School Choice

Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Martin Luther King Day weekend came right on the heels of New York City’s public school Kindergarten application, Kindergarten Connect, scheduled to close on Friday, January 12, 2018. However, as I kept predicting, they extended the deadline to Friday, January 19, 2018, at the last minute. Due to the earlier stated deadline, I spent the… Continue reading Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Accountability · School Choice

What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

With Kindergarten Connect applications due this Friday, January 12 (unless the Department of Education decides to, once again, push back their own deadline), I have been hearing from dozens of parents looking for help with finding a “good” school for their child. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that different… Continue reading What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

Blog

Will a New Chancellor Mean a New Direction for NYC Public Schools?

The end of 2017 brought the announced retirement of Carmen Fariña as New York City School Chancellor. Regarding her replacement, Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to Chalkbeat, “emphasized that he is not looking for someone to shake things up but rather wants  someone who will follow through on the course that he and Fariña set out.” Remember those issues… Continue reading Will a New Chancellor Mean a New Direction for NYC Public Schools?

Blog

Top 5 NYC School Issues That Enraged Parents in 2017 – And What Will Happen In 2018

2017 was a big year for New York City school news. Universal Pre-K was rolled out for 3 year-olds, even as the program for 4 year-olds struggled. There was a contentious elementary school rezoning on the Upper West Side, middle-school admissions came under the microscope, and yet another plan to diversify Specialized High Schools went… Continue reading Top 5 NYC School Issues That Enraged Parents in 2017 – And What Will Happen In 2018

Accountability · Blog

Why Is the Mayor Expanding School Initiatives That Aren’t Working – And Limiting Those That Do?

For the past 50+ years, every mayor has pledged to fix New York City schools, and the current office-holder, Bill de Blasio, is no exception. He is, however, somewhat unique in that whenever a signature initiative has been proven ineffective, his response is to double down and announce its expansion. He has been equally intransigent… Continue reading Why Is the Mayor Expanding School Initiatives That Aren’t Working – And Limiting Those That Do?

Blog · School Choice

5 Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking Schools on Kindergarten Connect – And How You Can Avoid Them

Kindergarten Connect, the online form that New York City parents use to apply their children to Kindergarten for 2018, opened on Tuesday, November 28. It is scheduled to close on January 12, 2018. Every year, I receive frantic emails from parents who made a mistake in ranking their choices, and are now stuck with a… Continue reading 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking Schools on Kindergarten Connect – And How You Can Avoid Them

Accountability · Blog

Can Parents Really “Change” a School? Should They?

In response to my November 6 post, a reader wrote: If we want to see all schools get better, why keep steering people to “The Best” ones, thereby depriving them, and their locally zoned schools, the opportunity to truly flourish? Case in point, PS 191. With the amount of investment that will go into that… Continue reading Can Parents Really “Change” a School? Should They?

Blog · School Choice

Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

When parents ask me why I’ve written a book called “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten,” and one called “Getting Into NYC High School,” but NOT one called “Getting Into NYC Middle School,” I explain it’s because the NYC middle school process is so convoluted and varies so much from district to district, I couldn’t write one… Continue reading Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

School Choice

Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

In addition to taking the “ridiculous” Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) which I so cruelly forced him to study for, my 8th grade son also auditioned for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts.  (Yes, that’s really what it’s called and that’s really how it’s punctuated, although most… Continue reading Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

School Choice

It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better

The big buzz word in New York City education is: Diversity. On October 26, 2017, yet another plan was announced, this time promising to bring diversity to Lower Manhattan’s District 1. District 1 is already a choice district, in that families are not limited to a local zoned school, but can apply to any school… Continue reading It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better