Accountability · School Choice

What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

With Kindergarten Connect applications due this Friday, January 12 (unless the Department of Education decides to, once again, push back their own deadline), I have been hearing from dozens of parents looking for help with finding a “good” school for their child. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that different… Continue reading What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

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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

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Is Class Ranking a Thing of The Past? A Long Island Mom Considers Her Daughter’s Experience

During a recent trip to my hometown, I reconnected with some old schoolmates. As we were  recounting our high school days, someone mentioned our class valedictorian, which evolved into a discussion on class rank, and none of us could recall where we stood in the pecking order. It was not something that I remember reviewing… Continue reading Is Class Ranking a Thing of The Past? A Long Island Mom Considers Her Daughter’s Experience

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?

Blog · School Choice

5 Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking Schools on Kindergarten Connect – And How You Can Avoid Them

Kindergarten Connect, the online form that New York City parents use to apply their children to Kindergarten for 2018, opened on Tuesday, November 28. It is scheduled to close on January 12, 2018. Every year, I receive frantic emails from parents who made a mistake in ranking their choices, and are now stuck with a… Continue reading 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking Schools on Kindergarten Connect – And How You Can Avoid Them

Accountability · Blog

Can Parents Really “Change” a School? Should They?

In response to my November 6 post, a reader wrote: If we want to see all schools get better, why keep steering people to “The Best” ones, thereby depriving them, and their locally zoned schools, the opportunity to truly flourish? Case in point, PS 191. With the amount of investment that will go into that… Continue reading Can Parents Really “Change” a School? Should They?

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

School Choice

Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

In addition to taking the “ridiculous” Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) which I so cruelly forced him to study for, my 8th grade son also auditioned for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts.  (Yes, that’s really what it’s called and that’s really how it’s punctuated, although most… Continue reading Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

Accountability

What’s the Value of an “Advanced Regents Diploma”? Parents Weigh In.

It was not until I had a recent conversation with my daughter’s guidance counselor about another matter that I was aware that she is on track to graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. This was news to me, as it was the first time I had heard about the different diploma options available. Traditionally, students… Continue reading What’s the Value of an “Advanced Regents Diploma”? Parents Weigh In.