It’s National School Choice Week, which makes it the perfect time to discuss why everyone in New York City has School Choice. And why everyone doesn’t. In theory, NYC students have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to educational options. There is Universal Pre K in public schools, charter schools, community centers, and private… Continue reading Why Everyone In NYC Has School Choice…And Why Everyone Doesn’t.
I donated some books to my local public library yesterday. One of the bags that I used to transport the books was from Howard University. I got that bag at a parent orientation for incoming freshman students. On the front of the bag it proudly showcases the date that this historically Black university was established… Continue reading “By the Time I Was the Only Black Kid in All My Honors Classes, I Was Already Confident in My Abilities.”
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
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?
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
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
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?
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
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?
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