Tenure Tension

Staff Writer
Jewish students at Brooklyn College are standing behind a beleaguered history professor who claims his ongoing problems with the administration began when he protested alleged anti-Israel bias in a campus forum two months after 9-11. About a quarter of some 500 students who signed a petition in defense of associate professor Robert "K.C." Johnson said they were backing him because of his stance on the November 2001 teach-in, said Daniel Weininger, a BC senior who founded Students Against Academic Terrorism, an ad hoc group supporting Johnsonís bid for tenure.

Everett Raps CUNY Board

Staff Writer
The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York has become a "rubberstamp" panel that will not debate serious matters of higher education, but carry out the will of the mayor and governor, says Edith Everett, who spent 23 years as a trustee.

Charter For Controversy

Staff Writer
A foreshadowing of the debate that could result from the state's recently passed charter schools bill, and proposed tuition voucher programs, played out last week in a free-wheeling panel discussion that touched heavily on issues of race and religion.

'First Step' Toward Education Credit

Staff Writer
It wasn't quite what they were pushing for, but the coalition seeking a tax cut for parents of private school students is welcoming the break that will put $330 per child back in parents' pockets next year. The break will apply to all families earning under $110,000 with school-age children, in a plan negotiated by both houses of the Legislature. "This is an important first step in empowering families to make the educational choices they want for their kids," said Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Orthodox Union.

More Tax Credit Haggling Seen In Albany

Staff Writer
The state legislature and Gov. George Pataki are expected to continue haggling over the scope and nature of a child tax credit following Pataki's budget vetoes last week. The governor, who favors a credit that would aid education spending, nixed a plan ironed out by the Assembly and Senate that would award $330 to the parents of every child in the state between ages 4 and 17. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver intends to override the veto.

Tuition Hikes A Concern In Tax Credit Fight

Staff Writer
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who may hold the key to a state education tax credit, sent the strongest signal yet on Tuesday that he will support the measure. Silver said he was "sympathetic" to the proposal, but reportedly is concerned that a tax break for parents might be meaningless if private schools hike their rates or lower scholarships in response.

Borough Park Battle Over School Plan

Staff Writer
Faced with a proposed high school they believe will harm the character of their neighborhood, Borough Park leaders called on the city this week to instead send more intermediate school students to the underutilized facility slated to host the new academy. A plan by the Bloomberg administration to house the Kingsborough Early College School at the 16th Avenue site of the Montauk School (an intermediate school capable of accommodating double its current enrollment) has drawn sharp protest from the area's dominant fervently Orthodox community.

Technical Know-How

Staff Writer
Eyes peeled to a display terminal and wearing headphones, Shmuel Sherman looks like he is enjoying a video game or surfing the Net during a recent late-period class at Yeshivah Derech HaTorah in Brooklyn. But Shmuel and the rest of his sixth-grade class at the Midwood yeshiva are engaged in an intensive and personalized reading experience. “I was reading a story about Nellie Bly,” the 11-year-old reports as he logs off.

Hebrew, Arabic Schools Seen Stretching Boundaries

Assistant Managing Editor
Are they academies celebrating two Middle East-centered cultures and languages, or a madrassa and a yeshiva incognito, courtesy of your tax dollars? Two nonsectarian schools slated to open next month are fueling a new debate over the boundaries of culture and religion and whether public educators can separate them in a curriculum that does not violate the Constitution. The debate comes at a time when the government is increasingly chipping away at the wall between church and state.

Arabic Public School Sparks Debate

Assistant Managing Editor
The announcement of a planned public school in Brooklyn focusing on Arab culture has taken the city’s education department into uncharted waters, fielding concerns over fundamentalism and the propriety of singling out cultures. Local Jewish groups either favor the creation of the Khalil Gibran International Academy — to open next year for 81 sixth to 12th grade students of all ethnic backgrounds — or have taken no position against it, even as some commentators sound alarms.
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