Data for [School Year] 2016 –17 contained in this report shows promising movement toward ensuring that students are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate for their individual needs. This is a statement from the New York City Department of Education’s most recent Annual Report on Special Education, which boasts of the “substantial improvement” and… Continue reading Wesley’s Story, Part 3: “This Is A Bigger Issue Than Wesley,” or How the NYC DOE is Failing Students with Disabilities
“It’s weird to read something about myself that I’m not sure I’ll understand,” my partner admitted after reading a critical analysis essay I had composed about one of Richard Wright’s short stories. It mainly focused on transgenerational trauma within the African-American community, of which I am not a member. “What do you mean?” I asked.… Continue reading A Teacher Wonders, “Am I Repressing My Students’ Voices?”
In Part #1 of our four part series, I dove into the nitty-gritty of the Mayor’s plan to get rid of the SHSAT test in Specialized High School admissions, and speculated about his true motives. In Part #2, I laid out who would win and who would lose when the proposal is codified into law.… Continue reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #3): Whose Fault Is It, Anyway? And Who’s Going To Fix It?
This question is haunting me. I can’t sleep. I have knots in my stomach. I can’t eat. All I can see is the images of innocent, unsuspecting children sleeping on cold floors, living in cages with no access to their parents or any other trusted adult while some Americans sit around and show more concern… Continue reading What Do I Do As A Mandated Reporter When The Federal Government Is The Child Abuser?
This is a guest post by Kristin Damo, the founding principal of Success Academy Lafayette Middle School in Brooklyn. My father emigrated from the Philippines and raised me on his own. The promise he made to me as a child is that I would have access to a world-class education. Today, this is the promise… Continue reading Mayor de Blasio’s Diversity Problem
“Study of N.Y. Schools Finds Wide Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Advanced High School Courses.” That’s the alarming headline that recently captured my attention, based on unpublished state Education Department data from the 2016-2017 school year analyzed by the New York Equity Coalition. The Coalition comprises the State Business Council, the New York Urban League, Albany… Continue reading “I Thought I Was Taking Algebra But It Was Really Pre-Algebra”: the Racial and Ethnic Gap in New York’s Gateway Courses
Last week, I dove into New York City’s plan to diversity Specialized High School admissions by scratching the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), currently the only method of admission, in favor of a model wherein the top 7 percent of all public middle school students would be accepted at an SHSAT school, as long as… Continue reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan [Part #2]: Who Will Win & Who Will Lose When It Passes
The media is afire with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to diversify NYC’s most competitive high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech — by eliminating the SHSAT admissions test. Instead of basing student suitability for these ultra-competitive schools on a single test, he says, students will be admitted based on classroom… Continue reading The Lack of Diversity in NYC’s Elite High Schools Has Nothing To Do With the Admissions Test.
I have been reflecting about the ways students treat their teachers and their school facilities. As a teacher, I’ve always had excellent classroom management. That comes from being a no-nonsense mom long before I became a teacher. Kids are like dogs — they smell fear. They know who to mess with and with whom to… Continue reading I Witnessed My Mother Endure Blatant Disrespect At The Hands Of Her Students Today
It’s been a hell of a week. On Saturday, June 2, 2018, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio penned an op-ed, asserting that Our Specialized Schools Have a Diversity Problem. Let’s Fix It. On Sunday, June 3, he announced two initiatives to do so. He vowed to expand the Discovery Program so that 20 percent of… Continue reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #1): The Mayor’s Hidden Agenda