Staten Island Teachers Furious Their Union Didn't Want Them to Wear NYPD Shirts to the First Day of School

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A group of teachers, reportedly from P.S. 220 in Queens, posted photos of themselves in NYPD shirts.
A group of public school teachers in Staten Island planned to wear T-shirts supporting the New York Police Department to the first day of school yesterday, but most backed off after warnings from their union, the United Federation of Teachers. The Staten Island Advance reports that more than 600 shirts reading "New York's Brightest Supports New York's Finest #ThankYouNYPD" were purchased from a specialty T-shirt printing company in Staten Island earlier this month. A group of teachers, pictured above, reportedly from P.S. 220 in Queens, posted photos of themselves in NYPD shirts in an apparent act of solidarity, although it's not clear if they actually wore them to class.

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Teacher Busted With Heroin Inside a Courthouse Is an Islamic Studies Scholar

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It appears that carrying 20 bags of heroin into a city courthouse is not a firable offense in New York City. In a ruling released yesterday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez found that Damian Esteban, found with 20 bags of heroin when he reported for jury duty last October, must be allowed to keep his job at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, overturning the Department of Education's original firing.

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NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott Announces 4,000 New Slots for After-School

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Stumping at churches across the city yesterday, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced a $13 million initiative to add more slots to the city's after school programs. 4,000 seats will be added to after-school care and tutoring for elementary and middle school students.

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New Truancy Program Will Help Kids Stay in School, Says Manhattan District Attorney

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Yesterday the Manhattan District Attorney joined the Schools Chancellor and NYPD Commissioner to announce a new initiative to help bring down truancy rates in New York City. DA Cyrus Vance stated that the new Engagement Center, a place for frequently truant kids to receive mentoring, is meant to lower the chance of a student's contact with the criminal justice system. "In order to keep kids out of the courtroom, we need to keep them in the classroom," he said in making the announcement.

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Scott Stringer Releases Report Showing Embarrassingly Slow Internet in New York's Public Schools

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Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer released a report yesterday claiming that 75 percent of New York City's public schools have Internet connections that operate at 10 megabits or less. Schools' broadband speeds must be 100 times that by 2020, according to the Obama administration's National Broadband Plan. Of the schools with the slowest speeds, the majority are clustered in, you guessed it, some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

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Twenty NYC Middle Schools' Days To Be Extended, Kids Will Probably Not Be Happy

Categories: Public Schools

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Our collective inner child is kicking and screaming over this story. But our collective adult self is affirmatively nodding in agreement that maybe this will actually help students. Growing up sucks.

Yesterday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Education Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced a plan to tack on two and a half hours to twenty middle schools' days in the nation's largest public education system, affecting almost two thousand sixth graders in total. The extended duration of classes will be partially paid by City Council and non-profit organizations. And educators will use this time to teach reading and other activities to schoolchildren.

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It Can Be Done: DOE Reverses Decision to Co-Locate Thriving Brownsville High School

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So, remember how in December we concluded that there's nothing that a public school can do to successfully fight off co-locations with other schools?

Well, Brownsville Academy High School proved us wrong.

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reign, rulings on co-location proposals seem to be guided by an unspoken scientific law which asserts that a co-location in motion shall remain in motion.

But, less than a week after dozens of BAHS students filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education challenging the co-location of a Success Academy charter school, the DOE has notified the lawyer of the students, Arthur Schwartz of Advocates for Justice, that it will scrap its plans to co-locate the building out of which BAHS operates.

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UPDATE: Parents, Students and Community Not Sure They Have Real Voice in School Co-Location Process

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Jason Lewis/Village Voice
From the school's rally against co-location in October.
UPDATE: Anyone who fought against the recent round of co-locations can now rest assured that they never had a say in yesterday's Panel on Educational Policy's vote.

The PEP voted late last night to approve every co-location proposal up for consideration. The approvals came after hours of impassioned pleas to the panel from members of the public both against and in favor of the proposed co-locations.

Everyone in attendance should demand that the DOE reimburse them for five hours spent at a meeting that essentially amounted to an open-mic therapy session at best.

Students from transfer high school Brownsville Academy, where the PEP ultimately voted to approve the co-location of a Success Academy Charter School, stayed until 11 p.m. pleading with the panel to reconsider.They were trying to figure out why the panel would potentially disrupt one of the city's rare high-performing transfer high schools to co-locate an elementary school.

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Parents, Students and Community Not Sure They Have Real Voice in School Co-Location Process

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Jason Lewis/Village Voice
From the school's rally against co-location in October.
Students, parents and the surrounding community have made it clear that they don't want the New York City Department of Education to co-locate a new school alongside Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts in Brooklyn.

But, they're unclear whether they possess the power to stop it from happening.

The City's Panel on Educational Policy is set to rule on proposed co-locations around the city later today. Those looking to prevent co-location at their community school aren't sure whether they've had much say in the matter.

"I honestly I feel like the decision might already be made. I've attended as many meetings as I could," Anthonine Fiote, a parent of two middle school students at Susan McKinney, tells the Voice. "This school is really filled with talented kids who want to take [their craft] to the next level. If you take that away from them, I just feel like that's wrong."

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