New York City schools are off for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, on Monday, September 10, and Tuesday, September 11. (To read why I think all cultures should be allowed to take off their holidays, and how that would work in practice, click here.) One of the rituals of Rosh HaShanah is tashlich, where… Continue reading Why My Kids Accuse Me of Being a NYC Public Schools Hypocrite
Parenting typical children is hard. Parenting children with special needs is harder. (I get to say this; I’ve got three of the former and one of the latter.) For our youngest son with multiple disabilities that range from moderate to severe, we have committed ourselves to finding the best educational placements for him. But what… Continue reading Nobody Puts My Baby In The Corner (Except When They Do). A New Report on Inclusion with Relevance to New York.
The mother below wishes to remain anonymous: My son was denied entrance by our local zoned public school. Here is my story. In November 2017, I visited my zoned school, The Manhattan Beach School (PS 195). We had been displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Our home was a ticking time bomb and we had to move… Continue reading NYC Mom Deliberately Blackballed From Zoned School!
When I work with families looking to find the best school for their child, one of the first things I offer them is, “tell me what you believe, and I’ll send you a study that confirms it.” I’m not joking. The education space is full of experts and studies, all proclaiming to know what’s best… Continue reading Relax, The Experts Know What’s Best For Your Child. They Just Don’t Agree On What It Is. Or How To Get It.
Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short story, The Lottery, is considered a classic of slow-building horror. A small town holds a lottery every year to decide which citizen will be ritually stoned in order to insure a good harvest. Everyone goes uncomplainingly along in the name of tradition, and, despite a few scattered grumbles, nobody outright says… Continue reading The Lottery: A NYC Schools Horror Story (With Apologies to Shirley Jackson)
No one seemed more surprised at the obliteration of ten-term, fourth-ranking U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley than victor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified Democratic Socialist. Last week, in a gobsmacking upset, she won the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Politico described her today as “not just a full-blown political sensation but an international news phenomenon.”… Continue reading What Are Ocasio-Cortez’s Views on Public School Choice?
Data for [School Year] 2016 –17 contained in this report shows promising movement toward ensuring that students are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate for their individual needs. This is a statement from the New York City Department of Education’s most recent Annual Report on Special Education, which boasts of the “substantial improvement” and… Continue reading Wesley’s Story, Part 3: “This Is A Bigger Issue Than Wesley,” or How the NYC DOE is Failing Students with Disabilities
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
The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs issued a report today called “The Paradox of Choice: How School Choice Divides New York City Elementary Schools” and I find it underwhelming. Lead authors Nicole Mader, Clara Hemphill and Qasim Abbas draw broad conclusions from limited data sets, leave important questions unacknowledged (let alone unanswered),… Continue reading Unraveling the “Paradox” of School Choice: A New Report from the New School Gets More Wrong Than Right
Last month late one Tuesday evening, my husband and I called a family meeting. The reason for this meeting was to inform our teenage son that he no longer had cell phone service. “You will have no access to texts or internet access just phone calls in case of emergencies”. The cause for this level… Continue reading My Son Says, “I Need My iPad for Homework.” How do I Keep My Kids From Being Held Hostage By Technology?