Beth Fertig

Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org.  She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.

"If New York City’s public schools were a city, they’d be one of the ten largest cities in the United States," she says.  With 1.1 million students hailing from all over the world, and well over 100,000 employees, Beth describes the school system as a fascinating lens through which to see the city. “Every social problem and challenge shows up in the schools,” she says. “And you get to see real people of all ages dealing with these challenges, not just talking about them.”

Beth is a New York City native who discovered her love for journalism at her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She also has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. She’s won many local and national awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism for her series of reports in 2000 about an effort to privatize some struggling city schools.

Beth also won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation of a subway fire. And she’s won numerous awards from the city's Deadline Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the New York Press Club -- which gave her a special award after the 2001 terrorist attacks for a profile on the friendship of two WTC survivors.

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

NY to Receive Federal 'Race to the Top' Education Funds

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New York is among the winners of the much sought after Race to the Top federal education grants.

Comment

Getting Schooled at Governor's Island: Summer School on Water

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fifteen year-old Gabriela Molina’s 45-minute commute to summer school begins on the L train in Brooklyn. One subway connection later she’s now on a ferry to Governor’s Island. "When they first tell you that you have to take a lot of transportation you say 'it’s difficult.' But once you take it, it’s okay," she says, as a ferry pulls away from the Manhattan dock, blasting its deep horn.

Comment

Student Achievement Plummets on NYS Exams

Thursday, July 29, 2010

After years of steady improvement, it now appears that test scores have fallen in New York State. The percentage of elementary and middle school students passing the annual math and reading tests has dropped by double digits. Just 53 percent of students met the standards on their English Language Arts exams in grades 3 through 8. That's a 24 percentage point drop since last year. The percentage of students passing the math tests fell by about the same, with just 61 percent now on grade level.

Comment

NYS Back in the Race for Education Funds

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New York State is among 19 finalists for the second round of federal Race to the Top education grants. The others include Washington, D.C., New Jersey, California and Maryland. Connecticut wasn’t selected.

Comment

NYC Schools Experiment with New Standards

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New York City principals are getting a jump start on the new national standards for math and literacy supported by the Obama administration. Training sessions are taking place this summer even though the changes won't be rolled out until 2012.

Comment

Senators, Families Want More Information About Release of Lockerbie Bomber

Monday, July 26, 2010

United States Senators from New York and New Jersey are pressing for British and Scottish officials to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee, following more questions about the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.

Comment

City Hot and Cool Spots Remain a Mystery

Friday, July 23, 2010

It’s no secret that cities are often hotter than their surrounding regions. For one thing, they’re crowded with warm bodies. And they contain lots of machinery to power our lights and keep our cars and transit systems moving.

Comment

Free Swimming Classes at New York City Pools

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Swimming classes start this week at New York City public pools. The city Department of Parks & Recreation’s free "Learn to Swim" classes are open to children and adults at 35 of the city's 54 pools. The first round of classes begins Wednesday after Tuesday’s registration period.

Comment

Appellate Ct. Rules City Can't Close 19 Schools

Friday, July 02, 2010

The city has lost its appeal of a court ruling that prevented it from closing 19 failing schools.

Comment

A Final Push for Teachers and Students

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It’s officially summer.

Comment

State Tests for Schools on the Chopping Block

Monday, June 21, 2010

A proposal to eliminate New York State's annual exams in social studies for elementary and middle school students will be considered Monday by a Board of Regents committee.

Comment

The Stimulus and NYC Schools

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Where did the money go?

Comment

Senate Panel Hears Defense of Charter School

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The agencies that authorize charter schools in New York State defended their oversight of the publicly financed schools today at a hearing before a state Senate committee in Manhattan.

Comment

NY Misses Mark on Education Funding

Monday, March 29, 2010

New York State lost the competition for education funds known as Race to the Top.

Comment

Hundreds of Haitians Enroll in NYC Schools

Monday, February 15, 2010

In the month since the Haitian earthquake the city's public schools have taken in 219 students from Haiti.

Comment

NYC and NJ Schools Closed

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New York City and New Jersey public schools will be closed today, Wednesday, in anticipation of a big winter storm that promises to dump 12 inches of snow on the area.

Comment

Suit Seeks to Save 19 City Schools

Monday, February 01, 2010

The NAACP and the teachers union have filed a lawsuit claiming the city violated state laws with last week's vote to close 19 low-performing schools.

Comment

Modest Gains for NYC Students in Math Exams

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg's prediction of "great progress," New York City students pretty much followed the pattern of other states and cities on this year's national math exams.

Comment

Bloomberg: Test Scores to Set Teacher Tenure

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city has found a loophole to a state law enabling it to use student test scores to evaluate teachers.

Comment

Adding It Up: Confronting Math Fear

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

In the first story of a new series, WNYC’s Beth Fertig visits a remedial class at LaGuardia Community College in Queens to see why math is such an obstacle.

Comment