Saturday, June 30, 2007
Last night I attended what was billed as "Community Listening Sessions Regarding Future Plans for the Ridgewood Reservoirs". It was hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Heidi and I signed up for the meeting assuming that it would be a group of people listening to the parks department describe what they had in store for the reservoir and its surroundings. What transpired was, well, different. The response by the public to the meeting was a pleasant surprise.
(continued at blog site...)
Newsday: The Lizard King by Bryn Nelson and A Study by Prof Russell Burke.. "Italian Immigrants" Flourish on Long Island......
A Study by Prof Russell Burke.. "Italian Immigrants" Flourish on Long Island...(pdf)
Two years before astronauts walked on the moon, a few dozen colonists took their first small steps onto another foreign landscape. The exact details are lost to legend, but the settlers soon discovered that Garden City wasn't such a bad place to land.
For a lizard.
Various tales have sprung up to explain the emigration of a small group of wall lizards from the north of Italy to the suburbs of Long Island. The most likely story involves a 1967 shipment destined for a now-defunct pet supply store that was waylaid by a minor accident, a broken crate and some very swift escapees.
No one knows for sure how many of the cold-blooded reptiles are now basking in the sunshine of suburbia. But they have adapted remarkably well to their adopted homeland, and they've extended far beyond Garden City.
As in their native precincts of Italy and southern Europe, the lizards are thriving in landscapes shaped by humans, in pockets of Nassau County as well as in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. A diet of spiders and crickets and other small invertebrates, a sunny spot to provide warmth and aid metabolism, a haven in the cracks and crevices of walls and gardens - all are abundant here.
The lizards have proliferated along the grassy corridors of railroad tracks, drainage ditches, and power lines. Others have likely hitched rides to new homes in the pockets of admirers, or even in piles of mulch.
"I'm sure there are tens of thousands, and they're spreading fast," says Hofstra University herpetologist Russell Burke.
Despite the advance, the tale of New York's Italian wall lizard population has not followed the familiar plot line of an invasive species wreaking havoc on the natives. Long Island has no lizards of its own, and the wall lizards seem to have filled an environmental niche that was previously vacant. As far as anyone can tell, they have yet to cause any harm.
Instead, their impact is perhaps most apparent in the childlike wonder that follows in their wake. A biologist laughs at their antics in a nursery school garden. A father eagerly maps their spread. Children clamor to glimpse them on a playground.
Sometimes nature's lessons come in unexpected ways.
Burke has picked a warm September day for fishing, though his black fishing pole seems strangely out of place among impatiens and ornamental shrubs. The small noose dangling from the pole offers another suggestion that this will be no ordinary fishing expedition.
Burke is after the wall lizards, a source of both academic research and personal fascination. He has conducted many of his field studies here, in the three-tiered side garden and spacious backyard of the Garden City Nursery School.
At first, the garden appears deserted. Then a single lizard scurries across a railroad tie retainer and behind a small evergreen shrub. Within seconds, the creatures known as Podarcis sicula are everywhere. Grass-green backs. Mottled black and brown patterns with turquoise spots on either side. Basking on ornamental rocks, guarding bits of territory, surveying the scene from the safety of cracks in the garden's lower echelons.
With a fisherman's patience, Burke moves the noose ever closer to the head of a wary lizard. A quick jerking motion and he's made his first catch of the day, a 5-inch-long juvenile male with a dull green back, caught harmlessly around its head.
Burke paints the lizard on each side with a red marker, just as he's marked others with identifiable combinations of blue or black or green. His next catch - a 7-inch-long adult female with a typically narrow head - receives two red blotches on each side.
After another few minutes, he's caught the one he's been after all day, an elusive adult male that measures about 8 inches in length and has his own territory near the far end of the garden. The lizard promptly rewards Burke's efforts by biting him.
"Oh, that's enough of a pinch to hurt." He laughs as the lizard glares at him.
The herpetologist points to a row of scales where the lizard's hind legs intersect its abdomen, a region identifiable on males by a brown spot. It's from the femoral glands here that the male secretes its distinctive pheromone, a chemical calling card of sorts.
"It's probably like, 'I'm a big tough guy and this is my territory,'" Burke says of the scented message. A male lizard basking in the sunshine to regulate his body temperature and synthesize Vitamin D also may be marking his territory as he lays flat against the railroad ties, but Burke can only speculate.
The big male gets two blue marks on each side.
This temporary labeling system will help Burke study how the lizards feed and mate, and how they defend their territories. Some have done so for seven years or more - a ripe old age for a lizard.
He has already determined that they are almost genetically identical to one another, a hallmark of a population founded by a few individuals. Yet the New York settlers are, surprisingly, free of common parasites such as lizard malaria, and are reproducing even faster than their closest genetic kin in Italy.
The Italian group remains active year-round, but their New World cousins stop virtually all activity in the winter. Since Burke has discovered that the lizards cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, he would like to answer the question that's been nagging him for years: How do they survive the winters?
In Topeka, Kan., Larry Miller wonders the same thing. Related lizard species have ventured into Cincinnati and Victoria, British Columbia, and observers recorded a colony of Italian wall lizards in Philadelphia that petered out several decades ago. But active populations of the creatures also known as ruin lizards now inhabit only two known regions of North America: Long Island and Topeka.
Miller, a biology teacher at Topeka's Northern Hills Junior High School, also is mystified as to how they behave during the coldest weather. He hopes to answer some of the lingering questions by establishing a lizard study area near his school.
"I've been teaching science for about 30 years," he says, "and they're one of my best teaching tools."
Again, the details of the Topeka introduction are somewhat hazy, but a pet supply store and an absent-minded owner figure prominently. Miller estimates the lizards have expanded at least a quarter of a mile in all directions from their suspected release site in the late 1950s.
"They've moved in well and they're an animal that has managed to fill a niche that was created by humans," he says. Their urban success story is perhaps best documented by Topeka's prime lizard vantages: outside an auto parts store, a KFC restaurant and a Dimple Doughnuts shop.
It's about three-tenths of a mile from Long Island's Hempstead Turnpike to the generally agreed-upon point where the store-bound lizards made their escape - a site known to a few enthusiasts as Ground L. This stretch of Cherry Valley Avenue runs past ball fields, a bus depot and the municipal yard of Garden City.
The village's composting program at the municipal yard delivers rich black mulch to golf courses, recharge basins and residents, all of it free of charge. The "black gold" is full of nutrients, and lizards, who may be getting a free ride across the county.
Just down the road, the village's community park includes three landscaped pools, a miniature golf course, and other favorite spots for lizard-catching. A wall lizard has escaped on more than one occasion by relinquishing its twitching tail to the sweaty grasp of a young pursuer, a defense mechanism that also helps it evade cats and birds. The loss is only temporary, however. The lizard will soon grow another tail.
Nestled between the community park and the mulch piles lies lizard paradise - the 1-acre site of the Garden City Nursery School, which has harbored the creatures for more than two decades.
"They became such a fascination to the children and parents and teachers that the curiosity just increased tremendously," says school director Ann Amengual.
The lizards have since become the school's unofficial mascots. A green lizard thermometer commands a prominent position on a pillar by the entrance, the parents have produced several versions of lizard T-shirts for the children, and even the school's board has gotten into the spirit.
"We have a tradition now where the outgoing president gets a gold lizard pin," Amengual says.
Springtime at the school arrives with the wall lizards. "Science for young children is not about learning facts, but it's about stirring curiosity and learning about their life and their world," Amengual says. "That's what happens here. It's contagious - everyone loves these lizards."
Rob Alvey's love affair with the lizards began in 1985. As a teenager in the summer of '68, he had mowed the school's lawn, but it wasn't until he returned as a parent that he first saw them. Lots of them.
The collector of more than 10,000 frog-related items soon found room in his life for yet another small green creature. Alvey, a geologist, even got his daughter involved in an early tracking project using color-coded beads sewn onto the back of each lizard.
When he was appointed to the Garden City Environmental Advisory Board in 1992, Alvey promptly launched a project to trace the background of the lizards. In 1993 he appealed to residents to help him track the reptiles by reporting sightings. Thanks to the Garden City Lizard Watch, he was able to map their expanding range and estimated that they were advancing by a block to 1 1/2 blocks every year.
"I was concerned whether this was a good thing, a dangerous thing," he recalls. "And the more I learned, the more I discovered that this is not something that we need to worry about."
At his home in Garden City, Alvey unfolds a rumpled map of the New York City metropolitan area on his dining room table. With a green highlighter, he marks some of the other known colonies that have radiated from Garden City: Planting Fields Arboretum. The Carle Place Water District. Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing.
In 1994 Alvey introduced four lizards to another one of his projects, the Garden City Bird Sanctuary near his home. Now, they abound throughout the 9-acre site. "They're prolific," he says. "They have a natural Viagra in them somewhere along the line."
Another lizard aficionado, Queens College associate biology professor Jon Sperling, remembers collecting lizards of his own at the Garden City municipal yard 12 or 13 years ago.
Perhaps not coincidentally, separate colonies have thrived at his home in Floral Park and at Queens College for the past 12 years. Unlike many of the students, the campus lizards prefer to hang out by Rosenthal Library, where they dart among the prostrate red cedar planted on an incline near the entrance.
"You can see them sunning themselves either on the plants themselves, or on the decor on the incline and on the stairway," Sperling says.
He has integrated the lizards into some of his lessons, asking students whether they've noticed them. Many haven't.
"It's a matter of observation," he says. "People could live next to them all their lives and not see them. Some people are blind to things like that."
In the winter months, few New Yorkers have seen the lizards. One of the few exceptions was when a Long Island homeowner spotted several huddled together beneath a lifted slab of sidewalk.
Last fall, Burke designed a project for high school student Allison Goodman to find out where Italian wall lizards go when the temperature falls below freezing. But neither electrician's tape nor glue held his tiny radio transmitters in place, and the mystery remains - at least for another year.
Despite an unseasonably warm afternoon that bathes the nursery school's garden in light, the wall lizards refuse to stir from their seclusion on St. Patrick's Day. But the following afternoon, a few emboldened members of a colony residing in the Hofstra University greenhouse venture into the adjacent yard to enjoy the sunshine. By the next week, a few more make brief appearances near the biology building at Queens College. They begin showing up in scattered yards around Garden City, and then at the nursery school itself.
At the far end of the school's garden, a midsized lizard ventures out on a railway tie before its courage falters and it scurries between the cracks of the wooden tier. Then a tiny lizard with only a hint of green on its back makes its afternoon debut - a summer hatchling with spring fever. But its day in the sun is quickly curtailed by an aggressor twice its size that is in no mood to share its garden fiefdom.
Amid the patchy afternoon sunshine and chatter of small children arriving for school, the wall lizards of spring have returned.
"I didn't see one, but I thought I heard one," says a little girl with a blond bob. Her two friends quickly join her, shushing one another as they tiptoe toward the near end of the garden. Three pairs of feet shuffle around a bush and curious hands pry through the greenery, but no lizards turn up.
"I think we scared it away," the little girl says as they head back inside. Moments later, the lizard reappears just where she said it should be, with a nearby cascade of ivy providing a hideout.
Later that afternoon, Burke and a pair of lizards join a group of schoolchildren for a session of show and tell.
Who's seen a lizard?
Hands shoot up and several kids have stories.
What eats them? Burke asks. Snakes? Cats?
"Lions," offers a boy.
"Cheetahs," says a girl.
For the afternoon lizard hunt, 18 young assistants peer into the garden, around the plastic border of the playground, between the cracks in the back fence. But the wall lizards, perhaps sensing the commotion, have apparently called it a day.
It doesn't matter. The lizards will be out again next week, and for many more weeks after that. Until cold weather forces a temporary retreat, they will be playing hide and seek, scampering across the fence ties and delighting a few dozen young naturalists eager to see, to touch, to learn the simple lessons that nature - and fate - have brought to their own backyard.
LIZARDS ON THE LOOSE. Follow the story of the Italian wall lizard on Long Island with an interactive timeline, learn how to report sightings, and see video of them at www.linature.com.
What does 7 PM mean? What do car-free hours in NYC parks mean? I shot this video on Wednesday, 6/20/07 at the 3rd Street entrance on the west side of Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
In the fifteen minutes before a Parks Department van arrived, about 50 cars entered the park at 3rd Street. While that might not seem like a big number by traffic standards, many cars are also entering at busier locations, such as Grand Army Plaza and near the start of Ocean Parkway.
Most people can't enjoy the park during the day. Wouldn't it be nice if walkers, runners, bikers, kids, parents, and anyone else who wanted to enjoy the park on weekday evenings didn't have to chase daylight in a losing battle against cars?
PLEASE NOTE: This is not meant as a criticism of the well-meaning Parks Department employees responsible for closing the park. They are only doing their jobs with the resources - one van and two people - they have. What is needed is an institutional change, more resources to send out more teams, better barriers, and stricter enforcement.
This is a really interesting video on the Brooklyn Water works infrastructure and the history of the Ridgewood Reservoir...
Video running time: 28 minutes...
Combining his agricultural knowledge with colleague Gavin McIntyre's interest in sustainable technology, the two created their patented "Greensulate" formula, an organic, fire-retardant board made of water, flour, oyster mushroom spores and perlite, a mineral blend found in potting soil. They're hoping the invention will soon be part of the growing market for eco-friendly products.
Bringing the insulation to market is still at least a year away though, said McIntyre, and will require much more research and work, not to mention more sophisticated equipment and a better work space.
"We've been growing the material under our beds," said McIntyre, adding that they've applied for a grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.
The two young developers -- Bayer is 21, McIntyre 22 -- graduated in May from RPI with dual majors in mechanical engineering and product design and innovation.
"I think it has a lot of potential, and it could make a big difference in people's lives," said RPI Professor Burt Swersy, whose Inventor's Studio course inspired the product's creation. "It's sustainable, and enviro-friendly, it's not based on petrochemicals and doesn't require much energy or cost to make it."
The two say recent tests at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have shown it to be competitive with most insulation brands on the market. A 1-inch-thick sample of the perlite-mushroom composite had a 2.9 R-value, the measure of a substance's ability to resist heat flow. Commercially produced fiberglass insulation typically has an R-value between 2.7 and 3.7 per inch of thickness, according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
With a rapidly increasing global population, a limited supply of natural resources, and rising energy prices, eco-friendly housing products are selling fast. Numerous companies have carved out their niche selling "green" building supplies such as recycled fiber board and plant-based paints. The Environmental Home Center in Seattle sells an insulation made from denim scraps and another made from 100 percent recycled paper among their many green building products.
After looking through about 800 patents, though, Bayer and McIntyre realized they'd hit upon a relatively original idea. Unlike many green building products, Greensulate isn't made from pre-existing materials. It requires little energy or expense to produce because it's grown from organic material.
Here's how it works: A mixture of water, mineral particles, starch and hydrogen peroxide are poured into 7-by-7-inch molds and then injected with living mushroom cells. The hydrogen peroxide is used to prevent the growth of other specimens within the material.
Placed in a dark environment, the cells start to grow, digesting the starch as food and sprouting thousands of root-like cellular strands. A week to two weeks later, a 1-inch-thick panel of insulation is fully grown. It's then dried to prevent fungal growth, making it unlikely to trigger mold and fungus allergies, according to Bayer. The finished product resembles a giant cracker in texture.
"It really allows for a myriad of uses," said McIntyre. He said they've envisioned modifying the product to make structural panels that could be grown and assembled onsite to produce sustainable homes.
"Green building materials should be evaluated on the idea of cradle to cradle," said Evelyne Michaut of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In the cradle-to-cradle industrial model, goods should either be fully biodegradable or reusable, limiting waste and pollution, according to Michaut, a sustainable city advocate from Santa Monica, Calif.
"That's the ultimate environmental reference," she said, adding that it seems like Greensulate is on its way to fulfilling that criteria.
For Bayer and McIntyre, their next step will be creating larger pieces of Greensulate to use in building a wall. From there, they'll perform further testing to see how the product stands up to various elements, including saturation and humidity. McIntyre said they have one two-year-old sample that's been exposed to the elements and shown no sign of degradation.
As part of their development plan, they're entering a new business incubation program at RPI to get their company, Ecovative Design, off the ground. Eventually, they hope to land a partnership with another company.
"Our biggest challenge is that while we have this technology, we still have a lot of research to do," said Bayer. "The key is to really make sure we have a product that is mature and robust before we bring it to the market."
WASHINGTON - The government took the American bald eagle off theThursday — an official act of name-dropping that hailed as "a wonderful way" to celebrate the .
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, making the formal announcement at the, said: "Today I am proud to announce the eagle has returned."
His department made the recovery official by removing the eagle from the list of threatened species under the. The bird had been reclassified from endangered to threatened in 1995.
Today, there are nearly 10,000 mating pairs of bald eagles in the contiguous 48 states, compared to a documented 417 in 1963 when the bird was on the verge of extinction everywhere except inand where it has continued to thrive.
"After years of careful study, public comment and planning, the Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are confident in the future security of the American bald eagle," said Kempthorne.
He promised that "from this point forward we will work to ensure that the eagle never again needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act."
The eagle, whose decline came during years in which the bird was often targeted by hunters and later became a victim of the pesticide DDT, will still be protected by state statutes and a federal law passed by Congress in 1940 that makes it illegal to kill a bald eagle.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is developing guidelines on how that law will be implemented. It also is developing a permitting system to allow landowners to develop their property and still protect the eagle population.
But scientists thought they hadn't reached warm areas until about 10 million years ago
Now, researchers report in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have found remains of two types of penguin in Peru that date to 40 million years ago.
One of them was a 5-foot giant with a long sharp beak.
Paleontologist Julia Clarke, assistant professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State University, said she was surprised at the new find.
"This is the same age as the earliest penguins from South America. The only other record from the continent of that age is from the southernmost tip of the continent," she said. "The new finds indicate they reached equatorial regions much earlier than anyone previously thought."
The big bird is larger than any penguin known today and the third largest known to have ever lived, she added.
It is particularly unusual for such a large penguin to have been living in a warm climate, she noted. "In most cases, the larger individuals of a species or among related species are correlated with colder climes and higher latitudes."
The beak of the large penguin -- Icadyptes salasi -- "looks remarkably spearlike," she said. But the researchers don't know its exact feeding style.
The second new species -- Perudyptes devriesi -- was approximately the same size as a living King Penguin -- 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall -- and represents a very early part of penguin evolutionary history, the researchers said.
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation Office of International Science and Engineering and the National Geographic Society.
The following are the 20 common North American birds with the greatest population declines since 1967. Click on the thumbnail to view and download a high resolution, printable image. Photos may be published in connection with coverage of Common Birds in Decline and must be accompanied by the photographer's name. Click on the species name to link to its profile, or click on the audio link to download its bird call. All sounds must be credited to Lang Elliot, Nature Sound Studios. Broadcast-quality b-roll of several species may also be downloaded from Mastervision.com/Audubon
Images may not load directly into your browser. If not, download by 'right-clicking' link and select 'save target as' or 'save image as', or 'save link as' (mac users) to save to your computer first. You may then view the image with whatever photo-viewing software you currently use on your computer.
|#1 Northern Bobwhite||Ashok Khosla||Audio link|
|#2 Evening Grosbeak||Dave Menke, FWS||Audio link|
|#3 Northern Pintail||Howard B. Eskin||Audio link|
|#4 Greater Scaup||Donna Dewhurst, FWS||Audio link|
|#5 Boreal Chickadee||Jeremy Yancey||Audio link|
|#6 Eastern Meadowlark||Laura Erickson||Audio link|
|#7 Common Tern||Glen Tepke||Audio link|
|#8 Loggerhead Shrike||Gary Stolz, FWS||Audio link|
|#9 Field Sparrow||Howard B. Eskin||Audio link|
|#10 Grasshopper Sparrow||Laura Erickson||Audio link|
|#11 Snow Bunting||Donna Dewhurst, FWS||Audio link|
|#12 Black-throated Sparrow||Brad Fiero||Audio link|
|#13 Lark Sparrow||Glen Tepke||Audio link|
|#14 Common Grackle||Howard B. Eskin||Audio link|
|#15 American Bittern||Gary Zahm, FWS||Audio link|
|#16 Rufous Hummingbird||Howard B. Eskin||Audio link|
|#17 Whip-poor-will||John Cassady||Audio link|
|#18 Horned Lark||George Jameson||Audio link|
|#19 Little Blue Heron||Laura Erickson||Audio link|
|#20 Ruffed Grouse||Laura Erickson||Audio link|
The mysterious and alarming collapse of honeybee populations throughout the United States has prompted a new local study of the phenomenon.
The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and the Greenbelt Native Plant Center at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation are joining forces to study bees native to the city, and the indigenous plants they pollinate. The pilot program will recruit volunteers to collect data and spread the word about the key role bees play in pollinating plants.
In case you forgot to mark it in your calendar, National Pollinator Week began on Sunday. The week is designed to promote the health of resident and migratory pollinating animals.
“Bees are a crucial part of our urban ecosystem,” said Eleanor Sterling, director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. “We are very pleased to be collaborating with Parks to examine the relationship between the city’s native bees and plants.”
The project is modeled on a similar recent study carried out in San Francisco and has been modified to focus on East Coast bees and plants. About 800 species of bees are found east of the Mississippi River and a surprising number — more than 200 — have been documented in New York City.
Throughout the week, Liz Johnson, manager of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation’s metropolitan biodiversity program, and Ed Toth, director of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, are giving volunteers a one-hour orientation and training session. The natural history museum said in a news release:
The G.N.P.C. will distribute six native, bee-pollinated flowering plants to volunteers, which they will be directed to plant in a sunny location in their own backyards. Twice per month over the summer and fall, the volunteers will observe how long it takes for bees to discover the plants and which bee species visit their flowers. Data from the pilot period will be analyzed by Johnson, Toth, and other project advisors, and the results will be released sometime during the winter.
One of the best things about the departure of the Bush Administration will be the end of headache-creating cognitive dissonance. It has taken over institutions ostensibly devoted to defending the natural world—the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality—and turned them into organizations devoted to environmental degradation. And it has passed a set of anti-environmental laws that sound like they were dreamed up by wild-eyed nature lovers—the Clear Skies Act turns out to gut the old Clean Air Act, for instance, and the Healthy Forests Initiative has initiated a great deal of unhealthy deforestation. (“No Tree Left Behind,” someone quickly dubbed it.) We’ll not be in some new green nirvana when Bush finally leaves, but at least we might start trying to solve real problems.
We already faced daunting environmental challenges in 2000, of course, challenges that would have taken decades of good-faith effort to overcome. But rather than attempt the difficult and slow reversal of our cheap-energy economy, Bush has eagerly raced forward into whole new worlds of environmental turmoil. You can see this reckless disregard most plainly, alas, when you look at the worst problem the country faces: climate change.
Bush came into office promising that he would require U.S. power plants to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, and if he’d stuck to the plan, our country would already look quite different. Solar panels would have begun to sprout in real numbers, cars would be smaller, we’d be building more passenger trains. Instead, Bush repudiated the promise within a few weeks of taking office. He said he didn’t want to do anything that would raise the price of energy. His energy task force, chaired by Dick Cheney, barely even mentioned the possibility of global warming. It concentrated on new places to find fossil fuel, new pipelines to carry it, new refineries to refine it—and indeed, just as Cheney suggested, there are about 159 new coal-fired power plants in some stage of planning or construction around the country. Meanwhile, carbon-dioxide output has increased an average of 1.6 percent every year—and the average price for a gallon of gas has nearly doubled.
But Bush’s folly at home isn’t the worst of it. As soon as he took office, he also repudiated America’s participation in the Kyoto treaty process, the one international attempt to begin reining in carbon emissions. And he did it at the critical moment when China and India were just beginning their rapid energy takeoffs. It’s possible that this is what history will judge Bush most sternly for, even more than the Iraq war. With real effort and real resources, we might have nudged the emerging economies onto a different energy trajectory in 2000, but by now their path appears set. Plans call for some 600 new coal-fired plants in China and India alone; the Chinese open a new plant every week.
Still, there is much that can be done. As the head of a vast regulatory body, the next president can exert significant influence on environmental rules. The Bush years began with the news that rules for allowable arsenic concentration in drinking water were being revised—and not in the direction of more protection. The trend continues. Earlier this winter a Senate hearing revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency was considering weakening lead standards and ceasing the testing for perchlorate—a potent endocrine disruptor—in the nation’s water supply. The EPA has also narrowed its “new source review” policy, which requires power companies to install modern pollution controls when they expand their plants. The result, according to a 2006 study, will be 2.7 million additional tons of nitrogen oxide, 13 million additional tons of sulfur dioxide, and 660 million additional tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the lifetime of the plants—unless the next president changes the rules once again.
Such changes, though, will require appointing people who care about the environment to positions of real responsibility. The Bush environmental team has come straight from the industries it now regulates. Mark Rey, the Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for natural resources and environment, spent eighteen years as a timber lobbyist; Jeffrey Holmstead, the assistant EPA administrator for air and radiation, was a lawyer who represented the Alliance for Constructive Air Policy, an electric-utility trade group; and the list goes on. Do these insider links have consequences? Well, the New York Times reported in March that Philip A. Cooney, the onetime chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality—and a former “climate team leader” at the American Petroleum Institute—had “repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming.” It shouldn’t be too hard to find people to run regulatory agencies who don’t come from the organizations being regulated.
Even if these agencies wanted to enforce the law, though, they’d have trouble doing so on their sharply reduced budgets. This year, for instance, EPA funding for research and development is at its lowest level since 1987, and the agency’s own internal watchdog, the Office of Inspector General, faces deep cuts in personnel. And it’s not just enforcement money that’s disappearing. Take the National Park system, which Bush, running for president in 2000, declared needed $5 billion in additional funding. Instead, national parks over the course of his administration have been required to do more with less, and those budget shortfalls have all kinds of unintended consequences. A cash-poor Redwood National Park, for instance, was forced to reduce its park patrols, and now lumber peddlers are sneaking in at night and poaching fallen trees.
Most important, the next president will have to put the environment, and especially carbon policy, at the center of every diplomatic effort. That will be a novel experience for a war-oriented foreign policy elite—but the notion that “terror” represents our greatest threat is impossible to maintain once you’ve read the scientific predictions for rising seas, looming droughts, falling harvests. The Kyoto Protocol we didn’t sign will expire in 2012, and negotiations are beginning for whatever will succeed it. Unless there’s a U.S.-led effort to produce something truly dramatic, the world might as well not bother.
Friday, June 29, 2007
WASHINGTON, June 28 — With competing blocs of justices claiming the mantle of Brown v. Board of Education, a bitterly divided Supreme Court declared Thursday that public school systems cannot seek to achieve or maintain integration through measures that take explicit account of a student’s race.
A look at notable cases of the term including the one that limits the ability of school districts to manage the racial makeup of the student bodies in their schools. With audio from some of the court’s arguments. Go »
Voting 5 to 4, the court, in an opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., invalidated programs in Seattle and metropolitan Louisville, Ky., that sought to maintain school-by-school diversity by limiting transfers on the basis of race or using race as a “tiebreaker” for admission to particular schools.
Both programs had been upheld by lower federal courts and were similar to plans in place in hundreds of school districts around the country. Chief Justice Roberts said such programs were “directed only to racial balance, pure and simple,” a goal he said was forbidden by the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” he said. His side of the debate, the chief justice said, was “more faithful to the heritage of Brown,” the landmark 1954 decision that declared school segregation unconstitutional. “When it comes to using race to assign children to schools, history will be heard,” he said.
The decision came on the final day of the court’s 2006-7 term, which showed an energized conservative majority in control across many areas of the court’s jurisprudence.
Chief Justice Roberts’s control was not quite complete, however. While Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined his opinion on the schools case in full, the fifth member of the majority, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, did not. Justice Kennedy agreed that the two programs were unconstitutional. But he was highly critical of what he described as the chief justice’s “all-too-unyielding insistence that race cannot be a factor in instances when, in my view, it may be taken into account.”
In a separate opinion that could shape the practical implications of the decision and provide school districts with guidelines for how to create systems that can pass muster with the court, Justice Kennedy said achieving racial diversity, “avoiding racial isolation” and addressing “the problem of de facto resegregation in schooling” were “compelling interests” that a school district could constitutionally pursue as long as it did so through programs that were sufficiently “narrowly tailored.”
The four justices were “too dismissive” of the validity of these goals, Justice Kennedy said, adding that it was “profoundly mistaken” to read the Constitution as requiring “that state and local school authorities must accept the status quo of racial isolation in schools.”
As a matter of constitutional doctrine and practical impact, Justice Kennedy’s opinion thus placed a significant limitation on the full reach of the other four justices’ embrace of a “colorblind Constitution” under which all racially conscious government action, no matter how benign or invidious its goal, is equally suspect.
How important a limitation Justice Kennedy’s opinion proves to be may become clear only with time, as school districts devise and defend plans that appear to meet his test.
Among the measures that Justice Kennedy said would be acceptable were the drawing of school attendance zones, “strategic site selection of new schools,” and directing resources to special programs. These would be permissible even if adopted with a consciousness of racial demographics, Justice Kennedy said, because in avoiding the labeling and sorting of individual children by race they would satisfy the “narrow tailoring” required to meet the equal protection demands of the 14th Amendment.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who wrote the principal dissenting opinion, was dismissive of Justice Kennedy’s proposed alternatives and asserted that the court was taking a sharp and seriously mistaken turn.
Speaking from the bench for more than 20 minutes, Justice Breyer made his points to a courtroom audience that had never seen the coolly analytical justice express himself with such emotion. His most pointed words, in fact, appeared nowhere in his 77-page opinion.
“It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much,” Justice Breyer said.
In his written opinion, Justice Breyer said the decision was a “radical” step away from settled law and would strip local communities of the tools they need, and have used for many years, to prevent resegregation of their public schools. Predicting that the ruling would “substitute for present calm a disruptive round of race-related litigation,” he said, “This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret.”
He said the chief justice’s invocation of Brown v. Board of Education was “a cruel irony” when the opinion in fact “rewrites the history of one of this court’s most important decisions” by ignoring the context in which it was issued and the Supreme Court’s subsequent understanding of it to permit voluntary programs of the sort that were now invalidated.
“It is my firm conviction that no member of the court that I joined in 1975 would have agreed with today’s decision,” Justice Stevens said. He did not mention, nor did he need to, that one of the justices then was William H. Rehnquist, later the chief justice, for whom Chief Justice Roberts once worked as a law clerk.
Justice Clarence Thomas was equally pointed and equally personal in an opinion concurring with the majority.
“If our history has taught us anything,” Justice Thomas said, “it has taught us to beware of elites bearing racial theories.” He added in a footnote, “Justice Breyer’s good intentions, which I do not doubt, have the shelf life of Justice Breyer’s tenure.”
The justices had been wrestling for over a year with the two cases. It was in January 2006 that parents who objected to the Louisville and Seattle programs filed their Supreme Court appeals from the lower court decisions that had upheld the programs.
The Louisville case was Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, No. 05-915, filed by the mother of a student who was denied a transfer to his chosen kindergarten class because the school he wanted to leave needed to keep its white students to stay within the program’s racial guidelines.
The Seattle case, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, No. 05-908, was filed by a group of parents who had formed a nonprofit corporation to fight the city’s high school assignment plan.
Because a single Supreme Court opinion resolved both cases, the decision carries only the name of the Seattle case, which had the lower docket number.
The appeals provoked a long internal struggle over how the court should respond. Months earlier, when Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was still on the court, the justices had denied review in an appeal challenging a similar program in Massachusetts. With no disagreement among the federal appellate circuits on the validity of such programs, the new appeals did not meet the criterion the court ordinarily uses to decide which cases to hear. It was June of last year before the court, reconfigured by the additions of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, announced, over the unrecorded but vigorous objection of the liberal justices, that it would hear both appeals.
By the time the court ruled on Thursday, there was little suspense over what the outcome would be. Not only the act of accepting the appeals, but also the tenor of the argument on Dec. 4, gave clear indications that the justices were on course to strike down both plans.
The cases were by far the oldest on the docket by the time they were decided; the other decisions the court announced on Thursday were in cases that were argued in March and April. What consumed the court during the seven months the cases were under consideration, it appears likely, was an effort by each side to edge Justice Kennedy closer to its point of view.
While it is hardly uncommon to find Justice Kennedy in the middle of the court, his position there this time carried a special resonance. He holds the seat once occupied by Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. who, 29 years ago to the day, announced his separate opinion in the Bakke case. That solitary opinion, rejecting quotas but accepting diversity as a rationale for affirmative action in university admissions, defined the law for the next 25 years, until the decision was refined and to some degree strengthened in the University of Michigan Law School decision.
Justice Kennedy was a dissenter from that 2003 decision. But, surprisingly, he cited it on Thursday, invoking it to rebut the argument that the Constitution must be always be, regardless of context or circumstance, colorblind.
This isn't one long tirade, if you watch the clock, her producer tried to lead with this story during three different hourly news reports. You'll see that Mika first refused to do the story at 6am EST and was handed it anew at 7 -- when she tried to set it on fire -- and again at 8 when she finally shred it...
Isn't she so cute when she's angry...
Did you know that your children eat off of Styrofoam trays each day at school? Each day, NYC public schools serve meals on Styrofoam trays. It is estimated that 850,000 trays are used daily throughout the public schools. These trays are then thrown out, discarded, into our already overused landfills. These trays do not decompose. These trays, as they fall apart, prevent other trash from decomposing. These trays cannot be recycled. Additionally, studies suggest the possibility of chemical migration into the food our children eat each day. Demand that the NYC Department of Education find a healthier and more environmentally-friendly alternative!!!
Also, check us out on TV at http://email@example.com
"I can see the forces are arrayed against me," said Philip Nobile, who teaches at the Cobble Hill School of American Studies. "The story here is the whistle-blower who failed."
Nobile, who has been reassigned to administrative duties, said the charges that he physically disciplined two students and failed others without cause are "retaliatory" and a "smear."
Nobile made his first allegation of grade-fixing after a Post exposé on the practice in January 2004. That led to a 14-month investigation that derailed the careers of three educators at the school.
On Tuesday, city Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon released a report calling the investigation that Nobile sparked "flawed from its inception."
The combative writer made waves in 2005 with his assertions that President Abraham Lincoln had a homosexual affair. As early as 2000, Nobile campaigned to boycott radio host Don Imus for racist language.
His book "Judgement at the Smithsonian" accused President Harry Truman of war crimes for dropping the A-bomb.
He's also written extensively about sex as an editor of Penthouse Forum and as co-author of "The Perfect Fit," about the female orgasm.
A former seminarian, Nobile says he is committed to staying a teacher because it's the "frontline" of civil rights.
Additional reporting by Ben Frumin
Bush On 'No Child Left Behind'
Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school operator from Los Angeles, is seeking to expand into New York with the cooperation of the teachers’ union.
Under the proposal, Green Dot, which is heavily financed by the billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, would open a high school in the South Bronx. The school, which must be approved by the state, would become one of only a handful of charter schools in the city to use a union contract.
The cooperation of the union, the United Federation of Teachers, is unusual. It has been lukewarm toward charter schools, many of which actively oppose unions. The schools are publicly financed but are largely free from the control of local school districts.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the teachers’ union, said yesterday that she approached Steve Barr, the founder of Green Dot, to open the school because he favors working with unions.
“We have never been against increasing charters, but we were against the anti-union animus in some charter schools,” Ms. Weingarten said. The union already runs two charter schools in Brooklyn.
The plan calls for all teachers to be part of the union, but their contract would be simpler than the citywide contract. The union and Green Dot have already reached agreement on the general terms and structure of their contract.
Rather than dictating the number of hours and minutes teachers must spend at the schools, it would just call for a “professional workday,” they said. The contract could also eliminate tenure, but would set guidelines for when a teacher can be dismissed. Many charter schools can dismiss teachers at will.
Mr. Barr, who has sparred in recent months with school officials in Los Angeles over his aggressive plans for expansion of schools, said that he had turned down offers before to expand beyond California and that he had responded only because it was the union that had approached him.
“If it were the mayor or the chancellor, I probably would have said no,” he said in an interview yesterday. “But to say that we are doing reform with the largest union is something very different. We can prove the unions and reformers work together.”
The Beginning With Children Charter School, housed in a former factory in Brooklyn, landed on the state’s list of high-performing schools this year, thanks to rising English and math test scores among black and Hispanic students.
But its founders and wealthy patrons, Joseph H. and Carol F. Reich, who have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the school, think it could be better. “It’s above average,” said Mr. Reich, 72, “but considering the effort and the capability and the resources, we don’t feel we’re getting the best we can.”
So last month, the couple — threatening to cut ties, including financial support — forced most of the school’s trustees to resign in a push for wide management changes, and better student achievement.
The move caused an uproar among parents and teachers who said they would be left with no formal say at the school. “My voice is going to be lost,” said Shakema Daise, the mother of a first grader.
The clash has exposed fault lines of wealth and class that are perhaps inevitable as philanthropists, in New York and nationwide, increasingly invest in public education, providing new schools to children in poor neighborhoods while making communities dependent on their generosity.
And for those lucky to have such benefactors, the situation raises core questions: Who ultimately controls charter schools, which are financed by taxpayers but often rely heavily on charitable donations? Do the schools, which operate outside the control of the local school district, answer to parents, or to their wealthy founders?
At Beginning With Children, many parents and teachers say that the Reichs’ main interest is to burnish their reputation as advocates for charter schools, and that the school’s original purpose, of catering to each child’s individual needs, is now secondary to drilling for exams in an effort to elevate scores and the Reichs’ credibility.
The Reichs support not just Beginning With Children, and a second school they founded in Brooklyn, but charter schools generally. They gave $10 million to help create the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence, a nonprofit group dedicated to opening 50 more of the schools.
“Joe and Carol Reich started the school for whatever reasons initially,” said Gail Sims Bliss, a teacher and former trustee who resigned reluctantly. “But it has grown into their participation in the charter movement with a capital M.” She added, “They cannot allow the school to compromise their status and their progress in this particular movement.”
In an interview, Mr. and Mrs. Reich said they were committed to their original promise of providing children with an education that would lead to success in college and in life. “We promised to build them a model education program that would lay the groundwork for their future,” said Mr. Reich, a retired investment banker. “This didn’t come from nowhere. We were really worried that the school wasn’t delivering.”
The Reichs are not alone in directing their charity to schools. The Walton, Broad and Gates foundations, all founded by billionaires, support charter schools nationwide.
Andre Agassi, the retired tennis great, opened a charter school named after him in Las Vegas. The former N.B.A. star, Kevin Johnson, started two charter schools in Sacramento. The billionaire corporate raider, Carl C. Icahn, has a charter school named for him in the Bronx. And Courtney Sales Ross, the multimillionaire widow of a Time Warner executive, has the Ross Global Academy Charter School, housed in the basement of the city’s Education Department headquarters.
Nor are the Reichs the only ones facing difficulties. The Ross Global Academy is on its fourth principal in less than a year.
Frederick M. Hess, an expert on philanthropy in education, said there would be more disputes like the one in Brooklyn as high-profile donors invest their reputations in schools and face “the enormous kind of name-brand question.”
“When those schools disappoint them, when there are disputes or divergence regarding institutional mission,” asked Mr. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, “how are they going to negotiate this relationship?” He added, “What we are seeing is really just the front end of what is going to be a fascinating dynamic.”
In educational philanthropy, the Reichs were pioneers. They fought for years to get the city’s Board of Education to let them open the Beginning With Children school in 1992 in an impoverished section of Williamsburg, before charter schools became a national trend and at a time when private donors were generally reluctant to write checks to public school systems. The school converted to charter status in 2001.
They fought through bureaucratic tangles to get the system to accept a virtually free building, a former Pfizer pharmaceutical factory, which the school now occupies for $1 a year.
The school has done well, though far from stellar. This year, 69 percent of students in Grades 3 to 8 scored at or above grade level on the state English exam, compared with the 56 percent citywide average. And 77 percent of students scored at or above grade level on the math exam, compared with 65 percent citywide. The state reauthorized the school’s charter last year, giving it a full five-year renewal.
But the Reichs are not satisfied and said the school’s trustees were an obstacle. Charter schools get taxpayer funding, but are run independently from local school districts under terms set out in their state-approved charters.
The 14-member Beginning With Children board included appointees from the Reichs’ foundation, which helps finance the school; parents; teachers; the principal; and community representatives. The board chairman, John Day, is a former Pfizer executive.
The Reichs said the problem was that the board was “constituency-based” and that they wanted members with practical skills like fund-raising or public relations instead. To get the changes, they threatened in a strongly worded letter to cut off their support unless all but three of the board members resigned. Among those told to quit were five parent and faculty representatives.
At a board meeting last month, parents lashed out at the Reichs, angrily describing their relationship as that of master and servant or landlord and tenant.
One parent said the threat to cut ties was “a gun pointed at the head of every child in this facility.” In recent years, the school has faced annual budget gaps of up to $635,000 that were filled by the Reichs’ foundation, and parents said they feared that the school would close without the Reichs’ help.
Mrs. Reich, 71, said of the letter: “It was not a blunt threat. It was a choice. You can go the way you are going or you can restructure yourselves.”
Many parents and teachers said they agreed that the board did not function well. But they also said there were disagreements with the Reichs over issues like how much to focus on standardized testing. And they accused the Reichs of meddling in areas like teacher hiring and the choice of a reading program.
“The emphasis on testing means the school is moving away from its original mission,” said Karl Klingbeil, a parent. “They just got tired of listening to us talk about curriculum and pedagogy.”
The Reichs said they did not want to squabble over such points, noting that the principal runs the school and that they themselves are not voting trustees. They said they had proposed creating a faculty senate and parent council to give input to the new trustees.
The city school system has stood at the sidelines. Garth Harries, who oversees charter schools for the Education Department, said they were intended to operate with wide autonomy. “We’re confident in this case, with Joe and Carol,” he said, “You are dealing with folks who have the interests of the school and the kids in mind.”
The three remaining board members at Beginning With Children have enlisted a consultant to help identify new trustees, and the Reichs said they were moving aggressively to set things right. “This was our school, it’s our dream, it’s our vision,” Mr. Reich said. “We are going to fight to make this school the best school it can be for this community.”
"Other cities are looking to us for guidance in turning their schools around, because they see that we're no longer writing off generation after generation of students," Bloomberg said yesterday at a Crain's Business Breakfast Forum in Midtown.
To keep from backsliding, Bloomberg said mayoral control must extend beyond its scheduled expiration date in 2009.
"It would be very hard for the legislature to look [parents] in the eye and say, 'Let's go back to the old days of patronage and failure,' " he said.
The mayor cited numerous improvements since he took control in 2002, including: a rise in students between grades 3 and 8 meeting math standards to 65 percent this year, from 37 percent in 2002; half of the same students meeting reading standards, compared to 39 percent in 2002; and a hike in graduation rates to 60 percent, from 48 percent in 2002.
Meet the city's hottest high school.
Academic powerhouse Townsend Harris HS in Queens is the most popular public high school, with more eighth-graders listing it as their first choice than any other school in the five boroughs.
An impressive 3,452 students heading to high school next fall picked Townsend Harris as their first choice, according to Department of Education stats.
Midwood HS ranked Second, with 2,705 students naming it as their first choice.
Rounding out the top five were Benjamin N. Cardozo HS in Queens, Herbert Lehman HS in The Bronx and Edward Murrow HS in Brooklyn.
The city's nine specialized schools, such as Stuyvesant, which require a test for admittance, are not included in the list. About 27,000 students took the test to get into those schools, with about 5,500 available seats.
All of the most popular schools are traditional, older and larger - a good sign, according to David Cohen, principal of 65-year-old Midwood HS, which offers two honors programs and focuses on science.
"It's nice to hear that larger schools are at the top, because recently, there's been a shift toward smaller, specialized schools," he said. "Comprehensive high schools are being phased out somewhat. But we're examples that when it's done right, it can work."
It has worked so well that all five top schools are way over capacity.
"I think that's just another potential pitfall that we have overcome," said Cohen, whose school is operating at 176 percent capacity.
On the other side of the popularity scale, most of the high schools with under 100 first-choice requests are small, newer schools without many seats or established reputations.
For example, Multicultural HS and Pan American International HS - both set to open in September to mostly immigrant populations - had the fewest first choice requests at five.
An exception is Jamaica HS in Queens, a larger, established school that had only 95 first-choice requests.
The Department of Education changed its high-school admissions process for the 2004 school year, eliminating traditional zoning and making all high schools open to the entire city. Now, high-school-bound students rank their top 12 schools.
The schools, in turn, rank the students, who are then matched with the highest-ranking school that ranked them.
For the 2007-08 school year, 88,320 students applied to enter public high school, and 83 percent were matched to one of their top five choices, according to the department. Almost half received their top choice.
Townsend Harris HS - 3452
Midwood HS - 2705
Benjamin Cardozo HS - 2548
Herbert H. Lehman HS - 2219
Deward R. Murrow HS - 1858
James Madison HS - 1752
Tottenville HS - 1686
Forest Hills High School - 1635
Dewitt Clinton HS - 1547
Francis Lewis HS - 1357
Thomas A. Edison HS - 1320
Leon M. Goldstein HS for the Sciences - 1295
Beacon High School - 1223
Fort Hamilton HS - 1176
Bayside High School - 1102
Susan E. Wagner HS - 1088
Manhattan Center for Science and Math Res. - 1029
Benjamin Banneker Academy - 989
M. Bergtraum HS Buisness Careers - 946
Baruch College Campus HS - 933
Bard High School - 891
HS of Telecommunication, Arts and Tech. - 870
HS of Art and Design - 867
A. Philip Randolph Campus H - 842
Aviation HS - 811
Fashion Industries HS - 801
Michael J. Petrides - 728
Clara Barton HS - 687
Curtis HS - 685
Bronx School for Law and Government - 618
Frank Sinatra HS - 611
Food and Finance - 570
Abraham Lincoln HS - 565
HS Healh Professions and Human Services - 554
HS for Enviornmental Studies - 535
Transit Tech HS - 529
New Utrecht HS - 529
Talent Unlimited HS - 511
Richmond Hill HS - 505
Professional Performing Arts School - 505
HS of Economics and Finance - 495
Millenium HS - 479
Hostos_Lincoln Academy - 450
Young Women's Leadership - 435
New Dorp HS - 435
Eleanor Roosevelt HS - 434
Frederick Douglass Academy - 429
Automotive HS - 428
John Adams HS - 423
Port Richmond HS - 413
Long Island City HS - 412
Queens Gateway - 402
HS of Teaching, Liberal Arts & Sciences - 398
Alfred E. Smith HS - 398
Queens Vocational and Technical - 387
Grace H. Dodge HS - 386
Brooklyn College Academy - 372
Bronx Leadership Academy - 369
HS for Information Tech. - 364
HS Construction Trades, Engineering - 364
Hillcrest HS - 362
Harry S. Truman HS - 359
Boys and Girls HS - 356
Franklin D. Roosevelt HS - 348
CSI HS for Interntational Studies - 335
EBC HS for Public Service (Bushwick) - 332
Brooklyn HS of the Arts - 329
Middle College HS - 328
Upper Lab - 326
Norman Thomas HS - 314
John Dewey HS - 313
HS for Health Career and Science - 310
Flushing HS - 306
Pace Academy HS - 304
Glover Cleveland HS - 304
Bronx Center for Science and Math - 302
Academy of American Studies - 302
Jane Adams HS - 292
Martin Van Buren HS - 278
HS of Intl. Buisness and Finance - 274
Beach Channel High School - 267
Bedford Academy HS - 266
Middle College HS @ Medgar Evers - 260
Thurgood Marshall - 245
HS Enterprise, Buisness and Tech. - 242
Christopher Columbus HS - 241
Brooklyn Studio Secondary School - 239
JFK HS - 234
Academy for Careers in Sports - 234
Marie Curie HS for Nursing - 231
HS of Law and Public Service - 231
HS of Legal Studies - 230
Graphic Communication Arts - 230
William H. Maxwell - 228
International HS - 216
Progress HS - 215
Man/Hunter College HS of Science - 213
Newtown HS - 210
Arts and Buisness HS - 210
Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy - 209
William C. Bryant HS - 205
Eagle Academy for Young Men HS - 203
Washington Irving HS - 198
HS of Media Communications - 197
Raplh McKee HS - 194
Bronx HS for the Visual Arts - 193
Franklin K. Lane HS - 192
Academy of Finance and Enterprise - 192
HS for Law Enforcement - 191
Canarsie HS - 191
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS - 190
Health Opportuities HS - 188
Wings Academy - 186
Sheepshead Bay HS - 186
Manhattan Village Academy - 186
John Bowne HS - 186
Samuel Gompers HS - 182
US Law and Justice - 181
School of the Future - 177
Bronx Aerospace Academy - 170
William E. Grady HS - 166
Bronx HS of Letters - 165
Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep - 164
Bronx Academy of Health Careers - 162
Louis D. Brandeis HS - 157
Chelsea HS - 157
Celia Cruz HS of Music - 157
Life Sciences Secondary School - 155
RFK Community HS - 150
Baccalaureate School for Global - 147
Bread and Roses Integrated Arts - 141
HS of Computers/Tech - 136
Banana Kelly High School - 136
HS of Teaching - 135
George Westinghouse HS - 135
Pelham Prep Academy High - 134
Bronx Engineering and Tech Academy - 134
HS of Arts and Tech at MLK - 133
Acorn Community HS - 130
Landmark HS - 127
Foreign Language Academy - 127
The Heritage School - 123
August Martin Education Complex - 123
In-Tech HS - 121
HS for Medical Sciences - 121
South Bronx Prep - 120
East Bronx Academy for the Future - 120
Bayrad Rustin HS for Humanities - 120
Fannie Lou Hamer HS - 119
Collegiate Institute of Math and Science - 118
East Side Community School - 117
University Heights HS - 116
Secondary School for Law - 116
Brooklyn Int. HS - 115
Sports Professions HS - 113
Bronx HS for Law and Community Service - 113
Academy Enviornmental Science - 113
Williamsburg Prep - 112
Fordham Leadership Academy - 111
MLK Law, Advocacy and Comm Justice - 110
Marble Hill HS for Intl Studies - 109
Far Rockaway HS - 109
Channel View School for Research. - 109
Science Skills CTR - 108
Bronx Theatre HS - 105
World Journalism Prep - 104
Fordham HS for the Arts - 101
Theatre Arts Production Company - 100
Paul Robeson HS - 100
All City Leadership Secondary School - 100
Dr. Susan McKinney Secondary School - 99
Robert F. Wagner Sch of Arts and Tech - 97
BX HS for Perform and Stagecraft - 97
Brooklyn Collegiate - 97
Bronx HS of Business - 97
Nest+M - 96
Astor Collegiate - 96
Monroe Academy Buisness and Law - 95
Manhattan Bridges HS - 95
Jamaica HS - 95
Int. School of Liberal Arts - 95
Academy for Young Writers - 95
Urban Assembly Sch for Applied Math/Science - 94
Vanguard HS - 93
NY Harbor HS - 93
Bushwick HS for Social Justice - 93
Teachers Prep HS - 92
E. NY Family Academy - 91
Mott Hall HS - 90
Essex Street Academy - 89
Bronx Lab HS - 89
Renaissance HS of Music, Theater and Tech - 88
Bushwick Leaders HS Acad. Ex. - 88
Scholars Academy HS - 87
HS for Leadership and Public Service - 87
Humanities and the Arts Magnet - 86
Millenium Art Academy - 85
FDNY GHS for Fire and Life Safety - 85
Manhattan International HS - 83
Frederick Douglass Academy 7 - 83
HS for Public Service - 82
Buisness, Computer Applica. & Entre - .81
Institute for Collaborative Ed - 80
HS for Teaching and the Professional - 80
Urban Assembly Sch of Design - 79
The New York City Musum School - 77
Flushing International - 77
The Academy of Urban Planning - 76
Brooklyn Community HS - 76
Validus Prep Academy - 74
Wadleigh Sec. School for the Perf - 73
The Urban Assembly School of Music/Art - 72
Academy for Scholarship and Entr. - 72
New Design HS - 71
Discovery HS - 71
Monroe Acad Visual Arts and Design - 70
EBC HS for Public Safety and Law - 70
Bronx International Academy - 70
Bronx HS for Writing and Comm. - 70
Mott Hall Bronx HS - 69
Law, Govt and Community Service - 69
Knowedge an Power Prep. - 69
Int. Arts Buisness HS - 69
Freedom Academy HS - 69
Mott Haven Village Prep HS - 68
Frederick Douglass Academy III - 68
GW Carver HS for the Sciences - 67
Brooklyn HS for Music and Theater - 67
Performing Arts and Tech HS - 66
Humanitites Prep Academy - 66
Hospitality Management - 66
Marta Valle Secondary School - 65
Lower Manhattan Arts Academy - 64
Frederick Douglass Academy II - 64
Caolition School for Socail Change - 63
Belmont Prep HS - 63
Acorn HS for Social Justice - 62
US Academy of Gov and Law - 61
The Bronx Guild HS - 61
Bronx Health Sciences - 61
Bronx Coalition Community School - 60
Int. HS at Prospect Heights - 59
Juan Morel Campos - 58
Excelsior Prep HS - 57
Brooklyn HS for Science and the Enviorn. - 57
Secondary School for Journalism - 56
Bronx Leadership Academy II - 56
Frederick Douglass Academy 6 - 54
Bronx School of Law and Finance - 54
University Neighborhood HS - 53
UA School of Buisness for Young Women - 52
HS of Sports Management - 52
West Bronx Academy for the Future - 51
HS of Applied Communication - 51
HS for Violin and Dance - 51
Henry Street School for International - 51
FDA IV - 50
The Brooklyn School for Global Studies - 49
Park East HS - 49
BKLYN S. for Collab. Studies - 49
Morris Academy for Collab - 48
47 Amer Sign Lang - 48
Math, Science Research & Tech - 47
Science, Tech and Research HS - 46
Choir Academy of Harlem - 45
Bronx Latin HS - 45
Global Enterprise Academy - 43
Cobble Hill HS - 41
School for Excellence - 40
Academy of Social Action - 40
Foundations Academy - 39
HS of Arts Imagination and Inquiry - 38
HS for Civil Rights - 38
East-West School of International - 38
Brooklyn Prep. HS - 38
The School for International Studies - 37
Public School Repertory Company - 37
Metro Corporate Academy - 37
Jonathan Levin HS - 37
Eximus College Prep ACAD - 37
Dual Lang. & Asian Studies HS - 37
Urban Assembly School for the Pe - 36
The Facing History School - 36
Community HS Social Justice - 36
Academy/College Prep/Career EXPL - 36
Queens Prep Acad - 35
Urban Assembly for Media Studies - 34
HS for Contemporary Art - 34
Gateway Enviornmental Research - 34
Central Park East Secondary - 34
Secondary School for Research - 33
Dreamyard Prep. School - 33
New Day Academy - 32
James Baldwin HS of Expedition - 32
Explorations Academy - 32
El Puente Academy for Peace - 32
The Felisa Rincon de Gautier Institute - 31
BX Expeditionary Learning HS - 31
School for Community Development - 30
Metro HS - 30
HS for Human Rights - 30
HS Democracy and Leadership - 30
Manhattan Theater Lab - 29
Kingsbridge Int. HS - 29
New World HS - 28
HS for Global Citizenship - 28
Service and Learning - 26
Brooklyn Generation School+A28 - 26
New Explorers - 25
Legacy School for Integrated Studies - 25
Academy of Hospitality and Tourism - 25
Academy for Enviornmental Leadership - 25
World Advocacy for Total Comm - 24
Leadership Institute - 23
Academy for Language and Techno. - 22
Pathways College Prep - 21
Urban Assembly for History and Citiz - 20
Pablo Neruda Academy for Architecture - 20
Green SCH/Academy/Enviornmental - 20
School for Community Research - 18
Peace Diversity Acad HS - 18
Victory Collegiate HS - 17
Prep/Acad Writers - 17
Rachel Carson School of Coastal Studies - 16
Life Academy High School for Film - 16
Arts & Media Prep Academy - 16
Lyons Community School - 12
Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning - 12
Gotham Professional Art Academy - 12
Brooklyn Theatre Arts HS - 12
Int. Community HS - 11
Agnes Y. Humphrey School for Lead. - 9
It Takes a Village Academy - 8
Expeditionary Learning School - 8
Holcombe L. Rucker School - 7
Unity HS - 6
Pan American Int. HS - 5
Multicultural HS - 5