News & Press

New York's free college program comes with a big catch: Students who fall off track risk losing their scholarships

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Chalkbeat NY

December 7, 2017
With thousands of college students about to finish their first semester under New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship Program, advocates, critics and researchers will be looking closely at one crucial question: How did they do? The new scholarship — which provides free college tuition at state public schools to students whose families make less than $100,000 a year — is the first program in the nation in which a state offers free tuition at four-year colleges. But the program has also been criticized for its many restrictions, including strict credit requirements and an obligation to live and work i
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In one South Bronx class, students add their voices to growing school segregation debate

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Chalkbeat New York

November 10, 2015
After her homework assignment, 17-year-old Leslie Sigaran would refer to it only as “that thing you made us hear.”“It” was a podcast detailing a school integration effort near Ferguson, Missouri. Teacher Sarah Camiscoli played the audio again during class at the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters earlier this year. As they listened, the students around Sigaran angrily shook their heads.“They make race and ethnicity sound like animals instead of people,” one student said.“You can tell she’s only heard stereotypes,” another chimed in, referring to a Missouri mother who called for metal detectors.“They don’t see what they do to p
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“Project Egg Drop” takes flight at CCNY

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The City College of New York

November 9, 2015
Forty students from Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation put their knowledge of Newtonian physics to the test on Friday, using nothing more than household materials and an egg.Under the watchful eye of City College of New York Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor David Jeruzalmi, 10 teams of four or five students each dropped an egg, encased in a homemade container, from the second floor landing of the City College Center for Discovery and Innovation lobby. The experiment, dubbed “Project Egg Drop,” teaches the students what materials and design concepts can prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of
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Computer science teacher may be key to NYC’s $81M plan to boost STEM courses

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NY Daily News

October 5, 2015
These computer classes are for the digital ages.Computer science teacher Timothy Chen’s classroom at the Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology in Hell’s Kitchen provides a window into what could be the future of computer science instruction in city schools.More than a dozen students stare intently at plasma screens while they discuss computer programming.“They’re learning about programming in the Java language. This helps them learn the basics of programming,” said Chen. “The age that we are living in — everything is digital. It’s important to bring more people into this field.”Classrooms like Chen’s are still unusual
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Once sold as the solution, small high schools are now on the back burner

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The Hechinger Report

September 29, 2015
What does New York City's experiment reveal about the merits of small schools? Federico Leyva remembers fights in the halls or lunchroom almost every day at his 2,000-student middle school in Queens. Sometimes the adults in the building would hear them and intervene, sometimes they wouldn’t. When it came time to apply to high school, he chose a small one. “There’s personal attention — that’s the biggest difference for me,” said Federico, 17, who graduated from Urban Assembly Gateway for Technology in June with a near-full scholarship to Babson College, near Boston. “I think the fights occurred because there wasn’t the pe
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