Blog · School Choice

NYC’s Top 10 Elementary Schools By Test Scores: What Makes Them Special – And How You Can Get In

New York State released their 2017 standardized public school test scores in August, and New York City led the pack. We take a look at the top ten achievers, and explore whether we can find an instructional magic bullet among them: Rank: 1 School Name: Special Music School Average Standard Score: 99.7 % of Students… Continue reading NYC’s Top 10 Elementary Schools By Test Scores: What Makes Them Special – And How You Can Get In

School Choice

Pros and Cons of Starting Accelerated Kindergarten Before Age 5: NYC Mom Tells All!

Hunter College Elementary School (HCES) opened its kindergarten 2018 application on Friday, September 1. Despite the misnomer of it being a Department of Education-run public school (it’s closer to a charter), HCES is considered New York City’s top gifted school. Over 2,500 Manhattan four year-olds vie for 50 kindergarten spots. Their families believe the (no-tuition) accelerated… Continue reading Pros and Cons of Starting Accelerated Kindergarten Before Age 5: NYC Mom Tells All!

School Choice

Why Do I Make My Daughter Do Homework Over the Summer?

My daughter struggled through much of 4th grade. She was put in Special Learning with a wonderful teacher who helped her catch up. We didn’t want all that progress to disappear over the summer. While some parents may have gone with a tutor, that wasn’t in our budget. Instead, we asked the school for workbooks… Continue reading Why Do I Make My Daughter Do Homework Over the Summer?

School Choice

Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT

My older son graduated from a New York City Specialized High-School this June. Now it’s my younger one’s turn to prep for the qualifying Specialized High-School Admissions Test (SHSAT). “You realize how ridiculous this is,” my 13 year-old posited after taking yet another practice test from one of the many books we’ve purchased for the… Continue reading Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT

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Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?

Earlier this year, I wrote about Dual Language programs in New York City schools, and who really benefits from them.  Is it the non-English speakers that Chancellor Carmen Fariña touts, or is it the already English-speaking children whose parents, when shut out of Gifted & Talented programs, use the Dual Language option to secure yet… Continue reading Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?

Accountability

NYC’s Gifted & Talented Programs Obscure Parents’ Ability to Judge School Performance

In New York City, parents beg, borrow and steal (well, technically, they pay hundreds of dollars for test prep) to get their kids into public school Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs. But one of the issues that gets overlooked with district G&T’s is that they dilute overall school accountability. There are two kinds of public… Continue reading NYC’s Gifted & Talented Programs Obscure Parents’ Ability to Judge School Performance

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Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?

On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the New York State Legislature voted to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools for two years. The move was heralded by everyone from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who proclaimed it “the best way to provide education,” to former Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who asserted that… Continue reading Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?

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Are Affluent Parents Fighting Against Gifted Ed for Underserved Kids?

No, New York City is not getting rid of elementary school Gifted & Talented programs in an attempt to make everyone feel special and lower student achievement. However, DNAInfo’s June 13th article, “Gifted Programs Ditched for Hands On Learning for All at More NYC Schools,” has convinced multiple hysterical folks – who probably only read… Continue reading Are Affluent Parents Fighting Against Gifted Ed for Underserved Kids?

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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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Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings

The US News & World Report released their latest rankings of America’s top public high-schools last month. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña was quick to crow about how New York City schools topped the New York State list. The majority of those were specialized high schools, the ones her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, accuses students… Continue reading Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings