Blog

Happily Ever After In NYC: Parents Share School Choice Success Stories – And How They Made Them Happen

I didn’t always write about education. Once upon a time, I wrote books – romances, mysteries, non-fiction. I also worked in soap operas – ABC Daytime, Procter & Gamble Productions, the Daytime Emmy Awards. But then I had children. And I applied those children to schools in New York City. And I found out how… Continue reading Happily Ever After In NYC: Parents Share School Choice Success Stories – And How They Made Them Happen

Blog · School Choice

Say Goodbye To Hollywood: How Much For a ‘Good’ NYC Public School?

News broke last Tuesday, March 12th, that some rich parents, including actors Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Full House), paid from $15,000 to $500,000 to fraudulently arrange their children’s acceptances into colleges ranging from Yale to University of Southern California. The usual suspects made the appropriate shocked noises. Like when Major Strasser learned… Continue reading Say Goodbye To Hollywood: How Much For a ‘Good’ NYC Public School?

Finding the Right School

Will Changing Admission to Specialized High Schools Change Specialized High Schools? How Do We Find Out?

This past weekend, 30,000 New York City 8th graders took the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) in hope of being among the 4,000 students accepted to one of the eight schools which use the SHSAT as its sole qualifying measure. This year, twenty percent of seats at every school are being set aside as… Continue reading Will Changing Admission to Specialized High Schools Change Specialized High Schools? How Do We Find Out?

Accountability

What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #4): Desperately Seeking a Silver Lining

In response to my post, What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #2): Who Will Win and Who Will Lose When It Passes, a reader commented: (W)ould be useful to also point out the specific types of students who would win under the new plan. Because, no way around it, some… Continue reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #4): Desperately Seeking a Silver Lining

Accountability · Blog · School Choice

What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #1): The Mayor’s Hidden Agenda

It’s been a hell of a week. On Saturday, June 2, 2018, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio penned an op-ed, asserting that Our Specialized Schools Have a Diversity Problem. Let’s Fix It. On Sunday, June 3, he announced two initiatives to do so. He vowed to expand the Discovery Program so that 20 percent of… Continue reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #1): The Mayor’s Hidden Agenda

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

Finding the Right School · School Choice

Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

In addition to taking the “ridiculous” Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) which I so cruelly forced him to study for, my 8th grade son also auditioned for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts.  (Yes, that’s really what it’s called and that’s really how it’s punctuated, although most… Continue reading Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

Finding the Right School · School Choice

Your Cheat Sheet For Figuring Out All Your NYC High-School Choices – And How To Get Them

June 25th, 2019 Addendum: The New York City Department of Education has announced that there will be no comprehensive, paper directory for 2019-2020 High-School admissions. The directory will only be online from now on. This, despite the multiple glitches the Parent Portal experienced during 2018–2019 admissions, and reports of low income and minority students falling… Continue reading Your Cheat Sheet For Figuring Out All Your NYC High-School Choices – And How To Get Them

Finding the Right School · School Choice

NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?

In their 2012 book, “Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High-Schools,”  Chester E. Finn Jr. and Jessica A. Hockett offer a comprehensive look at screened admissions secondary schools across the US by spotlighting a cross-section of educational models. These range from the statewide residential Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, to Pine View School for… Continue reading NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?

Blog

Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing

This year, New York City’s annual day of hand-wringing and mystified confusion fell on March 8, 2017. That’s when everyone from the New York Times to the Daily News to Chalkbeat wrote their Why, Oh, Why Did Only (Insert Tiny Number That Varies Slightly From Year to Year) Minority Students Get Offers to Specialized High… Continue reading Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing