Blog

Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings

The US News & World Report released their latest rankings of America’s top public high-schools last month. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña was quick to crow about how New York City schools topped the New York State list. The majority of those were specialized high schools, the ones her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, accuses students… Continue reading Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings

Blog

My Students Experience Project-Based Learning

My students and I just finished up our unit on project-based learning and I’m one happy teacher! Students who had previously “just gotten by” in terms of the quality of work they created were more invested in their projects. When I asked them why, they agreed that getting to choose the topic and the driving… Continue reading My Students Experience Project-Based Learning

Blog

Remembering Avonte Oquendo

A few days ago I was walking by a school and I heard what sounded like door alarms going off. Usually alarms indicate an alert to impending danger that creates a sense of urgency to protect oneself and others. In this case, however, everything (from the outside looking in) appeared to be business as usual.… Continue reading Remembering Avonte Oquendo

Blog

Harlem Dad: Parents Who “Opt-Out” Their Kids Let The System Off the Hook

(Damian Gaillard is the parent of a fifth-grader who attends public school in Harlem, N.Y. This piece was originally posted at The 74.)  I think we all remember what it was like to be in school and wanting to be with the “cool kids.” It used to be that meant wearing the latest sneakers or… Continue reading Harlem Dad: Parents Who “Opt-Out” Their Kids Let The System Off the Hook

Blog

Dear NAACP: This Charter School Embraced My Son After a Traditional School Tried To Push Him Out

This is a guest post by Felecia Brown Butler. Felecia was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is a dedicated mother of three beautiful sons and a fierce advocate for her community and great schools for all children. When my son was in Kindergarten, he didn’t seem to be learning like the other children.… Continue reading Dear NAACP: This Charter School Embraced My Son After a Traditional School Tried To Push Him Out

Blog

NYC Announces Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Three-Year-Olds Despite Lack of Space, Qualified Teachers, Or Results

On April 24, 2017, as East Side parents were planning a march to protest their children being sent to Universal pre-Kindergarten classrooms multiple blocks away, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio trumpeted the following: New York City is starting the path to 3-K for All for fall of 2017, aiming to serve over 11,000… Continue reading NYC Announces Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Three-Year-Olds Despite Lack of Space, Qualified Teachers, Or Results

Blog

The-School-To-Prison-Back-To-School-Pipeline

Last week I wrote that a major reason why there is a lack of Black and Brown male teachers in the classroom is because Black and Brown men have a higher rate of felony convictions. This  precludes them from garnering the certifications  required to become teachers in New York State and/or New York City. While… Continue reading The-School-To-Prison-Back-To-School-Pipeline

Blog

If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline

For months you’ve read about my husband John’s former experiences with the public school systems in New York City and on Long Island during elementary, junior, and high school, as well as his current experiences being educated in a maximum security prison in New York State. Quite the dichotomy, some might say. Others, like myself,… Continue reading If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline

Blog

“Home Is Where I Feel Safe and This Classroom is Home to Me”

In my eleven years as an educator, both in the States and abroad, I have always viewed my relationships with students as an indicator of student achievement. I truly enjoy growing and fostering relationships with each child, and think of it as an integral part of my teaching practice. Additionally, I have noticed that when… Continue reading “Home Is Where I Feel Safe and This Classroom is Home to Me”

Blog

Why I Go To Parent-Teacher Conferences, Or, The Flip Side of Accountability

The final Parent-Teacher Conference of my oldest son’s academic career took place this March. I didn’t go because I enjoy running up and down stairs, signing up for three minutes with one teacher, being told the wait will be 20 minutes, leaving to speak with another teacher, then returning to be informed that I missed… Continue reading Why I Go To Parent-Teacher Conferences, Or, The Flip Side of Accountability