Kiara Damon first started thinking about college when she entered fifth grade at Williamsburg Collegiate Middle School, a Brooklyn charter school run by the Uncommon Schools network. “It was always college, college, college,” Kiara said. “We were always the class of 2021, not the class of 2017.” Kira was one of 87 graduating seniors from… Continue reading From Dream to Reality: The Entire Class at this Brooklyn Charter School Is Going to College!
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
Across schools throughout the City, bulletin boards proudly display colleges and universities that high school seniors will be attending in the fall. It is commonplace for teachers, students, and visitors to view these boards and comment on the fine schools into which students have been accepted. Recently, I was viewing one such board with a… Continue reading Why Do Community Colleges Have Such a Bad Rep?
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
Nearly 100 colleges participated in a career fair in Brooklyn this week, illustrating the growing influence that high-performing charter schools are having on college admissions in New York. That many colleges at one fair at a school is not atypical for magnet schools like Stuyvesant High School or Hunter College High School. But what was… Continue reading “There Are Black Women Like Me Doing That Kind of Work”: Brooklyn Charter Students Impress College Recruiters
“Free” college is in the news these days because New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with the support of Hillary Clinton, triumphantly signed a bill that will waive City and State college tuition for families earning less than $100,000 a year. That makes it a perfect time to take a critical look at what New York City already… Continue reading Double Dipping: How “Free” College Forces Students To Take the Same Course (and Taxpayers to Pay For It) Twice
“I read that New York teachers don’t have to be literate, anymore. Is that true, Mom?,” my seventh-grader asked last week. He’s recently become determined to “fix all education in America” (I have no idea where a son of mine could have picked up such an interest), and was on the Internet doing research. He’d… Continue reading The Trickle-Down Effect of Lowering Teacher Standards
With much fanfare and press releases, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his Free College plan for families earning less than $125,000 a year. There are many problems with his proposal, not the least of which is that “free” only covers tuition. As the mother of a New York City 17-year-old currently going through… Continue reading Three Pitfalls of Cuomo’s “Free” College Plan for New York State Students
The reverberation of the school-to-prison pipeline neither ceases nor subsides when a former student becomes an inmate. The educational system within the prison system continues to fail them by not providing educational opportunities that are truly geared toward rehabilitation or reducing recidivism. For example, Master’s degrees are offered to inmates from the New York Theological… Continue reading The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Education as an Inmate
This is Part 6 of my series “Letters from John.” In Part I, I wrote, “I’m in a beautifully loving marriage to John Dukes, a man who is truly one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. My husband is also incarcerated. During our friendship, courtship, and marriage, John and I… Continue reading Are We Herding — Tracking, Really — Students Down a One-Size-Fits-All-Alley Way to College?