Blog · School Choice

NYC Kids Forced To Start Kindergarten Before Age 5 – Two Parents’ Perspectives

As we have noted before, New York City has the latest school birthday cut-off in the country, December 31st. This means that one-quarter of children are forced to start kindergarten before they turn five years old. There is research to support both sending young children to school and holding them back. So what should you… Continue reading NYC Kids Forced To Start Kindergarten Before Age 5 – Two Parents’ Perspectives

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NYC’s Plan “Isn’t Going to Cut it”: Striving toward Universal Literacy

There are certain cruel realities that are seen in schools everyday. Teachers see the multitude of barriers students face from bullying, to poverty, to learning difficulties. Schools offer various methods to help students cope with these issues, many of which are a part of policies like DASA (the Dignity for All Students Act) that offer… Continue reading NYC’s Plan “Isn’t Going to Cut it”: Striving toward Universal Literacy

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Remembering Avonte Oquendo

A few days ago I was walking by a school and I heard what sounded like door alarms going off. Usually alarms indicate an alert to impending danger that creates a sense of urgency to protect oneself and others. In this case, however, everything (from the outside looking in) appeared to be business as usual.… Continue reading Remembering Avonte Oquendo

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A Teacher Tosses a Seven-Year-Old Out the Door and Keeps His Job?

Two days before Christmas, seven-year-old Ka’veon Wilson came to class at P.S. 194 in Harlem with a tray of cupcakes for his classmates. His teacher, Osman Couey, shoved him out the door and locked it. Ka’veon, a special education student, started banging on the door to get back in. School psychologist Steven Castiglia heard the… Continue reading A Teacher Tosses a Seven-Year-Old Out the Door and Keeps His Job?

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Why You Do NOT Want Me On Your Education Council

As they have already done with Kindergarten, Gifted & Talented, and Universal pre-K applications, the New York City Department of Education has pushed back their deadline for parents wishing to run for a spot on various education councils, including Citywide Council on High-Schools, English Language Learners, Special Ed, and several District offices. The final forms… Continue reading Why You Do NOT Want Me On Your Education Council

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Diminishing Choices: Why NYC Kids’ Pre-K Affects Where They Go To College

New York City kids are coming to the end of the 2017 application cycle, with general education Kindergarten as well as all Middle School and High School placements set to be released next month. Yet, once again, families were not fully informed of all their choices, entering the process unaware that options diminish as students… Continue reading Diminishing Choices: Why NYC Kids’ Pre-K Affects Where They Go To College

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Is the US Education Bar Set Too Low For All Kids?

Earlier this month I suggested that grouping New York City schoolchildren by age rather than ability would address two issues that stymie the NYC Department of Education: strict birthday cut-offs that ignore readiness and the perennial shortage of Gifted and Talented seats. In this post I cited a report which asserted that, in some American… Continue reading Is the US Education Bar Set Too Low For All Kids?

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Parents: Hold Up Your End of the Bargain!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at parent-teacher conferences over the years and heard parents of children who are not working up to their potential in my class say, “I don’t understand…I ask him if he has homework and he tells me no or that he did it already.” Really, mom? Really,… Continue reading Parents: Hold Up Your End of the Bargain!

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How Do Teachers Decide What Students Learn Each Day And How Can We Do Better?

One of my central responsibilities as an educator is to perform a task called “curriculum mapping.” Over the years this practice has made me aware of the lack of academic continuity that occurs when students leave NYC middle schools for NYC high schools. According to a 2001 article published by the Association for Supervision and… Continue reading How Do Teachers Decide What Students Learn Each Day And How Can We Do Better?

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It’s Not Rocket Science: How To Improve Science Teaching in NYC Schools

With 1.1 million New York City public school students desperately needing help with their science education, we are fortunate that, on January 11, 2017, The American Museum of Natural History unveiled its upcoming Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation. Projected to open in 2020, the 235,000 square-foot Gilder Center will include six Family… Continue reading It’s Not Rocket Science: How To Improve Science Teaching in NYC Schools