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”?
The Wall Street Journal and Chalkbeat report today on a new report by Aaron Pallas, an education researcher at Teachers College at Columbia, who finds that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s much-vaunted Renewal Schools Program isn’t actually helping students. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Two and a half years ago, early in his first term, the… Continue reading “No Bad Schools,” Mr. Mayor? Do the Math.
New York City’s mayoral primary is on September 12th, six months from now, and it’s looking excessively likely that incumbent Bill de Blasio will win the primary and then win a second term in November. Given the odds, here’s a few suggestions from an admittedly edu-centric bystander on what the Mayor can do to improve… Continue reading A Few Suggestions for Mayor de Blasio’s Second Term Education Agenda
Sean Davenport has a provocative piece in Chalkbeat about his journey from disaffected student to teacher at (now closed) Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. On his first day there in his 10th grade English and Speech class, he told the students to take turns reading aloud from a text. He recounts this exchange… Continue reading “He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy
In today’s New York Times, Kate Taylor reports on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City speech and his curiously scant discussion of his Renewal Schools Program. As I’ve reported before (see here, here, and here), the program’s outcomes are lackluster at best, yet the Mayor has trumpeted his plan as a panacea… Continue reading In Speech, Mayor de Blasio Gives Short Shrift to School Improvement; Curtains for Chancellor Fariña?
When I found out my child would be attending Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts, one of New York City’s “Renewal Schools,” I was hopeful. I went to Wadleigh when I was a girl; I knew it was struggling, but I thought the new focus and resources that came with the Renewal… Continue reading Why I’m Taking My Child Out of One of Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal Schools
Today NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has an editorial in the Daily News in which she defends “public education” — and, more specifically, the City’s traditional school system — from alleged accusations that “they are violent, dysfunctional and that their students leave school without any knowledge.” In fact, claims Fariña, “here in New York City, by… Continue reading Dear Carmen Fariña: What Are Charter Schools? Chopped Liver?
If you’re a parent like me, at the start of each school year you eagerly learn all about the course content your child will study, the enrichment opportunities available, the field trips your child will take, and the school supplies your child will need as you brace yourself for that evening’s trip to Staples. If… Continue reading Beyond Staples: How Parents Benefit from School Accountability
“There are probably at most 20 to 25 [NYC] public high schools that are preparing kids for what I would consider rigorous college-level work.” That’s Rhea Wong, executive director of Breakthrough, a non-profit that provides support to low-income New York City students who strive to graduate from college. And, contrary to even the most modest… Continue reading “In New York City, the schools that actually prepare kids for college is so small”: Parents and Administrators Bemoan Mayor De Blasio’s School Improvement Failure
In January 2013, just before Bill de Blasio was sworn in for his first term as New York City’s mayor, a reporter asked him what he wanted his legacy to be. He replied that he wanted to be known as “the education mayor.” Three years into his first term he might ask, as Ed Koch… Continue reading How’s Hizzoner’s School Improvement Plan Doing? An Interim Report