Blog · School Choice

Shadina Charles’ Story: Homelessness, Cancer, and a Two-Hour Commute Won’t Get in the Way of Her Daughters’ Education

This is a guest column by Keciah Bailey, a freelance education journalist. Shadina Charles (see picture above) is a native of Grenada, a cancer survivor, and the mother of four daughters, two of whom attend Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. In Morris Heights, Bronx, the alarm sounds at 4:00 a.m. signaling to… Continue reading Shadina Charles’ Story: Homelessness, Cancer, and a Two-Hour Commute Won’t Get in the Way of Her Daughters’ Education

School Choice

Pros and Cons of Starting Accelerated Kindergarten Before Age 5: NYC Mom Tells All!

Hunter College Elementary School (HCES) opened its kindergarten 2018 application on Friday, September 1. Despite the misnomer of it being a Department of Education-run public school (it’s closer to a charter), HCES is considered New York City’s top gifted school. Over 2,500 Manhattan four year-olds vie for 50 kindergarten spots. Their families believe the (no-tuition) accelerated… Continue reading Pros and Cons of Starting Accelerated Kindergarten Before Age 5: NYC Mom Tells All!

School Choice

Finding the “Perfect Fit”: Why NYC Should Make It Easier To Transfer Among Schools Of Any Type

When New York City parents talk about school choice, the assumption is that they are deciding between a traditional and a charter public school (with private religious and independent schools as a separate issue). But true school choice means the option to leave any school for any reason, without being forced to jump through multiple… Continue reading Finding the “Perfect Fit”: Why NYC Should Make It Easier To Transfer Among Schools Of Any Type

Blog · School Choice

NYC Kids Forced To Start Kindergarten Before Age 5 – Two Parents’ Perspectives

As we have noted before, New York City has the latest school birthday cut-off in the country, December 31st. This means that one-quarter of children are forced to start kindergarten before they turn five years old. There is research to support both sending young children to school and holding them back. So what should you… Continue reading NYC Kids Forced To Start Kindergarten Before Age 5 – Two Parents’ Perspectives

School Choice

NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?

In their 2012 book, “Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High-Schools,”  Chester E. Finn Jr. and Jessica A. Hockett offer a comprehensive look at screened admissions secondary schools across the US by spotlighting a cross-section of educational models. These range from the statewide residential Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, to Pine View School for… Continue reading NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?

School Choice

One Family’s Story: We Have Decided To Leave The Public School System

(This is a guest post by Leah J. Burgess,  a wife, mother, minister, trauma informed victim advocate, and blogger at saltlifeandlove.) We are not the first family and I know we will not be the last to transfer our children out of public school. This is our story; it may mirror yours or people you know. This is… Continue reading One Family’s Story: We Have Decided To Leave The Public School System

Accountability · Blog · School Choice

“The rollback of education reform in New York has been the most dramatic in the country.”

That’s Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Foundation in an article published last night on PoliticoPro. In this deep dive into the regression of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to education reform, Eliza Shapiro surveys the last three years of education politics in the most segregated state school system in the country. Because this piece is only… Continue reading “The rollback of education reform in New York has been the most dramatic in the country.”

School Choice

Why Do I Make My Daughter Do Homework Over the Summer?

My daughter struggled through much of 4th grade. She was put in Special Learning with a wonderful teacher who helped her catch up. We didn’t want all that progress to disappear over the summer. While some parents may have gone with a tutor, that wasn’t in our budget. Instead, we asked the school for workbooks… Continue reading Why Do I Make My Daughter Do Homework Over the Summer?

School Choice

Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT

My older son graduated from a New York City Specialized High-School this June. Now it’s my younger one’s turn to prep for the qualifying Specialized High-School Admissions Test (SHSAT). “You realize how ridiculous this is,” my 13 year-old posited after taking yet another practice test from one of the many books we’ve purchased for the… Continue reading Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT

School Choice · State Legislature

Who are the Winners and Losers in Albany’s Decision to Extend Mayor de Blasio’s Control of NYC Schools?

Mayor Bill de Blasio won.  New York City families lost. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie get, straight from my hometown, a big fat Bronx cheer. Early Thursday morning the Senate approved a bill that grants NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio two more years of control of the… Continue reading Who are the Winners and Losers in Albany’s Decision to Extend Mayor de Blasio’s Control of NYC Schools?