School Choice

NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?

In their 2012 book, “Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High-Schools,”  Chester E. Finn Jr. and Jessica A. Hockett offer a comprehensive look at screened admissions secondary schools across the US by spotlighting a cross-section of educational models. These range from the statewide residential Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, to Pine View School for… Continue reading NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?

School Choice

Why Do I Make My Daughter Do Homework Over the Summer?

My daughter struggled through much of 4th grade. She was put in Special Learning with a wonderful teacher who helped her catch up. We didn’t want all that progress to disappear over the summer. While some parents may have gone with a tutor, that wasn’t in our budget. Instead, we asked the school for workbooks… Continue reading Why Do I Make My Daughter Do Homework Over the Summer?

School Choice

Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT

My older son graduated from a New York City Specialized High-School this June. Now it’s my younger one’s turn to prep for the qualifying Specialized High-School Admissions Test (SHSAT). “You realize how ridiculous this is,” my 13 year-old posited after taking yet another practice test from one of the many books we’ve purchased for the… Continue reading Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT

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Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?

Earlier this year, I wrote about Dual Language programs in New York City schools, and who really benefits from them.  Is it the non-English speakers that Chancellor Carmen Fariña touts, or is it the already English-speaking children whose parents, when shut out of Gifted & Talented programs, use the Dual Language option to secure yet… Continue reading Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?

Accountability

Do Kids Care If Their Teachers Are Certified? Should Parents?

Last week, New York City schools received two pieces of contradictory news, which made for an interesting contrast in how teachers are viewed. In the first, the Department of Education will now require principals to staff vacancies with teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve, also known as “the rubber room,” where pedagogues who have been… Continue reading Do Kids Care If Their Teachers Are Certified? Should Parents?

Accountability

NYC’s Gifted & Talented Programs Obscure Parents’ Ability to Judge School Performance

In New York City, parents beg, borrow and steal (well, technically, they pay hundreds of dollars for test prep) to get their kids into public school Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs. But one of the issues that gets overlooked with district G&T’s is that they dilute overall school accountability. There are two kinds of public… Continue reading NYC’s Gifted & Talented Programs Obscure Parents’ Ability to Judge School Performance

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Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?

On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the New York State Legislature voted to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools for two years. The move was heralded by everyone from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who proclaimed it “the best way to provide education,” to former Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who asserted that… Continue reading Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?

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Are Affluent Parents Fighting Against Gifted Ed for Underserved Kids?

No, New York City is not getting rid of elementary school Gifted & Talented programs in an attempt to make everyone feel special and lower student achievement. However, DNAInfo’s June 13th article, “Gifted Programs Ditched for Hands On Learning for All at More NYC Schools,” has convinced multiple hysterical folks – who probably only read… Continue reading Are Affluent Parents Fighting Against Gifted Ed for Underserved Kids?

School Choice

When Talking About School Choice – Let’s Include Kids In the Conversation!

Last week, the article “As More Schools Look to Personalized Learning, Teaching May Be About to Change” published in the official publication of The National Education Association, America’s largest teachers’ union, triggered a massive backlash from a segment of the membership dead set against the mere mention of online learning and curriculum, or the suggestion that it… Continue reading When Talking About School Choice – Let’s Include Kids In the Conversation!

School Choice

Everything Wrong With NYC’s Latest School Diversity Plan

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released his latest school diversity plan on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, but refused to answer any questions about it until backed into a corner by reporters at another event on Thursday, June 8. His Honor responded with a hodgepodge of generalities, including, “I wanted my children in diverse… Continue reading Everything Wrong With NYC’s Latest School Diversity Plan