Blog

How To Make Any School a ‘Good’ School – In One Simple Step

We’ve all seen the infamous video by now: The Upper West Side mother objecting to a proposal to set aside 25 percent of seats in New York City’s District 3 middle schools for students who score either a 2 (below proficient) or a 1 (well below proficient) on their NY state standardized tests. The conceit… Continue reading How To Make Any School a ‘Good’ School – In One Simple Step

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I Don’t Want My Children Around Those Type of White People!

This post was written by Lamont Douglas, a father, advocate and blogger at Secondline. He resides in New Orleans, Louisiana where he has been a powerful voice for educational equity. For more NYST coverage of the integration uproar on the Upper West Side, see here, here, here, and here. Melba. Minnijean. Elizabeth. Ernest. Gloria. Carlotta. Thelma. Terrence.… Continue reading I Don’t Want My Children Around Those Type of White People!

Blog · School Choice

School Choice, Mom-Shaming, and My Conversation With a Genius

Shaming is bad. Fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, slut-shaming, gender-shaming, victim-shaming, and, of course, mom-shaming. Mom-shaming is the worst. Except, of course, when it comes to school choice. Then, it’s genius! After yet another speech where she criticized all parents (New York City parents, in particular) for choosing schools they believe are best for their children, MacArthur Genius… Continue reading School Choice, Mom-Shaming, and My Conversation With a Genius

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So Let Me Get This Straight: If Black Kids Come to a School, the School is Going to Automatically Fail?

It’s over 50 years since the historic Supreme Court vote that ushered integration into public schools into the public school system of United States of America.  Yet in 2018 rich white people are still up in arms about the mere mention of allocating seats in their segregated schools for minority children. They didn’t want our… Continue reading So Let Me Get This Straight: If Black Kids Come to a School, the School is Going to Automatically Fail?

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Have We Made Any Progress Since Brown v. Board of Ed? Not In My Experience.

In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs were thirteen Topeka parents on behalf of their 20 children.  What a strong example of parental engagement this landmark case models for us, right? This case… Continue reading Have We Made Any Progress Since Brown v. Board of Ed? Not In My Experience.

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

It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better

The big buzz word in New York City education is: Diversity. On October 26, 2017, yet another plan was announced, this time promising to bring diversity to Lower Manhattan’s District 1. District 1 is already a choice district, in that families are not limited to a local zoned school, but can apply to any school… Continue reading It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better

New York City

A Different Kind of Integration: Bringing Students With Mental Health Challenges Into Our School and Watching Them Thrive

I have written about John W. Lavelle Prep Charter in Staten Island before. I helped start it as a middle school, built on the crazy idea that you must integrate students with mental health challenges with the general population for them to be successful. Mind you, these students tend to have the highest dropout rate of… Continue reading A Different Kind of Integration: Bringing Students With Mental Health Challenges Into Our School and Watching Them Thrive