental involvement is key to children’s education

It seems we have been talking about improving education in this country for most of my adult life, yet we continue to lag behind too many countries in too many fields. It does not seem to be getting better. Comments (11)

Whitestone students struck by cyberbully

St. Luke School students have been hit by a cyberbully. Comments (4)

Students shine in Whitestone Bridge drawing competition

Five elementary school students were honored by City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) Monday for winning an art competition to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. Comments (3)
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s to hold commencement Sunday

Thousands of students at St. John’s University in Jamaica Estates will celebrate graduation this Sunday. Comment
Queens Village

Van Buren HS alumni to fete school’s heritage

The Wikipedia entry on Martin Van Buren High School is scant, but the “Notable alumni” section contains an inspiring catalogue of successes in the realms of culture, civics and thought that could fill several leather-bound volumes. Comments (3)

Queensborough shows support for kidnapped Nigerian girls

Students and faculty at Queensborough Community College have joined people all over the world in support of rescuing the nearly 300 girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in Nigeria last month. Comments (2)
Jamaica Estates

Queens Impact Awards: Far Rockaway daughter motivates forgotten youngsters

For U.S. Army reservist Lakia Echols, working to build orphanages in war-torn Kuwait was nothing compared to the hostilities she faced when returning home to Far Rockaway intent on helping troubled youth. Comment
Jackson Heights

De Blasio touts education reform in Jackson Heights

Mayor Bill de Blasio met with parents and teachers at PS 69 in Jackson Heights Monday and afterward at a news briefing he outlined the major school reforms that are part of his executive budget and teachers contract. Comment
Jamaica Estates

SJU officials moving location of student paper

Students working for St. John’s University’s campus newspaper, The Torch, are negotiating with school officials after being told last week that their office was set to be relocated to a much smaller space that the paper thinks will be a hindrance to its everyday operations. Comment
Long Island City

Scandal in LIC school

A Queens principal was removed from her position after she was accused of allegedly having sex with a security guard, an assistant professor and a student’s parent, according to the city Department of Education. Comments (4)

Ferreras applauds deal between city, teachers

Borough leaders last week praised the nine-year, $5.5 billion contract agreement announced by City Hall and the United Federation of Teachers as a step forward in the right direction after years of acrimony between the two sides under the previous administration. Comment
Mayoral Spin Cycle

Master, ambassador teachers will positively change schools

When I briefly taught English at Stuyvesant High School more than 25 years ago, I had the good fortune of meeting a witty, impish Irish man who had already been a teacher for two decades. Comment

Alan J. Friedman, director of Hall of Science, was 71

Alan J. Friedman, a physicist described as an eternal educator and credited with saving the New York Hall of Science, died of pancreatic cancer Sunday, his wife said. He was 71. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

Francis Lewis fears losing trailer space

Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows has a capacity of about 2,100 students, but today more than 4,000 are enrolled and many attend classes in one of the school’s eight outdoor trailers. Comments (3)

City, UFT announce tentative contract deal

The city and the United Federation of Teachers announced a handshake deal this week on a nine-year, $5.5 billion contract that includes raises, additional time for professional development, more input for parents and more than $1 billion in health-care cost savings. Comment

City nixes plan for high school in Whitestone

A rumored plan to build a high school on a six-acre lot in Whitestone, which drew significant community opposition, has been dropped by the city School Construction Authority. Comment

CB 7 OKs Whitestone school expansion

Community Board 7 approved an expansion of a Whitestone Greek Orthodox church’s school at a meeting Monday night by a vote of 35-1. Comments (5)

Success Academy gets Rosedale site

The city has found a home in Rosedale for more than 100 charter school students who were told earlier this year that come fall the doors would not be open to them at the public school building in South Jamaica where they had previously been promised space. Comment

April, 2014


Miller announces college scholarships

State Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) announced that the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators is now accepting applications for four $2,000 scholarships to be awarded June 9 at its annual Legislative Conference Day. Comment

Charter schools are the future of education

Most people do not realize that every convenience, every trustworthy service we use, every reliable product we buy is the result of millions of people participating in the free market and making choices from a plethora of possibilities. In every service we use, every product we buy, the free market separates the excellent from the mediocre. Comments (2)

City overcrowding Bayside HS: PTA

The Parent-Teacher Association at Bayside High School is butting heads with the city Department of Education over the number of students admitted to the school each year as parents say they are growing concerned that the school is overcrowded. Comments (8)

Al-Mamoor moves school to Flushing

After a couple years of delays, Jamaica’s Al-Mamoor school will be moving to a new location in Flushing this summer. Comment
I Sit and Look Out

City school pupils need more education in the arts

In a column in October, I wrote about the loss of the arts in our schools. Comments (2)

Shuttles may come to Queens College

Commuting Queens College students may soon have a new way to get to school. Comments (1)

Maspeth school bars LGBT date at prom: Student

A young couple is determined not to let a Maspeth Lutheran school’s policy against admitting a transgender date to the prom keep them from partaking in the high school tradition. Comments (3)
Jamaica Estates

SJU gets first president from outside the church

History was made at St. John’s University in Jamaica last week when for the first time the Vincentian institution named a new president who is not a priest. Comment
New Voices

Boro test prep center chain reaches out to Queens minorities

A month after the results of the Specialized High School Admission Test, the momentum to reform the examination continues to build. As only marginal numbers of African Americans and Hispanics gain admission to the city’s most selective high schools, a lawsuit headed by the NAACP, as well as comments from elected officials, have cast a spotlight on the test and test prep centers, many of which serve Queens neighborhoods. Comments (3)

Dept of Ed sticks with plan to bus PS 11 kids to Astoria

Elected officials in western Queens have lost a three-month battle with the city Department of Education and nearly 250 incoming kindergartners at PS 11 in Woodside will be bused 3 miles away every school day beginning this fall. Comment
Long Island City

High school in LIC ranked 5th in Northeast: Report

The Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Long Island City has been ranked as the fifth best high school in the Northeast, according to The Washington Post. Comment
Jamaica Estates

Evils of global slavery explored at SJU event

In globalized supply chains where timber felled in Brazil is used in the manufacturing process that creates steel for U.S. automobiles, the economic and moral systems that permit forced labor are often hidden from sight. Comments (1)
East Elmhurst

Vaughn College finds new president in DeVivo

Vaughn College found a new president this week. Comment
Oakland Gardens

Art missing at boro schools

Nearly one in five public schools in Queens is lacking a certified arts teacher and about 17 percent of borough schools do not have a partnership with an outside arts and cultural organization, a new report by the city comptroller’s office shows. Comments (3)
Richmond Hill

Rich Hill High rallies for keeping its annex

A new district school may have its name printed in the city’s high school brochure, but Richmond Hill High School says legacy is displayed on the building where the new school is slated to open. Comments (2)

Meng hosts cultural panel

Leaders of key Jewish and Korean-American organizations gathered at Queensborough Community College Monday night to bridge the gap between their cultures. Comments (6)

Albany to foot pre-K bill

Parents have until the end of the month to enroll their children in the first phase of the city’s pre-kindergarten expansion, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a Ridgewood school Wednesday. Comment
South Jamaica

State accord clears way for SE Queens charter

The new state budget effectively reverses Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to deny space to a previously approved charter school in South Jamaica, and the City Council Education Committee is planning to hold a hearing on the effect Albany’s decision will have on traditional public schools going forward. Comment

March, 2014

Springfield Gardens

De Blasio softens stance on charters

In the final stretch before Albany decides which direction to take on issues like pre-K and charter schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to find some common ground on both sides of the devisive charter school debate. Comment

Search for compromise on PS 11 busing issue

The city Panel for Educational Policy decided to delay a final vote on the controversial plan by the city Department of Education to bus 250 children from PS 11 in Woodside to another school 3 miles away while a construction project gets under way. Comment
College Point

Avonte’s brother thanks New Yorkers for support

Avonte Oquendo’s family has broken its silence for the first time since the teen’s remains were found on the College Point shore in January. Comments (1)

P-Tech will be good for Martin Van Buren HS

Recently, a number of elected officials have lamented the city Department of Education’s decision not to withdraw the co-location plans at Martin Van Buren High School. Comments (1)
South Jamaica

SE Queens church rallies for charters

Charter school supporters gathered outside a southeast Queens church earlier this week, asking Albany to pass legislation that will provide the institutions with funding to build their own school houses. Comments (2)

Cardozo pupil, 17, wins car in American Miss pageant

Lauren Schwartzberg, a 17-year-old senior at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside and newly licensed driver, won a 2014 Ford Mustang Convertible at the National American Miss Pageant held in Hollywood, Calif. Comment

LaGuardia students win $250 in Kim essay contest

State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) awarded two LaGuardia Community College students $250 each for winning the Grit Essay Contest. Comments (1)

De Blasio pushes edu-tax plan at pre-K program in Sunnyside

With the clock ticking in Albany where his push for an education-funding tax hike received mixed support, Mayor Bill de Blasio stopped in Sunnyside last week to tour one of the many half-day pre-K sites he hopes to expand next school year. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

PS 173 community to take safety pledge in memory of Flushing girl killed by SUV

Hundreds of students, parents and teachers will take a safety pledge at PS 173 Friday to commemorate the memory of Allison Liao, a 3-year-old girl who police say was struck and killed by a car in downtown Flushing in October. Comment

Students should learn trades

William Lewis’ opinion that the mayor and the city schools chancellor should concentrate on trade school courses for high schools in the city is right on. Comments (1)

SE Queens opposes co-location

I am proud of the work we have begun to do in order to establish a fair and equitable education system for our city’s children. The recent decision to withdraw nine space-sharing, co-located charter schools is a step in the right direction. Comments (2)
Mayoral Spin Cycle

De Blasio faces uphill battle over charter schools treatment

In his first 100 days in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has quickly and successfully started to push much of his progressive agenda in education, housing and paid sick leave. Comment

Assembly plans to OK mayor’s pre-K tax hike

The state Assembly planned to authorize the city to raise income taxes to fund an expansion of pre-K, but in the state Senate, where Democrats do not hold the reins, the body was split on how to fund the expansion. Comment
South Jamaica

Dueling lawsuits challenge mayor on boro charters

The fates of a dozen new schools planned for Queens next year are up in the air as Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing legal challenges to his decision to reverse and continue a number of co-locations approved under the Bloomberg administration. Comment

Fariña praises arts at Flushing schools

City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña came to Queens last week to answer parents’ questions and give her vision for the future of the city’s education system at a town hall meeting. Comments (1)

District 26 holds breakfast

Several elected officials met with parents and educators of School District 26 last week as the district’s presidents’ council hosted a legislative breakfast in Bayside to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing education today, including school safety and Common Core standards. Comment

Flushing’s PS 154 wins Eco-School green award

Flushing’s PS 154 has become the second school in the city to achieve Green Flag status, an award given to schools that excel in sustainability initiatives. Comment

Teacher needs answers over treatment by DOE

This letter is in regard to my investigations with the Office of Special Investigations in the city Department of Education and my still pending investigation and charges from a school-based investigation. Comments (6)
Long Island City

LaGuardia CC makes list of top 150 junior colleges

LaGuardia Community College was named one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the Aspen College Excellence Program Tuesday, so the Long Island City school is eligible to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds. Comment
The Civic Scene

DOE reverses course on District 26’s valued G&T program

People buy a house or a co-op or rent in a neighborhood for several reasons, one of which is the quality of the education system. District 26 has a fine gifted and talented program, which attracts many middle-class families and makes it the top district in the city. To enter the program, young children at age 4 have to pass a test and be evaluated. Comments (6)
South Jamaica

City drops boro charter school

Mayor Bill de Blasio last week reversed a decision the Bloomberg administration made during its waning hours by refusing to allow three controversial charter schools, including one in southeast Queens, to share space with public schools in the fall, though another charter in the borough is still on the table. Comment
Long Island City

DOE scraps co-location scheduled for LIC High

Defenders of Long Island City High School are applauding a decision by the city Department of Education to shelve a controversial plan that would have reduced enrollment over the next four years to make room for a career and technical education school. Comment

Pols denounce DOE plans

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) joined several elected officials and parents of students at PS 11 in Woodside to denounce the city Department of Education’s final recommendation to send the school’s kindergartners to PS 171 in Astoria. Comment

February, 2014


Proposed pre-K sites double in boro: City

The number of city schools and community-based organizations proposing to host pre-kindergarten sites in Queens next school year has more than doubled after Mayor Bill de Blasio requested submissions to help fulfill his goal of providing 21,000 new seats next year, the administration announced earlier this week. Comment
Springfield Gardens

Richards allocates $2.5M in Mandela tech grant

A city councilman from southeast Queens wants Nelson Mandela to continue to inspire young students. Comment

PS 201 teacher nixed Malcolm X: parents

A Flushing parent was furious when her son was forbidden by a teacher to write an essay about Malcolm X for Black History Month. Comments (2)

PS 79 mourns beloved teacher of pre-K classes

Students and teachers at PS 79 in Whitestone gathered last week to pay their respects to Annamarie Tromp, the preschool teacher who was killed in a car accident in Flushing New Year’s Eve. Comment
Far Rockaway

PS 106 principal should be let go: Report

City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) called on the city Department of Education to fire the principal of Far Rockaway’s PS 106 after a city investigation concluded the school administrator cashed a full pay check while frequently showing up to work either late or not at all. Comment
Long Island City

Planned Parenthood offers training to Queens non-profits

Planned Parenthood has made its foray into Queens with help from South Asian Youth Action, Sunnyside Community Services and Queens Library. Comments (3)
Hollis Hills

Hollis Hills quiz kid makes Jeopardy! debut

This college student who grew up in Queens fulfilled a lifelong quiz-show dream when she appeared on “Jeopardy!” earlier this week. Comment

Avonte death should teach schools

Our grief over Avonte Oquendo’s death is compounded by the knowledge that it might have been prevented. The danger of kids running out of school cannot be eliminated but must be minimized. Comments (1)

St. Mary’s program for tots ending due to lack of funds

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children has announced that it will end its more than 20-year-old Early Intervention program this spring due to a lack of adequate funding. Comment

Teachers need new contract now

The teachers who teach in city public schools have been without a new contract for more than four years. Comments (2)

PS 213 students learn about cultures around the world

Students at PS 213 in Oakland Gardens danced around the globe Tuesday during the school’s annual International Fair, celebrating cultures and traditions from many different countries. Comment
Forest Hills

Katz makes her pick for city schools panel

Borough President Melinda Katz made her appointment to the city’s education panel during a week when it seemed everyone was talking about schools. Comment

Monied interests demonize unions

Radio ads and billboards will proclaim just about any message that has been paid for. The placement, whether in a public square or on the airwaves, is like a rented body from an escort service. Industrial psychologists are hired by the ad’s bank rollers and function like wardrobe provocateurs. They calculate how to appeal to fantasy and what will work. Comment

Queens College makes list of best value U.S. schools

Queens College has been deemed one of the best value schools in the country by The Princeton Review. Comments (1)
Middle Village

PS/IS 49 to lose principal

The hard-driving principal of PS/IS 49 in Middle Village plans to retire before the end of the academic year after delaying his plans to help the school plan an expansion. Comments (28)

Queens College TV studio gets overdue $1.5 million face-lift

Queens College is set to give its TV studio a long-overdue $1.5 million renovation. Comment
Jamaica Estates

SJU says students, alumni happy with brand changes

St. John’s University says students and staff have reacted positively to the school’s decision to return to a former university brand that included changes to the school logo and nickname. Comment

De Blasio spars with guv over how to pay for pre-K

Queens public schools met less than a quarter of the demand for pre-kindergarten last year, with more than 26,000 applicants for fewer than 6,000 available seats. Comment

Justice for Avonte

The city Department of Education must be held accountable for the death of Avonte Oquendo, who vanished from a special ed program at a Long Island City school without a trace in October until his remains washed up on College Point shores last week. Comments (7)

January, 2014

Mayoral Spin Cycle

Mayor should take pre-K offer, seek higher taxes later

Mayor Bill de Blasio has already had a few impressive successes in implementing his agenda during his first 30 days in office. Comment

Parents oppose DOE plan to bus PS 11 kids to Astoria

When the city Department of Education announced plans for a new annex at Woodside’s PS 11, the news was well-received, but with construction set to begin in June a new problem has arisen: What will they do with the children? Comment

Dist. 26’s gifted kids can keep slots in JHS

The city Department of Education has agreed to satisfy a request from parents in District 26 that will prevent students from losing their spots in the Gifted and Talented programs. Comments (8)
Forest Hills

Koslowitz cuts ribbon for computer labs in JHS 190

Officials from JHS 190 invited City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) to see how a $400,000 bond she directed toward computer labs at the school was put to use. Comments (1)

Korean students visit Sacred Heart School

For the past three weeks, Sacred Heart School in Bayside has been home to nine extra students who have been given the opportunity to experience America through the eyes of their peers. Comments (1)
Political Action

De Blasio and Farina should consider trade schools

Public education has always been an important issue in New York City political campaigns. That is especially true in mayoral races. Comments (1)

Bayside school wins award

The students and staff at PS 46 in Bayside know that academic success is not just about getting good grades. Comment
Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill PTA asks Fariña for help

City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has an open invitation to assess the trailers slated to serve as classrooms for Richmond Hill High School freshmen next fall. Comments (1)

Meng wants holiday for Lunar New Year

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) has renewed a call to make Lunar New Year a school holiday. Comments (2)

Charter schools take public money

Charter schools cannot have it both ways. They should either stop their false claim that they are public schools or stop their false claim that as private entities they are beyond judicial reach. They should step up to the plate and stop dodging state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s financial audit of charters. Comments (1)

Woodside school gets annex to ease crowding

IS 125 in Woodside will finally get some relief for its overcrowding. Comment

Schools needed but not on Keil land

City Councilman Paul Vallone’s (D-Whitestone) response (“Inform people of school hearing,” Dec. 27-Jan. 2) to my Dec. 6-12 letter “Community deserved say in planned school” was that he has been opposed to the approved primary school on the Keil Bros. property in my section of Bayside all along. I had heard differently. Comments (1)

The time has come for DOE to finally shape up

Which is the biggest number: the total count of stars in the solar system, the sum of grains of sand on all Atlantic Ocean beaches, the dollar deficit of the U.S. economy or the tally of useless re-organizations of the city’s school system since the mayor seized it a dozen years ago? Comments (3)
I Sit and Look Out

Fraternity death of boro pupil was cruel and inhumane

The death from the alleged hazing of an Oakland Gardens student of Baruch College raises many questions. Comments (1)

Gizis takes over as Queens College interim president

As a lifelong researcher and educator, Dr. Evangelos Gizis was ready to stand in as interim president when James Muyskens announced his departure from Queens College. Comments (1)

Farewell Salute

Queens College’s departing president, Dr. James Muyskens was honored during a ceremony at the college Decc. 18. Muyskens is retiring from the Queens College presidency to return to teaching. Comment

‘Education reformers’ is a misnomer

So-called reformers and certain daily tabloid editorial boards should admit it. They would trust the “wolf of Wall Street” to be the new city schools chancellor rather than accept anyone who has the blessing of the “tainted” teachers union. Comment

New log cabin lets APEC hold classes outside in winter

Alley Pond Environmental Center’s outdoor classroom has been able to weather its first winter, thanks to a new log cabin. Comments (1)

October, 2010


Elected officials call on voters to approve Smart Schools Bond Act

State Assemblymen Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) and Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst) joined forces to call on voters to approve the Smart Schools Bond Act in November. The bill would help pay for the replacement of classroom trailers with permanent classroom space, the construction of new facilities for pre-kindergarten and the purchase of new educational technology equipment. Comment


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