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
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
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”?
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?
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
On April 3, 2017, The New York Post broke the story of how Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, with the help of Chancellor Carmen Fariña, pulled strings to get his son into Park Slope’s top middle school. This is a blatant violation of rules that all families, connected or not, are expected to follow. And here… Continue reading Giving All NYC Families the Same School Choice That The Deputy Mayor Has
New York City kids are coming to the end of the 2017 application cycle, with general education Kindergarten as well as all Middle School and High School placements set to be released next month. Yet, once again, families were not fully informed of all their choices, entering the process unaware that options diminish as students… Continue reading Diminishing Choices: Why NYC Kids’ Pre-K Affects Where They Go To College
Earlier this month I suggested that grouping New York City schoolchildren by age rather than ability would address two issues that stymie the NYC Department of Education: strict birthday cut-offs that ignore readiness and the perennial shortage of Gifted and Talented seats. In this post I cited a report which asserted that, in some American… Continue reading Is the US Education Bar Set Too Low For All Kids?
I have written before about two major problems NYC parents pinpoint regarding public schools: The majority of children who qualify for gifted programs don’t get a seat due to a lack of space NYC’s birthday cut-off, December 31, means a quarter of children are forced to start Kindergarten before they turn 5 These two problems… Continue reading Grouping Kids By Ability – Not Age – Would Solve Two Major NYC School Problems
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