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Cynthia Nixon on Education: Look At What She Did, Not What She Says

Emmy-winning Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon threw her hat into the New York gubernatorial race two weeks ago and, since then, she been traversing the state, stumping for a variety of issues. While the usual suspects parse her stance on subways, minimum wage, and women’s/LGBTQ rights, I am going to focus (to the… Continue reading Cynthia Nixon on Education: Look At What She Did, Not What She Says

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In 2018, Books With Diverse Characters Still Few And Far Between At Local New York City Book Drive

Six years ago my mentor, Mercedes Muller, informed me about a local NYC book drive that gives away books to teachers who work in Title One schools that serve many low-income students. Every year since then, I have greatly benefited from the books I receive. Working in schools in communities that struggle economically has made… Continue reading In 2018, Books With Diverse Characters Still Few And Far Between At Local New York City Book Drive

Accountability

“Wait a minute. You just flash that thing, it erases her memory, and you just make up a new one?” De Blasio, Carranza, and Men in Black.

Remember the scene at the beginning of  “Men in Black” when Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is auditioning men for a new slot in a secret agency that oversees alien visitors from other galaxies? After a series of bizarre tests, he picks the iconoclast in the group, soon-to-be Agent J (played by Will Smith). The… Continue reading “Wait a minute. You just flash that thing, it erases her memory, and you just make up a new one?” De Blasio, Carranza, and Men in Black.

Accountability · Finding the Right School · School Choice

NYC High School Admissions: What the Department Of Education Refuses To Admit

If it feels like I’ve written this post before, that’s because I’ve written this post before. (Think of it as Groundhog Day: High School Edition.) The highlights: September 12, 2016: Can Last Minute Test Prep Bring Diversity To NYC’s Specialized High Schools? September 26, 2016: As a NYC Parent, I Don’t Think the DOE’s Change… Continue reading NYC High School Admissions: What the Department Of Education Refuses To Admit

Accountability · Finding the Right School · 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.

Finding the Right School · 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 · Finding the Right School · 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)