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StudentsFirstNY Weekly Education News Roundup: May 19-24, 2013

In this week's education news: Anthony Weiner enters the mayoral race with no education platform, a new lawsuit claims NYC high school admissions decisions are based on race, and charter school demand continues to increase.

Little Known About Anthony Weiner's Education Platform
Gotham Schools // May 22, 2013

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner officially entered New York City's mayoral race this week. In an article by Gotham Schools, Weiner has said little about his education platform, including major issues such as charter schools and standardized testing:

"A booklet of policy ideas that Weiner released last month and cites in the video released today skirts the major issues that are dividing candidates this year on education, including charter schools, school governance, and the role of testing. Weiner's top priority, according to the book, which was a refreshed version of a similar document from 2009, is to 'streamline the process for removing troublesome students from the classroom.'

"That position could score points with families and educators who see school discipline as a major issue. But it also drew a protest outside of Weiner's Park Avenue apartment building last month by students who said the approach to discipline would unfairly penalize students of color."

Lawsuit Claims NYC High School Admissions Decisions Are Based on Race
New York Daily News // May 20, 2013

According to the New York Daily News, the federal Office of Civil Rights received a lawsuit claiming the admissions standards for New York City's high schools place minorities into underperforming schools:

"In 2011, 59% of Hispanic students and 60% of black students graduated from city high schools in four years, compared with 79% of white students and 83% of Asian students. That year, the latest for which complete data is available, 13% of black students and 15% of Hispanic students met college readiness standards, compared with 29% of students overall.

"The federal complaint — the second such civil rights case filed against city schools in the last year — cites city statistics that show high schools with more black and Hispanic students had graduation rates of 48% in 2010, compared with an average city graduation rate of 65%."

Demand for Charter Schools Reaches New Heights
New York Daily News // May 19, 2013

This coming fall, 24 new public charter schools will open in New York City, bringing the total number of charter school seats up to 18,600. But as the New York Daily News reports in an editorial, there are still an overwhelming number of applicants for each open charter school seat:

"Yet even at this breakneck pace, New York can barely make a dent in the overwhelming demand from families hoping to attend one of these schools. A record 69,000 applicants submitted 181,600 applications to one or more of the 183 schools that will be operating this fall, according to careful estimates.

"This leaves a total of more than 50,000 kids on wait-lists, without a seat in a great public school of their choice. That’s enough students to fill Yankee Stadium."

Read the full summary of the article.

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