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NY Update

NY Update

By Jake Jacobs
A public school teacher discusses NY education news, policy and politics in New York and beyond.

Twitter: @UpdateNY
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Debating charter schools with Governor Patterson on "Rush Hour with Bo Snerdley"

NY Update

Debating School Shootings the Day after Uvalde (Joe Piscopo Show AM-970)
Discussion of gun violence in schools the day following the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas Call starts at 4:30 mark following a wide-ranging, unhinged rant by Piscopo invoking frequent right-wing themes about gun-grabbing, transphobia, rigged elections and leftist censorship, laying blame on Joe Biden, "Marxist" Democrats, Covid and Satan among others. In the call, I describe the predictable repetition of these copycat massacres with mentally unwell 18-year olds easily obtaining assault weapons, the role of the media in publicizing shooters' manifestos, and the effect on young students in my classroom. Piscopo seems to ponder red flag prohibitions on access to guns for "crazy" people, but continually mentions his doubts on gun restrictions because of potential civil unrest on the horizon. This is reinforced in a subsequent call at the 10:40 mark from a gun rights advocate who believes we are in the final stages of a Marxist insurrection which is "going to get really hot" and the massacres we're seeing in classrooms do not qualify as an epidemic. Followed by some final thoughts around the 13:00 mark. Originally aired on The Joe Piscopo Show AM-970 on May 25, 2022. Show archive version:
August 15, 2022
Debating charter schools with Governor Patterson on "Rush Hour with Bo Snerdley"
James Golden, the longtime producer for the Rush Limbaugh Show, dubbed "Bo Snerdley", now has his own extreme-right talk radio show on WABC 770 AM, here discussing charter schools with former NYS Governor David Patterson until I call in with a few facts, explaining just how charter schools cherrypick students from public schools in violation of the 1998 state law that created them. After cutting my audio, Patterson falsely claims the cherrypicking is no longer happening, but in fact it was just this past year Success Academy was found liable for millions in damages for discriminating against high-needs students. We also urge anyone still unsure of the way NYC charter schools rig the system to listen to this 7-part podcast series in which their former employees and parents describe the systematic exclusion of low-performing students:
June 04, 2022
Interview with Jeffrey Greenberg for Clarkstown Supervisor in Rockland County, NY
Special candidate interview with business owner Jeffrey Greenberg, looking to unseat incumbent Republican Town Supervisor George Hoehmann in the Nov. 2, 2021 elections in Rockland County. 
October 24, 2021
Outbreak Update - with union president Anthony Nicodemo on Westchester summer school closure - 7/30/20
We talk again with @coachnicodemo the president of the teachers union in Greenburgh-North Castle where more Covid-19 cases have ben discovered at Reach Academy summer school.  Though local media has reported six cases yesterday, including three teachers and three students, Coach Nicodemo tells us two more teachers have tested positive and there are two more student cases waiting for official confirmation, which will bring the total to 10. Interview conducted July 30, 2020
July 30, 2020
Covid Response: Anthony Nicodemo, union president Greenburgh-North Castle district
Following the news a positive Covid test at the Reach Academy in West Harrison, New York's first in a summer school setting, we speak to the president of the teacher's union in the district @coachNicodemo about the surprising response by the Department of Health, the new operationalized guidelines, and the ramifications to the school community as fall approaches. Recorded July 24, 2020.
July 24, 2020
Justin Sweet on East Ramapo Schools (original air date 1/14/20)
A clip of NY State Senate candidate Justin Sweet talking about the conflict in the East Ramapo school district. From a January 14, 2020 interview in Nyack, NY.  As Tuesday's primary election approaches, Sweet's opponent Elijah Reichlin-Melnick has been targeted in Yiddish language mailers for his opposition to state-funded yeshivas who do not provide basic academic instruction, but as this clip shows, Justin Sweet also says all students need an basic education so they can function in society. Mr. Sweet also speaks about the inability for the state to enforce existing regulations, religious freedoms and more. See the mailers targeting Reichlin-Melnick here: Full episode here:
June 22, 2020
Mindy Rosier-Rayburn, Public Education Activist
A veteran NYC teacher dishes on her journey into activism, the fight against charter schools, teaching remotely during the pandemic, her experience as a Sanders delegate and more. Recorded April 16, 2020
May 23, 2020
Interview: Evelyn Farkas for Congress in NY CD-17
Now running for Congress in Rockland/Westchester, Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Secretary of Defense under President Obama stops in to discuss education. Original air date: March 7, 2020.
March 25, 2020
Interview: Tony Martinez candidate for NY Senate (NYS-38)
Discussion about charter schools, standardized testing, education funding and more with Ossining Immigration attorney Tony Martinez, running for the State Senate seat of David Carlucci in Rockland/Ossining. Originally aired Feb. 27, 2020.
March 16, 2020
Interview: NY State Senate candidate Elijah Reichlin-Melnick on education
Discussion of education issues in New York including charter schools, standardized tests, school funding, yeshiva standards and more. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick is a Nyack Village Trustee and senior aide to neighboring NYS Sen. James Skoufis.  Originally aired Jan. 21, 2020.
March 16, 2020
Interview: Justin Sweet for NY State Senate (NYS-38)
A discussion about standardized testing, charter schools and more with Clarkstown Town Clerk Justin Sweet, running for NY State Senate in Rockland County and Westchester. Original air date Jan. 14, 2020.
March 16, 2020
Interview: Erica Vladimer for Congress in NY-12.
Interview with Erica Vladimer, running in NY's 12th congressional district to unseat 30-year incumbent Carolyn Maloney. We discuss education funding, privatization, campaign finance and much more. Original air date: Dec. 10. 2019
February 07, 2020
Contested convention? More charter school controversies for Warren, Booker + NYS Sen Kevin Parker
Are we headed for a "brokered" convention in the 2020 Democratic primary? What happened when Elizabeth Warren was protested by charter school supporters? Why is Cory Booker writing pro-charter editorials again? How much charter school PAC money is NYS Senator Kevin Parker taking and why? What's the latest with the NY yeshiva controversy and more. Original air date Nov. 25, 2019.
January 03, 2020
Warren on charters, NYS Sen. Carlucci on PAC money, debating with Trump supporters + more. Nov. 5, 2019
Conflicted charter school supporters attack Elizabeth Warren, NYS Senator David Carlucci on PAC money, Senate Republicans unveil new bill to reduce school shootings, Zephyr Teachout endorses Jamaal Bowman and more education news.  Also - we try to debate with Trump supporters out on 7th Avenue during a Trump protest! Originally aired Nov. 5, 2019
November 11, 2019
Impeachment begins, updates on yeshivas, Bill de Blasio, climate march and more
News on Trump impeachment proceedings, education headlines and more: Mayor de Blasio gets PAC money and is also selling student data to charter school marketers. Randi Weingarten reacts to a Jacobin article on Bernie Sanders, another yeshiva parent speaks out, Erica Vladimer launches run for NY-12  and much more. Originally aired 09-24-19.
October 15, 2019
Education news and updates - charters, testing + more. Sept 10, 2019
How NY state's definition of "proficiency" was farmed out to a corporation, plus the latest NY and national headlines in education - standardized testing, opt out updates, charter schools, data privacy and a special tweet from Valerie Bertinelli! Originally aired Sept. 10, 2019 on All archives available at
September 16, 2019
Congressional candidate for NY-16 Andom Ghebreghiorgis. August 20, 2019
Following news headlines, we speak to Andom Ghebreghiorgis ("Geh-bruh-gee-or-jiss"), former special education teacher, running for House District NY-16 in the Bronx and Westchester, a seat held for over 30 years by Democrat Eliot Engel. Discussion includes education policy, charter schools, standardized testing, teaching in both public and charter schools, campaign finance and more. Originally aired 08-20-2019. [Note: NY Update Host Jake Jacobs endorsed Dr. Jamaal Bowman in this race on June 18, 2019]
August 23, 2019
NAACP infiltrated? Billionaire propaganda, NYC's gifted + talented program + NY-12 Candidate Erica Vladimer. Aired Aug. 6, 2019.
Following a week of mass shootings, we discuss education stories showing the effect of the super-wealthy. In California, the NAACP says the dissent against its 2016 charter school moratorium is being led by members who work for the Koch brothers, ALEC and the California charter schools association. We also expose the efforts of billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs to recruit and groom school board candidates through a new TV ad campaign. Also discussed is an eye-opening story about the segregation caused by NYC's gifted and talented program, a new law banning teachers from having weapons in NYS classrooms, and a recap of an interview with Congressional candidate Erica Vladimer, running on a pro-public education platform which makes her our choice for NY-12. Originally aired 08-06-2019. Links:
August 07, 2019
Trump's Racism vs. The Squad, Yeshivas Deny Education, Those Crazy Charter Billionaires. Apr. 23, 2019 Episode
Lying Trump enflames racial tensions telling The Squad to leave the country,  calling Ilhan Omar anti-Semitic, while NY yeshivas fight to continue their education funding fraud during a public comment period on the new enforcement of the substantial equivalency law. Meanwhile charter billionaires score a coup in California, planting Hillary's favorite school privatizer Ann O'Leary in the governor's office. The governor of Puerto Rico is on the way out and also the SCOTUS case that might break the wall separating church and state in the First Amendment. Originally aired 07-23-19 Related links:
July 28, 2019
We argue with Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka plus big news on charter schools, standardized tests + a new Congressional candidate. Aired July 9, 2019.
Hear a strong new position against standardized testing by Elizabeth Warren, stong position against charter schools by Bernie Sanders, all about Mondaire Jones who announced a primary challenge against Rep. Nita Lowey in Rockland + Westchester Counties for Congressional District 17. Plus more news headlines and a crazy clip of right wing radio shock jock Sebastian Gorka, a former advisor on the Trump campaign. Originally aired 7-9-2019
July 16, 2019
Lola Osoria, Candidate for Congress in NY-17. Aired 6-28-19
A conversation with Bronx high school English teacher Lola Osoria on her campaign against Nita Lowey in New York's 17th Congressional district. A resident of White Plains, Ocosia explains why she is running against a longtime incumbent, her views on education, climate, campaign finance, healthcare and much more. Originally aired June 28, 2019.
June 28, 2019
Patricia Gunning, candidate for Rockland County District Attorney
Informative discussion with Trish Gunning, Democratic candidate for District Attorney in Rockland County. We discuss the difficulties in first-time candidates actually getting on the ballot to run for office, her views on the race against Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski and former Supreme Court Judge Tom Walsh, and other issues that affect Rockland county. Interview begins 07:30. Originally aired May 21, 2019. Note: Gunning spoke briefly about testifying at the historic NYS Legislature Joint Public Hearing on Sexual Harassment - the video for her full testimony is here:
June 23, 2019
Schenley Vital, candidate for Clarkstown Town Council, Ward 3 - aired April 16, 2019
Following the 2018 elections, a new wave of young candidates has stepped up to run for public office. Interesting views from attorney Schenley Vital who is challenging Republican Don Franchino for a town council seat in Clarkstown the NYC suburb of Rockland County. Also in this episode, updates in the fight against charter schools in New York state.  Original air date: 04-16-19
June 22, 2019
MAY 14, 2019 EPISODE - Assemblyman Harvey Epstein's opt-out bill, Amy Klobuchar on charters + news
Audio of Amy Klobuchar at the AFT town hall in Yonkers, interview with Assemblyman Harvey Epstein (D-Lower East Side, Manhattan) about his legislation (#A07744)  that would notify NY parents of their right to refuse standardized tests (33:00).  Plus story of candidate Kat Brezler (15:30), charter lawsuits, DFER propaganda and NY testing news. Originally aired 5-14-19.
May 20, 2019
MAR-13-2019 EPISODE: Nicole Doliner, candidate for Clarkstown Supervisor
Meet Nicole Doliner running for Clarkstown Supervisor in Rockland County, NY. We discuss the duties of the position, Nicole's experience in county government and the possibilities for a greener economy. Learn more about Nicole at Originally aired 03-13-19.
May 10, 2019
NY COMMISSIONER SPEAKS: Audio of Education Commissioner Elia trying to defend her crashing, wasteful NY state tests. Originally aired 04-09-19.
Education headlines and fascinating quotes from New York education commissioner MaryEllen Elia from an interview the day after the NY testing system crashed (again). Massive complaints about officially sanctioned lies deception about testing requirements and "tone deafness" as hundreds of thousands of NY families continue to refuse to take the invalid, unpopular tests in protest. More at The Progressive:
April 20, 2019
03-05-19 EPISODE: Dr. Mike Hogan on NYS politics
We talk to Associate Dean of Education/Certification at Long Island University, Dr. Mike Hogan about CFE funding for needy schools, fusion voting, the state of the NYS Democratic party + more. Originally aired March 5, 2019.
March 13, 2019
FEB-26-2019 EPISODE: School funding, evaluations bill, crazy candidates + ed news
The latest in under-reported education news and politics in NY state: Audio clip of NYS Sen. Robert Jackson on CFE funding, audio of an unhinged candidate for Rockland DA being booed off the stage, discussion of teacher evaluation bill and a little known Republican amendment that could have repealed the law. Originally aired 02/26/19.
March 04, 2019
JAN. 29, 2019 EPISODE - Teacher Activist Jia Lee on APPR bill
Special Education specialist Jia Lee on the latest controversy over testing and teacher evaluations. Originally aired 1/29/19.
February 06, 2019
DEC. 4 EPISODE: New Democratic leaders in NYS Senate, Congress. Plus Mueller rant.
Originally aired December 4, 2018. Headlines on charter schools, yeshivas and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Hakeeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi and more. Bonus segment beginning at 37:00 on Trump Collusion investigation.
December 16, 2018
Episode 12: David Carlucci + Jessica Ramos on Public Education
We asked two NYS Senate candidates their views on charter schools, standardized testing and funding for needy public schools. Jessica Ramos interview taped 10-25-18. David Carlucci interview taped 10-30-18.
November 05, 2018
ON PUBLIC EDUCATION: NYS Senate candidate Jessica Ramos (Queens, NY)
Phone interview from Oct. 25, 2018 discussing charter schools, standardized testing, school funding, reforming Albany and more. (Spoiler alert: Jessica is an #optout mom!)
October 29, 2018
Episode 11: Teacher John Mannion for NYS Senate
Biology teacher John Mannion, candidate in the 50th State Senate District (Syracuse area) discusses charter schools, standardized testing, Common Core and more. Taped 9-25-18. Also news headlines....
October 28, 2018
Episode 4: Progressive taxation, the Yeshiva controversy, privatizing schools
The Cuomo vs. Nixon primary race, the NYS millionaires tax, the Yeshiva controversy, de-unionized schools, how charter schools cherrypick students + Trump’s emoluments case. Originally aired 7-30-18
October 09, 2018
Episode 10: Cliff Weathers of
Primary results for Cuomo/Nixon, Attorney General, and IDC races, education news update + special guest Cliff Weathers, communications director for Riverkeeper, discusses Indian Point radiation leaks, proposed storm surge barriers for the NYC metro area, Hudson River sustainability and more. Originally aired Sept 18, 2018. Blog:
October 08, 2018
With Green candidate for Lt. Governor Jia Lee, talking education and privatization.
Jia Lee is a special education teacher in NYC for 17 years and a union organizer with MORE-UFT who ran for UFT president. Jia made news as an anti-testing advocate, refusing to administer Common Core tests to students, and has testified in education committee hearings in the US Senate. Aired 7/23/18. Episode 3.
September 21, 2018
Blake Morris, challenging Simcha Felder in Brooklyn, NY
Interview with lawyer Blake Morris running for State Senate in NY's 17th district against controversial "Trump Democrat" Simcha Felder. Episode #8, aired 9/3/2018
September 18, 2018
NY Attorney General Candidates talk Charters, Yeshivas. Aired 8/27/18
Episode # 7 - What are the differences between Zephyr Teachout, Tish James and Leecia Eve on these controversial education issues?
August 29, 2018
Julie Goldberg for NY State Senate on Yeshivas. [13 min.]
Julie Goldberg on religious school students not receiving "substantially equivalent" education. Aired 7-16-18 Time: 13 min.
August 24, 2018
Episode 3 - Nixon vs. Cuomo, yeshiva update, charter schools
News roundup including Cynthia Nixon on taxing millionaires, a new lawsuit against ultra-orthodox yeshivas who don't teach basic subjects, a teacher exodus from charter schools and more. (Aired 7-23-18)
August 08, 2018
Episode 2: Meet Julie Goldberg for NY State Senate. Aired 7-16-18
Episode #2 of NY Update, a discussion with progressive candidate Julie Goldberg about the NYS Senate race in the 38th State Senate District, representing parts of Rockland County, Ossining and Briarcliff Manor.
July 30, 2018
Episode 1: Betsy DeVos attacks public schools. Aired 7-9-18
The first episode of NY Update, covering the yeshiva controversy, new punishments for schools who opt-out, vouchers for religious schools and more. Related link:
July 20, 2018