New York City

A Different Kind of Integration: Bringing Students With Mental Health Challenges Into Our School and Watching Them Thrive

I have written about John W. Lavelle Prep Charter in Staten Island before. I helped start it as a middle school, built on the crazy idea that you must integrate students with mental health challenges with the general population for them to be successful. Mind you, these students tend to have the highest dropout rate of… Continue reading A Different Kind of Integration: Bringing Students With Mental Health Challenges Into Our School and Watching Them Thrive

New York City · State Legislature

In Speech, Mayor de Blasio Gives Short Shrift to School Improvement; Curtains for Chancellor Fariña?

In today’s New York Times, Kate Taylor reports on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City speech and his curiously scant discussion of his  Renewal Schools Program. As I’ve reported before (see here,  here, and here),  the program’s outcomes are lackluster at best, yet the Mayor has trumpeted his plan as a panacea… Continue reading In Speech, Mayor de Blasio Gives Short Shrift to School Improvement; Curtains for Chancellor Fariña?

Blog · New York City

Why I’m Taking My Child Out of One of Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal Schools

When I found out my child would be attending Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts, one of New York City’s “Renewal Schools,” I was hopeful. I went to Wadleigh when I was a girl; I knew it was struggling, but I thought the new focus and resources that came with the Renewal… Continue reading Why I’m Taking My Child Out of One of Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal Schools

Blog · New York City

Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Program: Neither Free, Nor Full-Day, Nor High-Quality

Applications for Round 1 of New York City’s Universal Pre-K (UPK) program are due on Friday, February 24, 2017. That’s President’s Day Week, by the way, which means that schools will be closed during the final five days parents are technically allowed to be touring and and making their ranking decisions. Colorful posters are hanging… Continue reading Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Program: Neither Free, Nor Full-Day, Nor High-Quality

Blog · New York City

Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016

It’s natural, when writing about the New York City educational system, to focus on ways it can be improved. However, heading into a new year, I’ve decided to take five stories I’ve done this fall, and emphasize the bright side of each. We could all use a little holiday cheer this week! 1) Why Aren’t… Continue reading Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016

Blog · New York City

Against Using Public Money to Fund Religious Schools? In NYC, It’s Already Happening!

Ever since President-Elect Donald Trump tapped Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, the biggest objection to her nomination has hinged on her support for charter schools and school vouchers. Though many would prefer to link the two, the fact is, they are very different political concepts. We covered charter schools last week. This week, we’ll… Continue reading Against Using Public Money to Fund Religious Schools? In NYC, It’s Already Happening!

New York City

My Daughter Went From Victim to Advocate: A Personal Story of Bullying and Harassment

My daughter was a victim. A victim of bullying and harassment. Starting in the 3rd grade in a New York City public school my daughter became the center of attention of a group of girls who were determined to make sure she didn’t have any friends.  She was forced to eat alone by those bullying… Continue reading My Daughter Went From Victim to Advocate: A Personal Story of Bullying and Harassment

New York City

Will the DOE’s Plan to Diversify Upper West Side Schools Reverse Segregation or Merely Hide Student Achievement Gaps?

As I predicted last week, NYC’s controversial Upper West Side rezoning plan passed. Its supporters claimed the Department of Education’s plan would decrease overcrowding and increase economic and racial diversity. Its detractors argued that the Community Education Council acted without heeding parents’ wishes. I continue to see this rezoning as a way for the Department of… Continue reading Will the DOE’s Plan to Diversify Upper West Side Schools Reverse Segregation or Merely Hide Student Achievement Gaps?

Blog · New York City

A Different Kind of Segregation in the Name of Diversity on the Upper West Side

Despite local parent opposition, the NYC Department of Education is pushing through a highly controversial rezoning plan, to be put to a vote on Tuesday, November 22th, as a way to desegregate and improve a group of Upper West Side elementary schools. But the plan risks making both problems worse. At the epicenter of the… Continue reading A Different Kind of Segregation in the Name of Diversity on the Upper West Side

Blog · New York City

Does Attending a Specialized High School Make a Difference?

No, at least according to Matt Barnum who, in a recent Atlantic article called “Is Attending the ‘Best’ High School Academically Relevant?,”  bases his conclusion on a study done by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. But as a New York City mom of a son in a specialized high school, I see enormous… Continue reading Does Attending a Specialized High School Make a Difference?