School Desk

Protecting student loan borrowers


State attorney general Eric Schneiderman joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general across the country to demanding the federal education department end its rollback of legal protections for student loan borrowers.

In a letter sent to education secretary Betsy DeVos, the AGs claim the department ended two key understandings it had with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The education department wrongly said it has sole jurisdiction over companies that serve federal loans when instead, it’s under the supervision of the financial protection bureau, justice department, attorney general and other agencies.

Also, Schneiderman and his cohort said, the department stripped protections for students and families repaying loans.

Math brings dollars to STEM teachers

Math for America awarded more than 300 four-year fellowships to math and science teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade across the five boroughs, including nearly 200 in the Bronx.

Funding from the fellowship can be used toward travel to conferences or classroom materials to teach science, technology, engineering and math.

Founded in 2004, Math for America is a privately funded organization that awarded some $110 million on fellowships since 2013. Much of the group’s support comes from the Simons Foundation, founded in 1994 to fund research in mathematics and the basic sciences. 

Sex ed gets failing grade

New York’s education department is not providing comprehensive health education to its middle and high school students, according to city comptroller Scott Stringer, so it’s no wonder a little more than half the city’s eighth-graders completed one semester of health class.

Stringer cited a recent report from his office that also claims just a fraction of the more than 4,500 middle and high school instructors assigned to teach the course are even licensed.

The report comes as public data shows teen pregnancy rates in the Bronx remains the highest in the state, while sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which were at its lowest levels in 2011, were on the rise in 2015, according to Stringer’s report. 

Sign up now for gifted, talented test

Parents hoping to get their children into the city’s gifted and talented programs have until Nov. 13 to sign up for the entrance exam, which is administered in January.

Children in pre-kindergarten through second grade are eligible to take the test, according to the education department’s website.

For more information, visit

Riverdalian named national trailblazer

Ronald Bergmann, Lehman College’s chief information officer, was named one of the nation’s top 30 technologists, transformers and trailblazers by the Center for Digital Education.

Winners were selected based on their efforts to improve education using technology, according to the center’s website.

Bergmann was one of the minds behind the school’s Virtual Reality Training Academy and Development Lab, which launched earlier this year as Lehman looks to position itself as the borough’s technology leader.
The center is a California-based national research and advisory institute.