Accountability · School Choice

Is Parental Engagement Necessary For a Child’s School Success? A Personal Story.

Celia Scott Wickham wasn’t just an HHLA board member. She was also my mother-in-law. On Friday, February 16, 2018, Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School (for those tracking such things, one of NYC’s most diverse public schools at 36 percent White, 30 percent Black, 29 percent Hispanic) dedicated the day to celebrating their neighborhood. Classrooms… Continue reading Is Parental Engagement Necessary For a Child’s School Success? A Personal Story.

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Please Stop Equating Low-Income With Low Achievement. And Pretending That Sitting Next To Middle-Class Kids Fixes Both.

Everyone from Beatrice Kaufman to Fanny Brice to Sophie Tucker to Mae West to Cher has been quoted as saying, “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich. Rich is better.” Few would disagree with them. Just like few would disagree that New York City schools with wealthier families post higher test scores due, in no… Continue reading Please Stop Equating Low-Income With Low Achievement. And Pretending That Sitting Next To Middle-Class Kids Fixes Both.

School Choice

Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Martin Luther King Day weekend came right on the heels of New York City’s public school Kindergarten application, Kindergarten Connect, scheduled to close on Friday, January 12, 2018. However, as I kept predicting, they extended the deadline to Friday, January 19, 2018, at the last minute. Due to the earlier stated deadline, I spent the… Continue reading Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Accountability · School Choice

What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

With Kindergarten Connect applications due this Friday, January 12 (unless the Department of Education decides to, once again, push back their own deadline), I have been hearing from dozens of parents looking for help with finding a “good” school for their child. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that different… Continue reading What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

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Being The Change I Wish To See In Education

I’ve been blogging now for about 10 months and during that time, I’ve had the opportunity to converse with several people via their written comments about whatever it is I wrote that week. Often the comments are supportive and aligned with my position.  There are times, however, when readers of my posts are adamantly opposed… Continue reading Being The Change I Wish To See In Education

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Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)

(Dedicated to Fosemi, Lassana, and Adam.) Suddenly I was the inconsiderate one. As teachers, we need to be the agents of change who recognize and act accordingly to our students’diverse perspectives and customs. Here I thought I was responding appropriately when I noticed that some of my highest-performing students were not eating, even when I pointed… Continue reading Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)

School Choice

Everything Wrong With NYC’s Latest School Diversity Plan

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released his latest school diversity plan on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, but refused to answer any questions about it until backed into a corner by reporters at another event on Thursday, June 8. His Honor responded with a hodgepodge of generalities, including, “I wanted my children in diverse… Continue reading Everything Wrong With NYC’s Latest School Diversity Plan

Blog · New York City

Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016

It’s natural, when writing about the New York City educational system, to focus on ways it can be improved. However, heading into a new year, I’ve decided to take five stories I’ve done this fall, and emphasize the bright side of each. We could all use a little holiday cheer this week! 1) Why Aren’t… Continue reading Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016

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Guest Post: We Don’t Have A Diversity Problem in Education; We Have a Racist Problem

White supremacy. For many, it is a term that conjures imagery of White men in white hoods surrounded by burning crosses. It is not a term that, for most, conjures imagery of public schools, teachers and students. Instead, in a never-ending project to avoid speaking honestly about race and education, Whites liberally employ terms like… Continue reading Guest Post: We Don’t Have A Diversity Problem in Education; We Have a Racist Problem

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If a Charter School Operated Like This Non-Charter “Public” School It Would Be Shut Down

“Hunter is the original charter school,” offered a Hunter parent at a panel on NYC Selective School admissions that I moderated last month at BASIS Independent Manhattan School. I’d never thought of it that way but, as soon as he said it, it made perfect sense. And yet, I don’t see activists clamoring to close Hunter… Continue reading If a Charter School Operated Like This Non-Charter “Public” School It Would Be Shut Down