Blog

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

Blog

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?

Blog

The Trickle-Down Effect of Lowering Teacher Standards

“I read that New York teachers don’t have to be literate, anymore. Is that true, Mom?,” my seventh-grader asked last week. He’s recently become determined to “fix all education in America” (I have no idea where a son of mine could have picked up such an interest), and was on the Internet doing research. He’d… Continue reading The Trickle-Down Effect of Lowering Teacher Standards

Blog

Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing

This year, New York City’s annual day of hand-wringing and mystified confusion fell on March 8, 2017. That’s when everyone from the New York Times to the Daily News to Chalkbeat wrote their Why, Oh, Why Did Only (Insert Tiny Number That Varies Slightly From Year to Year) Minority Students Get Offers to Specialized High… Continue reading Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing

Blog

Why You Do NOT Want Me On Your Education Council

As they have already done with Kindergarten, Gifted & Talented, and Universal pre-K applications, the New York City Department of Education has pushed back their deadline for parents wishing to run for a spot on various education councils, including Citywide Council on High-Schools, English Language Learners, Special Ed, and several District offices. The final forms… Continue reading Why You Do NOT Want Me On Your Education Council

Blog

School Choice Goes To the Movies

Everything anyone needs to know about school choice – who benefits from it and who opposes it – was summarized in the first few minutes of the movie Hidden Figures… and in the trailer right before it. Hidden Figures, which won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast, stars Oscar winner Octavia Spencer,… Continue reading School Choice Goes To the Movies

Blog

Diminishing Choices: Why NYC Kids’ Pre-K Affects Where They Go To College

New York City kids are coming to the end of the 2017 application cycle, with general education Kindergarten as well as all Middle School and High School placements set to be released next month. Yet, once again, families were not fully informed of all their choices, entering the process unaware that options diminish as students… Continue reading Diminishing Choices: Why NYC Kids’ Pre-K Affects Where They Go To College

Blog

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?

Blog

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

Blog

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