I walked into work on November 9th, 2016 feeling frail and numb. Some feeling is returning to my being, but even as I stand here in my kitchen and type these words, tears are welling in my eyes and I feel a tight knot in the pit of my stomach as I recall the look… Continue reading The Children Have Spoken: The Aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election in My Classroom
The New York Post notes today that New York City’s list of “struggling” and “persistently struggling” schools has nosedived from 145 down to 72. Party time, right? Chronically-failing schools are suddenly reinventing themselves and boosting student achievement! But hold the applause: this list was pared down because NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Chancellor… Continue reading This NYC High School Has Failed for Forty Years: for Mayor de Blasio, How Long is Long Enough?
Here I am again in the corner of a hallway at KIPP Infinity Charter School in Harlem, tip-tapping away. As I look into the eyes of the children passing by, throwing up the peace sign to me and each other, I get flushed because their innocence is being passed over by forces that threaten us.… Continue reading I Just Saw “Birth of a Nation” and Realized We Are Still Fighting to Be Free
Of the 329 schools designated by the United States Department of Education as 2016 “Blue Ribbon Schools” for superlative success in closing the achievement gap and maintaining high standards, ten are located in New York City. One is the K-8 Excellence Girls Charter School on the border of Bed-Stuy and Bushwick, one of only three… Continue reading Do Single-Sex Schools Hurt or Help Students?
Less than two weeks after I criticized the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) plan to add racial diversity to Specialized High-Schools by offering intensive test prep to high-achieving, underserved students as too-little, too-late, the Panel for Educational Policy has voted to make a major change to the test itself. But I don’t think… Continue reading As A NYC Parent, I Don’t Think the DOE’s Change to Specialized Schools Admissions Test Will Create Diversity
New York City’s charter school leaders are calling upon Mayor Bill de Blasio to double the number of charter school seats available to students by 2020. According to an editorial published in today’s Daily News by the leaders of Achievement First, Uncommon Schools, KIPP, Public Prep, and Coney Island Prep, NYC students are best served by expanding… Continue reading Mayor de Blasio’s “Moral, Political, and Economic Obligation” to Support Charter School Expansion
A Voice From Within: One Couple’s Story I’m in a beautifully loving marriage to John Dukes, a man who is truly one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. My husband is also incarcerated. During our friendship, courtship, and marriage, John and I have spent a lot of time tracing… Continue reading My Beautiful, Loving Marriage to A Man Who Is Trapped Within New York City’s School-to-Prison Pipeline
Hunter College Elementary School just released applications for spots in its 2017 kindergarten class. Popular perceptions to the contrary, Hunter is not a public school but, rather, a “publically- funded” school. While the K-12 Upper East Side lab school is tuition-free, it is not under the auspices of the New York City Department of Education… Continue reading A NYC Mom asks, “Why aren’t unzoned schools held to the same standards as charter schools?”
Quite a bit, according to a new report from the New York State Business Officials called “The Education Dollar.” We know this. New York State’s per pupil expenditure historically toggles between first, second, and third place nationally. This year we’re #2, or $19, 529 per pupil, second to the District of Columbia which wins the… Continue reading How Much Does the State Spend on Your Kid’s Education?
As we begin this new 2016-2017 school year, my earnest desire (and I hope it to be yours as well) is to uplift the teaching profession the way the teachers throughout my life have uplifted me. I pay homage to them because, outside of my family and friends, no other entity has poured into who… Continue reading New York City Teacher: “We Must Be At the Helm of Our Profession’s Ship”