De Blasio Visits Automotive High School Touting Improvements
Mayor Bill de Blasio, yesterday, met with students and faculty at Automotive High School in Williamsburg, one of 94 Renewal Schools where the administration is focusing resources and leadership to raise achievement.
The Renewal School ‘War Room,’ launched this month, is tracking schools’ progress through CompStat-style metrics and analysis, focusing additional resources and expertise based on schools’ progress.
Automotive High School had become one of the most dangerous campuses in the entire city, creating an unsafe environment that made strong instruction virtually impossible, but under Principal Caterina Lafergola, safety has dramatically improved at the school, de Blasio said.
Under the Renewal Schools program the school has added new and expanded Career and Technical Education offerings in field like Law to prepare students for careers, instituted new math and English curricula that have proven effective in other schools, and more than doubled the number of students participating in enriching after-school programs.
De Blasio said additionally every teacher and administrator must reapply for his or her position, ensuring the school and students’ have the very best faculty to complete this turnaround.
“We are working every single day to deepen the progress happening on the ground at schools like Automotive. We’re ensuring they have the right leadership and the support they need to turn around and deliver the education these students deserve,” said de Blasio. “We’re fighting for solutions that deliver for our students today, because the status quo is unacceptable. With just days left before the State budget is decided, we are calling on leaders in Albany to renew Mayoral Control so we can continue this work, and fully fund our schools so we can drive change even further.”
Felder Says Lift Cap On Charters
Central Brooklyn State Sen. Simcha Felder told the New York Post that it might be the time to lift the cap on charter schools entirely.
Felder is a conservative Democrat who caucuses with Senate Republicans. He also chairs the senate’s subcommittee on NYC schools.
At present, the maximum allowed cap on charter schools statewide is 460, and the city’s remaining available allotment under the cap is 25.
“Part of the discussion is that there should be no cap on children getting a better education. There should be no cap on children,” Felder told the media outlet.
“I believe very strongly that parents gain from competition. Anything to make the schools more competitive is a good thing. The focus should not be on the teachers union. The focus should be on what’s better for the kids.”
Felder’s comments came state lawmakers continue to wrangle over education issues with the state budget due next Wednesday. Among the issues is whether to continue mayoral control over city schools as part of the budget or to tackle that and other issues once the budget is finalized.
Adams Displays New App That Warns of Fires
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, today, will demonstrate FireSonar, a new companion app for smoke detectors, as part of his ongoing effort to advance fire safety across Brooklyn and New York City.
Adams’ campaign follows Saturday’s fatal fire in Midwood that claimed the lives of seven siblings, aged five to 16, from the Sassoon family.
The allows users to be remotely notified, wherever they are, if their home or a neighbor’s may potentially be on fire.
Adams, along with the app’s developer, will discuss the community fire alert system before showing its features in a live demonstration at 1:30 p.m. today at Borough Hall, 109 Joralomon Street.
Hamilton, Patterson To Tour NYCHA Development
Central Brooklyn State Sen. Jesse Hamilton and 43rd Assembly District Leader and candidate for the open 43rd Assembly seat Shirley Patterson will hold a press conference and rally tomorrow in support of NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants at East Flatbush’s William Reid Apartments.
As part of the agenda they will also address the need for the New York State budget to accommodate significant capital requirements of NYCHA. Governor Cuomo’s budget currently only slates a $25 million commitment to NYCHA’s capital repair fund, falling far short of the $120 million per year over the next ten years necessary to accommodate the needs of NYCHA tenants.
Conditions at the William Reid Apartments vividly illustrate the necessity of this investment as residents and families growing mold throughout their apartments, peeling paint, broken elevators, and extended periods without heat and hot water during the frigid winter months.
The press conference is slated for 11:30 a.m., tomorrow, March 27 in the Reid Apartments lobby, 728 East New York Avenue.
Golden Salutes Manhattan Beach Jewish Center Nomination
Southern Brooklyn State Sen. Marty Golden, yesterday, offered his congratulations to the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center for being placed on a list of twenty-two properties nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo, to the State and National Registers of Historic Places by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation.
A listing on the State and National Register provides an opportunity for property owners to revitalize their buildings, making them eligible for various State grants and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.
“What an exciting day for the Manhattan Beach community, which I proudly represent in the State
Senate, to see one of their very own centers on track for prestigious recognition,” said Golden. “I commend the congregation and members of the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center for their continued service to our neighborhood, and I fully support efforts at the State and federal level to historically designate this site.”
The Manhattan Beach Jewish Center included a Bauhaus-influenced synagogue completed in 1952
and the adjoining community center completed in 1962. For many years the community center building has housed a yeshiva, a senior citizen center, a caterer to provide Jewish Life Cycle celebrations, after-school academic and recreational program, and a summer day camp.
Stringer Does Pre-Passover Tour of Brooklyn
City Comptroller Scott Stringer will spend the entire morning touring various places in Borough Park and Southern Brooklyn that are related to next week’s Jewish holiday of Passover. His schedule is as follows:
9:30 AM – Visits Boro Park Matzoh Bakery – 1285 36th Street
11:30 AM – Visits Shorefront Jewish Community Council Passover Food Distrbution
JASA Scheuer House, 3161 Brighton 6th Street
12:00 PM – Visits Jay-Harama Senior Center – 2600 Ocean Avenue
12:30 PM – Visits Young Israel of Midwood Senior Center – 1694 Ocean Avenue