Blog

Learning Through Exploration: NYC Students — This Summer It’s Time To Hit The Streets!

It’s no question that New York is the best city on the planet. Biased much? Yeah, I admit I am biased a bit, but it’s true! Anything and everything you could want or imagine from any part of the world is at your fingertips! I mean, for the cost of a train ride – $2.75… Continue reading Learning Through Exploration: NYC Students — This Summer It’s Time To Hit The Streets!

School Choice

Success Academy Wins Award for Closing Achievement Gaps (And Scores Two Victories in One Week)

Success Academy Charter Schools, New York City’s largest charter management organization that operates 41 elementary, middle, and high schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens serving 14,000 students, just won the 2017 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. The prize awards $250,000 to the public charter network that, according to a press release, “has demonstrated the… Continue reading Success Academy Wins Award for Closing Achievement Gaps (And Scores Two Victories in One Week)

School Choice

From Dream to Reality: The Entire Class at this Brooklyn Charter School Is Going to College!

Kiara Damon first started thinking about college when she entered fifth grade at Williamsburg Collegiate Middle School, a Brooklyn charter school run by the Uncommon Schools network. “It was always college, college, college,” Kiara said. “We were always the class of 2021, not the class of 2017.” Kira was one of 87 graduating seniors from… Continue reading From Dream to Reality: The Entire Class at this Brooklyn Charter School Is Going to College!

Blog

Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?

I was walking into work today and a colleague of mine began exchanging small talk. She knows that my husband John is incarcerated and was kind enough to ask me how he was doing. I told her that, all things considered, he’s doing really well and that I was excited to see and spend time… Continue reading Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?

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My Students Told Me That My Classroom “Lacked Soul.” Here’s What I Did

How a teacher who arrived a week before school began started making genuine connections with her kids. The office supply store Staples was my virtual shopping buddy during my first year of teaching. I had arrived in New York City in 2004,  a week before the school year began, to teach 8th grade English Language… Continue reading My Students Told Me That My Classroom “Lacked Soul.” Here’s What I Did

Blog

“There Are Black Women Like Me Doing That Kind of Work”: Brooklyn Charter Students Impress College Recruiters

Nearly 100 colleges participated in a career fair in Brooklyn this week, illustrating the growing influence that high-performing charter schools are having on college admissions in New York. That many colleges at one fair at a school is not atypical for magnet schools like Stuyvesant High School or Hunter College High School. But what was… Continue reading “There Are Black Women Like Me Doing That Kind of Work”: Brooklyn Charter Students Impress College Recruiters

Blog

No, Rich White Parents Should NOT Refuse Testing for Their Children

The  Daily News reported yesterday that NYSUT, the New York teacher union, has bought about a dozen billboards upstate, as well as ads on bus shelters, urging parents to opt their children out of annual state standardized testing.  This is in spite of the fact that student results are no longer tied to teacher evaluations,… Continue reading No, Rich White Parents Should NOT Refuse Testing for Their Children

Blog

The Sad State of Our Schools

A teacher’s expectations and the standards to which he or she holds students accountable may very well be the largest factor in academic success, or lack thereof. I write these words to you with such a frustrated spirit and a heavy heart because the crass reality is that some students, particularly poor Black and Brown… Continue reading The Sad State of Our Schools

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Ed Trust Needs To Take Several Seats in the Back of My Classroom!

In response to New York State’s decision to eliminate the Academic Skills Literacy Test for teacher certification,  Education Trust Executive Director Ian Rosenblum stated on Tuesday, “it is deeply disappointing that the Regents and State Education Department are lowering the bar for teacher literacy skills…We should be focusing on ensuring that prospective teachers receive the support… Continue reading Ed Trust Needs To Take Several Seats in the Back of My Classroom!

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