City Makes Plan to close down troubled schools in Brooklyn

City department of education officials have announced that they plan to close down three troubled schools in Brooklyn in June. The schools in jeopardy of officially closing include The School for the Urban Environment Foundations Academy High School and Peace Academy Middle School all of which have had low performance rates since Mayor DeBlasio came into office.

The school has produced low standardized test scores and a decrease in enrollment for years; the 217 students that attend these schools will be placed in other schools for the upcoming school year. Teachers and other administrators will also be placed at different city schools when the failing schools officially closes their doors.

NYC teachers make the grade in survey held by the state

New York City and State teachers were rated as being the most effective during the 2014-2015 school year. The test that was released on Monday showed that 92% of teachers made the final grade for this year and increase from the 2013-2014 school year where 91% of teachers were considered to be effective educators.

The ratings are based on students test scores from standardized tests and the observation of teachers that were conducted by school principals this tactic is used to either grant tenure to teachers or fire them. However teachers in public schools were rated as being 84% effective during the 2014-2015 school year a slight decrease from their rating of 85% during the 2013-2014 school year.

Gaga Nominated for Golden Globe

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While Lady Gaga is easily recognized for her daring fashion choices, well choreographed music videos, and infectious pop songs, it is her acting that’s in the spotlight right now.

Gaga’s performance as the Countess, Elizabeth, a powerful blood thirsty vampire on American Horror Story: Hotel, has gotten her nominated for best actress in a miniseries at this year’s Golden Globes.

This news is categorized as one of the ‘surprise nominations’ at the Globes this year but is it really shocking that Mother Monster’s performance as a cold dark seductress is getting such high praise?

When Gaga launched the concept for her fragrance in 2011, Fame, the first ever black liquid perfume,  released in 2012, she gave a campy description of what it might smell like listing blood as one of the notes. Perhaps this nomination was in the cards for some time now.

Spotify Uncovers Fans’ Inner Star Wars Persona

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The new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, comes out Friday and all of the anticipation has garnered a lot of Star Wars themed fun to keep fans occupied until the release.

Fans can now be matched to their favorite Star Wars character by logging into their Spotify account at a special website based on their music tastes.

 

Prince Releases New Album on Tidal

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Yet another artist has dropped a surprise album and that is none other than funk R’n’B star Prince. The album, HITNRUN Phase Two, is only available on Tidal, Jay-Z’s exclusive streaming service,  where it can also be purchased.

Tidal’s mission is to be more financially rewarding to artists compared to other streaming services as it pays bigger royalties.

Prince seems to prefer this method of distribution being that this is the second album he is releasing through Tidal.

Prequel HITNRUN Phase One was released earlier this year in September, also exclusively on Tidal.

For more click here.

 

 

 

YouTube Arts

YouTube has been a well known social media platform and on the rise since 2005. Many subscribers or users make videos known as vlogs. Vlogs give an opportunity for people to record and express themselves by the click of a button. What makes YouTube so special?

As a common user myself, it allows easy access to visually see or hear stories of individuals any where around the world. In New York, there are many vloggers that love to share their insight on many different topics. For example, fashion, fitness, culture, cooking and beauty are popular among many others. As a person who enjoys D.I.Y projects, YouTube is a platform I commonly use to find some of the latest creative tutorials. Not only can it be used to give and take suggestions for special occasions, it is a social media outlet that can lead to personal income, with passion and the sufficient amount of subscribers.

Arts and entertainment are of high interest to many New Yorkers. One of the common well known New York YouTubers, is Latina RositaApplebum. With more than 200,000 subscribers she shares insight on beauty tips and tricks. In her intro video Rosa shares positive ways to start your own channel. This media platform can bring transparency to viewers allowing them to watch content with continuity.

YouTube also allows viewers to switch gears, making a transition to other talented individuals. Karen Rodriguez shares her cover of Adele’s song “Hello.” In addition, she is commonly known for making covers with a spanglish twist.

Watch here.

Borough Boards and NYC Comptroller Slam Mayor’s Plans

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Courtesy of TheRealDeal.com

A report was released last week on real estate news site, The Real Deal, pointing out that borough boards in 4 out of 5 boroughs rejected Mayor deBlasio’s Mandatory Inclusion Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability plans.

No shocker there seeing as community boards all across the city have been publicly protesting the plans for months. According to the report, “The Zoning for Equality and Affordability plan would allow architects more flexibility in designing buildings.” The plans also focus on providing affordable housing. But residents see past the idealistic promises of affordability and right into the future where the very real threat of displacement exists.

On the same day that The Real Deal released their report, The New York City Comptroller’s office released one too. Stringer’s report was a full analysis of the Mayor’s plans which concluded, “the city’s own data shows  that the current plan could inadvertently displace tens of thousands of families in East New York, the vast majority of whom will be unable to to afford the relatively small number of new units that will be built.”  The report goes on to talk about the 84 percent of residents who won’t be able to afford market rate apartments and the 55 percent who won’t even be able to afford the affordable units.

When asked about the opposition to his plans back in November, deBlasio told the Gotham Gazette, “Those objections should be heard and we should, you know, think about them, and where we see the need to make certain modifications we will,” de Blasio said.

“But in the end, the community boards aren’t the final decision makers. The mayor and the City Council make the decisions, in some cases, obviously, with the City Planning Commission.”

How considerate of the Mayor to include us in his plans.