Blog

Black Teachers “Get” Black Students

Black teachers “get” Black students. We “get” students, in general. We “get” a lot of things because of our nuanced and varied experiences being Black in America. Having a Black teacher is especially beneficial to students of color because that deeper level of understanding that we have affords our Black students a greater opportunity to… Continue reading Black Teachers “Get” Black Students

Blog

Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?

New York City kids have just finished sitting for the 2017 English Language Arts state tests and so this seems like a good time to talk about the tutoring epidemic that goes beyond four-year-olds prepping to ace Gifted & Talented screenings, and teens cramming for the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Those exams are for… Continue reading Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?

Blog

Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing

This year, New York City’s annual day of hand-wringing and mystified confusion fell on March 8, 2017. That’s when everyone from the New York Times to the Daily News to Chalkbeat wrote their Why, Oh, Why Did Only (Insert Tiny Number That Varies Slightly From Year to Year) Minority Students Get Offers to Specialized High… Continue reading Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing

Blog

You Call These “Public” Schools? Unconscionable Segregation in NYC’s Specialized High Schools

Segregation won another round in New York City’s most elite “public” schools. The admission numbers are out and they are pathetic. Black and Latino children make up 67.6 percent of the students in NYC schools, yet only 10 percent of the students were admitted to the selective high schools. And get this, only one—yes one—Black… Continue reading You Call These “Public” Schools? Unconscionable Segregation in NYC’s Specialized High Schools

Blog

School Choice Goes To the Movies

Everything anyone needs to know about school choice – who benefits from it and who opposes it – was summarized in the first few minutes of the movie Hidden Figures… and in the trailer right before it. Hidden Figures, which won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast, stars Oscar winner Octavia Spencer,… Continue reading School Choice Goes To the Movies

New York City · State Legislature

In Speech, Mayor de Blasio Gives Short Shrift to School Improvement; Curtains for Chancellor Fariña?

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?

Blog

A Simple Solution to School Segregation

The basics of desegregation are simple.  It just takes will.  NYC’s gifted and talented programs and the specialized high schools are some the most segregated classrooms in the City.  And despite a plethora of studies and plans, little has changed in recent years. The most exclusive public schools, the gateways to real mobility, have largely excluded… Continue reading A Simple Solution to School Segregation

New York City

Will the DOE’s Plan to Diversify Upper West Side Schools Reverse Segregation or Merely Hide Student Achievement Gaps?

As I predicted last week, NYC’s controversial Upper West Side rezoning plan passed. Its supporters claimed the Department of Education’s plan would decrease overcrowding and increase economic and racial diversity. Its detractors argued that the Community Education Council acted without heeding parents’ wishes. I continue to see this rezoning as a way for the Department of… Continue reading Will the DOE’s Plan to Diversify Upper West Side Schools Reverse Segregation or Merely Hide Student Achievement Gaps?

Blog · New York City

A Different Kind of Segregation in the Name of Diversity on the Upper West Side

Despite local parent opposition, the NYC Department of Education is pushing through a highly controversial rezoning plan, to be put to a vote on Tuesday, November 22th, as a way to desegregate and improve a group of Upper West Side elementary schools. But the plan risks making both problems worse. At the epicenter of the… Continue reading A Different Kind of Segregation in the Name of Diversity on the Upper West Side

Blog

“At Ten Years Old,” Said My Son, “I Know that Our Justice System is Not Just”

As I sit in the corner of a corridor in KIPP Infinity Elementary School, a heaviness consumes me. A KIPP parent’s life has been taken senselessly because he was described as a “bad dude.” Can anyone tell me what a “bad dude” looks like? Terence Crutcher was a black man, a father of four, one… Continue reading “At Ten Years Old,” Said My Son, “I Know that Our Justice System is Not Just”