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These Are the Top 10 NYC School Outrages Which Appalled Parents in 2018 – Plus Tips On Navigating the New Parent Portal!

Last year, our overview, Top 5 NYC School Issues That Enraged Parents in 2017 enumerated the posts that received the most hits during the course of the year, and speculated about what would happen in 2018.

It says something about how much the Department of Education (DOE) cares about what New York City parents want for their children that 4 out of the 5 top issues of 2017 were also 4 of the 5 top issues of 2018. And it wasn’t because the situations got better.

As a result, we’ve expanded our list to the top 10 issues of 2018, and added some helpful tips from fellow parents, even as we continue to hope the DOE will finally listen to the families they’re supposed to represent:

10) Does Attending a Specialized High School Make a Difference?

Thesis Statement: What has truly been amazing is the peer group: diligent, hard-working, passionate, dedicated, first and second generation American kids who provide a daily example for my son – just like I hope he does for them.

DOE Response: Let’s change the peer group at SHSAT schools!

9) NYC’ Top 25 Elementary Schools for 2018 and How You Can Get In!

Thesis Statement: Families who want their children to test well and are comfortable with how those test scores are achieved should continue to have the option of enrolling in such schools.

DOE Response: Gifted & Talented and charter schools are the majority high-scorers. We should get rid of them.

8) Why Our NYC School Chancellor Is Absolutely Right About Gifted & Talented Programs… And Why He Is Absolutely Wrong

Thesis Statement: Save a few outliers, most parents don’t genuinely believe their kids are off the charts brilliant. They are merely unhappy with what’s available in a General Ed classroom and see G&T as their one shot at getting something a tiny bit better.

DOE Response: We know what’s best for your children better than you do.

7) NYC Kids Forced To Start Kindergarten Before Age 5 – Two Parents’ Perspectives

Thesis Statement: See 2017

DOE Response: Status quo.

6) Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking NYC School Choices, From Pre-Kindergarten to High School

Thesis Statement: Families must rank their choices in order of preference, submit them to the Department of Education, and then be assigned to a school based on a centralized algorithm. There is, however, a great deal of confusion regarding how said algorithm works.

DOE Response: Here is a new Parent Portal. It will make ranking even more difficult.

5) Two-Thirds of NYC Children Eligible for Gifted & Talented Programs are Denied Access

Thesis Statement: See 2017

DOE Response: So what?

4) NYC Should Give Parents More Flexibility on Kindergarten Start-Dates

Thesis Statement: See 2017

DOE Response: No, we shouldn’t.

3) Changes Coming To NYC Middle and High School Admissions! What They Might Mean For You!

Thesis Statement: Screened schools are immoral, say the Mayor and the Chancellor, both of whose children attended Screened schools.

DOE Response: Do as we say, not as we do.

2) NYC’s Top 10 Elementary Schools By Test Scores: What Makes Them Special – And How You Can Get In

Thesis Statement: See 2017

DOE Response: See #9, above.

1) 5 Secrets NYC Department of Ed Doesn’t Want Parents To Know About Gifted & Talented Programs

Thesis Statement: See 2017

DOE Response: Now that parents know that the date on which your child takes the test is a critical component of their score, let’s make it harder for them to select a date. And a time. And a place.

 

Some parent comments I’ve received recently regarding the new registration system:

  • As soon as I start to populate the list of schools, it disappears, and the subsequent page is blank… And obviously nobody is answering the “Kindergarten Application Helper team” phone number that’s listed for any questions about the website.
  • I’ve called the Department of Ed. twice recently and was on hold for over an hour. They weren’t very helpful with their “just apply and don’t ask questions” attitude.

And some tips to help (from other parents, not the DOE):

  • Use Chrome not Explorer. I had technical problems with Explorer but not with Chrome.
  • If you want your child tested in a different language, you have to select the language first, before date or place.
  • I solved “scrawling” issue by reducing the size of the font displayed on my monitor, therefore the entire list would fit on the screen. Otherwise I wasn’t able to adjust the schools’ positions on the list.
  • Click the button to schedule an assessment even if you’ve already scheduled it with the school or they won’t let you add the school to your list.

These were the top 10 issues with NYC schools we encountered this year. Tell us yours in the Comments, below. (And your helpful tips for dealing with all of the above, too!)

 

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