Blog

A Parent’s View of Mixed Ability Classrooms From the Top – And Bottom – Of the Class

As New York City continues to debate ways to make their schools less segregated following a very contentious rezoning process, a new narrative has emerged: Parents are willing to go to schools with racial diversity. Parents are even willing to go to schools with socioeconomic diversity. What they are not willing to do is go… Continue reading A Parent’s View of Mixed Ability Classrooms From the Top – And Bottom – Of the Class

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A Parent’s Perspective on the Benefits of Teachers of Color

The hunt for a magic bullet to fix American education continues. At one point the big buzzword was Finland (while ignoring all the differences in Finland’s teacher training that, as of now, would never fly in the US). Then it was PreK For All (while ignoring that, as currently implemented in NYC, it’s actually hurting… Continue reading A Parent’s Perspective on the Benefits of Teachers of Color

Accountability

Would a No-Grades Transcript Hurt or Help NYC College-Bound Students?

A consortium of 100 private schools, including New York City elites Dalton and Spence, have banded together to create a new kind of transcript for applying to college. Their proposed format would eschew grades and standardized test scores in favor of “different levels of mastery. Instead of a grade in algebra or geometry, the mastery… Continue reading Would a No-Grades Transcript Hurt or Help NYC College-Bound Students?

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Lack of School Choice Isn’t the Problem In NYC: It’s The Lack of Good Choices

Elizabeth A. Harris and Ford Fessenden’s May 5th New York Times piece, “The Broken Promises of Choice in New York City Schools,”  comes to the conclusion that the inequities in the City’s admissions system can be attributed to choice itself. In reality, however, it’s not having multiple high school choices that leads to over half of… Continue reading Lack of School Choice Isn’t the Problem In NYC: It’s The Lack of Good Choices

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Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings

The US News & World Report released their latest rankings of America’s top public high-schools last month. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña was quick to crow about how New York City schools topped the New York State list. The majority of those were specialized high schools, the ones her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, accuses students… Continue reading Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings

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NYC Announces Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Three-Year-Olds Despite Lack of Space, Qualified Teachers, Or Results

On April 24, 2017, as East Side parents were planning a march to protest their children being sent to Universal pre-Kindergarten classrooms multiple blocks away, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio trumpeted the following: New York City is starting the path to 3-K for All for fall of 2017, aiming to serve over 11,000… Continue reading NYC Announces Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Three-Year-Olds Despite Lack of Space, Qualified Teachers, Or Results

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Why I Go To Parent-Teacher Conferences, Or, The Flip Side of Accountability

The final Parent-Teacher Conference of my oldest son’s academic career took place this March. I didn’t go because I enjoy running up and down stairs, signing up for three minutes with one teacher, being told the wait will be 20 minutes, leaving to speak with another teacher, then returning to be informed that I missed… Continue reading Why I Go To Parent-Teacher Conferences, Or, The Flip Side of Accountability

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Double Dipping: How “Free” College Forces Students To Take the Same Course (and Taxpayers to Pay For It) Twice

“Free” college is in the news these days because New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with the support of Hillary Clinton,  triumphantly signed a bill that will waive City and State college tuition for families earning less than $100,000 a year. That makes it a perfect time to take a critical look at what New York City already… Continue reading Double Dipping: How “Free” College Forces Students To Take the Same Course (and Taxpayers to Pay For It) Twice

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Giving All NYC Families the Same School Choice That The Deputy Mayor Has

On April 3, 2017, The New York Post broke the story of how Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, with the help of Chancellor Carmen Fariña, pulled strings to get his son into Park Slope’s top middle school. This is a blatant violation of rules that all families, connected or not, are expected to follow. And here… Continue reading Giving All NYC Families the Same School Choice That The Deputy Mayor Has

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Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?

New York City kids have just finished sitting for the 2017 English Language Arts state tests and so this seems like a good time to talk about the tutoring epidemic that goes beyond four-year-olds prepping to ace Gifted & Talented screenings, and teens cramming for the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Those exams are for… Continue reading Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?