Accountability · Finding the Right School · School Choice

Should Parents Be Allowed To Pull Kids Out of School For Family Vacations, Sports or Other Extracurriculars? Should Schools Be Allowed To Penalize Them For It?

My 5th grade daughter had all five days off from school for Presidents’ Week. We took a family trip to Washington DC. We visited the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the White House, the Capitol Building, the World War II and Vietnam Memorials, and the Supreme Court building. Many… Continue reading Should Parents Be Allowed To Pull Kids Out of School For Family Vacations, Sports or Other Extracurriculars? Should Schools Be Allowed To Penalize Them For It?

Accountability · Blog · Finding the Right School · School Choice

“As A Parent, You Want to Cry. As A Lawyer, You Want to Sue.” A Special Needs Mom Fights for Her Son’s Inclusion in his Brooklyn School.

Nine-year-old Wesley Clark is a fourth-grader at PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights. He and his family were recently profiled in the New York Post, which described PS 8 as a “supposedly progressive” public school “that talks a good game about inclusion but is purposely neglecting their child to try to get him to leave.”  Could this… Continue reading “As A Parent, You Want to Cry. As A Lawyer, You Want to Sue.” A Special Needs Mom Fights for Her Son’s Inclusion in his Brooklyn School.

Accountability · Finding the Right School · School Choice

Is Parental Engagement Necessary For a Child’s School Success? A Personal Story.

Celia Scott Wickham wasn’t just an HHLA board member. She was also my mother-in-law. On Friday, February 16, 2018, Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School (for those tracking such things, one of NYC’s most diverse public schools at 36 percent White, 30 percent Black, 29 percent Hispanic) dedicated the day to celebrating their neighborhood. Classrooms… Continue reading Is Parental Engagement Necessary For a Child’s School Success? A Personal Story.

Finding the Right School · School Choice

Why Everyone  In NYC Has School Choice…And Why Everyone Doesn’t.

It’s National School Choice Week, which makes it the perfect time to discuss why everyone in New York City has School Choice. And why everyone doesn’t. In theory, NYC students have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to educational options. There is Universal Pre K in public schools, charter schools, community centers, and private… Continue reading Why Everyone  In NYC Has School Choice…And Why Everyone Doesn’t.

Finding the Right School · School Choice

Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Martin Luther King Day weekend came right on the heels of New York City’s public school Kindergarten application, Kindergarten Connect, scheduled to close on Friday, January 12, 2018. However, as I kept predicting, they extended the deadline to Friday, January 19, 2018, at the last minute. Due to the earlier stated deadline, I spent the… Continue reading Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Accountability · Finding the Right School · School Choice

What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

With Kindergarten Connect applications due this Friday, January 12 (unless the Department of Education decides to, once again, push back their own deadline), I have been hearing from dozens of parents looking for help with finding a “good” school for their child. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that different… Continue reading What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

Finding the Right School · School Choice

A “Polite Cousin” of Hypocrisy

(This is a guest post by Pete Cook which originally appeared on his blog, “Retort: Correcting the Record on Education Reform.” Pete became involved in education reform in New Orleans Public Schools as a 2002 Teach For America corps member and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP and the Recovery School District.)… Continue reading A “Polite Cousin” of Hypocrisy

Blog · Finding the Right School · School Choice

5 Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking Schools on Kindergarten Connect – And How You Can Avoid Them

Kindergarten Connect, the online form that New York City parents use to apply their children to Kindergarten for 2018, opened on Tuesday, November 28. It is scheduled to close on January 12, 2018. Every year, I receive frantic emails from parents who made a mistake in ranking their choices, and are now stuck with a… Continue reading 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking Schools on Kindergarten Connect – And How You Can Avoid Them

Blog · Finding the Right School · School Choice

Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

When parents ask me why I’ve written a book called “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten,” and one called “Getting Into NYC High School,” but NOT one called “Getting Into NYC Middle School,” I explain it’s because the NYC middle school process is so convoluted and varies so much from district to district, I couldn’t write one… Continue reading Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

Finding the Right School · School Choice

Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

In addition to taking the “ridiculous” Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) which I so cruelly forced him to study for, my 8th grade son also auditioned for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts.  (Yes, that’s really what it’s called and that’s really how it’s punctuated, although most… Continue reading Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?