I’ve taken great pride in creating an African American Studies course for my school that explored not simply African American History, but African Americans through the lens of history, the arts, and culture. Gearing up for my third year of teaching this class, I was notified that I was going to teach Latin American Studies… Continue reading The Apollo Video Oral History Project
Computers are fast and stupid, people are slow and clever. This is an axiom that anybody who works with computers must accept in order that computers and people may cooperate effectively. Yet, schools seem to ask students to do tasks to which computers are much better suited, and then let them graduate without ever having… Continue reading Don’t stop them now! Students can learn more than you think
A pair of structural changes, one statewide, one nationwide, have been introduced as part of the ongoing hunt for that magic bullet to cure America’s learning woes. And not a moment too soon. The 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports came out last month. Nationwide, on average, math scores went up for 4th… Continue reading It’s About Time: Education’s Latest Magic Bullets
Just in time for Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren to unveil her education plan severely limiting school options for low-income families, and the release of 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores in math and English (spoiler: New York City stayed flat overall and went down in math), comes Miss Virginia, a movie about… Continue reading School Choice Goes to the Movies: The Sequel!
In late 2018, the New York City Department Of Education (DOE) unveiled their brand new, online Parent Portal, MySchools, which was supposed to make applying to all levels of the school system — Universal Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted & Talented, Middle and High School — more streamlined, efficient, and convenient. In 2019, some parents couldn’t register.… Continue reading The Spooky Case Of the Mysterious, Missing SHSAT Tickets: Parents Sound Off On Department Of Education Incompetence (Part #3)
Earlier this month, I offered A Modest Proposal for Turning NYC School Admissions Upside Down – & Letting Parents Decide the Education They Want For Their Kids. The gist of it boiled down to: What if … A computer algorithm more sophisticated than the one in use now aggregated students by interest and location to… Continue reading Ditch “Gifted” Testing & Accelerate Any Child Who Wants It? NYC Parents Weigh In!
Do you have something to say — complain, praise, probe — about New York City public schools? Now’s your chance! Each year, all parents, teachers, and students in grades 6-12 have the opportunity to take the NYC School Survey. The survey is aligned to the DOE’s Framework for Great Schools and designed to collect important information about… Continue reading Don’t Just Complain: Say Something!
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
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?
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