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?
It’s school application time in New York City! Parents of four-year-olds are taking advantage of every to advantage to prep them for entry into public Gifted & Talented programs, private schools, and the hybrid Hunter College Elementary. Parents of 5th graders are wrestling with the convoluted process of middle-school admissions. Meanwhile, 30,000 8th graders took… Continue reading Do Parents Know How To Choose the Best School in NYC?
This is a guest post by Lisa Petgrave-Nelson, a graduate of Adelphi University’s School of Social Work. She is a licensed master social worker and a certified health coach. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and nature photography. I grew up in St. Albans, Queens and attended Andrew Jackson High School in the early… Continue reading Am I Making The Right Choice to Raise My Children in a Segregated School District?
Earlier this year, I wrote about Dual Language programs in New York City schools, and who really benefits from them. Is it the non-English speakers that Chancellor Carmen Fariña touts, or is it the already English-speaking children whose parents, when shut out of Gifted & Talented programs, use the Dual Language option to secure yet… Continue reading Do Dual Language Programs Keep The Language of Privilege From Kids Who Need It Most?
In New York City, parents beg, borrow and steal (well, technically, they pay hundreds of dollars for test prep) to get their kids into public school Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs. But one of the issues that gets overlooked with district G&T’s is that they dilute overall school accountability. There are two kinds of public… Continue reading NYC’s Gifted & Talented Programs Obscure Parents’ Ability to Judge School Performance
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
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?
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
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
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