Accountability · Blog

The New York City DOE Chooses Cash Over Kids

Those of us in the education arena argue all the time but here’s something we all agree with: the most important factor in raising student achievement is great teachers. The New York City Department of Education has chosen to ignore this factor by forcing principals from 39 schools to hire 41 teachers from what was… Continue reading The New York City DOE Chooses Cash Over Kids

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?

Accountability

Why Aren’t You Standing Up for Black and Brown Children Now, Guys?

(This is a guest post from Erika Sanzi, who lives in Rhode Island. She is a former teacher and school administrator, and blogs at Good School Hunting, where this post first appeared.) Years ago a public pool on the south side of Providence was closed during the summer and many of us didn’t feel that… Continue reading Why Aren’t You Standing Up for Black and Brown Children Now, Guys?

Blog

New York State is Understaffing High School Guidance Departments: What Can Parents Do?

Guidance counselors are an important resources to students, especially during the crucial junior and senior years of high school. Guiding and advising students about the college preparation and application process and the almighty question of “how to pay for it,” are invaluable services. The true significance of counseling has just begun to dawn on me,… Continue reading New York State is Understaffing High School Guidance Departments: What Can Parents Do?

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NYC Announces Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Three-Year-Olds Despite Lack of Space, Qualified Teachers, Or Results

On April 24, 2017, as East Side parents were planning a march to protest their children being sent to Universal pre-Kindergarten classrooms multiple blocks away, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio trumpeted the following: New York City is starting the path to 3-K for All for fall of 2017, aiming to serve over 11,000… Continue reading NYC Announces Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Three-Year-Olds Despite Lack of Space, Qualified Teachers, Or Results

New York City

A Different Kind of Integration: Bringing Students With Mental Health Challenges Into Our School and Watching Them Thrive

I have written about John W. Lavelle Prep Charter in Staten Island before. I helped start it as a middle school, built on the crazy idea that you must integrate students with mental health challenges with the general population for them to be successful. Mind you, these students tend to have the highest dropout rate of… Continue reading A Different Kind of Integration: Bringing Students With Mental Health Challenges Into Our School and Watching Them Thrive

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Grouping Kids By Ability – Not Age – Would Solve Two Major NYC School Problems

I have written before about two major problems NYC parents pinpoint regarding public schools: The majority of children who qualify for gifted programs don’t get a seat due to a lack of space NYC’s birthday cut-off, December 31, means a quarter of children are forced to start Kindergarten before they turn 5 These two problems… Continue reading Grouping Kids By Ability – Not Age – Would Solve Two Major NYC School Problems

Blog · New York City

Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Program: Neither Free, Nor Full-Day, Nor High-Quality

Applications for Round 1 of New York City’s Universal Pre-K (UPK) program are due on Friday, February 24, 2017. That’s President’s Day Week, by the way, which means that schools will be closed during the final five days parents are technically allowed to be touring and and making their ranking decisions. Colorful posters are hanging… Continue reading Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Program: Neither Free, Nor Full-Day, Nor High-Quality

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Retro is Chic in NYC: De Blasio’s School Budget Privileges Bureaucracy Over Kids

When Mayor Mike Bloomberg hired Joel Klein as his School Chancellor in 2002, one of their first initiatives, Klein recalls in Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools, was to dismantle the “sclerotic, politically-controlled bureaucracy” at the Department of Education’s central office, which Bloomberg labeled a “rinky-dink candy store” and a “disgrace.” Klein quickly… Continue reading Retro is Chic in NYC: De Blasio’s School Budget Privileges Bureaucracy Over Kids

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New York Schools and Prisons Are In Dire Need of Support Staff

In one of my recent blog posts from our “Letters from John” series, my husband, who is incarcerated, mentioned that he recognizes more and more that inmates have an increased need to be heard. It’s like they are fighting against the invisibility of self that is taking place between them and their community. Many require… Continue reading New York Schools and Prisons Are In Dire Need of Support Staff