School Choice

Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Martin Luther King Day weekend came right on the heels of New York City’s public school Kindergarten application, Kindergarten Connect, scheduled to close on Friday, January 12, 2018. However, as I kept predicting, they extended the deadline to Friday, January 19, 2018, at the last minute. Due to the earlier stated deadline, I spent the… Continue reading Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

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Will a New Chancellor Mean a New Direction for NYC Public Schools?

The end of 2017 brought the announced retirement of Carmen Fariña as New York City School Chancellor. Regarding her replacement, Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to Chalkbeat, “emphasized that he is not looking for someone to shake things up but rather wants  someone who will follow through on the course that he and Fariña set out.” Remember those issues… Continue reading Will a New Chancellor Mean a New Direction for NYC Public Schools?

Accountability

Bill de Blasio Goes Full Bloomberg

Mayor tacitly acknowledges failure of his Renewal Schools program with the announcement of 14 new school closures. (This is a guest post by Pete Cook which originally appeared in his new blog, “Retort: Correcting the Record on Education Reform.” Pete became involved in education reform in New Orleans Public Schools as a 2002 Teach For America… Continue reading Bill de Blasio Goes Full Bloomberg

Accountability · Blog

What the Heck is Happening With Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal School Program?

Nothing good. For starters, see this statement from StudentsFirstNY,  “Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal Announcement Too Little, Too Late,” printed below. Also see the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The 74, and Politico. For NYST coverage, see here, here, here,  and here.  From StudentsFirstNY: “Mayor de Blasio’s expensive school turnaround model has failed miserably and kids have… Continue reading What the Heck is Happening With Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal School Program?

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Top 5 NYC School Issues That Enraged Parents in 2017 – And What Will Happen In 2018

2017 was a big year for New York City school news. Universal Pre-K was rolled out for 3 year-olds, even as the program for 4 year-olds struggled. There was a contentious elementary school rezoning on the Upper West Side, middle-school admissions came under the microscope, and yet another plan to diversify Specialized High Schools went… Continue reading Top 5 NYC School Issues That Enraged Parents in 2017 – And What Will Happen In 2018

Accountability · Blog

Why Is the Mayor Expanding School Initiatives That Aren’t Working – And Limiting Those That Do?

For the past 50+ years, every mayor has pledged to fix New York City schools, and the current office-holder, Bill de Blasio, is no exception. He is, however, somewhat unique in that whenever a signature initiative has been proven ineffective, his response is to double down and announce its expansion. He has been equally intransigent… Continue reading Why Is the Mayor Expanding School Initiatives That Aren’t Working – And Limiting Those That Do?

Accountability · Blog

The New York City DOE Chooses Cash Over Kids

Those of us in the education arena argue all the time but here’s something we all agree with: the most important factor in raising student achievement is great teachers. The New York City Department of Education has chosen to ignore this factor by forcing principals from 39 schools to hire 41 teachers from what was… Continue reading The New York City DOE Chooses Cash Over Kids

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Being a Part of the Change I Want to See in Alternative Routes to Teaching Certification

Have you done it? Are you doing it? What are your thoughts? There have been quite a few occasions when my personal philosophy on education was diametrically opposed to that of those in upper-management of New York School Talk. One of those issues is alternative routes to teacher certification. Teaching is extremely mentally, physically, and… Continue reading Being a Part of the Change I Want to See in Alternative Routes to Teaching Certification

Blog · School Choice

Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

When parents ask me why I’ve written a book called “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten,” and one called “Getting Into NYC High School,” but NOT one called “Getting Into NYC Middle School,” I explain it’s because the NYC middle school process is so convoluted and varies so much from district to district, I couldn’t write one… Continue reading Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

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Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School

(This is a guest post from my pal and colleague Erika Sanzi. It was originally posted on Erika’s blog, Good School Hunting.) I write from a place of privilege today.  I have never once worried about the safety of my three children at school. The victim of the fatal school stabbing was named Matthew. I have… Continue reading Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School