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NYC DOE falls short of preparing students with reading skills: advocates

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Families and their advocates across New York City are sounding the alarm that schools have fallen short of preparing all students to learn how to read.

As of Monday, 70 organizations had signed onto a “Call to Collective Action,” pledging to fight for science-backed reading instruction with proper support in all city schools.

“Every parent sends their child to school assuming they will be taught to read,” said Kim Sweet, the executive director of Advocates for Children. “Yet when students struggle, parents often have to find help on their own.”

“As a city, we need to stop accepting that unacceptable outcome and provide the literacy instruction and support needed to make all children proficient readers,” she said.

Alongside the letter, a new report from Advocates for Children on Monday pushed for coordinated efforts across the nation’s largest school system to use evidence-based literacy curriculum, and support the teachers implementing those lesson plans.

Less than half of all 3rd through 8th graders in New York City were proficient in reading in 2019, according to state test data cited in the report. National studies suggest the pandemic and school closures likely made matters worse for students already trailing literacy benchmarks.

Among the families seeking reprieve is Rosana Arteta, who has seven kids including two with dyslexia and ADHD. Arteta told The Post she first ran up against barriers to getting them reading help when her son Matias, now 20 years old, was in the fourth grade.

“I just kept saying, hey, something’s not right — my son’s not reading right,” she recalled.

Black student
Students suffered academically during the pandemic.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Arteta, a mental health counselor, said Matias never got the support he needed to read at the same level as other kids in his grade. Matias graduated in 2020 from an alternative public high school focused on internship experience — reading at the level of a fourth grader, Arteta said. He didn’t go on to college.

Typically, schools stop prioritizing reading after the early elementary grades, even though many students don’t master the subject before third grade, according to the report. Advocates for Children also found a lack of consistency in reading instruction and teacher trainings across neighborhoods, schools and classrooms.

“Many city schools continue to use old curricula that contain ideas and teaching methods that contradict the science,” read the report. “Some employ a hodgepodge of different programs and materials, throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks and creating enormous incoherence in the process.” 

Students in class
Many parents want their children to receive the support and willing to seek those resources.
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But when her younger child Constanza was also diagnosed with a learning disability, Arteta wanted to make sure the current sixth grader would graduate with not only a high school diploma, but also the ability to read.

“They keep passing her because she’s meeting the goals of an adapted program,” Arteta said of Constanza’s school, the Urban Institute of Mathematics in the Bronx. “But in reality, she has the capacity to be at grade-level.”

Public statements made by the current administration suggest they could be receptive to that goal. Mayor Eric Adams, who was diagnosed with dyslexia after graduating from the city’s public school system, recently allocated an additional $7.4 million to dyslexia screening and literacy programs.

Eric Adams
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is an advocate for improving the education system.
Getty Images/Michael M. Santiago

“I know from my own life the challenges that a learning disability creates for a child and how they can be overcome with early diagnosis and the right support,” said Adams in a 50-minute address at Kings Theatre last week.

Schools Chancellor David Banks has also plainly stated that the city needs to rethink its approach to literacy to stress phonics at an early age. So far, the Department of Education has employed 400 reading coaches to support elementary school teachers, and Banks recently formed a citywide task force to advise the city’s literacy initiatives.

Advocates hope to push the city further to look into all schools’ lesson plans and figure out which sites need to replace their current programs — plus provide the funds and teacher-support needed to do so. Other recommendations included a citywide literacy “safety net” with a corps of tutors to help kids who may have fallen behind, using $250 million in COVID-19 relief funding designated for academic recovery.

Young girl reading
Many city schools continue to use old curricula that contain ideas that contradict the science.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A few months into the pandemic, the DOE referred the Artetas to an approved non-public school with more support available — but Constanza, who uses a wheelchair, is still waiting for a placement that can meet her learning and physical needs.

In the meantime, Constanza continues to attend a school that the DOE has already determined can’t provide an appropriate education given her disabilities.

After meetings with Constanza’s teacher about her special education plan, Arteta told The Post she’s had “to take time to cry it out.”

“It’s incredibly overwhelming,” she said.

In a statement, Nicole Brownstein, the director of communications and external affairs at the DOE, said: “We are excited to continue our partnership with Advocates for Children and promote a proven, culturally responsive approach to teaching children to read and supporting students at risk of dyslexia, and we look forward to sharing more news on this soon.”

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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