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Is the US Education Bar Set Too Low For All Kids?

Earlier this month I suggested that grouping New York City schoolchildren by age rather than ability would address two issues that stymie the NYC Department of Education: strict birthday cut-offs that ignore readiness and the perennial shortage of Gifted and Talented seats. In this post I cited a report which asserted that, in some American… Continue reading Is the US Education Bar Set Too Low For All Kids?

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Why Parents Should Have Final Say About All Aspects of School Choice – Even the Weather

The first flake had yet to hit the ground on Thursday, February 9th when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a Snow Day and announced that all public schools would be closed. His premature reaction was likely a response to similar circumstances in 2014, when he chose to keep public schools open… Continue reading Why Parents Should Have Final Say About All Aspects of School Choice – Even the Weather

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Grouping Kids By Ability – Not Age – Would Solve Two Major NYC School Problems

I have written before about two major problems NYC parents pinpoint regarding public schools: The majority of children who qualify for gifted programs don’t get a seat due to a lack of space NYC’s birthday cut-off, December 31, means a quarter of children are forced to start Kindergarten before they turn 5 These two problems… Continue reading Grouping Kids By Ability – Not Age – Would Solve Two Major NYC School Problems

Blog · New York City

Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Program: Neither Free, Nor Full-Day, Nor High-Quality

Applications for Round 1 of New York City’s Universal Pre-K (UPK) program are due on Friday, February 24, 2017. That’s President’s Day Week, by the way, which means that schools will be closed during the final five days parents are technically allowed to be touring and and making their ranking decisions. Colorful posters are hanging… Continue reading Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Program: Neither Free, Nor Full-Day, Nor High-Quality

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It’s Not Rocket Science: How To Improve Science Teaching in NYC Schools

With 1.1 million New York City public school students desperately needing help with their science education, we are fortunate that, on January 11, 2017, The American Museum of Natural History unveiled its upcoming Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation. Projected to open in 2020, the 235,000 square-foot Gilder Center will include six Family… Continue reading It’s Not Rocket Science: How To Improve Science Teaching in NYC Schools

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Cui Bono: Who Really Benefits From Dual Language Education?

Late last year I wrote about how the Upper West Side rezoning plan intended to desegregate a handful of elementary schools could end up resegregating them in a new way through the addition of a Gifted & Talented program to PS 191, currently serving over 70% Black, Hispanic, and Free Lunch students. Bringing in a G&T… Continue reading Cui Bono: Who Really Benefits From Dual Language Education?

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Three Pitfalls of Cuomo’s “Free” College Plan for New York State Students

With much fanfare and press releases, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his Free College plan for families earning less than $125,000 a year. There are many problems with his proposal, not the least of which is that “free” only covers tuition. As the mother of a New York City 17-year-old currently going through… Continue reading Three Pitfalls of Cuomo’s “Free” College Plan for New York State Students

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NYC Schools Are Failing Kids With Disabilities: Parents Speak Out

A December 16, 2016 report by DNAInfo.com outlined the difficulties encountered by New York City high schoolers with disabilities when looking for schools that meet  their physical and academic needs. What the report didn’t cover, however, was that the problems with finding accessible schools start much earlier than high school. In fact, many elementary Gifted… Continue reading NYC Schools Are Failing Kids With Disabilities: Parents Speak Out

Blog · New York City

Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016

It’s natural, when writing about the New York City educational system, to focus on ways it can be improved. However, heading into a new year, I’ve decided to take five stories I’ve done this fall, and emphasize the bright side of each. We could all use a little holiday cheer this week! 1) Why Aren’t… Continue reading Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016

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Why NYC’s Public School Computer Science Curriculum Isn’t Clicking

This year December 5th through December 11th was the first time Computer Science Education Week was a citywide effort throughout New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio used the occasion to remind how well it dove-tailed with his Computer Science For All initiative, which promises that by 2025 “all NYC public school students will receive… Continue reading Why NYC’s Public School Computer Science Curriculum Isn’t Clicking