New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

By MICHAEL ELSEN-ROONEY

New York Daily News NYC lawmakers push to expand specialized high school exam to combat low black, Latino enrollment by By MICHAEL ELSEN-ROONEY

NYC lawmakers push to expand specialized high school exam to combat low black, Latino enrollment

A group of lawmakers wants all city eighth-graders to be automatically registered for the entrance exam for specialized high schools and get free after-school test prep in order to boost the enrollment of black and Latino students at the prestigious schools, the Daily News has learned.

A bill co-authored by City Council Members Ben Kallos (D—Manhattan) and Justin Brannan (D—Brooklyn), and supported by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, urges the Education Department to make the test opt-out rather than opt-in, and extend after-school test preparation to every eighth-grader planning to take the exam.

The proposal comes as city officials announced that only 11% of students admitted to specialized schools this year were black or Latino, compared to 70% of all city students — a figure virtually unchanged from years past.

New York Daily News City lawmakers demand answers from Education Dept. on delayed school bus GPS tech by By MICHAEL ELSEN-ROONEY

City lawmakers demand answers from Education Dept. on delayed school bus GPS tech

The letter, authored by Council Members Robert Holden (D–Queens) and Ben Kallos (D–Manhattan), and signed by 20 other council members, questioned why the Education Department didn’t comply with a January law requiring the agency to make real-time GPS tracking available to parents starting this past September. “We...demand that the DOE explain its error and abide by the law immediately for the sake of our students and parents,” the lawmakers said in the note sent Friday. Lawmakers passed a bill in February to shore up city school bus service after frequent delays and missing school buses last year. The law required that the city make real-time GPS data available to “authorized parents or guardians” starting at the beginning of this school year.