Accountability

Would a No-Grades Transcript Hurt or Help NYC College-Bound Students?

A consortium of 100 private schools, including New York City elites Dalton and Spence, have banded together to create a new kind of transcript for applying to college. Their proposed format would eschew grades and standardized test scores in favor of “different levels of mastery. Instead of a grade in algebra or geometry, the mastery… Continue reading Would a No-Grades Transcript Hurt or Help NYC College-Bound Students?

Accountability · Blog

Graduation Season Is Upon Us

As I scroll through my social media news feed, I am so excited to see all the graduates. From Pre-K to eighth-grade, from high-school to college and beyond, each graduation is momentous and marks an educational milestone for not only the graduates and their loved ones, but for their teachers as well. Graduation season, for… Continue reading Graduation Season Is Upon Us

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Lack of School Choice Isn’t the Problem In NYC: It’s The Lack of Good Choices

Elizabeth A. Harris and Ford Fessenden’s May 5th New York Times piece, “The Broken Promises of Choice in New York City Schools,”  comes to the conclusion that the inequities in the City’s admissions system can be attributed to choice itself. In reality, however, it’s not having multiple high school choices that leads to over half of… Continue reading Lack of School Choice Isn’t the Problem In NYC: It’s The Lack of Good Choices

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“He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy

Sean Davenport has a provocative piece in Chalkbeat about his journey from disaffected student to teacher at (now closed) Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. On his first day there in his 10th grade English and Speech class, he told the students to take turns reading aloud from a text. He recounts this exchange… Continue reading “He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy

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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

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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

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Day At The Museum? This Teacher Turns Boredom To Excitement

“Museums are boring!”  And, “at least we get to go to the park for lunch.” These are the refrains I have heard over the years from students before going on a field trip to a museum. While the middle school where I teach is in Manhattan and most of the students reside there, many have… Continue reading Day At The Museum? This Teacher Turns Boredom To Excitement

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Where I Respond To Comments From My Last Post on the “Opt-Out Movement”

My post last week urging New York parents to say “yes” to the state standardized tests generated many comments, mostly from angry suburban parents. I thank all of you  — after all, the primary purpose of New York School Talk is to elevate authentic voices in this ongoing conversation about how to improve the quality… Continue reading Where I Respond To Comments From My Last Post on the “Opt-Out Movement”

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Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?

New York City kids have just finished sitting for the 2017 English Language Arts state tests and so this seems like a good time to talk about the tutoring epidemic that goes beyond four-year-olds prepping to ace Gifted & Talented screenings, and teens cramming for the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Those exams are for… Continue reading Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?

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Students: You Take the Test; Don’t Let the Test Take You!

Today is day two of  of the three-day New York State English Language Arts Exam and in my ten-plus years of proctoring and scoring these exams, it never ceases to amaze me when, just a few minutes into the tests, students’ eyes start to glaze over and their bladders and throats go into overdrive, causing… Continue reading Students: You Take the Test; Don’t Let the Test Take You!