Fifteen years ago when I began my journey as an education advocate, I was in it for myself. More specifically, for my son Jonah, who has multiple disabilities stemming from a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome. I saw my quest as securing a high-quality seat for my boy in a school that would provide… Continue reading The Dead Canary: The Problems Within NYC’s Special Education System Signify Global Dysfunction
With a new school year underway, one of the major issues my school district will be tackling is one that is a growing problem across the United States, chronic absenteeism. Since the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act “fifth indicator” mandate of absenteeism, more and more states are tracking and reporting absences, and that is shedding… Continue reading Did You Know That 28 Percent of New York Students Are Chronically Absent? What’s The Solution?
Remember the scene at the beginning of “Men in Black” when Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is auditioning men for a new slot in a secret agency that oversees alien visitors from other galaxies? After a series of bizarre tests, he picks the iconoclast in the group, soon-to-be Agent J (played by Will Smith). The… Continue reading “Wait a minute. You just flash that thing, it erases her memory, and you just make up a new one?” De Blasio, Carranza, and Men in Black.
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
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?
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
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?
At I.S. 339 in the Bronx in a science class for English Language Learners, says New York City’s 2017 “Quality Review Report,” during a vocabulary review the teacher gave an answer key to students that included two mistakes. On the most recent state tests, 3.8 percent of 6th-graders reached proficiency in math. At Martin Van… Continue reading Would You Send Your Children to These Schools?
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Renewal School Program is about to hit its three year anniversary. In a speech in November 2014 he vowed to “demand fast and intense improvement” for the 78 schools in the program, just as earlier that year in Riverside Church he made a commitment to “shake the foundations” of the school… Continue reading Renewal Schools? Not a Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On
On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the New York State Legislature voted to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools for two years. The move was heralded by everyone from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who proclaimed it “the best way to provide education,” to former Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who asserted that… Continue reading Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?