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?
Those of us in the education arena argue all the time but here’s something we all agree with: the most important factor in raising student achievement is great teachers. The New York City Department of Education has chosen to ignore this factor by forcing principals from 39 schools to hire 41 teachers from what was… Continue reading The New York City DOE Chooses Cash Over Kids
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?
Educators for Excellence-New York and The Education Trust–New York today filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the New York City Department of Education seeking the public release of data on placement of teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve . (For New York School Talk coverage of ATR, go here.) The full FOIL… Continue reading Ed Trust and Educators for Excellence File For Info on Where NYC DOE Placed Teachers from the Rubber Room
When my son Jonah was a few months shy of three years old, our Central New Jersey school district, which had no appropriate programs for a toddler with multiple disabilities, sent him to a county preschool handicapped program. My husband and I were new to the world of special education (our three older children are… Continue reading A Personal Story: Why NYS’s Special Education Waiver Is Bad for Kids
It was not until I had a recent conversation with my daughter’s guidance counselor about another matter that I was aware that she is on track to graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. This was news to me, as it was the first time I had heard about the different diploma options available. Traditionally, students… Continue reading What’s the Value of an “Advanced Regents Diploma”? Parents Weigh In.
At I.S. 339 in the Bronx in a science class for English Language Learners, says New York City’s 2017 “Quality Review Report,” during a vocabulary review the teacher gave an answer key to students that included two mistakes. On the most recent state tests, 3.8 percent of 6th-graders reached proficiency in math. At Martin Van… Continue reading Would You Send Your Children to These Schools?
“They were bullshit!” said my Dad. I burst out laughing . My soft-spoken father, who most often could be found reading history books and playing chamber music when he wasn’t teaching social studies at John Bowne High School in Flushing, so vehemently negative about the courses he took while earning his M.A. in education! At… Continue reading “Why Would Anyone In Their Right Mind Lower Standards?”: Charter Schools Win a Round
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Renewal School Program is about to hit its three year anniversary. In a speech in November 2014 he vowed to “demand fast and intense improvement” for the 78 schools in the program, just as earlier that year in Riverside Church he made a commitment to “shake the foundations” of the school… Continue reading Renewal Schools? Not a Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On
Contrary to the complaints of a few who will never be satisfied, New York’s education standards are truly doing right by students. Following an exhaustive effort by educators and families alike, we now have exemplary statewide standards that help ensure equal education for all our students and have set us on a path to future… Continue reading A New York Teacher Judges New York’s New Education Standards