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John C. Fager
Fager first got involved in the New York City schools as a parent of two children. As a kindergarten parent he attended PTA meetings and because he asked too many questions he was elected president a year later. Because he had attended a good suburban school where most of the staff was focused on their jobs he was stunned when he learned about the workings of the city school system and that invariably adult interests trumped the interests of children. At the time he was an investigative producer at WCBS-TV and produced a two-part series about the custodians and their union. After 14 years in television news, including two emmy-winning years at ABC's 20/20, he became the education adviser to the New York City Council President and wrote reports about early childhood education, facilities, and parent involvement. He then spent a few years in the mid-90's writing a weekly education column for the Daily News of New York. Frustrated with the way the school system worked he threw himself off a cliff and ran for office on a platform that argued for downsizing the power of the special interests and bringing greater public control. He learned his lesson. For the past 12 years he has been a social studies teacher in an alternative high school and continues to write about education.

Entries by John C. Fager

End Voodoo Education: Vote "NO" on Revised No Child Left Behind

(1) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 5:57 PM

Dear Senators Sanders, Warren, Tester, & Paul,

Next week you should vote a loud "NO" on the legislation to revise No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the current version of the basic American education law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. You should do this -- Tester knows because he...

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Provide Pre-K to 4 Year-Olds and Toddlers Too

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 3:28 PM

Schools around the nation are ending the regular school year, preparing for summer school and in New York City the mayor and school officials are trying to create a national model for effective Pre-K education.

It wasn't easy to create this opportunity because New York State's two top Democrats, Governor...

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New York Matters: Mayoral Control and Denial

(2) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 6:14 PM

What happens in the New York City school system has national implications because the city has been a testing ground for the so-called new reforms -- greater testing and accountability by using annual standardized state tests to evaluate students, teachers, principals, and schools; charter school; closing, not improving, failing...

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Engaging High School Students

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 12:44 PM

High School students' default word for describing their classes, especially civics, is often "boring." How do you teach the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the three branches of government without having them doze off or surreptitiously texting their friends?

I found that one way to get their attention is...

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Bloomberg/Klein Failure in NYC Matters to the Country

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 5:41 PM

New York City Mayor Bloomberg's removal of Chancellor Joel Klein and attempt -- opposition is growing -- to replace him with Cathie Black, the former CEO of Hearst Magazines, raises so many important K-12 education issues for the country. First and foremost it shows that Klein is a tarnished symbol...

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