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Mayor de Blasio is On The Run From Parents Protesting Placements of Subpar Teachers

This is a guest post from Lashaya Johnson, a Crown Heights public school parent. It was originally posted in Medium. Earlier this month, Mayor de Blasio made a terrible decision that affects families across the city: He will force place unwanted teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve pool into classrooms. That means any of my… Continue reading Mayor de Blasio is On The Run From Parents Protesting Placements of Subpar Teachers

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Work Now, Get Paid Later — Maybe: One Teacher’s Woeful Summer Work Experience

I didn’t want to work this summer. I really just wanted to rest from a somewhat stressful school year and revitalize myself in preparation for the academic year ahead. I almost pulled it off, too, but after careful review of my budget post on my daughter’s eighteenth birthday, high school graduation, and prom, I knew… Continue reading Work Now, Get Paid Later — Maybe: One Teacher’s Woeful Summer Work Experience

Accountability · Blog

A Dead Canary in Hunts Point: “Vouchers” Instead of Special Education Services

One of my four children has multiple disabilities because of a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome and, while we’ve had disputes with our local school district, Jonah’s assorted services—speech and occupational therapy, modified course content and instruction, vocational training—always take place during the school day. Not so in one of the poorest sections of… Continue reading A Dead Canary in Hunts Point: “Vouchers” Instead of Special Education Services

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

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In a High-Achieving School That Has 99% Black Students, Why Haven’t More Black Teachers Been Hired?

Prior to publishing my last post, “How Are These White Teachers At A Long Island High School Helping Black Kids Achieve Above- Average Graduation Rates?,” I asked my editor if my position was clear or if I appeared to my readers to be flip-flopping from my original, previously proposed position that the profession needs more teachers… Continue reading In a High-Achieving School That Has 99% Black Students, Why Haven’t More Black Teachers Been Hired?

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How Are These White Teachers At A Long Island High School Helping Black Kids Achieve Above- Average Graduation Rates?

I only had one Black teacher in my entire K-12 academic career. One. I graduated from Elmont Memorial High School (EMHS) on Long Island almost 25 years ago. I always brag about the quality education that I got there. It really was top-notch. The neighborhood in which we lived and attended school was culturally diverse.… Continue reading How Are These White Teachers At A Long Island High School Helping Black Kids Achieve Above- Average Graduation Rates?

Accountability · Blog

Mayor de Blasio Turns His Back on Low-Income Parents Protesting His Forced Placement of 400 Teachers

Below is a press release from StudentsFirstNY, which relays reactions of New York City parents to the news that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña will force placements of 400 of the 882 teachers assigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve. The ATR is more popularly known as “the rubber room,” via Steven Brill’s 2009 New… Continue reading Mayor de Blasio Turns His Back on Low-Income Parents Protesting His Forced Placement of 400 Teachers

Accountability · Blog

This Long Island Parent Asks, Is My Daughter’s School Preparing Her For College?

As the mother of a daughter who will be entering the 11th grade this fall in a Long Island, New York public high school, my summer months  have been consumed with thoughts about these final two years and if they will truly prepare her for the transition to college. While the testing has become more… Continue reading This Long Island Parent Asks, Is My Daughter’s School Preparing Her For College?

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Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?

Earlier this year, I wrote about Dual Language programs in New York City schools, and who really benefits from them.  Is it the non-English speakers that Chancellor Carmen Fariña touts, or is it the already English-speaking children whose parents, when shut out of Gifted & Talented programs, use the Dual Language option to secure yet… Continue reading Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?

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A Summer Staycation at Your Local Public Library

Guess what I just did? I got a library card! Finally! After being homeless for six months, I moved into my current home almost a year and a half ago and I finally got around to making one of the most important decisions of my summer. The English teacher in me was ashamed that I… Continue reading A Summer Staycation at Your Local Public Library